Rowman & Littlefield Publishers
Trim: 6 x 9
978-1-4422-6245-4 • Hardback • September 2016 • $50.00 • (£38.00)
978-1-4422-6246-1 • eBook • September 2016 • $44.50 • (£34.00)
Chris Yogerst is assistant professor of communication at the University of Wisconsin Colleges where he teaches courses in film, media, and popular culture. His work has been published in Senses of Cinema, Journal of Film and Video, Journal of Religion and Film, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, and Atlantic Monthly.
In its early years, which were also the early years of Hollywood, Warner Brothers was a film studio known for both gritty movies, often about crime and punishment (Little Caesar and The Public Enemy), and for award-winning, glossier films (The Life of Emile Zola and The Story of Louis Pasteur). What set the studio apart from its competitors? In this perceptive study, Yogerst suggests it was the approach: Warner Brothers told stories that managed to speak directly to their audience. The author backs up his thesis by looking at numerous movies, showing how the films’ themes and even sometimes their scripts drew on issues being talked about in the media and in public discourse. It was a shrewd business model that paid off big-time, and the book is a shrewd look not just at one of the original Golden Age movie studios but also at the film industry’s birth and early years.