The Brothers Warner
This decent documentary about the four Jewish boys from Pennsylvania who started a family business called Warner Bros. is directed by Cass Warner, granddaughter of oldest brother and studio scion Harry. The Brothers Warner follows these four nickelodeon buffs as they begin making their own films, relocate to Hollywood to escape Edison’s patent lawyers, and produce the runaway hit The Jazz Singer just in time to stave off bankruptcy. Cass Warner’s family ties give her great access to archival material and intimate testimonials, but she also has an obvious ax to grind with her uncle Jack, the youngest brother/black sheep who aggressively deposed Harry. As such, The Brothers Warner is more interesting as a tale of family dynamics and betrayal than as a study of the studio’s output, which the director credits to her grandfather rather than the actual filmmakers.