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THESIS FOR CERTIFICATE OF ENGLISH COMPETENCY

Coordinating teachers: George Popescu Ctlina Popescu

Candidate: Blue Fallen Star Grade XII E

Mathematics-Computer Science Bilingual English May 2013

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Forward . 4 Introduction ...... 5 Chapter One: History ... 6 Founding ... 7 Sound, Color, Style ...... 9 Pre-code realistic period . 13 Code era . 15 1930: Birth of Warner's cartoons 17 World War II .. 18 After World War II: changing hands .. 19 Warner Bros. Television .. 21 New Owners .. 22 Since 1995 .. 24 Chapter Two: Film Library ... 26 1940s 27 1970s ... 28 1980s 29 1990s 30 2000s .. 32 2010s 34 Bibliography . 36 Conclusion .. 37

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We live in an era in which movies have the power. Asking our partner out for a date, our siblings for a fun night or our friends for their birthdays. Where? At the cinema, of course. Or maybe renting a Blu-ray or a DVD. It really doesnt matter. Wed be doing the same thing. Watching a movie. Everybody a movie amateur or not has definitely watched, or at least heard of, movies such as Casablanca, Goodfellas, The Matrix or Slumdog Millionaire. These are masterpieces in the industry of film made by one great company Warner Bros. I have always been a movie lover. Movies like Training Day, Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, Million Dollar Baby or Constantine remind me of my childhood. My adolescence was shared with The Departed, Inception, Blood Diamond, Gran Torino and many many others. I kept watching havent ever stopped. Movies have had a slight impact on my life, on the way I see things, I see this world. Maybe someday Ill become a movie director or a script writer. But until then, I chose to write this paper about the company behind my favourite movies.

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Warner Bros. Entertainment, Inc., also known as Warner Bros. Pictures or simply Warner Bros is one of the major film studios in the world, a producer of film, television, and music entertainment. Its headquarters are located in Burbank, California and in New York. When we were children, we were watching cartoons. Tom and Jerry or Looney Tunes, for example. And what were we looking at all the time when those series started or ended? Its simple. A logo. The Warner Bros. logo! Afterwards, we advanced. We started watching movies. Good movies. Old or new movies. The same logo has always been there. WB. Does it seem familiar? Yes! Its the signature of one of the greatest, if not the greatest, movie company that has ever existed. Its history goes back to the beginning of the twentieth century. At first, a small business run by the smart Warner brothers, it has become in time a worldly affair. Its not all about the money; its about the passion of creating, of making, of producing films. Of entertaining people. Innovative, imaginative, inventive, the people behind the company have managed across the time to bring changes, to leave a mark in the movie industry. The first all-talking movie, the first all-color-all-talking movie. The end of silent era. The end of black-and-white era. The beginning of a new era. Today, the company produces and distributes 18-22 movies a year as well as a number of primetime television series (Fringe, Person of Interest). Argo, this years Academy Award winner, is one of the movies made by Warner Bros. in 2012. Drama, fantasy, romance, action, thriller, music, horror, crime, sci-fi 2 D or 3D diversity is encouraged, quality is required, results are inevitable.

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190325
The corporate name honors the four founding Warner brothers (born Wonskolaser) Harry (born Hirsz), Albert (born Aaron), Sam (born Szmul), and Jack (Itzhak or to some sources Jacob). Harry, Albert, Sam and their Jewish parents emigrated to North America from the part of Poland that had been subjugated to the Russian Empire following the 18th-century partitions of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth near present-day Ostroka, Poland. Jack, the youngest, was born in Canada. The three elder brothers began in the movie theatre business, having acquired a movie projector with which they showed films in the mining towns of Pennsylvania and Ohio. They opened their first theater, the Cascade, in New Castle, Pennsylvania in 1903. (The site of the Cascade later became the Cascade Center, a shopping, dining and entertainment complex honoring its Warner Bros. heritage, though in late 2010 all of the businesses have closed and the complex is currently for sale.) When this original theatre building in New Castle was in danger of being demolished, the modern Warner Bros. called the modern building owners, and arranged a 3 way in hopes of saving it, between three men, Warner Bros, and the modern owners. The owners noted the fact that they were taking phone calls from all over the country in reference to the historical significance of the humble building that should be saved historically. In 1904, the Warners founded the Pittsburgh-based Duquesne Amusement & Supply Company, to distribute films. In 1912, Harry Warner hired an auditor named Paul Ashley Chase. By the time of World War I they had begun producing films, and in 1918 the brothers opened the Warner Bros. studio on Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood. Sam and Jack Warner produced the pictures, while Harry and Albert Warner and their auditor and now controller Chase handled finance and distribution in New York City. It was during World War I and their

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first nationally syndicated film was My Four Years in Germany based on a popular book by former American Ambassador James W. Gerard. On April 4, 1923, with help from a loan given to Harry Warner by his banker Motley Flint, they formally incorporated as Warner Brothers Pictures, Incorporated. However, as late as the 1960s, Warner Bros. claimed 1905 as its founding date. The first important deal for the company was the acquisition of the rights to Avery Hopwood's 1919 Broadway play, The Gold Diggers, from theatrical impresario David Belasco. However, what really put Warner Bros. on the Hollywood map was a dog, Rin Tin Tin, brought from France after World War I by an American soldier. Rin Tin Tin debuted in the feature Where the North Begins. The movie was so successful that Jack Warner agreed to sign the dog to star in more films for $1,000 per week. Rin Tin Tin became the top star at the studio. Jack Warner nicknamed him "The Mortgage Lifter" and the success boosted Darryl F. Zanuck's career. Zanuck eventually became a top producer for the studio and between 1928 and 1933 served as Jack Warner's right-hand man and executive producer, with responsibilities including the day-to-day production of films. More success came after Ernst . Lubitsch was hired as head director. Lubitsch's film The Marriage Circle was the studio's most successful film of 1924, and was on The New York Times best list for the year. Despite the success of Rin Tin Tin and Lubitsch, Warners was still unable to achieve star power. As a result, Sam and Jack decided to offer Broadway actor John Barrymore the lead role in Beau Brummel. The film was so successful that Harry Warner agreed to sign Barrymore to a generous long-term contract; like The Marriage Circle, Beau Brummell was named one of the ten best films of the year by The New York Times. By the end of 1924, Warner Bros. was arguably the most successful independent studio in Hollywood, but it still competed with "The Big Three" Studios (First National, Paramount Pictures, and MGM). As a result, Harry Warner while speaking at a convention of 1,500 independent exhibitors in Milwaukee, Wisconsin was able to convince the filmmakers to spend $500,000 in newspaper advertising, and Harry saw this as an opportunity to finally be able to establish theaters in big cities like New York and Los Angeles. As the studio prospered, it gained backing from Wall Street, and in 1924 Goldman Sachs arranged a major loan. With this new money, the Warners bought the pioneer Vitagraph Company which had a nation-wide distribution system.

