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Jack Warner DIRECTOR


Jack Warner was a Canadian American film executive, with a career that spanned forty five years – a duration surpassing any other Hollywood studio mogul. He was president, founder (along with brothers Harry, Albert, and Sam), and driving force of the major film studio Warner Brothers Pictures.
He was born Jacob Warner on August 2, 1892 in London, Ontario to a family of Jewish immigrants from Poland. The family relocated to Youngstown, Ohio in 1896, where he spent most of his youth. It was here that the Warner brothers took their first steps into the entertainment industry. After Sam took a job as a projectionist at a local amusement park, he convinced the family to buy a Model B Kinetoscope. The brothers screened a well used copy of “The Great Train Robbery” (1903) throughout Ohio and Pennsylvania before purchasing a small theater in New Castle, Pennsylvania. They called it the Cascade Movie Palace and maintained it until 1907, when they went into film distribution. In that year the Warner brothers formed the Pittsburgh-based Duquesne Amusement Company, which proved profitable until Thomas Edison’s Motion Pictures Patent Company (also referred to as the Edison Trust) was invented, which charged distributors exorbitant fees. They sold their company to General Film Company in 1909, earning a total of $52,000.
In 1910 the brothers combined their resources and went into film production. In 1912 they lent support to independent filmmaker Carl Laemmle’s Independent Motion Picture Company, which opposed the control of the Edison Trust. The same year, Jack found a job in New York as a film splicer and helped brother Sam produce the film “Dante’s Inferno” (1912). Although the film was successful, Harry was concerned about the economic threats that the Edison’s Trust posed, and subsequently broke apart from Laemmle. He then sent Jack off to San Francisco to open a film exchange. In 1916 Jack married his first wife, Irma Solomon, with whom he had one child. A year later, he established another film exchange company in Los Angeles.
In 1918 the brothers purchased the film rights for the bestelling novel that condemned German wartime atrocities, titled “My Four Years in Germany”. The film was a commercial and critical success, enabling the brothers to set up a studio in California. Jack was assigned as co-head of production along with elder brother Sam, and together they began securing scripts and storylines, devising ways to reduce production costs, and managing production.
The popular serial “The Tiger’s Claw” (1919) trailed “My Four Years in Germany”. However, they were unsuccessful in promoting “Open Your Eyes” (1919), a propagandistic melodrama warning of the dangers of venereal disease. It also featured Jack in his only acting role. Between 1920 and 1922, the studio produced about six feature length films. In 1922 the company moved to a larger studio in Hollywood, officially becoming Warner Bros.
In 1923 they discovered German Shepherd Rin Tin Tin, who made his debut in “Where the North Begins”. He became the studio’s first star. Slowly they began building up their stock of actors and the output of features each year. By 1925 Warner Bros. was heading thirty motion pictures. Jack’s importance in the studio was also increasing throughout the 1920s, as his responsibilities grew and he started making decisions about who would work on what.
In 1925 the studio expanded by acquiring the Brookylyn-based theater company Vitagraph. As well, Warner Bros. signed an agreement with Western Electric to use the newly created Vitaphone technology, which allowed for sound to be added. The company released “Don Juan” in 1926 using the technology, but it didn’t fare well.  In 1927 they put out “The Jazz Singer”, the first movie to feature sound that also contained dialogue. It was the most expensive picture they had released to date, but the innovation ended up changing the film industry and pushing Warner Bros. to the top of their competition.
Unfortunately, Sam died of pneumonia just before the premiere of the film, leaving Jack as the sole head of production. It also left him feeling inconsolable, as Sam was Jack’s favorite brother.
With the success of “The Jazz Singer” starring Al Jolson, the company was able to obtain a better studio and bigger stars. While Hollywood’s five major studios tried to prevent the spread of talkies, Warner Bros. faced the opposition head on, producing twelve talking pictures in 1928 alone. The next year, the newly formed Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (which Jack was one of the thirty six founders of) recognized the studio for “revolutionizing the industry with sound”. However, despite its new financial prosperity, Jack kept a tight grip on Warner Bros. costs.
Therefore, the studio remained virtually unaffected by the Wall Street Crash of 1929, and produced a number of films ranging from musical, to comedy, to biopic. They were most well known for their social dramas though, whose production was typically supported by Jack. These included the gangster films “Little Caesar” (1931) starring Edward G. Robinson and “The Public Enemy” (1931) starring James Cagney, as well as the controversial “I am a Fugitive from a Chain Gang” (1932) starring Paul Muni. During this time, Jack also recruited a number of stars. They included big names such Edward G. Robinson, Paul Muni, James Cagney, Humphrey Bogart, Bette Davis, and Errol Flynn.
