Warner Brothers for most of us is associated with a pleasant movie experience. We all remember the screen saver with the image of a golden shield with the letters "WB" against the blue sky.
A movie legend, the company began as a daring adventure for four brothers. In fact, the history of Warner Brothers is the history of four like-minded people who decided to devote themselves to their favorite business.
History of Warner Brothers
Warner Brothers was named after its founders, Harry, Albert, Sam and Jack Warner, whose parents were immigrants from the Russian Empire. Her story goes back as far as 1903, when the brothers hosted a film screening for Pennsylvania workers. In the same place, in the state of Pennsylvania, they opened their first cinema called "Cascade".
The film industry was expanding at an unprecedented pace during those years, and the Warners felt that this industry could be profitable. In 1904, they founded the Duquesne Amusement & Supply Company, whose purpose was to distribute films. The intuition of the brothers did not disappoint - in a few years their company covered four states with its activities, thereby bringing considerable income.
Therefore, the creation of their own films by the Warner brothers was only a matter of time. And they really came to this, though only 15 years after the start of their work. In 1918 they created Warner Bros. Studio, whose office was located right on Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood. Then the brothers decided to share their duties. So, the two younger brothers Sam and Jack Warner took over the production of films, and the two older ones, Harry and Albert, took up finance in New York.
The Warner brothers were constantly invested in the development of their company. By the 1940s, Warner Brothers had become one of the largest film companies of its time. The brothers acquired radio stations and film distribution networks, and built movie theaters to show their own films.
The reason for Warner Brothers' success was the win-win instinct of its owners. Warners strangely guessed the possible trends in the development of cinema and ahead of them. So, Sam Warner was one of the first in the cinema to advocate the development of sound cinema. Other film companies were still wary of this innovation when Warner Brothers released The Jazz Singer in 1927. She was simply a colossal success, completely turning the world of cinema and directing the development of cinema in a completely different direction.
By the way, Warner Brother also released the world's first sound horror film. Filmed in 1928 based on stories by Edgar Allan Poe, "The Terror" was unusually well received by audiences and critics alike. Unfortunately, the unprecedented success did not bring joy to the Warner brothers. In the same year, forty-year-old Sam Warner passed away, never having lived to realize the idea he supported.
Warner Brother, meanwhile, continued to grow and develop. At first, it bought out the Stanley Company cinema chain, and then absorbed its main competitor, First National Pictures.
Following sound, Warner Brother also added color to their films. The films "On with the Show" and "Gold Diggers of Broadway" were the first full-color films in the history of cinema. By the way, the last film gained such great popularity that it did not leave the screens for more than ten years.
In the 1930s, Warner Brothers gave viewers hand-drawn cartoons. “Merry Melodies” with their jazz sketches are probably familiar to many of our compatriots. It was during these years that the company also released Bugs Bunny, beloved by everyone, and Daffy Duck, a duck, and a little later pleased its little viewers with a series of cartoons about Tom and Jerry.
The success of the company continued to grow, and even the Second World War could not become an obstacle to this. On the contrary, it was in the 40s that many actors were discovered by the efforts of Warner Brothers, who later achieved world fame.
But if there are ups, there are always downs. Hard times came for Warner Brothers when the US Supreme Court decided in 1948 to separate film production from movie theaters. Having lost, along with the network of cinemas they own, their main source of income, the Warner brothers were forced to sell their film company to a large banking syndicate. The signing of this sale agreement could be the beginning of the end of the company. But, as it turned out, as long as the Warner brothers are alive, their company will also develop. The main investor of the syndicate that bought out the film company was the youngest of the Warner brothers, Jack. And although Harry and Albert could not forgive him for such a trick, the company continued to be in the safe hands of one of its creators.
It was thanks to the efforts of the competent manager Jack Warner that Warner Brothers continued to achieve success and did not lose the momentum it had gained. This lasted until 1967, when the last of the brothers did not decide to finally retire. He sold his offspring to the Canadian company Seven Arts Productions for almost 80 million dollars. Since then, Warner Brothers has repeatedly changed its owners, and accordingly its name (Warner Bros.-Seven Arts, Warner Bros. Pictures, Warner Communications).
Today, the film company is called Time Warner (as a result of a merger with Time Inc.) and is owned by AOL Corporation. In 2008 Warner Bros. absorbs New Line Cinema, while continuing to actively release more and more new products. It was at the Warner Brothers studio that films such as The Green Mile, The Matrix, Inception, The Departed, The Devil's Advocate, Sherlock Holmes, the Harry Potter series, and many, many others were shot. And this means that even without the Warner brothers, the film company can do very well.
Warner Brothers logo
By the way, the Warner Brothers logo has also undergone a number of changes throughout the years of the company's existence. At first, it was just a black, schematically drawn shield with the letters WB in its lower part. The upper half of the shield was occupied by an image of the building in which the company's office was located, and below there was an inscription: "Warner Brothers - a classic of the screen." Soon the letters WB increased and occupied almost the entire space of the shield. After some time, the logo acquired the color and background of the blue sky we know. Anniversary and designer versions of the logo were periodically released, but all of them, as a rule, were not delayed for long.