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192535
Warner Bros. was a pioneer of films with synchronized sound (then known as "talking pictures" or "talkies"). In 1925, at the urging of Sam, the Warners agreed to expand their operations by adding this feature to their productions. Harry, however, opposed it, famously wondering, "Who the heck wants to hear actors talk?" By February 1926, the studio suffered a reported net loss of $333,413. After a long period of denying Sam's request for sound, Harry agreed to accept Sam's demands, as long as the studio's use of synchronized sound was for background music purposes only. The Warners signed a contract with the sound engineer company Western Electric and established Vitaphone. In 1926, Vitaphone began making films with music and effects tracks, most notably, in the feature Don Juan starring John Barrymore. The film was silent, but it featured a large number of Vitaphone shorts at the beginning. To hype Don Juan's release, Harry acquired the large Piccadilly Theater in Manhattan, New York and renamed it the Warner Theater. Don Juan premiered at the Warner Theater in New York on August 6, 1926. Throughout the early history of film distribution, theater owners hired orchestras to attend film showings and provide soundtracks. Through Vitaphone, Warner Bros. produced eight Vitaphone shorts (which aired at the beginning of every showing of Don Juan across the country) in 1926, and got many film production companies to question the necessity. While Don Juan was a success at the box office, it did not recoup its production cost and Lubitsch left Warner for MGM. By April 1927, the Big Five studios (First National, Paramount, MGM, Universal, and Producers Distributing) had put the Warner brothers in financial ruin, and Western Electric renewed Warner's Vitaphone contract with terms that allowed other film companies to test sound. As a result of the financial problems the studio was having, Warner Bros. took the next step and released The Jazz Singer starring Al Jolson. This movie, which has very little sound dialogue but does feature sound segments of Jolson singing, was a sensation. It signaled the beginning of the era of "talking

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pictures" and the twilight of the silent era. However, as Sam died, the brothers were at his funeral and could not attend the premiere. Jack became sole head of production. Sam's death also had a great effect on Jack's emotional state, as Sam was arguably Jack's inspiration and favorite brother. In the years to come, Jack ran the studio with an iron fist. Firing of studio employees soon became his trademark. Thanks to the success of The Jazz Singer, the studio was cash-rich. Jolson's next film for the company, The Singing Fool was also a success. With the success of these first talkies (The Jazz Singer, Lights of New York, The Singing Fool, and The Terror), Warner Bros. became one of the top studios in Hollywood and the brothers were now able to move out from the Poverty Row section of Hollywood and acquire a big studio in Burbank, California. They were also able to expand studio operations by acquiring the Stanley Corporation, a major theater chain. This gave them a share in rival First National Pictures, of which Stanley owned one-third. In a bidding war with William Fox, Warner Bros. bought more First National shares on September 13, 1928; Jack Warner also appointed producer Darryl Zanuck as the studio's manager of First National Pictures. In 1929, Warner Bros bought the St. Louis-based theater chain Skouras Brothers. Following this take-over, Spyros Skouras, the driving force of the chain, became general manager of the Warner Brothers Theater Circuit in America. He worked successfully in that post for two years and managed to eliminate the losses and eventually increase profits. Harry Warner was able to acquire a string of music publishers and form Warner Bros. Music. In April 1930, the Warner Bros. acquired Brunswick Records. Harry obtained a string of radio companies, foreign sound patents, and a lithograph company. After establishing Warner Bros. Music, Harry appointed his son, Lewis, to serve as the company's head manager. In 1929, Harry produced an adaptation of a Cole Porter musical titled Fifty Million Frenchmen. Through First National, the studio's profit increased substantially. After the success of the studio's 1929 First National film Noah's Ark, Harry agreed to make Michael Curtiz a major director at the Burbank studio. Mort Blumenstock, a First National screenwriter, became a top writer at the brothers' New York headquarters. In the third quarter of 1929, Warner Bros. gained complete control of First National, when Harry purchased the company's remaining one-third share from Fox. The Justice Department agreed to allow the purchase if First National was maintained as a separate company. When the Great Depression hit, Warner asked for and got permission to merge the two studios. Soon afterward Warner Bros. moved to the

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First National lot in Burbank. Though the companies merged, the Justice Department required Warner to produce and release a few films each year under the First National name until 1938. For 30 years, certain Warner productions were identified (mainly for tax purposes) as 'A Warner Bros. First National Picture.' In the latter part of 1929, Jack Warner hired George Arliss to star in Disraeli, which was a success. Arliss won an Academy Award for Best Actor and went on to star in nine more movies with the studio. In 1930, Harry acquired more theaters in Atlantic City, despite the beginning of the Great Depression. By 1931 the studio began to feel the effects of the Depression as the public became unable to afford the price of a movie ticket. In 1931, the studio reportedly suffered a net loss of $8 million, and an additional $14 million the following year. Around that time, Warner Bros. head producer Darryl Zanuck hired screenwriter Wilson Mizner. While at the studio, Mizner had hardly any respect for authority and found it difficult to work with studio boss Jack Warner, but became a valuable asset. In 1928, Warner Bros. released Lights of New York, the first all-talking feature. Due to its success, the movie industry converted entirely to sound almost overnight. By the end of 1929, all the major studios were exclusively making sound films. In 1929, National Pictures released their first film with Warner Bros., Noah's Ark. Despite its expensive budget, Noah's Ark was profitable. In 1929, Warner Bros. released On with the Show, the first all-color all-talking feature. This was followed by Gold Diggers of Broadway which was so popular it played in theatres until 1939. The success of these two color pictures caused a color revolution (just as the first all-talkie had created one for talkies). Warner Bros. released a large number of color films from 1929 to 1931, including The Show of Shows (1929), Sally (1929), Bright Lights (1930), Golden Dawn (1930), Hold Everything (1930), Song of the Flame (1930), Song of the West (1930), The Life of the Party (1930), Sweet Kitty Bellairs (1930), Under A Texas Moon (1930), Bride of the Regiment (1930), Viennese Nights (1931), Woman Hungry (1931), Kiss Me Again (1931), Fifty Million Frenchmen (1931), and Manhattan Parade (1932). In addition to these, scores of features were released with Technicolor sequences, as well as numerous short subjects. The majority of these color films were musicals. Three years later, audiences had grown tired of musicals, and the studio was forced to cut the musical numbers of many of the productions and advertise them as straight comedies. The public had begun to associate musicals with color, and thus the studios began to abandon its use. Warner Bros. had a contract with Technicolor to produce two more pictures in that process. As a