In 1935, Jack left his first wife for another woman, Ann Page. They married a year later, and remained together until his death.
Into the 1940's, he tried increasing his power in the studio, as his involvement in production had greatly diminished, but was met with an increasing number of problems with his studio employees and film stars. He worked people far too hard, and expected too much out of them. He frequently clashed with actors, causing one to even flee the country once to secure release from her contract.
During World War II, Jack supported the war effort by joining the Army Air Force. Warner Bros. also contributed to the war effort. At the advice of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, the studio produced a film adaptation of “Mission to Moscow” (1943) to increase public support for the military alliance between the United States and the Soviet Union. They produced additional wartime films, releasing more pictures about the war than any other studio.
In 1956, Jack, Harry, and Albert announced that they were going to put Warner Bros. on the market. However, Jack had secretly set up a syndicate that bought control of the company. He then anointed himself as studio president, causing his brothers to never talk to him again.
In 1958, shortly after Harry had died, Jack got in a serious car accident. He went into a coma for over a week, and took months to recover. He still managed, however, to keep pace with the changes in the industry and was highly involved in the production of Warner Bros.’ successes. In 1965 he won an Oscar for Best Picture for the film version of the hit Broadway musical “My Fair Lady” (1964).
In 1966, Jack sold his studio for $32 million to Seven Arts Productions, but retained his position as studio head until 1969. He remained active as an independent producer until the early 1960s, his final projects being the “Dirty Little Billy” (1972), an account of Billy the Kid’s life and career, and “1776” (1972), a film version of the Broadway musical comedy by the same name.
Jack Warner fell on a tennis court in 1974, leaving him injured for the remainder of his life. In 1977 and 1978 he suffered from strokes. On September 8, 1978 he passed away from edema in his Los Angeles home. For his achievements in the film industry he has acquired an Irving G. Thalberg Award from the Academy Awards, a Cecil B. DeMille Award from the Golden Globes, and two stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. He is additionally honored on Canada’s Walk of Fame in Toronto, which recognizes Canadian achievement in several fields.


