Of the major studios, one was family. Harry, Albert, Sam, Jack – the Warner brothers – turned a storefront that used a sheet for a screen into a dream factory rooted in the credo of educate, entertain and enlighten. In this fascinating documentary, filmmaker (and Harry's granddaughter) Cass Warner Sperling tells a story of sibling rivalry, social conscience and the silver screen. It's a story of pioneering (risking all for Talkies) and politics (standing alone in Hollywood against the Nazis), of reels (The Public Enemy, Casablanca and more) and rifts (including a shocking family betrayal). It's a story told from the inside (via rare family archives) by those who lived it (among them such stars as Dennis Hopper, Debbie Reynolds, Tab Hunter and more) and from the outside by film historians. The people, the pictures, the tales untold on camera until now – The Brothers Warner educates, enlightens, entertains, reveals.]]>
The Brothers Warner
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Top Customer Reviews
Jack Warner's "betrayal", as chronicled in the later Chapters was a real eye-opener for an interested reader not aware of all this previously "unaired" background history.
Being at the final couple chapters this afternoon, I was curious to check the IMDB Site to learn about the current story of the lady and the background of other original contributors to the book.
Having just learnt then, that a wonderful (Award winning) program had been recently made was an extra bonus. The DVD has now been ordered and is awaited with eager interest.
That such books and programs are still being produced is so special in that younger readers and filmgoers - as well as those of us born in earlier times - can learn even more about the basic background of what was entailed, and went on "behind doors" in the corridors and offices during the Studio System era.
Now in its Seventh printing, Cass's Book should be bought and read by everyone interested in "The Movies".
I have not read Jack Warner's Autobiography - and it seems that he overlooked many pertinent facts that were probably too sensitive to himself to admit to, but several other books on the Warner Studio are a wonderful read including:
INSIDE WARNER BRS. 1935 - 1951 by RUDY BEHLMER (1985) and
WARNER BROS. PRESENTS by TED SENNETT (1971), and especially:
THOSE CRAZY WONDERFUL YEARS WHEN WE RAN WARNER BROS. (1983) by STUART JEROME, who, in 1938, initially secured a position as a young man in the Warner Bros. Mail Room. A truly interesting "first hand" account of life on the Warner Lot.
Do try to obtain and read all these fine books.
But let me mention one technical flaw the recurs throughout the whole DVD. The flaw relates to how widescreen and 4:3 material is handled, and mishandled. DVD is a slightly tricky format. It is always 640×480 pixels, which is a ratio of 4:3. BUT, there is a digital code that is set (or not) to tell the DVD player and display that the picture should be stretched horizontally to 16:9 for wide screen (or not, in order to display the video at 4:3).
Though the whole DVD is presented as 16:9, it contains quite a bit of 4:3 material. Many times this is done correctly by presenting the material in "window box" format, that is the image is shown at 4:3 ratio on the 16:9 screen, where there are black bars at the left and right side of the 4:3 image. Here is where things go awry a number of times.
For example, toward the beginning of DVD, there is a clip of an early Warner Brothers movie. The movie is originally in 4:3 ratio. It was clipped on the top on the bottom to produce an image ratio of 16:9. If this clipped film was then presented correctly, it would have filled the whole 16:9 screen. But the video editor made a mistake. This clipped film was shown window boxed. Since it should have been stretched horizontally to 16:9, but was not, there were black bars at the left and right edges, and in the image the people came out tall and skinny. Similarly, towards the end, clips of "Who's Afraid of Virginia Wolf" were shown. This film would (properly) fill a 16:9 screen.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Excellent biography of the Warner Brothers and their movie studio.Published 3 months ago by D. J. Long
Great in depth history of the Warner Bros. company directed by the granddaughter of Sam Warner.Published 7 months ago by Gabriel Torres
Discover what you never knew about the Brothers Warner. Cass (grand daughter of Sam) has done a sterling job of this documentary.Published 16 months ago by Robert Vargo
It covered a very unique family dynamic. The Warners were one of the great Hollywood families.Published 17 months ago by Jeffrey Logan
This gives a nice family history of the brothers Warner who were pioneers of the movie business and truly talented guys who built and empire and helped create the modern movie... Read morePublished 20 months ago by J. Carey
An interesting video to watch...very enjoyable way of learning more about that era of Hollywood... Read more
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