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result, the first horror films in color were produced and released by the studio: Doctor X (1932) and Mystery of the Wax Museum (1933). In the latter part of 1931, Harry Warner rented the Teddington Studios in London, England. The studio focused on making 'quota quickies' for the domestic British market and Irving Asher was appointed as the studio's head producer. In 1934, Harry Warner officially purchased the Teddington Studios. In February 1933 Warner Bros. produced 42nd Street, a very successful musical that saved the company from bankruptcy.

In the wake of 42nd Street's success, the studio produced profitable musicals. These starred Ruby Keeler and Dick Powell and were mostly directed by Busby Berkeley. In 1935, the revival suffered a major blow when Berkeley was arrested after killing three people while driving drunk. By the end of the year, people again tired of Warner Bros. musicals, and the studio after the huge profits made by the 1935 film Captain Blood shifted its focus on producing Errol Flynn swashbucklers.

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19311935
With the collapse of the market for musicals, Warner Bros., under production head Darryl F. Zanuck, turned to more socially realistic storylines, "torn from the headlines" pictures many in the media said glorified gangsters; Warner Bros. soon became known as a "gangster studio". The studio's first gangster film, Little Caesar, was a great box office success and Edward G. Robinson was a star in many of the subsequent wave of Warner gangster films. The studio's next gangster film, The Public Enemy, made James Cagney arguably the studio's new top star, and Warner Bros. was now convinced to make more gangster films. Another gangster film the studio produced was the critically acclaimed I Am a Fugitive from a Chain Gang, based on a true story and starring Paul Muni. In addition to Cagney and Robinson, Muni was also given a big push as one the studio's top gangster stars after appearing in the successful film, which got audiences to question the legal system in the United States. In January 1933, Georgia chain gang warden J. Harold Hardy who was also made into a character in the film sued the studio for displaying "vicious, untrue and false attacks" against him in the film. After appearing in the film The Man Who Played God, Bette Davis became a top star for the studio. In 1933, relief for the studio came after Franklin D. Roosevelt became president and was able to stimulate the economy with the New Deal; because of this economic rebound, Warner Bros. again became profitable. The same year, longtime head producer Darryl F. Zanuck resigned and established his own company. In the wake of Zanuck's resignation, Harry Warner agreed to again raise the salary for studio employees. In 1933, Warner was able to bring newspaper tycoon William Randolph Hearst's Cosmopolitan films into the Warner Bros. fold. Hearst had previously been signed with MGM, but ended the association after a dispute with the company's head producer Irving Thalberg. In 1934, the studio lost over $2.5 million, of which $500,000 was the result of a fire at the Burbank studio at the end of 1934, destroying 20 years worth

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of early Vitagraph, Warner Bros., and First National films. The following year, Hearst's film adaption of William Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream (1935) failed at the box office and the studio's net loss increased. During this time, Warner Bros. President Harry Warner and six other movie studio figures were indicted of conspiracy to violate the Sherman Antitrust Act, through an attempt to gain a monopoly over theaters in the St Louis area. In 1935, Harry was put on trial; after a mistrial, Harry sold the company's movie theaters, at least for a short time, and the case was never reopened. 1935 also saw the studio rebound with a net profit of $674,158.00. By 1936, contracts of musical and silent stars were not renewed and new talent, tough-talking, working-class types, were hired who more suitably fit in with these sort of pictures. Stars such as Dorothy Mackaill, Bebe Daniels, Frank Fay, Winnie Lightner, Bernice Claire, Alexander Gray, Alice White, and Jack Mulhall that had characterized the urban, modern, and sophisticated attitude of the 1920s gave way to stars such James Cagney, Joan Blondell, Edward G. Robinson, Warren William, and Barbara Stanwyck who would be more acceptable to the common man. The studio was one of the most prolific producers of PreCode pictures and had a lot of trouble with the censors once they started clamping down on what they considered indecency (around 1934). As a result, Warner Bros. turned out a number of historical pictures from around 1935 in order to avoid confrontations with the Breen office. In 1936, following the success of The Petrified Forest, Jack Warner also signed Humphrey Bogart to a studio contract. Warner, however, did not think Bogart was star material, and decided to only cast Bogart in infrequent roles as a villain opposite either James Cagney or Edward Robinson over the next five years. After Hal B. Wallis succeeded Zanuck in 1933 and the Hays Code began to be enforced in 1935, the studio was forced to abandon this realistic approach in order to produce more moralistic, idealized pictures. The studio naturally turned to historical dramas which would not cause any problems with the censors. Other offerings included melodramas (or "women's pictures"), swashbucklers, and adaptations of best-sellers, with stars like Bette Davis, Olivia de Havilland, Paul Muni, and Errol Flynn.

