Palgrave Studies in Screen Industries and Performance

When Warners Brought Broadway to Hollywood, 1923-1939

Authors: Shingler, Martin

  • Analyses films based on Broadway stage plays with a focus on actors and acting
  • Offers a revised account of Warner Bros’ early history and cultivation of screen stars 
  • Combines the fields of performance analysis, economic history, film and theatre history
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eBook $89.00
price for USA (gross)
  • ISBN 978-1-137-40658-3
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF, EPUB
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $119.99
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-1-137-40657-6
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
About this book

This book offers a different take on the early history of Warner Bros., the studio renowned for introducing talking pictures and developing the gangster film and backstage musical comedy. The focus here is on the studio’s sustained commitment to produce films based on stage plays. This led to the creation of a stock company of talented actors, to the introduction of sound cinema, to the recruitment of leading Broadway stars such as John Barrymore and George Arliss and to films as diverse as The Gold Diggers (1923), The Marriage Circle (1924), Beau Brummel (1924), Disraeli (1929), Lilly Turner (1933), The Petrified Forest (1936) and The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex (1939). Even the most crippling effects of the Depression in 1933 did not prevent Warners’ production of films based on stage plays, many being transformed into star vehicles for the likes of Ruth Chatterton, Leslie Howard and Bette Davis.

About the authors

Martin Shingler, Senior Lecturer in Film & Radio at the University of Sunderland, UK. Author of Star Studies: A Critical Guide (2012) and numerous essays on Bette Davis.

Reviews

“An interesting take on Hollywood studio-era history that challenges the narrow focus of existing scholarship and revises familiar perceptions of Warner Bros. The focus on acting and performance usefully opens up the relationship between theatre and cinema, and the impact of Broadway on film acting and studio working practices in the crucial period of the transition to synchronised sound. Highly recommended as a valuable contribution to the area of acting and performance studies.”(Pam Cook, Professor Emerita in Film, University of Southampton, UK.  Editor of The Cinema Book Third Edition (BFI, 2007) and author of Nicole Kidman, BFI/Palgrave, 2012) “This book is a fascinating account of the creative symbiosis between stage and screen at a crucial juncture in Hollywood’s history. Shingler’s fully historicized and contextualized account revises what Warner Bros stood for and achieved with its prestige pictures and stars. By interweaving the histories of early sound technologies, Broadway’s acting traditions and the economic imperatives of studio filmmaking, this book highlights key performers and studio personnel long neglected in standard histories of Hollywood. With its refreshing focus on acting craft and method before ‘the Method’, the book produces a vital, new perspective on how films were made, played and received in 1923-39.” (Sarah Street, Professor of Film and Foundation Chair of Drama, University of Bristol, UK)

“Martin Shingler’s clearly argued and informative book offers a compelling new perspective on early Warner Bros. history. Moving past the studio’s reputation as the home of Rin Tin Tin and gritty gangster dramas, the book highlights Warners’ pursuit of Broadway talent, stories and audiences in the 1920s and 1930s. Exploring acting styles, the coming of sound, and key films and filmmakers, When Warners Brought Broadway to Hollywood is a lively, perceptive and important addition to the scholarly literature on the Hollywood studio era.” (Mark Glancy, Reader in Film History at Queen Mary, University of London, UK. Author of When Hollywood Loved Britain, 1999)

Table of contents (9 chapters)

  • A Warner Bros. Story Retold

    Shingler, Martin

    Pages 1-17

  • Broadway on Film: The Gold Diggers (Beaumont 1923)

    Shingler, Martin

    Pages 19-50

  • Lubitsch’s The Marriage Circle (1924)

    Shingler, Martin

    Pages 51-77

  • The Best of Broadway at Warner Bros., 1924–1929

    Shingler, Martin

    Pages 79-104

  • The George Arliss Star Company at Warners, 1929–1933

    Shingler, Martin

    Pages 105-134

Buy this book

eBook $89.00
price for USA (gross)
  • ISBN 978-1-137-40658-3
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF, EPUB
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $119.99
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-1-137-40657-6
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
When Warners Brought Broadway to Hollywood, 1923-1939
Authors
Series Title
Palgrave Studies in Screen Industries and Performance
Copyright
2018
Publisher
Palgrave Macmillan UK
Copyright Holder
The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s)
eBook ISBN
978-1-137-40658-3
DOI
10.1057/978-1-137-40658-3
Hardcover ISBN
978-1-137-40657-6
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
X, 237
Number of Illustrations and Tables
21 illustrations in colour
Topics