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The Brothers Warner (2007)

Not Rated  |   |  Documentary, Biography, History  |  25 September 2008 (USA)
7.4
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Ratings: 7.4/10 from 296 users  
Reviews: 7 user | 14 critic

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.

Director:

(as Cass Warner Sperling)

Writer:

(as Cass Warner Sperling)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Himself - Actor
...
Herself - Former President, Paramount Pictures
...
Herself - Actor
...
Himself - Filmmaker
...
Himself - Producer
...
Himself - Actor
...
Herself - Actor
...
Himself - Film Producer
...
Himself - Actor
...
Himself - Actor
...
Himself
...
Himself - Filmmaker
Betty Warner Sheinbaum ...
Herself - Harry's daughter, Mother of Cass
Michael Birdwell ...
Himself - Historian (as Dr. Michael Birdwell)
Steven J. Ross ...
Himself - USC Film Professor / USC History Professor
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Storyline

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 trivwhiz

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

25 September 2008 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Os Irmãos Warner  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Color:

| (film clips and archive photographs)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Betty Warner Sheinbaum is credited two different ways on screen, first as "Mother of Cass," and second as "Harry's daughter." See more »

Goofs

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 »

Connections

Features The Night Cry (1926) See more »

Soundtracks

The Yankee Doodle Boy
(uncredited)
Written by George M. Cohan
Performed by James Cagney and ensemble
From Yankee Doodle Dandy (1942)
See more »

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User Reviews

 
a family affair
18 November 2009 | by (Herzlya, Israel) – See all my reviews

Today the Warner name is just one component in a complicated corporate entanglement that the multimedia era made possible. One of the first and many things that we learn in this documentary is that the Warner Brothers film empire really started like a corner-of-the-street family affair, with the four sons of an East-European Jewish immigrant opening a cinema in Pennsylvania, with an blanket as improvised screen and borrowed chairs, with the wife of one of them playing the piano and nickel entry ticket price. Then when movies became hard to obtain the brothers decided to start making their own, and when the Edison monopoly chased them from the East Coast to California history began.

The four brothers built an empire American style, one of the most successful enterprises in one of the most successful American industry of the 20th century. Yet, their path was not smooth, their life was milestoned by happiness and tragedies as well, and they were no saints. Grand-daughter Cass Warner's film has both the qualities of bringing a lot of information backed-up by original film sequences, and of bringing a personal touch, with interviews of the members of the family, as well as important people in the industry, and film and communication experts. I appreciated the participation of descendants and representatives from the competitor studios like Disney or Paramount who did not hesitate to participate in this homage documentary. All parts are well dosed and the balanced mix takes us through six decades of movie making in parallel with the American history, actually part of the American history of the 20th century.

The documentary is informative, good, and human, and seldom falls into the trap of the blind adoration of its subject. The story of the brothers Warner and of Warner Brothers the corporation is the material for a great feature film, yet to be made in the future. With a bit of luck it will add a few Oscars near the Warner Brothers name.


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