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This period also saw the disappearance of a large number of actors and actresses who had characterized the realistic pre-Code era but who were not suited to the new trend into moral and idealized pictures. Warner Bros. remained a top studio in Hollywood since the dawn of talkies, but this changed after 1935 as other studios, notably MGM, quickly overshadowed the prestige and glamor that previously characterized Warner Bros. However, in the late 1930s, Bette Davis became the studio's top draw and was even dubbed as "The Fifth Warner Brother." In 1935, Cagney sued Jack Warner for breach of contract. Cagney claimed Warner had forced him to star in more films than his contract required. Cagney eventually dropped his lawsuit after a cash settlement. Nevertheless, Cagney left the studio to establish an independent film company with his brother Bill. The Cagneys released their films though Grand National Films, however they were not able to get good financing for their productions[cph 34] and ran out of money after their third film. Cagney then agreed to return to Warner Bros., after Jack Warner agreed to a contract guaranteeing Cagney would be treated to his own terms. After the success of Yankee Doodle Dandy at the box office, Cagney again questioned if the studio would meet his salary demand and again quit to form his own film production and distribution company with his brother. Another employee with whom Warner had troubles was studio producer Bryan Foy. In 1936, Wallis hired Foy as a producer for the studio's low budget B-films leading to his nickname "the keeper of the B's". Foy was able to garnish arguably more profits than any other B-film producer at the time. During Foy's time at the studio, however, Warner fired him seven different times. During 1936, the studio's film The Story of Louis Pasteur proved a box office success and Paul Muni, the film's star, won the Oscar for Best Actor in March 1937. The studio's 1937 film The Life of Emile Zola gave the studio its first Best Picture Oscar. In 1937, the studio hired Midwestern radio announcer Ronald Reagan. Although Reagan was initially a small-time B-film actor, Warner Bros. was impressed by his performance in the final scene of Knute Rockne, All American, and agreed to pair him with Errol Flynn in their film

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Santa Fe Trail (1940). Reagan then returned to B-films. After his performance in the studio's 1942 Kings Row, Warner decided to make Reagan a top star and

signed him to a new contract, tripling his salary. In 1936, Harry Warner's daughter Doris read a copy of Margaret Mitchell's Gone with the Wind and was interested in making a film adaptation. Doris then offered Mitchell $50,000 for the book's screen rights. Jack, however, refused to allow the deal to take place, realizing it would be an expensive production. Another studio actor who proved to be a problem for Jack Warner was George Raft. Warner had signed Raft in 1939, hoping he could substitute in gangster pictures when either Robinson or Cagney were on suspension. Raft had difficulty working with Bogart and refused to co-star in any film with him. Eventually, Jack Warner agreed to release Raft from his contract. Following Raft's departure, the studio gave Bogart the role of Roy Earl in the 1941 film High Sierra, which helped establish him as one of the studio's top stars; following High Sierra, Bogart was also given a role in John Huston's successful 1941 remake of the studio's 1931 failure, The Maltese Falcon.

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Warner's cartoon unit had its roots in the independent Harman and Ising studio. From 1930 to 1933, Disney alumni Hugh Harman and Rudolf Ising produced a series of musical cartoons for Leon Schlesinger, who sold the shorts to Warner. Harman and Ising introduced their character Bosko in the first Looney Tunes cartoon, Sinkin' in the Bathtub, and created a sister series, Merrie Melodies, in 1931. Harman and Ising broke away from Schlesinger in 1933, taking Bosko with them to MGM. As a result, Schlesinger started his own studio, Leon Schlesinger Productions, which continued with Merrie Melodies while starting production on Looney Tunes starring Buddy, a Bosko clone. By the end of the decade, a new Schlesinger production team was formed that developed a fast-paced, irreverent style that made their cartoons immensely popular worldwide. In 1936, Avery directed a string of cartoons, starring Porky Pig, which established the character as the studio's first bona fide star. In addition to Porky Pig, Warner Bros. cartoon characters Daffy Duck and Bugs Bunny also achieved star power. By 1942, the Schlesinger studio had surpassed Walt Disney Studios as the most successful producer of animated shorts in the United States. Warner Bros eventually bought Schlesinger's cartoon unit in 1944 as a division, renamed it as Warner Bros. Cartoons. Unfortunately, the unit was indifferently treated by senior management, beginning with the installation of Edward Selzer as senior producer, whom the creative staff considered an interfering incompetent. Furthermore, Jack Warner, who had little regard for his company's short film product sold off the unit's pre-1948 library for a mere $3000 each, which proved a short sighted transaction in light of the considerable long term value that the company's animation product proved to have. Warner Brothers Cartoons continued, with intermittent interruptions, until 1969 when it was dissolved when the parent company ceased film short production entirely. Regardless of this treatment, its characters such as Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Tweety Bird, Sylvester, and Porky Pig became central to the company's image in subsequent decades. In fact, it was the success of the compilation film, The Bugs Bunny/Road Runner Movie in 1980, featuring the archived film of these characters that prompted Warner Brothers to organize Warner Brothers Animation as a new production division to restart production of original material.

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According to Jack Warner in his autobiography, prior to the United States entering World War II, the head of Warner Bros. sales in Germany, Philip Kauffman, was murdered by the Nazis in Berlin in 1936. Harry Warner produced the successful anti-German film The Life of Emile Zola (1937). After that, Harry supervised the production of several more anti-German films, including Confessions of a Nazi Spy (1939), The Sea Hawk (1940), which made King Phillip II an equivalent of Hitler, Sergeant York, and You're In The Army Now (1941). After the United States officially entered World War II, Harry Warner decided to focus on producing war films. Also, one-fourth of the studio's employees, including Jack Warner and his son Jack Jr., were drafted or enlisted.

Red Cross collected 5,200 pints of plasma from studio employees, and 763 of the studio's employees served in the armed forces, including Harry Warner's son-in-law Milton Sperling and Jack's son Jack Warner Jr. Following a dispute over ownership of Casablanca's Oscar for Best Picture, head producer Hal B. Wallis broke with Warner and resigned. After Casablanca made Bogart one of the studio's top stars, Bogart found his relationship with Jack Warner deteriorating. In 1943, Olivia de Haviland (whom Warner was now loaning to different companies) sued Warner for breach of contract.

