Title: The Brothers Warner
Silent or Talkie: Talkie
If you could spend a day asking people what they thought when they heard “Warner Brothers”, you’re likely to get answers ranging from Bugs Bunny to Elmer Fudd. The WB logo has become synonymous with memorable personalities, unforgettable characters, and timeless films. What you’d be hard pressed to find, however, is someone who can name all four original brothers, or any of them for that matter. That’s exactly what Cass Warner, the granddaughter of Harry Warner, did as part of her new documentary, The Brothers Warner. In an almost comical fashion, she took to the streets with a microphone and questioned random strangers. The tongue-in-cheek approach was effective, yet a solemn reminder that few people of today understand the vision of those early film pioneers.
This 90-minute look at the humble beginnings of Warner Brothers gives new meaning to the word determination. Four brothers (Harry, Jack, Abe, and Sam) saw opportunity in the growing popularity of moving pictures. Their personalities, while very different, worked well in combining the various elements which would comprise their ultimate success. The film traces their childhood, upbringing and their ambition in a changing world through photographs and Cass Warner’s heartfelt narration. Harry Warner’s authentic love for his work is evident in the following quote: “It is not the challenge of dollars; it is the challenge of ideals and ideas. If the producers of pictures see only the dollar, I believe, those production efforts will fail”. In those few words, he manages to capture the essence of every great classic released by the studio in its long history. The Brothers Warner is an intimate look at an empire, and four young men who caught lightning in a bottle.
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