7 user 13 critic

The Brothers Warner (2007)

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.


(as Cass Warner Sperling)


(as Cass Warner Sperling)

Watch Now

From $3.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

1 nomination. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Hollywood (TV Mini-Series 1980)
Documentary | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 9.2/10 X  

The definitive documentary about the American silent film industry.

Stars: James Mason, Viola Dana, Byron Haskin
Documentary | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 X  

The history of Hollywood film from the medium's invention to the birth of the New Hollywood in 1970.

Stars: Christopher Plummer, Daniel Selznick, Gregory Orr
Cinema Europe: The Other Hollywood (TV Mini-Series 1995)
Documentary | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.7/10 X  

Documentary mini-series about the rise and fall of the European silent film industry.

Stars: Kenneth Branagh, Jean-Louis Trintignant, Ulrich Tukur
Documentary | Biography
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

Biography of risk-taker and raconteur John Huston from his childhood to become one of the most highly respected filmmakers in the world.

Director: Frank Martin
Stars: Robert Mitchum, Lauren Bacall, Paul Newman
Documentary | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

Cameramen and women discuss the craft and art of cinematography and of the "DP" (the director of photography), illustrating their points with clips from 100 films, from Birth of a Nation to... See full summary »

Directors: Arnold Glassman, Todd McCarthy, and 1 more credit »
Stars: Conrad L. Hall, John Bailey, Vilmos Zsigmond
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Tells the history and importance of The National Film Registry, a roll call of American cinema treasures that reflects the diversity of film, and indeed the American experience itself.

Directors: Paul Mariano, Kurt Norton
Stars: Jeff Adachi, James H. Billington, Robin Blaetz
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

Wrongly convicted James Allen serves in the intolerable conditions of a southern chain gang, which later comes back to haunt him.

Director: Mervyn LeRoy
Stars: Paul Muni, Glenda Farrell, Helen Vinson
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A young woman comes to Hollywood with dreams of stardom, but achieves them only with the help of an alcoholic leading man whose best days are behind him.

Directors: William A. Wellman, Jack Conway
Stars: Janet Gaynor, Fredric March, Adolphe Menjou
American Masters (TV Series 1985)
Documentary | Biography
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

The life story of Louisa May Alcott based on her writings as well as those of family, friends and associates.

Stars: Martin Scorsese, Tony Bennett, Peter Bogdanovich
Comedy | Drama | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

Millionaire turned composer Dick Powell rescues unemployed Broadway people with a new play.

Director: Mervyn LeRoy
Stars: Warren William, Joan Blondell, Aline MacMahon
Drama | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A film star helps a young singer and actress find fame, even as age and alcoholism send his own career on a downward spiral.

Director: George Cukor
Stars: Judy Garland, James Mason, Jack Carson
Documentary | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 X  
Stars: Edward Asner, Linwood G. Dunn, Ginger Rogers


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 (as Sam Goldwyn Jr.)
Himself (as Roy Disney Jr.)
Himself - Actor
Himself - Actor
Himself - Writer / Director
Himself - Filmmaker
Betty Warner Sheinbaum ...
Herself - Harry's Daughter, Mother of Cass
Michael Birdwell ...
Himself - Historian (as Dr. Michael Birdwell)


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


Not Rated | See all certifications »




Release Date:

25 September 2008 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Os Irmãos Warner  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (film clips and archive photographs)

Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Johanna Blakey is credited two different ways on screen, first as "Johanna Blakey," and second as "Johanna Blakley." 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 »


Features I Am a Fugitive from a Chain Gang (1932) See more »


Merrily We Roll Along
Music by Murray Mencher
Played during the Merrie Melodies title card shot
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

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.

12 of 14 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Discuss The Brothers Warner (2007) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: