An intimate portrait and saga of four film pioneers--Harry, Albert, Sam and Jack who rose from immigrant poverty through personal tragedies persevering to create a major studio with a social conscience.
Intimate portraits of brothers Albert Warner, Harry M. Warner, Jack L. Warner, and Sam Warner, the siblings who were close knit at the time of Warner Bros. Studios founding, but who later became estranged. This film, written and directed by Harry's granddaughter Cass, traces them from their humble, immigrant beginnings, to their breakthrough achievements, and their continuing imprint on American culture. This historic view of a family, and Hollywood's golden years offers invaluable and rare still photographs, classic film footage, and private access to relatives, friends, employees, and historians. Written by
Steven J. Ross is credited two different ways on screen, first as "USC Film Professor," and second as "USC History Professor." See more »
Cass Warner Sperling's commentary states that the 1927 film "The Jazz Singer," starring Al Jolson, grossed more than any movie made to that time and remained the all-time box-office champ until the release of "Gone With the Wind." It was actually Jolson's next film, "The Singing Fool," that set the box-office record that lasted until "Gone With the Wind." See more »
Pretty good documentary takes a look at the four Warner brothers (Harry, Albert, Jack, Sam) who would end up building one of the greatest and most loved studios in the history of cinema. Although it would seem the family had a lot of great fortune, they were haunted by several early deaths and many ending up turning their backs on one another. If you're looking for a documentary about all the great films released by the studio then you're going to be disappointed because this documentary actually takes a look at the family and not so much the movies. There's several stuff dealing with the movies that gets talked about including the brothers desire to make "real" dramas and how they fought the code and other studios to make a warning about Germany (CONFESSIONS OF A NAZI SPY). I think fans of the history behind this studio will enjoy this doc the most as we get to see a lot of great photos of the boys as well as some video footage. There's quite a bit of talk from the relatives of the Warner's and we have a relative directing the film but don't let that worry you because there's quite a bit of brutal honesty here. Dennis Hopper, Debbie Reynolds, Norman Lear, George Segal, Angie Dickinson, Samuel Goldwyn, Jr. and Tab Hunter are just a few of the people who are interviewed. Some of the best stuff happens early on when we learn how the brothers ended up getting into the movie business and why they eventually moved out West.
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