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You Must Remember This: The Warner Bros. Story

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You Must Remember This: The Warner Bros. Story + MGM: When the Lion Roars + Moguls & Movie Stars: A History of Hollywood
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Product Details

  • Directors: Richard Schickel
  • Format: NTSC
  • Subtitles: English, French, Portuguese
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: August 4, 2009
  • Run Time: 289 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0013MYB5Y
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #37,014 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "You Must Remember This: The Warner Bros. Story" on IMDb

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

Product Description

The power and the stories. The trends and trendsetters. The mirror that reflects our life and times. It’s Rick sticking his neck out for nobody. Superman rescuing Lois Lane. Bette Davis pumping lead into the man she loves. George Clooney masterminding a Vegas heist. Harry Potter wielding his powers. You must remember these…. Clint Eastwood narrates Richard Schickel’s perceptive 5-episode, 85th-anniversary salute to the studio that gained a four-footed hold with an unlikely star (Rin Tin Tin), championed tough guys and dames who gave the Depression and the Nazis the raspberry, countered the box-office onslaught of TV and emerged as a 21st-century giant. Art, business, stars, moneymen, America – it’s an enthralling tale. And it’s all here.


A near-five-hour running time might sound overly generous for a history of Warner Bros. movie studio, but as You Must Remember This demonstrates, the subject easily earns its epic running time. Sprinting through the studio's silent era, filmmaker/critic Richard Schickel quickly lights on the great Warners run in the 1930s, that defining period when the studio made pictures ripped from Depression-era headlines. Due homage is paid to the signature Warners stars that built its success at the time--Cagney, Davis, Flynn, Bogart--and Schickel is auteur-minded enough to sketch portraits of important studio directors such as Raoul Walsh and Michael Curtiz. Post-WWII, the survey trots along in similar fashion: some background on general changes in the Biz, info about significant stars and filmmakers, and (perhaps surprisingly) a good deal of information about various studio bosses in the years after Jack Warner departed his backlot. A variety of talking heads enhance the narrative (Schickel uses vintage interviews from his own Men Who Made the Movies series to include comments from the likes of Howard Hawks, Alfred Hitchcock, and William Wellman). But most importantly, the series is lavishly filled out with film clips--which, to movie-history buffs, might skew a little heavily toward the last 25 years or so, especially given the richness of Warner Bros.'s earlier era. This effect is reinforced by the presence of Clint Eastwood as narrator, since much attention is paid to Eastwood's career as a crucial producer-director-star whose own production company has a close Warners connection. Many of the clips tend to be the signature movie moments (Cagney's grapefruit, James Dean's "You're tearing me apart!", Eastwood's "Well do ya, punk?"), which will be fine for newcomers to film history but lend the proceedings a perfunctory air for those who know the territory. The documentary also requires a hefty "spoiler alert," as a number of the clips include ending or climactic moments, giving away key scenes from the likes of Public Enemy, Casablanca, and The Searchers. Any self-celebration by a movie studio (this one officially honoring Warners' 85th anniversary) is surely propelled by the desire to sell DVDs from its library; this one ought to whet appetites for dozens of classic titles. --Robert Horton

Stills from You Must Remember This: The Warner Bros. Story (click for larger image)

Customer Reviews

Having Clint Eastwood narrate is a conflict of interest.
David Holubetz
Lastly, the closing credits appear to have been forgotten so we don't know who to blame for the poorly written narration.
Bruce G. Taylor
In conclusion, this is a very good documentary on the history of Warner Bros. and its lasting film legacy.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

45 of 47 people found the following review helpful By calvinnme HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on May 10, 2009
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I saw this documentary on PBS last year, 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 much 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.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Bruce G. Taylor on November 24, 2009
Format: DVD
Having been long looked forward to, this documentary covering the history of Warner Bros. Pictures is a real disappointment. Compared to the superior, if a bit glitzy, MGM documentary, it is a rather weak entry. The packaging states "Standard Widescreen Version", whatever that means. It also states "Enhanced for widescreen TVs", which it certainly is not. The MGM presentation was presented in a variable format accurately pointing out the differences between widescreen and earlier non-widescreen movies.

The WB presentation is repetitive and the narration shallow. The people being interviewed don't seem to have had much to say that is illuminating, especially when compared to the interviews in the MGM presentation.

The subtitles, giving the names of the interviewees and titles of the movies being shown, appear to have been electronically added as an afterthought and often are too brief to be read comfortably. Apparently, from other reviews I've read, some DVD players don't automatically start these subtitles. In such a case it is necessary to turn on English subtitle no. 5 to get them. These titles should been inserted as an integral part of the film and not as subtitles that can be defeated. Lastly, the closing credits appear to have been forgotten so we don't know who to blame for the poorly written narration. One gets the impression that this project was thrown to a DVD programming beginner.

Considering Warner Bros. Pictures as one of the world's great film producers, which it certainly is, this presentation does them a real disservice.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Andy B on October 16, 2009
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I do enjoy these studio documentaries & find them fascinating, often wondering what those pioneers of film would of thought to us putting our shiny discs in players & seeing our favorites at any time of the day or night?

The early chapters were much more interesting for me & I found the later chapters to be some what missing in their information, example, I would of thought the Lethal Weapon series would of played a huge part in Warner's income in the 1980's & 90's but they are missed out & the only time we hear from Richard Donner is on Superman, er Goonies anyone? a huge hit in it's time?

I do like the way there was a huge contribution from the then studio heads & their reasons behind some of the movies that were made, that was 1 of the high lights for me.

The other plus point for this presentation, is that you can go to any 1 decade without seeing the whole documentary.

Good picture image in a mixture of ratios from all the different clips.

Worth buying just a little disappointing.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Jaime Costa on October 15, 2009
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
The story of Warner Brothers is great, and most of the best films are included in this five chapters anthology, narrated by Clint Eastwood. Many of the big names that made Warners one of the major studios in Hollywood make their mark: Cagney, Robinson, Bogart, Bette Davis, Errol Flynn, directors like Michael Curtiz, Raoul Walsh and John Huston, the gangsters era, the Busby Berkeley musicals, the war years, the film noir with Lauren Bacall and Joan Crawford, the post war nonsenses with Doris Day, the new faces (Brando, James Dean, Paul Newman) and the Elia Kazan films, the controversial sixties, the caothic seventies and the blockbusters of the eighties, Spielberg and Eastwood, Superman, Batman, Matrix and Harry Potter, it's all there, well documented, fully explained and related by most of the people that made the films. That's good. But there's something missing, too. In the war years we don't see any clip from WATCH ON THE RHINE (with Bette Davis and an Oscar winning performance by Paul Lukas), in the post war years there's not one word about JOHNNY BELINDA, and the Oscar to Jane Wyman. What about A STAR IS BORN in 1954, with the glorious come back of Judy Garland? And what about the romantic dramas, very popular in their time, with Troy Donahue and the direction of Delmer Daves (A SUMMER PLACE, PARRISH, SUSAN SLADE, ROME ADVENTURE)? I enjoy very much these kind of anthologies. It's much better than read the same story on books, because you simply can't explain a movie in printed words instead of showing it on the screen, just like it must be seen. How can you explain the face of Bette Davis without seeing it, the way she opens her eyes, the way she moves? And the voice of Humphrey Bogart, the kaleidoscopic choreographies of Busby Berkeley and the way that Lauren Bacall says "If you need something, just whistle"? Great fun, and an unforgettable experience!
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