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Scott Kirsner

You know, this quote is often taken out of context, to make it seem like Harry Warner didn't believe at all in talking pictures...

In reality, while he was skeptical at first about sound, once he was persuaded to see a demo, he felt that the real benefit of adding sound to movies would be so that people could experience recorded musical performances -- singers, jazz bands, and symphonies -- not talking actors.

Warner Bros. was, of course, the first studio to make movies with a musical score ('Don Juan') and later, to make movies that had talking actors, too (`The Jazz Singer').

As a result, Warner Bros., which had the "first-mover advantage" with sound, saw its profits grow from $2 million in 1928 to $17 million in 1929.

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