The Brothers Warner: Founders of the American Film Industry

Written, produced, and directed by Cass Warner, granddaughter of Harry Warner, The Brothers Warner documents the four Polish-born brothers who came to America and helped found the American film industry. With little or no formal education and starting out from scratch they became exhibitors and grew their nascent business into the media empire called Warner Bros.

imagesCass Warner tells the stories of Albert, Harry, Jack, and Sam as they struggled with their business, their government, and each other to build their dream world. Although the film is narrated with affection, and is obviously of interest to film historians and buffs, I was struck at film’s end by the Shakespearean tragedy I’d just witnessed.

Warning: Viewers of this documentary may find themselves wanting to know more about this history, these brothers, and the company that became part of Hollywood’s foundation—the company that, in addition to dozens of classic films, has brought to our world the Superman, Batman, Harry Potter, and Peter Jackson’s J.R.R. Tolkien films.

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