This book showcases how the Warner Bros. studio used edgy, stylistic, and brutally honest films to construct a view of America from 1927-1941. Each film represents how the studio either reflected or constructed a perspective of American culture during this period. Harry Warner, one of the studio’s founding brothers, said, “there is an ever-present duty to educate, to stimulate and demonstrate the fundamentals of free government, free speech, religious tolerance, freedom of the press, freedom of assembly and the greatest possible happiness for the greatest possible number.” The studio took this notion seriously, which is seen throughout the films of 1927-1941. This period covers many important social changes from the coming of sound in film, the Great Depression, rise of crime and subsequent popularity of gangster films, renewed interest in musicals as well as increased concern about fascism in the lead up to World War II.
More so than any other studio, the Warner Bros.' films were popular and respected because they were different than the usual Hollywood fare. Warner Bros. established the groundwork and then perfected the genres of social romance drama, gangster, musical, war, espionage, and adventure. Each genre was used in different ways to convey a picture of the surrounding culture along with any relevant social concerns. Warner Bros. was arguably the most socially relevant studio of the 1930s. Referred to as “the only studio with any guts,” this book will explore how Warner Bros. used their edgy narrative style and interest in current events to construct a vision of America.
Currently available via Amazon.
Visit Chris Yogerst's author page on Amazon
"Not only is Warner Bros. my favorite studio of Hollywood’s golden age: it also made its complete history available to researchers by donating its production files and memoranda to USC many years ago. Yogerst has drawn upon this treasure trove to trace roughly one decade from the studio’s glory years (1929 to 1940). I can’t get enough of this material!"