America's Corporate Art: The Studio Authorship of Hollywood Motion Pictures

By Jerome Christensen | Go to book overview
Save to active project

5 Saving Warner Bros.
Bonnie and Clyde, the Movements, and the Merger

To be white and a radical in America this summer is to see horror and feel

Andrew Kopkind

Everything is given, without provoking the desire for or even the possibility
of a rhetorical expansion…. We might (we must) speak of an intense
: linked to a detail (to a detonator), an explosion makes a little
star on the pane of the text or of the photograph.

Roland Barthes, Camera Lucida

Because Warner Bros, paid to make it and because the familiar Warners shield precedes its title card, Bonnie and Clyde is generally talked about as a Warner Bros, movie. But Bonnie and Clyde was never in fact a Warner Bros, product. As the closing credits declare, the movie was released in the summer of 1967 under the copyrights of two new and short-lived companies, Warner Bros.Seven Arts and Tatira-Hiller, after Warner Bros. Motion Picture Corporation had ceased to exist. The regime had changed at Warners on November 14, 1966, when Jack Warner, the last surviving brother, sold his 1, 573, 861 million shares in the company for twenty dollars a share to Seven Arts Production, a company that Variety described as “basically a distributor of old pictures to television stations.” The terms of the takeover, which would be completed the following July, “stipulated that [Jack] would remain an independent producer and the company would finance his pictures.” One recent beneficiary of Jack Warner’s support was Warren Beatty, who, earlier in 1966, had secured financing for the David Newman and Robert Benton script of Bonnie and Clyde, which he planned to produce. Warners was not Beatty’s first choice. He had contacted the studio only after he had been turned down at Twentieth-Century Fox and toyed with by United Artists. Beatty eventually struck a deal with Warners that guaranteed a remarkable ownership share of 40 percent of the adjusted gross to Tatira-Hiller, a production company formed by Beatty and named after his parents.1

The chief executives at Warners never wanted to make the movie. According to legend, Beatty had to crawl on his knees to Jack Warner and plead for the S10 million dollars he needed. According to Beatty, “Warners didn’t understand the movie at all. They wanted us to shoot it on the back lot. There’s a


Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Cite this page

Cited page

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
America's Corporate Art: The Studio Authorship of Hollywood Motion Pictures


Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen
/ 390

matching results for page

Cited passage

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?