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The record attendance figures of the World War II years made the Warner brothers rich. The gritty Warner image of the 1930s gave way to a glossier look, especially in women's pictures starring Davis, de Havilland, and Crawford. The 1940s also saw the rise of Bogart. In the post-war years, Warner Bros. continued to create new stars, like Lauren Bacall and Doris Day. The studio prospered greatly after the war. By 1946, company payroll reached $600,000 a week and net profit $19.4 million. One problem for Warner Bros., however, was Jack Warner's refusal to meet Screen Actors Guild salary demands. In September 1946, the employees engaged in a month-long strike. By the end of 1947, the studio reached a record net profit of $22 million. This dropped 50% the following year. In 1948, Bette Davis, still the studio's top actress and now fed up with Jack Warner, was a big problem for Harry after she and a number of her colleagues left the studio after completing the film Beyond the Forest. Warner was a party to the United States v. Paramount Pictures, Inc. antitrust case of the 1940s. This action, brought by the Justice Department and the Federal Trade Commission, claimed the five integrated studio-theater chain combinations restrained competition. The Supreme Court heard the case in 1948, and ruled in favor of the government. As a result, Warner and four other major studios were forced to separate production from exhibition. In 1949, the studio's net profit was only $10 million. In the early 1950s, the threat of television had grown greatly, and in 1953, Jack Warner decided to take a new approach to compete with the rising threat. In the wake of United Artists successful 3D film Bwana Devil, he decided to expand into 3D films with the studio's 1953 film House of Wax. Unfortunately, despite the success of House of Wax, 3D films soon lost their appeal among moviegoers. In 1952, Warner Bros. made their first film (Carson City) in "Warnercolor", the studio's name for Eastmancolor. 3D almost caused the demise of the Warner Bros. cartoon studio. Having completed a 3D Bugs Bunny cartoon, Lumber Jack-Rabbit, Jack Warner ordered the animation unit to be

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shut down, erroneously believing that all cartoons hence would be produced in the 3D process. Several months later, Warner relented and reopened the cartoon studio. Fortunately, Warner Bros. had enough of a backlog of cartoons and a healthy reissue program so that there was no noticeable interruption in the release schedule. After the downfall of 3D films, Harry Warner decided to use CinemaScope in future Warner Bros. films. One of the studio's first CinemaScope films, The High and the Mighty enabled the studio to show a profit. Early in 1953, the Warner theater holdings were spun off as Stanley Warner Theaters; Stanley Warner's non-theater holdings were sold to Simon Fabian Enterprises, and its theaters merged with RKO Theatres to become RKO-Stanley Warner Theatres. By 1956, however, the studio was losing money. By the end of 1953, the studio's net profit was $2.9 million and ranged between $2 and $4 million for the next two years. In February 1956, Jack Warner sold the rights to all of the studio's pre-1950 films to Associated Artists Productions (which merged with United Artists Television in 1958). In May 1956, the brothers announced they were putting Warner Bros. on the market. Jack, however, secretly organized a syndicate headed by Boston banker Serge Semenenko to purchase 800,000 shares, 90% of the company's stock. After the three brothers sold, Jack through his under-the-table deal joined Semenenko's syndicate and bought back all his stock, 200,000 shares. Shortly after the deal was completed in July, Jack now the company's largest stockholder appointed himself new president. By the time Harry and Albert learned of their brother's dealings, it was too late. Shortly after the deal was closed, Jack Warner announced the company and its subsidiaries would be "directed more vigorously to the acquisition of the most important story properties, talents, and to the production of the finest motion pictures possible."

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By 1949, with the success of television threatening the film industry more and more, Harry Warner decided to shift his focus towards television production. However, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) would not permit it. After an unsuccessful attempt to convince other movie studio bosses to switch their focus to television, Harry abandoned his television efforts. Jack began his hatred of television with problems with Milton Berle being hired by the studio to make an unsuccessful film Always Leave Them Laughing during the peak of his television popularity. Warner felt that Berle was not strong enough as a lead to carry a film and that people would not pay to see the man they could see on television for free. However Jack Warner was pressured into using Berle, even replacing Danny Kaye with him. Berle's outrageous behaviour on the set and the film's massive failure led to Jack Warner forbidding television sets appearing in the studio's film sets. On March 21, 1955, the studio was finally able engage in television through the successful Warner Bros. Television unit run by William T. Orr, Jack Warner's son-in-law. Warner Bros. Television provided the ABC with a weekly show, Warner Bros. Presents; the show featured a rotating series of shows based on three of the studio's film successes, Kings Row, Casablanca and Cheyenne, followed by a promotion for one of Warner's big screen films. It was not a success. The studio's next effort would be making a weekly series out of Cheyenne. Cheyenne was television's first one hour Western, with two episodes placed together for feature film release outside the United States. In the tradition of their B pictures, the studio followed up with a series of rapidly produced popular Westerns, such as writer/producer Roy Huggins' critically lauded Maverick as well as Sugarfoot, Bronco, Lawman, The Alaskans and Colt. The success of these series helped to make up for the losses on the film side. As a result, Jack Warner decided to emphasize television production. Warners then produced a series of popular private detective shows beginning with 77 Sunset Strip (195864) followed by Hawaiian Eye (19591963), Bourbon Street Beat (1960) and Surfside Six (19601962).

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Warner Bros. rebounded in the late 1950s, specializing in adaptations of popular plays like The Bad Seed (1956), No Time for Sergeants (1958), and Gypsy (1962). With his health slowly recovering from a car accident whilst on holiday to France in 1958, Jack returned to the studio and made sure his name was featured in studio press releases. In each of the first three years of the 1960s, the studio's net profit was a little over $7 million. Warner paid an unprecedented $5.5 million for the film rights to the Broadway musical My Fair Lady in February 1962. In 1963, the net profit dropped to $3.7 million. By the mid-1960s, motion picture production was in decline. There were few studioproduced films and many more co-productions (for which Warner provided facilities, money, and distribution), and pickups of independently made pictures. With the success of the studio's 1965 Broadway play The Great Race, as well as its soundtrack, Warner Bros. Records became a profitable subsidiary. The studio's 1966 film Who's Afraid Of Virginia Woolf? Was a huge success at the box office. In November 1966, Jack gave in to advancing age and the changing times, selling control of the studio and its music business to Seven Arts Productions, run by the Canadian investors Elliot and Kenneth Hyman, for $32 million. The company, including the studio, was renamed Warner Bros.-Seven Arts. Jack Warner did, however, remain studio president until the summer of 1967, when Camelot failed at the box office and Warner gave up his position to the studio's longtime publicity director, Ben Kalmenson; Warner did, however, remain on board as an independent producer and vice-president. With the success of the studio's 1967 film Bonnie and Clyde, Warner Bros was making profits once again. Two years later, the Hymans, now fed up with Jack Warner, accepted a cash-and-stock offer from an odd conglomerate called Kinney National Company