1972       Dirty Little Billy 
1972       1776 
1967       Camelot 
1964       My Fair Lady 
1963       PT 109 
1962       About Time   
1962       The John Glenn Story 
1962       Red Nightmare  
1960       The Thread of Life
1958       Gateways to the Mind 
1955       Battle Cry 
1954       A Star Is Born 
1949       Beyond the Forest 
1949       Night Unto Night
1948       Silver River  
1948       June Bride  
1948       The Woman in White 
1948       Winter Meeting 
1948       The Treasure of the Sierra Madre 
1948       The Friendship Train 
1947       My Wild Irish Rose 
1947       Escape Me Never 
1947       That Hagen Girl 
1947       Dark Passage 
1947       Life with Father 
1947       Deep Valley 
1947       Possessed 
1947       Cry Wolf 
1947       The Unfaithful 
1947       Stallion Road   
1947       Nora Prentiss 
1947       The Man I Love 
1947       The Two Mrs. Carrolls
1946       The Verdict 
1946       Never Say Goodbye 
1946       Three Strangers
1946       The Time, the Place and the Girl 
1946       Humoresque 
1946       The Beast with Five Fingers 
1946       Nobody Lives Forever 
1946       Deception 
1946       Shadow of a Woman 
1946       The Big Sleep 
1946       A Stolen Life 
1946       Of Human Bondage 
1946       Night and Day 
1946       One More Tomorrow 
1946       Devotion    
1946       My Reputation 
1945       Pride of the Marines
1945       San Antonio 
1945       Saratoga Trunk 
1945       Danger Signal 
1945       Confidential Agent 
1945       Mildred Pierce   
1945       Christmas in Connecticut 
1945       Conflict 
1945       Pillow to Post 
1945       Escape in the Desert 
1945       The Horn Blows at Midnight 
1945       The Corn Is Green 
1945       Hotel Berlin 
1945       Roughly Speaking 
1945       Objective, Burma!
1944       Hollywood Canteen 
1944       The Conspirators 
1944       To Have and Have Not 
1944       Arsenic and Old Lace   
1944       Make Your Own Bed 
1944       Mr. Skeffington 
1944       Between Two Worlds
1944       Road to Victory 
1944       The Adventures of Mark Twain
1944       Shine on Harvest Moon 
1944       Passage to Marseille 
1944       I Am an American 
1944       The Shining Future 
1944       The Mask of Dimitrios
1944       Uncertain Glory 
1944       In Our Time 
1943       Destination Tokyo 
1943       Old Acquaintance  
1943       Murder on the Waterfront 
1943       Watch on the Rhine 
1943       This Is the Army 
1943       Background to Danger 
1943       The Constant Nymph
1943       Action in the North Atlantic 
1943       Mission to Moscow
1943       Edge of Darkness 
1943       Air Force 
1943       The United States Service Bands
1943       Northern Pursuit 
1943       Thank Your Lucky Stars
1943       The Hard Way
1942       Casablanca 
1942       Yankee Doodle Dandy
1942       Winning Your Wings 
1942       Murder in the Big House 
1942       The Man Who Came to Dinner
1941       Law of the Tropics 
1941       High Sierra 
1941       Honeymoon for Three 
1941       Four Mothers
1941       Bad Men of Missouri 
1941       Underground 
1941       The Sea Wolf 
1940       Santa Fe Trail 
1940       The Letter
1940       South of Suez 
1940       A Dispatch from Reuter's 
1940       Tugboat Annie Sails Again 
1940       Knute Rockne All American
1940       City for Conquest 
1940       Money and the Woman 
1940       Ladies Must Live
1940       They Drive by Night
1940       My Love Came Back 
1940       All This, and Heaven Too 
1940       The Sea Hawk 
1940       The Man Who Talked Too Much
1940       Brother Orchid 
1940       Flight Angels 
1940       Torrid Zone
1940       Saturday's Children 
1940       An Angel from Texas
1940       'Til We Meet Again 
1940       Virginia City 
1940       Three Cheers for the Irish
1940       Castle on the Hudson 
1940       Dr. Ehrlich's Magic Bullet
1940       The Fighting 69th 
1940       Brother Rat and a Baby
1940       Lady with Red Hair 
1940       Always a Bride 
1940       East of the River 
1940       No Time for Comedy 
1940       Flowing Gold
1940       River's End
1940       Gambling on the High Seas
1940       A Fugitive from Justice 
1940       Murder in the Air 
1940       Tear Gas Squad
1940       King of the Lumberjacks 
1940       It All Came True 
1940       Granny Get Your Gun 
1940       British Intelligence
1939       Private Detective 
1939       The Return of Doctor X 
1939       Kid Nightingale 
1939       Dead End Kids at Military School
1939       Smashing the Money Ring 
1939       No Place to Go
1939       Nancy Drew and the Hidden Staircase 
1939       Everybody's Hobby 
1939       The Angels Wash Their Faces
1939       Torchy Blane.. Playing with Dynamite 
1939       The Cowboy Quarterback 
1939       Waterfront 
1939       Indianapolis Speedway 
1939       Nancy Drew... Trouble Shooter 
1939       Code of the Secret Service 
1939       Sweepstakes Winner 
1939       Torchy Runs for Mayor 
1939       Confessions of a Nazi Spy
1939       Women in the Wind 
1939       The Man Who Dared 
1939       You Can't Get Away with Murder 
1939       The Adventures of Jane Arden 
1939       Secret Service of the Air 
1939       The Oklahoma Kid 
1939       Blackwell's Island
1939       Nancy Drew... Reporter 
1939       Wings of the Navy 
1939       Torchy Blane in Chinatown
1939       Invisible Stripes
