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Fox Studio Classics

Fox Studio Classics

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Feature by: Matt Bailey

Posted on: 17 July 2004

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Twentieth Century Fox has been around, in one form or another, for about 90 years. Fox Film Corporation began in 1913 as two separate distribution and production companies founded by William Fox that were combined in 1915. The studio, as we know it, came into being in 1935 when the Fox Film Corporation merged with Twentieth Century Pictures, an independent production company founded by Daryl F. Zanuck in 1933 after he left Warner Bros. Zanuck took over production of the studio that had once been the top studio in the country but had slid into near-bankruptcy due to a combination of the stock market crash of 1929, a costly anti-trust suit, and extravagantly produced flops. He initiated an ambitious production schedule that relied on using established stars and directors such as Shirley Temple and John Ford in big-budget films and on making cheaper pictures that blatantly pandered to popular tastes.

Over the years, Twentieth Century Fox has amassed a vast catalog of films, many of them beloved or award-winning classics. In an effort to bring these classics to DVD, Fox has created the Fox Studio Classics series. Each of these DVDs is an award-winning film from the Classic Hollywood era of filmmaking. The discs all feature restored versions of the films in new digital maters and are packed with special features from commentaries by scholars, critics, and stars of the films to newsreels and featurettes on the making of the films. A few titles are new versions of titles already available on DVD; most are making their DVD premiere in the collection.

The first trio of Fox Studio Classics, released in January 2003, included three winners of the Academy Award for Best Picture: How Green Was My Valley, Gentleman’s Agreement, and All About Eve. February offered Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr in An Affair to Remember, and March brought the sci-fi thriller The Day the Earth Stood Still.

Other titles in the series include The Ghost and Mrs. Muir, Love is a Many Splendored Thing, The Song of Bernadette, Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy in Desk Set, Ingrid Bergman and Yul Brynner in Anastasia, The Inn of the Sixth Happiness, the 1953 version of Titanic with Barbara Stanwyck, 1940’s The Mark of Zorro with Tyrone Power and Linda Darnell, The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, Zorba the Greek, Alexander’s Ragtime Band, Peyton Place and Return to Peyton Place, and The Ox-Bow Incident.

Other titles may be added to the collection as restoration work is completed. Titles expected to be released in the line include Anna and the King of Siam, The Best of Everything, The Razor’s Edge, Raoul Walsh’s epic Western The Big Trail starring a very young John Wayne, Cavalcade (the 1934 Best Picture winner with a script by Noel Coward), and Elia Kazan’s Viva Zapata!

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