Tales of the Warner Brothers Written by Stephen Schochet
The four Warner Brothers, which included womanizing Jack, conservative Harry, quiet Albert and visionary Sam, had risen from obscurity with The Jazz Singer (1927) first famous and financially successful talking movie ever made. Tragically, Sam Warner, real brains behind whole project, died of a brain tumor two days before The Jazz Singer's debut. Jack was thrilled by film's success, but crushed by his brother's death. He became difficult to deal with for rest of his life. His older and more conservative brother Harry and he fought constantly over money and Jack's womanizing ways. One time Harry chased Jack through studio with a two by four threatening to kill him. The feud became so bitter that Jack opted to play tennis rather than attend Harry's funeral in 1958. One time Jack met Albert Einstein," Mr. Einstein, I have my own theory of relativity. Don't hire them."
Warner was fascinated by Einstein especially physicists detailed descriptions of stars. After he left Jack told a staff member," Sign this Betelgeuse guy to a contract. Einstein think he has potential."
Despite or maybe because of his aborted singing career, Jack Warner seemed to resent similar ambitions in others. One day her was strolling through studio lot when he heard a young man singing with a beautiful voice. It was coming from security guard shack. Curious, mogul walked up to question his startled employee.
"Young man, was that you singing?" "W-why yes Mr. Warner." "Young man you have a beautiful voice." "Oh thank you Mr. Warner." "MM. Tell me, young man, what would you rather be? A security guard or a singer?" "Oh Mr. Warner, I dreamed of being a singer." "Ok young man. You're fired!"
Jack Warner treated all of his employees with derision, but none worse than writers. Many of them although better paid at studio than they ever were writing novels, resented nine to five routine they were forced to adhere to at Warner's factory. Where actors were free to leave studio at lunch writers had to be "chained" to their typewriter. One time Warner called a writer into studio screening room for his suggestions on how to fix a weak script." I'm sorry Mr. Warner. I have no ideas after five."
Sammy Davis Junior Found ReligionWritten by Stephen Schochet
In 1954, Sammy Davis Jr. converted to Judaism, which led to him being subject of several anecdotes. One time he boarded a bus in deep, segregated south. "Git to back of bus", said rude driver."But I'm Jewish", protested entertainer. "Then get off."
Another time Sammy was filming Porgy And Bess(1959) when he announced he would not work on Yom Kippur. Word got back from set to Porgy's frugal producer Sam Goldwyn, he immediately called his idle performer who was costing him $30,000. "Sammy, is it true? You refuse to work on holiday? "Yes it's true Sam." There was a tense pause then Goldwyn said," Bless You."
Then there was night of 1971 Oscars when Sammy hosted show and remarked," Tonight, academy honors both my peoples with Fiddler On The Roof and Shaft."