1939       Four Wives 
1939       A Child Is Born 
1939       We Are Not Alone 
1939       The Roaring Twenties
1939       On Your Toes 
1939       Essex and Elizabeth 
1939       Espionage Agent 
1939       The Old Maid 
1939       Each Dawn I Die 
1939       Hell's Kitchen 
1939       Daughters Courageous 
1939       Naughty But Nice 
1939       Juarez 
1939       Dark Victory 
1939       They Made Me a Criminal 
1939       King of the Underworld
1938       Going Places 
1938       The Dawn Patrol 
1938       Heart of the North 
1938       Comet Over Broadway 
1938       Angels with Dirty Faces 
1938       Torchy Gets Her Man 
1938       Hard to Get
1938       Brother Rat
1938       Girls on Probation
1938       The Sisters 
1938       Broadway Musketeers 
1938       Garden of the Moon 
1938       Secrets of an Actress 
1938       Boy Meets Girl 
1938       Four's a Crowd 
1938       Penrod's Double Trouble
1938       The Amazing Dr. Clitterhouse
1938       Racket Busters 
1938       Cowboy from Brooklyn 
1938       My Bill 
1938       Men Are Such Fools
1938       Mystery House 
1938       The Adventures of Robin Hood
1938       Crime School 
1938       The Beloved Brat 
1938       Women Are Like That 
1938       Torchy Blane in Panama 
1938       Accidents Will Happen
1938       Over the Wall 
1938       Fools for Scandal
1938       He Couldn't Say No
1938       A Slight Case of Murder 
1938       Penrod and His Twin Brother 
1938       Daredevil Drivers
1938       Gold Is Where You Find It 
1938       Blondes at Work 
1938       White Banners 
1938       The Invisible Menace 
1938       Swing Your Lady 
1938       The Patient in Room 18 
1938       Breakdowns of 1938 
1938       Sergeant Murphy
1937       Marked Woman  
1937       Tovarich 
1937       Hollywood Hotel
1937       She Loved a Fireman 
1937       Sh! The Octopus 
1937       First Lady 
1937       Submarine D-1 
1937       The Adventurous Blonde 
1937       West of Shanghai 
1937       Love Is on the Air 
1937       Back in Circulation 
1937       That Certain Woman
1937       Prairie Thunder 
1937       Wine, Women and Horses 
1937       Varsity Show 
1937       The Footloose Heiress 
1937       Confession 
1937       Dance Charlie Dance 
1937       The Devil's Saddle Legion 
1937       San Quentin 
1937       Talent Scout 

1937       The Life of Emile Zola
1937       They Won't Forget 
1937       Marry the Girl 
1937       Empty Holsters
1937       Public Wedding 
1937       The Singing Marine 
1937       Ever Since Eve
1937       Slim 
1937       Fly Away Baby 
1937       Another Dawn 
1937       Kid Galahad 
1937       The Go Getter 
1937       Draegerman Courage
1937       The Cherokee Strip
1937       The Prince and the Pauper
1937       Melody for Two 
1937       Mountain Justice 
1937       Call It a Day
1937       That Man's Here Again  
1937       Ready, Willing and Able
1937       Her Husband's Secretary 
1937       The Great O'Malley 
1937       Green Light 
1937       Once a Doctor 
1937       Black Legion 
1937       God's Country and the Woman 
1937       Guns of the Pecos 
1937       Smart Blonde 
1936       Gold Diggers of 1937 
1936       Sing Me a Love Song 
1936       King of Hockey 
1936       Fugitive in the Sky 
1936       Three Men on a Horse 
1936       California Mail 
1936       The Captain's Kid
1936       The Case of the Black Cat 
1936       Here Comes Carter 
1936       The Charge of the Light Brigade 
1936       Cain and Mabel 
1936       Give Me Your Heart 
1936       Trailin' West 
1936       Love Begins at Twenty 
1936       The Case of the Velvet Claws 
1936       China Clipper 
1936       Jailbreak 
1936       Anthony Adverse 
1936       Bengal Tiger 
1936       The Green Pastures 
1936       Two Against the World 
1936       The Big Noise 
1936       Hearts Divided
1936       Murder by an Aristocrat 
1936       Bullets or Ballots 
1936       The Golden Arrow 
1936       Sons o' Guns 
1936       Times Square Playboy 
1936       The Singing Kid 
1936       Snowed Under 
1936       Brides Are Like That 
1936       Colleen 
1936       Boulder Dam 
1936       The Story of Louis Pasteur 
1936       Ceiling Zero
1935       Dangerous 
1935       Captain Blood 
1935       Miss Pacific Fleet
1935       Stars Over Broadway 
1935       A Midsummer Night's Dream 
1935       'G' Men 
1935       Black Fury 
1935       The Florentine Dagger
1935       A Night at the Ritz 
1935       Devil Dogs of the Air 
1935       Bordertown 
1934       The St. Louis Kid 
1934       I Sell Anything 
1934       Madame Du Barry 
1934       Housewife 
1934       The Man with Two Faces 
1934       Here Comes the Navy
1934       Dr. Monica 
1934       The Merry Frinks 
1934       La buenaventura 
1934       A Very Honorable Guy 
1934       Upperworld 
1934       Jimmy the Gent 
1934       Dark Hazard 
1934       Hi, Nellie! 
1933       Gold Diggers of 1933 
1933       The Working Man 
1933       Parachute Jumper 
1932       The Cabin in the Cotton 
1932       So Big
1932       The Man Who Played God
1930       Outward Bound
1929       Sonny Boy 
1928       Five and Ten Cent Annie 
1922       A Dangerous Adventure
1921       Cleaned and Dry 
1920       The Lost City
1919       Open Your Eyes 
1918       My Four Years in Germany

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