Warner Bros: The Making of an American Movie Studio

Warner Bros: The Making of an American Movie Studio

by David Thomson


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Behind the scenes at the legendary Warner Brothers film studio, where four immigrant brothers transformed themselves into the moguls and masters of American fantasy

Warner Bros charts the rise of an unpromising film studio from its shaky beginnings in the early twentieth century through its ascent to the pinnacle of Hollywood influence and popularity. The Warner Brothers—Harry, Albert, Sam, and Jack—arrived in America as unschooled Jewish immigrants, yet they founded a studio that became the smartest, toughest, and most radical in all of Hollywood.
David Thomson provides fascinating and original interpretations of Warner Brothers pictures from the pioneering talkie The Jazz Singer through black-and-white musicals, gangster movies, and such dramatic romances as Casablanca, East of Eden, and Bonnie and Clyde. He recounts the storied exploits of the studio’s larger-than-life stars, among them Al Jolson, James Cagney, Bette Davis, Errol Flynn, Humphrey Bogart, James Dean, Doris Day, and Bugs Bunny. The Warner brothers’ cultural impact was so profound, Thomson writes, that their studio became “one of the enterprises that helped us see there might be an American dream out there.”

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780300244557
Publisher: Yale University Press
Publication date: 02/26/2019
Series: Jewish Lives
Pages: 232
Sales rank: 338,169
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

David Thomson is a film critic and historian, and the author of more than twenty books, including Why Acting Matters and The Biographical Dictionary of Film, now in its sixth edition.

Table of Contents

1 An Introduction: Families and Stories 1

2 The Greatest Moment? 13

3 What Are Brothers For? 25

4 Family Dinner 37

5 Mustache 44

6 For Liberty? 50

7 Rinty 56

8 Mama, Darlin' 62

9 Now 75

10 My Forgotten Man 89

11 Be Somebody 99

12 Bette v. Everyone 115

13 Contracts and Company 130

14 Unafraid? 139

15 Bogart 155

16 After the War, Before the End 165

17 Jacob's Ladder 179

Notes 193

Acknowledgments 205

Credits 207

Index 209

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