Max Debuts ‘100 Years of Warner Bros.’ Documentary Specials Fresh Off Cannes Premiere
On Tuesday, May 23, Warner Bros. Discovery officially launched Max, its enhanced streaming service. Max replaces HBO Max and offers more than twice the programming than the former service, bringing together new originals; library content, and franchises, from across HBO, Discovery nets, HGTV, Magnolia, Cartoon Network and other channels; Warner Bros. theatrical films; and other content.
Classic movie fans should enjoy some of what Max has to offer, especially in its area where you can watch films curated by TCM.
One high profile program that movie- and TV-lovers of all types, classic and otherwise, will enjoy is 100 Years of Warner Bros., a series of four Max Original documentary specials directed by Academy Award- and Emmy–nominated filmmaker Leslie Iwerks (The Imagineering Story, Recycled Life).
The first two specials will begin streaming on Max Thursday, May 25, while the third and fourth ones launch Thursday, June 1.
Exploring the impact of Warner Bros. on art, commerce and culture, 100 Years of Warner Bros. tells the unprecedented story of the fabled entertainment studio on its 100th anniversary.
Featuring insights and first-person stories from directors, actors, executives, journalists and historians, the four specials trace Warner Bros.’ underdog origins — from its founding on April 4, 1923, by four brothers from an immigrant family, through decades of creative risks and impactful storytelling, to the historic mergers of the 2000s that transformed the company into a global entertainment powerhouse.
The first two 100 Years of Warner Bros. specials premiered May 24 at the 2023 Cannes Film Festival as an Official Cannes Classics Selection.
After those screenings, director Iwerks received a standing ovation and offered some thoughts on her work.
Documentary filmmaker Leslie Iwerks received a standing ovation following screening of two episodes of ‘100 Years of Warner Bros’ at the Cannes Film Festival. Iwerks observed that “this was a studio that was founded by a great visionary, bold family” #Cannes pic.twitter.com/MeaCZs1fiJ
— Deadline Hollywood (@DEADLINE) May 24, 2023
With narration by Morgan Freeman (who is also featured as an interviewee) and clips from iconic films and hit TV series, 100 Years of Warner Bros. offers a fascinating behind-the-scenes look into the indelible stories that have spoken to audiences around the world for generations.
The four documentary specials feature over 60 interviews with legendary filmmakers, actors and executives, including: Kim Basinger, Candice Bergen, Linda Blair, LeVar Burton, Tim Burton, Lynda Carter, George Clooney, Kevin Costner, Robert De Niro, Ernest Dickerson, Clint Eastwood, William Friedkin, Andy Garcia, Ron Howard, Ke Huy Quan, Harvey Keitel, Linda Lavin, Leonard Maltin, Edward James Olmos, Daniel Radcliffe, Keanu Reeves, Martin Scorsese, Oprah Winfrey and many more.
Learn more about the featured titles at WB100.com. General info about each of the four specials begins below the photo.
100 Years of Warner Bros. Specials
100 Years of Warner Bros.: “The Stuff That Dreams Are Made Of” (Begins Streaming on Max Thursday, May 25)
Four brothers set out to build a movie studio from the ground up–while making a giant leap from silent films to “talkies.” As the Warners stand up to Nazism during World War II, personal ambitions lead to family betrayal.
According to key art for this special, it looks like some of the movies featured in it will be Warner Bros. classics from Hollywood’s golden age, including The Public Enemy (1931), The Maltese Falcon (1941), Casablanca (1942) and Rebel Without a Cause (1955), among others.
100 Years of Warner Bros.: “Clint, Kubrick and Kryptonite” (Begins Streaming on Max Thursday, May 25)
After a historic sale, Warner Bros. navigates the upheavals of the ‘60s and ‘70s. Under a new strategist CEO, the company enters an era of unmatched storytelling with groundbreaking projects.
Key art shows that this special will look at Warner Bros. big-screen films from the “New Hollywood” late ’60s into the dawn of the blockbuster age in the early ’80s, including Deliverance (1971), Dirty Harry (1971), Blazing Saddles (1974), All the President’s Men (1976), Superman (1978), The Shining (1980) and Risky Business (1983), as well as a look at the studio’s increasing expansion into television with popular titles like the Lynda Carter-led Wonder Woman (1975-79).
100 Years of Warner Bros.: “Heroes, Villains and Friends” (Begins Streaming on Max Thursday, June 1)
In the ‘80s, a new generation helps crown Warner Bros. as a forerunner in Hollywood’s blockbuster age. After a historic merger, the company becomes one of the biggest entertainment giants in the world.
Based on the special’s key art, it looks like you can expect to see clips from ’80s and early ’90s Warner Bros. films and TV shows like Pee-wee’s Big Adventure (1985), Batman (1989), Goodfellas (1990), Gremlins 2: The New Batch (1990), ER (1994-2009), Friends (1994-2004), Selena (1997) and The Matrix (1999), among others.
100 Years of Warner Bros.: “Wizarding World and the Big Bang” (Begins Streaming on Max Thursday, June 1)
As the millennium brings a new era of business partnerships bookended by mergers, Warner Bros. continues to champion authentic voices while harnessing the latest technologies of the digital age.
Key art for this final special shows it will look at Warner Bros. movies and shows from roughly the past 20 years, including the Harry Potter film franchise (eight movies between 2001 and 2011), the Gal Gadot-led Wonder Woman films (2017 and 2020), Joker (2019), Elvis (2022), and the TV sitcoms The Big Bang Theory (2007-19) and Abbott Elementary (2021-present).