Documentary about the history of the Warner Brothers in Cannes and on HBO Max. “From the start it was about taking a big risk.”
The premiere of two episodes of the documentary series “100 Years of Warner Brothers” was an event in Cannes. The next party was attended by: Leonardo DiCaprio, Scarlett Johansson, Robert De Niro, Martin Scorsese and Sting. At the production, up to 60 industry people share anecdotes about the most famous movie studios: actors, directors, screenwriters, and their staff.
The doc includes, among others: Kim Basinger, Orlando Bloom, George Clooney, Kevin Costner, Ellen DeGeneres, Robert De Niro, and Morgan Freeman, who is also a narrator. Parts of cult films and TV series appear, and the creators also discover studio secrets and look with the camera in places inaccessible to viewers. “I spent a year and a half preparing. They gave me everything, nothing was delayed,” Leslie Iwerks, writer and director of “100 Years of Warner Bros.,” told Deadline.
“It really is a story told from the inside in a way that hasn’t been told before. It was great to hear directly from Clint Eastwood, for example, about making some of the films, but also about his relationship with the studio and his management.
How was Warner Bros. Founded?
The series “100 Years of Warner Brothers” began in the early 1920s. Harry, Albert, Sam, and Jack Warner, four teenage siblings from a Polish Jewish immigrant family, fall in love with movies. They pawn the family fortune, i.e. the horse and father’s watch, buy a movie projector, and build the family business from scratch. They develop sound technology that revolutionizes the industry and ends the silent film era, turning their small company into a major studio. Warners both had a role. “Albert was in distribution, Sam was in management, Harry was in finance, and Jack had a kind of creative vision,” Iwerks says at the conclusion of the first episode.
The Warner brothers managed to build an amusement factory that had an impact not only on art, but also on commerce and culture. The creators of the series wanted to show this. Episode two is about the gritty films they made from the ’70s to the early ’90s, and the filmmakers who nurtured them. Third episode on franchiseBig movie hits, Batman. And the fourth – ushering in the digital age and the iconic worlds created in the 1970s: from DC to the Superman movies – sums up Iwerks.
Why did Warner Brothers succeed? – at Warner Bros. From the start, it was about taking big risks and making bold choices. The brothers’ first hit was “Rin Tin Tin” in 1923. It was about a dog that got hurt. But then they took a chance with The Jazz Singer (1927) and bet all their money on the sound. It changed the industry. And then they were great pioneers in creating DVDs and promoting DVDs as a new technology, Iwerks explains.
The first two episodes of “100 Years of Warner Brothers” can be viewed on HBO Max.
HBO Max, mat. Cannes press releases
Main image source: mat. HBO Max press releases