Skip to main content
Got a tip?
Image of Chris Yogerst

Chris Yogerst

Chris Yogerst is a film historian and professor. His books include 'The Warner Brothers,' which follows the siblings from their family's humble origins to the height of fortune in Hollywood, as well as 'Hollywood Hates Hitler!'.

More from Chris Yogerst

Hollywood Has Been Here Before With Antisemitism

Hollywood, with its lengthy list of Jewish founders, flourished during an era of rampant antisemitism. In recent years, the Anti-Defamation League has said anti-Jewish sentiment has hit levels unseen since after the Great Depression, a time when Jewish studio moguls had difficulty securing bank loans as many lenders would not work with Jews. Now, in […]

The Long Shadow of Antitrust Targets From Hollywood’s Golden Age

When the Writers Guild of America released its Aug. 17 report on “The New Gatekeepers” — naming Disney, Netflix and Amazon — it took aim at anti-competitive practices, consolidation in Hollywood and called for additional oversight for streaming platforms that are allegedly stifling creativity. All of this has roots in the negated Paramount Decrees from […]

How the Warner Brothers Got Their Film Business Started

The Warner brothers — Harry, Sam, Albert and Jack — were different from Hollywood’s other movie moguls in the industry’s early years. They were shrewd, brash, outspoken and passionate in ways that deviated from the industry norm. The most publicly consistent brother was Harry, a stoic businessman and proud immigrant. Sam was the technical visionary […]

What Studio Franchises Can Learn From the Rise, Fall and Rise of the Western

The Western is back, again. After it died. Prior to which it came back again. As film historian and co-host of the How the West was Cast podcast, Andrew Patrick Nelson argues, journalists and historians love to write about the Western being dead just as much as they enjoy writing about its resurgence. However, this […]

How ‘Babylon’ Chases Hollywood’s Decadent Past

When Blanche Sweet sang “there’s a tear for every smile in Hollywood” in Show Girl in Hollywood (1930), she wasn’t wrong. Movie people have long been warning starry eyed wannabes to tread carefully if they were coming to Tinseltown full of hopes and dreams. In The Truth About the Movies by the Stars (1924), screenwriter […]

Orson Welles‘ ’War of the Worlds’ Broadcast: Its Ominous Echoes for a Fractured Media

Every year there are new essays about unveiling the truth behind Orson Welles’s 1938 War of the Worlds broadcast that aired on CBS radio on October 30th, 1938. We know the truth – the stories about mass hysteria were overblown. For anyone looking for a straightforward history of what happened, look no farther than A. […]

When Hollywood Was Punished for Its Anti-Nazism

“We’d rather march to hear Willkie on national unity than be marched into a concentration camp,” Harry Warner firmly stated in the summer of 1941. The mogul was responding to criticism for his encouraging studio employees to attend a rally at the Hollywood Bowl featuring 1940 Republican presidential candidate Wendell Willkie, a strong advocate for […]

100 Years Ago: How Hollywood’s Early Self-Censorship Battles Shaped the MPA

Long before Netflix’s Blonde landed a controversial NC-17 rating, the Motion Picture Association gave films like Baby Doll (1956) and Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1966) “adults only” designations as a way to placate concerned parents and reformers. Now, when news surfaces of Hollywood allegedly kowtowing to everything from domestic social crusaders to foreign governments, […]

‘The Hunt’ May Be a Victim of America’s Misdirected Outrage (Guest Column)

The response to the R-rated satire — including threats leveled at the filmmakers — mirrors claims hurled at prior controversial movies, writes the author of an upcoming book on the 1941 U.S. Senate Investigation into Motion Picture Propaganda.