The Warner Saga

The Warner Brothers’ career is a true “rags to riches” story. They very quickly sensed that there was more money to be made with film than with the paternal shop in Youngtown, Ohio. When Sam Warner saw the Edison Kinetoscope for the first time, he saw the future. The brothers bought a projector which came with one print, the old classic western The Great Train Robbery. And they made more money in a week, showing this movie in a rented hall, than their father in a month.

So Jack and Sam set out to California to produce movies in 1912. Subsequently the four brothers began to buy up cinemas to show their films and distribute those of others.Warner Features Co., founded in 1913, turned into Warner Brothers Studios and First National Pictures. They signed on Ernst Lubitsch and Michael Curtiz. In 1927 Warners hit the jackpot with the release of their fourth talkie, The Jazz Singer. Jack Warner became head of productions, assisted by Darryl F. Zanuk. As the Warner brothers were outsiders themselves, they were really street kids, they readily glorified people on the margins, people on the outside, people struggling to get by. They elevated the working class and gave people during the depression in their films somebody to cheer for, somebody who resembled them.This is how the series of Gangster Films came about which swept James Cagney and Edward G. Robinson to movie stardom.

Directors : Clara Kuperberg & Julia Kuperberg
Production : Wichita Films & EGO Productions
Producers : Clara Kuperberg & Julia Kuperberg
Network : Ciné + Classic
Year : 2014
Running Time : 52 min


Craig Detweiler
Film Professor Pepperdine University