American Masters

You Must Remember This: The Warner Bros. Story - A

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Episode one introduces the four Youngstown, Ohio, brothers (Harry, Albert, Sam and Jack L. Warner) who officially incorporated their new motion picture company on April 4, 1923. "Rin Tin Tin" may have put them on the map, but soon gave way to a unique hard-boiled, hard-times cinema ethos. Tough guys James Cagney and Edward G. Robinson dominated the new gangster genre, tough dame Barbara Stanwyck headlined racy melodramas and even the chorus kids in the dazzling musicals were one bad break away from the streets. Key interviews: Busby Berkeley, Edward G. Robinson, Alfred Hitchcock and William Wellman. Key films: "The Jazz Singer," "Public Enemy," "42nd Street," "Baby Face" and "Little Caesar." Warner Bros. becomes home to celebrated stars Bette Davis, Humphrey Bogart, Errol Flynn and more. The studio -- like the world -- faces the twin catastrophes of the Depression and World War II. Warner answers with films that reflect a deep and defiant belief in the courage of common people. But after the war, on-screen noir reflects the off-screen anxiety of blacklists and political witch-hunts. Key interviews: James Cagney, Ronald Reagan, Howard Hawks and Alexis Smith. Key films: Casablanca, Now, Voyager, The Adventures of Robin Hood, Kings Row and White Heat.
 

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