Hollywood Be Thy Name: The Warner Brothers Story

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The real story of the Warner brothers has all the drama of a big screen production - a rags-to-riches immigrant tale with tension and strife between four brothers, love and marriage, death and divorce, plotting and betrayal. Harry, Sam, Albert, and Jack. Their father Ben insisted that by sticking together they could succeed and prosper. And stick together they did, until they were separated over the years by the death of one brother, and, ultimately, by shocking betrayal. Using family letters, interviews, and ...
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Overview

The real story of the Warner brothers has all the drama of a big screen production - a rags-to-riches immigrant tale with tension and strife between four brothers, love and marriage, death and divorce, plotting and betrayal. Harry, Sam, Albert, and Jack. Their father Ben insisted that by sticking together they could succeed and prosper. And stick together they did, until they were separated over the years by the death of one brother, and, ultimately, by shocking betrayal. Using family letters, interviews, and personal recollections, Cass Warner Sperling, granddaughter of Harry Warner, and coauthor Cork Millner, along with Jack Warner Jr., have shaped a moving biography of this legendary Hollywood family. Written in a cinematic style and weaving in present-tense voices of still-living family members and former Warner Brothers associates, Hollywood Be Thy Name transports readers back to the beginnings of the movie era and into the lives of Hollywood's most enduring legends.
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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
This book is what it claims to be: the lives of the brothers Warner from immigrant beginnings to fabulous wealth and the rise of Warner Brothers Pictures from a storefront theater to a massive empire. Sperling's name gives a clue to her insider status (she is Harry Warner's granddaughter). While she dutifully chronicles the deteriorating relationship between the brothers, for the most part the family dirt is kept under the rug. There are reports of deception both business and personal, with a few affairs thrown in for spice, but all in all these folks don't appear capable of amassing the power that they wielded. Family sentiment definitely clouds the picture. However, the book records an important part of Hollywood lore, and the ``Other Voices'' segments--personal remembrances of stars, studio employees, and family members--are a nice addition. Readers shouldn't expect an expose. A satisfactory addition to large film collections.-- Sherle Abramson, Williamsburg Regional Lib., Va.
Barbara Jacobs
Sooner or later, a fascination with moving pictures evolves into an exploration of Hollywood's birth and the moguls and stars who created this fantasyland. No scenes were cut from this account of the four Warner brothers' founding of their eponymous empire. Related by the granddaughter of Harry Warner, with asides from family (Jack Warner's son, among others) and California glitterati (Ruby Keeler, Ronald Reagan, and the like), this book paints a realistic scenario of both sibling relationships and fake glamour. Harry's financial wizardry in building up the studio's fortunes, from the 1905 purchase of a Kinetoscope to the final sale of Warner Brothers, was undermined by Jack's "me first, me only" attitude, his betrayal of Hollywood figures as Communists during the McCarthy era, his promiscuity, and his underhanded finagling for the presidency. It reads like a promising screenplay: somewhat disjointed and uneven, yet intriguing for its down and dirty character portrayals.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781559583435
  • Publisher: Crown Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 9/7/1993
  • Pages: 384
  • Product dimensions: 6.38 (w) x 9.25 (h) x 1.57 (d)

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