Warner Bros. (the abbreviated name of Warner Bros. Entertainment) is one of the world's largest producers of film and television entertainment. It is presently a subsidiary of the Time Warner conglomerate and headquartered in Burbank, California.
Warner Bros. includes several subsidiary companies, among them Warner Bros. Studios, Warner Bros. Pictures, Warner Bros. Television, Warner Home Video, Castle Rock Entertainment, Turner Entertainment and, technically, Hanna-Barbera Productions (although all H-B properties are managed directly by WB or the Cartoon Network).
The first Warner Bros. enterprise, "Warner Brothers Studios," was co-founded in Hollywood, California, in 1923 by four brothers, Harry Warner (1881-1958), Albert Warner (1882-1967), Sam Warner (1887-1927) and Jack Warner (1892-1978).
The first major star of the studio was a dog, Rin Tin Tin. The canine actor is credited with saving the studio from bankruptcy. Rin Tin Tin made 26 films for Warner Brothers starting in 1924 with "Man From Hell's River."
In 1927, the brothers took a big financial risk that paid off handsomely: they invested in the new technology of "sound," and they produced the movie The Jazz Singer, starring Al Jolson. The movie was a sensational box-office hit, and it sparked the wave of "talking pictures" that ended the era of silent movies and made the Warner Bros. studio a force to contend with.
During the 1930s, the Warner Bros. Studio became known for producing gritty, dark crime films that were accused of glorifying the gangster lifestyle. Movie stars such as James Cagney and Humphrey Bogart rose to the heights of Hollywood at Warner Bros. with their "tough guy" images. Warner Bros. also produced a number of action-adventure movies, practically monopolizing the genre of the swashbuckler and forever identifying the name of Errol Flynn with Robin Hood.
The Warner Bros. cartoon studio began modestly in 1930 under the management of Leon Schlesinger, as former Disney animators Hugh Harman, Rudolf Ising, Jack King, and Friz Freleng directed a series of mediocre cartoons starring "Bosko the Talk-Ink Kid" and Buddy. However, with the arrival of Tex Avery at the studio and the birth of Termite Terrace, the Warner Bros. cartoon studio gave birth to a new wave of insane cartoons that captured the hearts and funny bones of fans around the world. The studio was bought outright by Warner Bros. in the mid-1940s, and in subsequent decades characters such as Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck became central figures of the company's image.
In January 5, 1948, Warner Brothers was the first to show a color newsreel. The subjects of the newsreel was the Tournament of Roses Parade and the Rose Bowl.
In January 11, 1995, Warner Bros. created The WB Television Network as a broadcast outlet for Warner Brothers' TV properties. Among its early programming included Buffy the Vampire Slayer, 7th Heaven and Dawson's Creek. Ironically, none of these three programs that helped to anchor the WB were produced by Warner Brothers. Buffy was produced by Fox, 7th Heaven by Aaron Spelling's production unit (a unit of Paramount Pictures/Viacom), and Dawson's Creek by Columbia Tri-Star Television.
In the late 1990s, Warner Bros. obtained the rights to produce the Harry Potter films and released the first one in 2001 the second one in 2002 and the third one in 2004 .
In addition to its own film library, the studio owns all pre-1985 titles from Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and a majority of the RKO Radio Pictures library (both through its Turner Entertainment sibling), the Hanna-Barbera Productions library of television cartoons (through its Turner Broadcasting sibling), and the Lorimar television and film holdings.
Notable WB movies
- Gypsy (1962)
- The Music Man (1962)
- Gay Purr-ee (1962)
- What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? (1963)
- My Fair Lady (1964, copyright reverted to CBS in 1971)
- Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf (1966)
- Camelot (1967)
- Bonnie and Clyde (1967)
- Bullitt (1968)
- The Wild Bunch (1969)
- The Warner Brothers (http://www.tqnyc.org/NYC040724/ethan.htm)
- WarnerBros.com (http://www.warnerbros.com)
- Warner Bros. (http://www.bcdb.com/cartoons/Warner_Bros_/) at the Big Cartoon DataBase