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for more than $64 million. Kinney owned a Hollywood talent agency, AshleyFamous, and it was Ted Ashley who led Kinney head Steve Ross to purchase Warner Bros. Ashley became the new head of the studio, and the name was changed to Warner Bros., Inc. once again. Jack Warner, however, was outraged by the Hymans' sale, and decided to retire. Although movie audiences had shrunk, Warner's new management believed in the drawing power of stars, signing co-production deals with several of the biggest names of the day, among them Paul Newman, Robert Redford, Barbra Streisand, and Clint Eastwood, carrying the studio successfully through the 1970s and 1980s. Warner Bros. also made major profits on films built around the characters of Superman and Batman, owned by Warner Bros. subsidiary DC Comics. From 1971 until the end of 1987, Warner's international distribution operations were a joint venture with Columbia Pictures, and in some countries, this joint venture also distributed films from other companies (like EMI Films and Cannon Films in the UK). Warner ended the venture in 1988 and joined up with Walt Disney Pictures; this joint venture lasted until 1993, when Disney created Buena Vista International. In 1972 in a cost-cutting move, Warner and Columbia Pictures formed a partnership called The Burbank Studios in which they would share production facilities utilitizing the Warner lot in Burbank. The partnership ended in 1990 when Columbia moved into the former MGM studio lot in Culver City. To the surprise of many, flashy, star-driven Warner Communications merged in 1989 with the white-shoe publishing company Time Inc. Though Time and its magazines claimed a higher tone, it was the Warner Bros. film and music units which provided the profits. The Time Warner merger was almost derailed when Paramount Communications launched a $12.2 billion dollar hostile takeover bid for Time Inc., forcing Time to acquire Warner for $14.9 billion dollar cash/stock offer. Paramount responded with a lawsuit filed in Delaware court to break up the merger. Paramount lost and the merger proceeded. In 1992, the division Warner Bros. Family Entertainment was established to produce various family-oriented films. In 1997, Time Warner sold the Six Flags unit. The takeover of Time Warner in 2000 by then-high-flying AOL did not prove a good match, and following the collapse in "dot-com" stocks, the AOL name was banished from the corporate nameplate.

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In 1995, Warner and station owner Tribune Company of Chicago launched The WB Network, finding a niche market in teenagers. The WB's early programming included an abundance of teenage fare like Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Smallville, Dawson's Creek, and One Tree Hill. Two dramas produced by Spelling Television, 7th Heaven and Charmed also helped bring The WB into the spotlight, with "Charmed" lasting eight seasons and being the longest running drama with female leads and "7th Heaven" surviving eleven seasons and being the longest running family drama and longest running show for The WB. In 2006, Warner and CBS Paramount Television decided to close The WB and CBS's UPN and jointly launch The CW Television Network. In 1999, Terry Semels and Robert Daly resigned as heads of the studio after a career of 13 Oscar nominated films. Many of Warner's top stars were considering quitting because of their absence. Daly and Semels were said to popularize the modern model of partner financing and profit sharing for film production. In the late 1990s, Warner obtained rights to the Harry Potter novels, and released feature film adaptations of the first in 2001, the second in 2002, the third in June 2004, the fourth in November 2005, and the fifth on July 11, 2007. The sixth was slated for November 2008, but Warner moved it to July 2009 only three months before the movie was supposed to come out, citing the lack of summer blockbusters in 2009 (due to the Writer's Strike) as the reason. The decision was purely financial, and Alan Horn said, "There were no delays. Ive seen the movie. It is fabulous. We would have been perfectly able to have it out in November. This resulted in a massive fan backlash. The seventh and final adaptation was released in two parts: Part 1 in November 2010 and Part 2 in July 2011. Warner Bros. played a large part in the discontinuation of the HD DVD format. On January 4, 2008, Warner Bros. announced that they would drop support of HD DVD in favor of Blu-ray Disc. HD DVDs would continue to be released through May 2008 (when their contract with the HD DVD promotion

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group expired), but only following Blu-ray and DVD releases. This started a chain of events which resulted in HD DVD development and production being halted by Toshiba on February 16, 2008, ending the format war. In 2009, Warner Bros. became the first studio in history to gross more than $2 billion domestically in a single year. Warner Bros. is responsible for the Harry Potter film series, the highest grossing film series of all time, both domestic and international without inflation adjustment. It is also responsible for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 as Warner Bros.' highest grossing movie ever (the former was The Dark Knight). IMAX Corp. has finalized a pact with Time Warner Inc.'s Warner Bros. Pictures unit to release as many as 20 giant-format films through 2013. Since 2006, Warner Bros operated a joint venture with China Film Group Corporation and HG to form Warner China Film HG to produce films in Hong Kong and China, including Connected, which is a remake of the 2004 thriller film Cellular, they have co-produced many other Chinese films as well.

A panoramic view over today's studio premises.

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Casablanca (1942)
Casablanca is a 1942 American romantic drama film directed by Michael Curtiz and based on the unpublished stage play Everybody Comes to Rick's by Murray Burnett and Joan Alison. The film stars Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman, and Paul Henreid. Set during World War II, it focuses on a man torn between, in the words of one character, love and virtue. Initially, Casablanca received "consistently good reviews". Bosley Crowther of The New York Times wrote, "The Warners... have a picture which makes the spine tingle and the heart take a leap." The newspaper applauded the combination of "sentiment, humor and pathos with taut melodrama and bristling intrigue". Over the years, the film has grown in popularity. Murray Burnett called it "true yesterday, true today, true tomorrow". According to Roger Ebert, Casablanca is "probably on more lists of the greatest films of all time than any other single title, including Citizen Kane" because of its wider appeal. Ebert said that he has never heard of a negative review of the film, even though individual elements can be criticized, citing unrealistic special effects and the stiff character/portrayal of Laszlo. Rick's toast to Ilsa, "Here's looking at you, kid", used several times, is not in the draft screenplays, but has been attributed to something Bogart said to Bergman as he taught her poker between takes. It was voted the 5th most memorable line in cinema in AFI's 100 Years100 Movie Quotes by the American Film Institute.

