Back to All Events

David Thomson on Warner Bros: The Making of an American Movie Studio

  • Jewish Community Library 1835 Ellis Street San Francisco, CA 94115 (map)

Free admission with free garage parking on Pierce Street between Ellis and Eddy streets.

Brothers Harry, Albert, and Sam Warner arrived in America in 1889 as unschooled Polish Jewish immigrants. Thirty years later, with their younger brother Jack, they had ascended to the pinnacle of Hollywood influence and popularity.

The new book Warner Bros: The Making of an American Movie Studio charts the rise of the Warner Brothers movie studio. Author David Thomson provides original interpretations of Warner Brothers pictures from the pioneering talkie The Jazz Singer through black-and-white musicals, gangster movies, and romances such as Casablanca, East of Eden, and Bonnie and Clyde. He recounts the exploits of the studio’s stars, including Al Jolson, Bette Davis, Humphrey Bogart, James Dean, Doris Day, and Bugs Bunny. The Warners’ cultural impact was so profound, Thomson writes, that their studio became “one of the enterprises that helped us see there might be an American dream out there.”

David Thomson is a film critic and historian, and author of more than twenty books, including The Biographical Dictionary of Film, Have You Seen...? A Personal Introduction to 1,000 Films, Why Acting Matters, Fan Tan (a novel written in collaboration with Marlon Brando), and The Whole Equation: A History of Hollywood. Born in London, he lives in San Francisco.

Program made possible, in part, by Tricia Hellman Gibbs.

Co-presented by Lehrhaus Judaica.

Earlier Event: September 17
Daniel Matt on Shedding Light on the Zohar
Later Event: October 1
Sukkah Lab