Follow us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter Watch us on Youtube Join the Archive Mailing List Read our Blog

Warner Bros.

Cloak and Dagger (1946)

Download a sample list of available titles and additional research resources at UCLA in PDF format.

Within several years of its founding in 1923, Warner Bros. had acquired First National Pictures. It then teamed with Western Electric to form Vitaphone, a subsidiary to develop sound-on-disc motion pictures. After a period of experimentation, the company made cinematic history with the release of the first film with sychronized songs and dialogue, The Jazz Singer.

Almost more than from any other Hollywood studio, films made at Warner Bros. have been historically associated with a distinctive style. Warner films have been described as socially conscious in theme and relatively simple in visual style (low key lighting and sparse sets). These aspects are present in the studio's best known genre, the gangster film (Public Enemy, Little Caesar, The Roaring Twenties), but is also readily evident in the studio's "New Deal" dramas (They Drive By Night, I am a Fugitive from a Chain Gang) and its musicals (Gold Diggers of 1933).

Animation was a Warner Bros. staple throughout the studio era. The studio's animation department routinely allowed its talented artists, voice actors, writers, and composers complete access to studio resources and facilities, and encouraged creative freedom as long as a certain output was guaranteed (30-40 shorts per year). For thirty years, beginning in 1930, the studio produced the Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies series which featured "stars" like Bugs Bunny, Porky Pig and Daffy Duck.

During the studio's heyday (1930s and 1940s) it employed legendary producers Darryl Zanuck, Hal B. Wallis, and Steve Trilling. Directors associated with Warner Bros. include Michael Curtiz, Mervyn LeRoy, William Wellman, John Huston, William Dieterleand Raoul Walsh. Its impressive star roster boasted the likes of Bette Davis, Errol Flynn, Olivia de Havilland, Humphrey Bogart, James Cagney, Edward G. Robinson, Paul Muni and Joan Crawford.

To arrange onsite research viewing access, please contact the Archive Research and Study Center (ARSC).

Also, be sure to check out our "Warner Archive Collection" on DVD.

<  Back to Collection Profiles