Bogart and Bergman

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A Clockwork Orange
A Clockwork Orange, starring Malcolm McDowell, is a 1971 film written, directed and produced by Stanley Kubrick, adapted from Anthony Burgess' 1962 short novel A Clockwork Orange. It features disturbing, violent images, facilitating its social commentary on psychiatry, youth gangs, and other social, political, and economic subjects in a dystopian, future Britain. Despite the film's controversial nature, A Clockwork Orange was a hit with American audiences, grossing more than $26 million on a conservative budget of $2.2 million, and was critically well received and nominated for several awards, including the Academy Award for Best Picture. In 2008, the AFI's 10 Top 10 rated A Clockwork Orange as the 4th greatest science-fiction movie to date.

The Exorcist
The Exorcist is a 1973 horror film directed by William Friedkin, adapted by William Peter Blatty from his 1971 novel of the same name. Inspired by the 1949 exorcism case of Roland Doe, it deals with the demonic possession of a young girl and her mother's desperate attempts to win back her daughter through an exorcism conducted by two priests. The film features Ellen Burstyn, Max von Sydow, Jason Miller, Lee J. Cobb, Linda Blair, and (in voice only) Mercedes McCambridge. The film has had a significant influence on popular culture. It was named the scariest film of all time by Entertainment Weekly and Movies.com and by viewers of AMC in 2006, and was No. 3 on Bravo's

The 100 Scariest Movie Moments.

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Once Upon a Time in America


Once Upon a Time in America is a 1984 Italian epic crime drama film cowritten and directed by Sergio Leone and starring Robert De Niro and James Woods. It chronicles the lives of Jewish ghetto youths who rise to prominence in New York City's world of organized crime. The film explores themes of childhood friendships, love, lust, greed, betrayal, loss, broken relationships, and the rise of mobsters in American society. Roger Ebert wrote in his 1984 review that the uncut version was "an epic poem of violence and greed" and called it the best film depicting the Prohibition era in his review of Brian De Palma's The Untouchables . Ebert's television movie critic partner Gene Siskel considered the uncut version to be the best movie of 1984.

The film is presented in non-chronological order. While this plot states the film from the 1920s to the '60s the film is largely told through flashbacks from the 1960s. It is a profound expression of truth regarding friendship and betrayal. Noodles, played by Robert De Niro and Scott Tiler (during childhood), is a simple man and a thug with one credo: you can battle the entire world but you never betray a friend. During the course of this film we experience various pieces of Noodles's life, from childhood, through young adulthood and old age. We learn what happens to his friends, his foes and the love of his life, Deborah. The time span considered is long, including Noodles's childhood shortly after the turn of the century, through the prohibition era, and finally the 1960's. The film, like life and memories, unfolds slowly and reflectively. Sergio Leone's cuts are long and each scene is beautifully amplified my Ennio Morricone's haunting score.

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Goodfellas
Goodfellas is a 1990 American crime film directed by Martin Scorsese. It is a film adaptation of the 1986 non-fiction book Wiseguy by Nicholas Pileggi, who co-wrote the screenplay with Scorsese. The film follows the rise and fall of Lucchese crime family associates Henry Hill and his friends over a period from 1955 to 1980. To prepare for their roles in the film, Robert De Niro, Joe Pesci, and Ray Liotta often spoke with Pileggi, who shared research material left over from writing the book. According to Pesci, improvisation and adlibbing came out of rehearsals where Scorsese gave the actors freedom to do whatever they wanted. Goodfellas performed well at the box office, grossing $46.8 million domestically, well above its $25 million budget. It also received overwhelmingly positive reviews from critics. The film was nominated for six Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Director. The film was named Best Film of the year by various film critics groups. Goodfellas is often considered one of the greatest films ever, both in the crime genre and in general, and was deemed "culturally significant" and selected for preservation in the National Film Registry by the United States Library of Congress.

Contact
Contact is a 1997 American science fiction drama film adapted from the Carl Sagan novel of the same name and directed by Robert Zemeckis. Jodie Foster portrays the film's protagonist, Dr. Eleanor "Ellie" Arroway, a SETI scientist who finds strong evidence of extraterrestrial life and is chosen to make first contact.

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The film was released on July 11, 1997, to mostly positive reviews and grossed approximately $171 million in worldwide box office totals. Internet reviewer James Berardinelli called Contact "one of 1997's finest motion pictures, and is a forceful reminder that Hollywood is still capable of making magic."

The Matrix
The Matrix is a 1999 AmericanAustralian science fiction action film written and directed by The Wachowski Brothers and starring Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne, Carrie-Anne Moss, Joe Pantoliano, and Hugo Weaving. It depicts a dystopian future in which reality as perceived by most humans is actually a simulated reality or cyberspace called "the Matrix", created by sentient machines to pacify and subdue the human population, while their bodies' heat and electrical activity are used as an energy source. Computer programmer "Neo" learns this truth and is drawn into a rebellion against the machines, which involves other people who have been freed from the "dream world". The Matrix was first released in the United States on March 31, 1999, and grossed over $460 million worldwide. It was generally well-received by critics, and won four Academy Awards as well as other accolades including BAFTA Awards and Saturn Awards. Reviewers praised The Matrix for its innovative visual effects, cinematography and its entertainment.

The film has since appeared in lists of the greatest science fiction films, and in 2012, was added to the National Film Registry for preservation. The success of the film led to the release of two feature film sequels, both written and directed by the Wachowskis, The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutions. The Matrix franchise was further expanded through the production of comic books, video games, and animated short films in which the Wachowskis were heavily involved.

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V for Vendetta
V for Vendetta is a 2005 action thriller film directed by James McTeigue and written by The Wachowski Brothers, based on the 1982 comic book of the same name by Alan Moore and David Lloyd. Set in London in a near-future dystopian society, Hugo Weaving portrays V a bold, charismatic freedom fighter, attempting to ignite a revolution against the brutal fascist regime led by Adam Sutler (John Hurt) that has subjugated his country. Natalie Portman plays Evey, a working-class girl caught up
The Norsefire regime takes totalitarian imagery from many sources, both historical and fictional.

in V's mission and Stephen Rea portrays the detective leading a desperate quest to stop V.

The film had been seen by many political groups as an allegory of oppression by government; libertarians and anarchists have used it to promote their beliefs. The critical reception of the film was generally positive. Roger Ebert stated that V for Vendetta "almost always has something going on that is actually interesting, inviting us to decode the character and plot and apply the message where we will".

