Warner Bros. 100 is not just the story of a legendary film studio and its stars, but of classic Hollywood itself, as well as a portrait of America in the last century. It's a family story of Polish-Jewish immigrants—the brothers Warner—who took advantage of money to be made in the burgeoning film industry at a time when four rough-and-tumble guys could invent ways of operating, of warding off government regulation, and of keeping audiences coming back for more during some of the country's darkest days.
Innovation was key to early success. Four years after its founding, the studio turned moviemaking on its head by introducing sound in The Jazz Singer (1927). Stars and stories gave Warner Bros. its unique identity as the studio where tough guys like Humphrey Bogart and strong women like Bette Davis kept people on the edge of their seats. Over the years, these acclaimed actors and countless others roamed WB's fabled soundstages and were responsible for such diverse classics as Casablanca, The Maltese Falcon, A Streetcar Named Desire, A Star Is Born, Bonnie & Clyde, Malcolm X, Caddyshack, Purple Rain, and hundreds of others. It's the studio where Olivia De Havilland waged war with Jack Warner and broke the shackles of oppressive contract terms not only for herself but all of Hollywood; where the iconic Looney Tunes were unleashed on animation; and the studio that took an unpopular stance at the start of World War II by producing anti-Nazi films. Counter-culture hits like A Clockwork Orange and The Exorcist carried the studio through the 1970s and '80s. Franchise phenomena like Harry Potter, the DC universe, and more continue to shape a cinematic vision and longevity that is unparalleled in the annals of film history. These stories and more are chronicled in this comprehensive and stunning book.
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