A bit scattered as if I was reading a Hollywood gossip mag rather than a biography. Covers Warner Bros who ran the famous studio in the golden age of Hollywood in the thirties and forties. It does a lot of name dropping and movie highlighting but was a short narrative and too glitzy even for a book about studio moguls. Oct 27, Raquel rated it liked it Shelves: books-i-own , classic-film-books. I wanted this to be something it was not. It's not a linear narrative on the history of a studio but rather a series of critical essays.
Worth knowing this before diving in. I particularly enjoyed the chapter on Bette Davis. Sep 01, Charles rated it it was ok. The title of the book and the cover photograph of the four Warner brothers is misleading, as this is not a history of Warner Bros. Many movie buffs may enjoy this series of film riffs, as at points author David Thomson has witty observations. The book glosses over the four brothers who, with the exception of Jack, the author seems to find boring.
Harry, an older brother, is mentioned mainly as a foil in terms of personality to Jack and at the end of the book there is a description of how Jack shortchanged Harry when the studio was sold.
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The falling out between the brothers was complete. Early chapters touch upon how the family, initially through Sam Warner obtaining an Edison projector, seized on movies only after attempting other business ventures in Baltimore, Canada, Pittsburgh, and Youngstown. Some of the financial ups and downs of the studio are briefly referenced without elaboration beyond stating that the early years were touch and go. Director Michael Curtiz is greatly admired by Thomson. But there is no well organized analysis of the creative uniqueness of Warner Bros.
Jan 12, Nancy rated it it was ok. It is too scattered as others have said.
Is it a biography? Is it a history of movie making? Is it a series of movie reviews?
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I lost patience waiting to get to the parts about the brothers. As others have pointed out, the book which clocks in at a mere pages of text , is an odd amalgam of biography, film history and Hollywood gossip.
Rather than a linear narrative, the chapters each center around a key WB film and its impact on the studio and major stars. Alas, the vagaries of Goodreads allow for no such nuance. Addendum: Plus, seriously, only photos in the entire book? Obviously, a cost-saving measure. But come on Aug 23, Cathy Biggers rated it did not like it. This book may have more impact to someone growing up in the 20's and 30's but I found it difficult to get through.
While I know Hollywood is VERY Democratic in its politics, it was still very revealing to see the author include Donald Trump's name negatively throughout several chapters in this book. Not sure what that has to do with the Warner Brothers story - but it still seemed rather far afield. There was definitely family history here, but other than detailing many of the Warner Brothers big This book may have more impact to someone growing up in the 20's and 30's but I found it difficult to get through.
There was definitely family history here, but other than detailing many of the Warner Brothers big hits, it seemed dull and lackluster to me. Oct 17, Mark rated it it was amazing. Is this a biography of four brothers this is the Jewish lives series , the story of a great movie studio, or a work of film criticism that helps us understand what has defined the Warner brand throughout the years?
David Thomson can't really make up his mind, and I guess that's why I liked this book so much. Thomson just writes about whatever he finds interesting and hopes we will too. Oct 16, GlenK rated it really liked it Shelves: history-biography , photography-art-film. It is quite entertaining and a quick read and is highly recommended. Nov 10, Martin Kilkenny rated it liked it. Nov 06, Diana rated it it was amazing.
Thomson is always interesting and has a lot of backstory here on the beginnings of the Warner Brothers studio.
Interesting for anyone looking for Hollywood history. I really enjoyed this book as I knew nothing about the start of Warner Bros. I thought it had a lot of really interesting facts and was very worth reading.
Aug 04, Emily rated it did not like it. First, Thomson did not introduce any of the brothers individually; he just jumped right in with talking about the studio. Second, he had to list everyone's ethnicity or nationality before saying anything else about them. Third, he spoiled the entire plot of movies with no warning that I had planned on seeing someday. Fourth, he did not go in chronological order - he jumped around from decade to decade and film to film. Fifth, there were no pictures. Sixth, sometimes it was hard to determine if the information was about the actor personally or the role that they played in a movie.
I did like that it had some interesting anecdotes about the golden age of Hollywood and the beginnings of the film industry itself I just wish they had been told in order!
see url This would be a good book for people interested in Jewish moguls and Hollywood - it turns out it's a part of a series called Jewish Lives, and Thomson went into major detail about the influence that Jewish people had on the early days of film. Sep 07, Aaron Ambrose rated it really liked it. Thomson is a great movie fan, with a cheerful insolence about the thing he loves most. Reading this book was like having many stiff drinks with a smart, garrulous friend who knows a lot about a lot. I enjoyed it immensely. May 06, Cynthia rated it did not like it.
I barely finished reading the "Introduction," and only because I started to skim the pages; then, I started to skim the pages of the first chapter and finally gave up. What could have been a very interesting story was completely ruined by the author's boring style of writing. He also must have had the option to include many more pictures of the actors than the very few he elected to publish.
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What a disappointment! Bought based on NYT book review - which is hit and miss. This one was a miss. Some of the stories on Boggie and Bette were good. But too quick. It was like someone said do a short summary of everything - which is what this was. Not a good read. Jun 18, Nick Sanders rated it did not like it.
Stopped reading halfway through. More a literary experiment than a history of a studio, or the biography of four brothers starting a breakthrough film studio. I'm curious to know more about Hollywood, or movie moguls, or both. But this book isn't that. A fascinating take on the Warner Bros studio, focussing on the key films it made over the years. I really enjoyed this book. Studio Tour Hollywood. Rowling, at the Warner Bros. Archive; one of the many stops on the Studio Tour. Fans can now explore the magical world of Fantastic Beasts, set During the Holiday season, Gilmore Girls fans took a stroll down memory lane back to the charming town of Stars Hollow, Connecticut.
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Warner Bros. Studio Tour Hollywood and Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. Please leave this field empty. Opt out at any time by sending an email to privacy wb. The Friendsgiving event includes an exclusive Friends -focused minute tour through the Studio backlots highlighting iconic filming locations where the show took place. At the same time, our mixologists will be serving up themed drinks along with beer and wine for purchase.
Take home Friendsgiving with exclusive Friends 25 th Anniversary merchandise available for purchase — only at Warner Bros. Guests will be transported to Pasadena, California where the show is set and The Big Bang Theory gang focused their energy on scientific discoveries, science fiction and Siam Palace take-out in apartment 4A.
This new experience is now open as part of the Studio Tour. Peer into the Caltech physics department cafeteria where Leonard, Sheldon, Howard and Raj often discussed the complexities of life and their relationships, and more importantly, comic book super powers. Studio Tour. Studio in the comfort of posh leather seats.