Slumdog Millionaire
Slumdog Millionaire is a 2008 British drama film directed by Danny Boyle, written by Simon Beaufoy. It is an adaptation of the novel Q & A (2005) by Indian author and diplomat Vikas Swarup. Set and filmed in India, the film tells the story of Jamal Malik, a young man from the Juhu slums of Mumbai who appears on the Indian version of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? and exceeds people's expectations, thereby arousing the suspicions of cheating; Jamal recounts in flashback how he knows the answer to

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each question, each one linked to a key event in his life. A sleeper hit, Slumdog Millionaire was universally acclaimed, being praised by the plot and soundtrack. Also it was nominated for 10 Academy Awards in 2009, winning eight, the most for any film of 2008. Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun Times gave the film 4 out of 4 stars, stating that it is, "a breathless, exciting story, heartbreaking and exhilarating."

Gran Torino
Gran Torino is a 2008 American drama film directed by, produced by, and starring Clint Eastwood. It also stars Bee Vang and Ahney Her. The story follows Walt Kowalski, a recently widowed Korean War veteran alienated from his family and angry at the world. Walt's young neighbor, Thao Vang Lor, is pressured into stealing Walt's prized 1972 Ford Gran Torino by his cousin for his initiation into a gang. Walt thwarts the theft and subsequently develops a relationship with the boy and his family. Gran Torino was a critical and commercial success, grossing nearly $270 million worldwide. It was recognized by the American Film Institute as one of the Ten Best Films of 2008. In 2010, the film was named Best Foreign Film at the Csar Awards in France.

The Hangover
The Hangover is a 2009 American comedy film, co-produced and directed by Todd Phillips and written by Jon Lucas and Scott Moore. The film stars Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms, Zach Galifianakis, Heather Graham, Justin Bartha, and Jeffrey Tambor. The Hangover tells the story of Phil Wenneck, Stu Price and Alan Garner, who travel to Las Vegas for a bachelor party to celebrate their friend Doug Billings' impending marriage. The Hangover was released on June 5, 2009, becoming a critical and commercial success. It became the tenth-highest-grossing film of 2009, with a worldwide gross of over US$467 million. Critics praised the film's comedic approach but criticized it for its vulgarity. The film won the Golden Globe Award for Best Motion Picture Musical or Comedy, and received multiple other accolades.

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Inception
Inception is a 2010 science fiction thriller film written, co-produced, and directed by Christopher Nolan. The film stars a large ensemble cast that includes Leonardo DiCaprio, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Marion Cotillard, Ellen Page, Tom Hardy and Cillian Murphy. DiCaprio plays Dom Cobb, a thief who commits corporate espionage by infiltrating the subconscious of his targets. He is offered a chance to regain his old life as payment for a task considered to be impossible: "inception", the implantation of another person's idea into a target's subconscious. A box office success, Inception has grossed over $800 million worldwide becoming one of the highest-grossing films of all time. Inception has received wide critical acclaim and numerous critics have praised its originality, cast, score, and visual effects. Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times awarded the film a full four stars and said that Inception "is all about process, about fighting our way through enveloping sheets of reality and dream, reality within dreams, dreams without reality. It's a breathtaking juggling act."

Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close


Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close is a 2011 American drama film adaptation of the novel of the same name by Jonathan Safran Foer, directed by Stephen Daldry and written by Eric Roth. It stars Thomas Horn, Tom Hanks, Sandra Bullock, Max von Sydow, Viola Davis, John

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Goodman, Jeffrey Wright, and Zoe Caldwell. Despite mixed reviews from critics, the film was nominated for two Academy Awards, Best Picture and Best Supporting Actor for Max von Sydow. Betsy Sharkey of the Los Angeles Times wrote that the film was a "handsomely polished, thoughtfully wrapped Hollywood production about the national tragedy of 9/11 that seems to have forever redefined words like unthinkable, unforgivable, catastrophic".

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey is a 2012 epic fantasy adventure film directed by Peter Jackson. It is the first of a three-part film adaptation of the 1937 novel The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien. The story is set in Middle-earth sixty years before The Lord of the Rings, and tells the tale of the hobbit Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman), who is convinced by the wizard Gandalf (Ian McKellen) to accompany thirteen dwarves led by Thorin Oakenshield (Richard Armitage) on a quest across Middle-earth to reclaim the Lonely Mountain from Smaug the dragon. The Hobbit has grossed over $1 billion at the box office and was nominated for three Academy Awards. Peter Travers of Rolling Stone criticised the film's use of "48 frames per second Couple that with 3D and the movie looks so hyper-real that you see everything that's fake about it The 169 minutes of screen time hurts, since the first 45 minutes of the film traps us in the hobbit home of the young Bilbo Baggins," but continued, "Once Bilbo and the dwarves set on their journey things perk up considerably. Trolls, orcs, wolves and mountainous monsters made of remarkably pliable stone bring out the best in Jackson.

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Books: 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die - Steven Jay Schneider London: Cassell Illustrated, 2003

Links: http://en.wikipedia.org http://www.imdb.com/ http://www.warnerbros.com/

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Warner Bros. Weve all heard of it. Weve all seen its movies, its television series or its cartoons. And now, we know its history and its accomplishments. And, most importantly, we know how it has changed the world, what improvements it has brought and what records it has set. Clearly, WB is not just a logo; it is not something famous that doesnt deserve its place or something flawless that has always dominated the film industry. Struggling not to go bankrupt or making huge profits. Why? The answer is not easy. It is simple. The movies the movies the company has produced across time. They have managed to save the company, to raise it, to make it shine and to turn it into one of the most respected, diversified and successful film companies from the third millennium. Everything began with the passion for film of four brothers: Albert, Sam, Harry and Jack. They not only established the studio, but they also brought sound to movies, reinvented the musical and introduced the first four-legged star. What is essential is that, through their films, they succeeded in having an impact on the society of their times. Today, the dream goes on. Promoting new directors and actors, winning awards, scoring high on box-office and ratings. Revolutionizing the film world. Satisfying the critics. Entertaining people. It all changed, and yet everything remained the same. The purpose. You do it because you like, because you want to, not because you must.