I love serendipity!
So when I saw that American Masters “You Must Remember This: The Warner Bros. Story – A Rising Power: 1923-1927” series is airing beginning next week, I was delighted! I’m right in the middle of reading “Rin Tin Tin” by Susan Orlean. I’ve followed and loved her writing for a long time. She also wrote “The Orchid Thief” which was the basis for the movie “Adaptation.”
The black and white and silent films starring “Rin Tin Tin” only helped Harry, Albert, Sam and Jack L. Warner get their start as Hollywood moguls in 1923 ....
but it was a most stunning beginning for Warner Brothers Studio since those movies enchanted war weary U.S. citizens.
By the end of that decade after very bankable run with Rin Tin Tin, Warner Bros. released “The Jazz Singer,” the “gangster personas of Edward G. Robinson and James Cagney, the kaleidoscopic escapism of Busby Berkeley, and their lurid melodramas of taboo and defiance.” Boy that was a mouthful.
This five-part series, which will run during the month of August on Thursday evenings at 10p.m. on KSPS DT in Spokane, was executive produced and narrated by none other than Clint Eastwood. Award-winning filmmaker and film critic Richard Schickel is the director, writer and producer. It’s not new … the program first aired in September, 2008. But it was highly touted as one of the best of its genre then.
Warner Bros. was one of the first studios to take a serious gamble with sound when they formed a joint venture called The Vitaphone Corp. Eventually after the release of “The Jazz Singer” and “The Singing Fool,” in last 20s and 30s, the silent pictures were doomed within a decade.
Bear in mind it’s a history of the studio/company not an investigative journalism-style documentary and Warner Bros. was a co-producer. You know, transparency and all that.
Enjoy this series in August!