American Masters (1985– )
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You Must Remember This: The Warner Bros. Story 

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Cast

Episode credited cast:
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Himself - Narrator
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
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Benjamin Disraeli / Montgomery Royle (archive footage)
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Herself - Interviewee
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Don Jose de Marana / Don Juan de Marana (archive footage)
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Baby in 'Pettin' in the Park' Number (archive footage)
Jeanine Basinger ...
Herself - Interviewee
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Julian Marsh (archive footage)
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Himself - Interviewee
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Himself - Interviewee
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Himself - Interviewee
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Himself - Interviewee (archive footage)
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Sara Rabinowitz (archive footage)
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Dot (archive footage)
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Harve (archive footage)
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Himself (archive footage)
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23 September 2008 (USA)  »

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(long)

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The original version, the short version, was broadcast on PBS in 2008, and ran ninety minutes in one episode. The later version, the long version, was broadcast on PBS in 2012, and ran two hundred twenty-eight minutes in (four) fifty-seven minute episodes. See more »

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Features Objective, Burma! (1945) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Hard to shoe-horn everything about this studio into one documentary...
17 October 2010 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

but I think it split the difference between being entertaining to those casually interested in film history and those that are professional students of such material.

I first saw this documentary on PBS, and it is highly recommended for anyone who is interested in film history and the history of the most successful entertainment empire today - Warner Brothers. It's much better than "Here's Looking At You", the documentary made in the 90's on the studio. For one, there is one consistent narrator - Clint Eastwood, rather than a series of personalities as there was in "Here's Looking at You". In "Here's Looking at You" it seems like these series of narrators are there to show themselves off rather than talk about studio history. Eastwood keeps the focus on the studio, its product, and its strategy.

Of course, as the studio moves into the era of special effects the documentary can't help but show off a little bit with some of their superhero and fantasy films, but I'll grant them that. Because so many of the directors that were around when Warners transformed from an upstart playing with sound to a major studio have passed on, they have interviews from the 60's and 70's with directors such as Mervin Le Roy talking about what it was like in the early days. Of course, there is a big focus on Jack Warner who turned out to be a much shrewder studio head than his nemesis Louis B. Mayer over at MGM. It shows how Warner made the decisions that got the studio through the depression, the war, and the competition of television.

I might have missed it, but I don't think the documentary talked too much about a very bad move that Jack Warner made that only the good fortune of the future managed to rectify. At one point Jack Warner sold the pre-1949 Warner film library to raise capital. Warner Bros. would today remain a studio with the finest part of its legacy no longer under its control had it not been for Ted Turner purchasing the RKO/pre-1949 WB/pre-1986 MGM film library in the 80's and then reuniting it under Warner Bros. control at the turn of the century when Ted Turner sold his interests in his cable network and film library back to Time-Warner. This is mentioned in "When the Lion Roared", the sister documentary on MGM, also recommended.

In conclusion, this is a very good documentary on the history of Warner Bros. and its lasting film legacy. Highly recommended.


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