SMOKY (1946), I wrote "There really needs to be a 20th Century-Fox program akin to the Warner Archive. There are so many good Fox movies that need to be more available."
So imagine my delighted response when just this morning I read the news of the launching of the Fox Cinema Archives in a column by Lou Lumenick of the New York Post!
The discs will be sold via Amazon. Among the first titles available:
RINGS ON HER FINGERS (1942) with Henry Fonda and Gene Tierney, which I reviewed in 2008
DIPLOMATIC COURIER (1952) starring Tyrone Power, reviewed by me here
SWEET ROSIE O'GRADY (1943) with Betty Grable and Robert Young
Other titles mentioned by Lou include HUDSON'S BAY (1941) with Gene Tierney, THE MAN I MARRIED (1940) with Joan Bennett, and FRONTIER MARSHAL (1939) with Randolph Scott, which I reviewed back in 2006.
Additional titles are listed in Lou's column. It's anticipated that there will be a library of 150 Fox titles available for purchase by the end of 2012.
Needless to say, this is very exciting news! I've reviewed many hard-to-find Fox films over the years, thanks in part to having access to Fox Movie Channel, and now perhaps favorites such as Jeanne Crain's HOME IN INDIANA (1944), MARGIE (1946), and APARTMENT FOR PEGGY (1948) will soon be easily available to anyone who'd like to view them.
There are countless films I'd love to own starring Fox favorites including Crain, Grable, Tierney, Linda Darnell, Loretta Young, Dana Andrews, John Payne, June Haver, Maureen O'Hara, and more.
The number one title I'd love to buy in a good print: the Jerome Kern musical CENTENNIAL SUMMER (1946), starring Jeanne Crain and Linda Darnell.
Back in 2008 I was told by Dr. Drew Casper of USC that he had worked on extras for a second volume of Betty Grable films, which was never released as the DVD market completely shifted within months of our conversation. (Warner Archive debuted early in 2009.) I wonder if there is a chance we'll see extras, originally prepared for never-released DVD sets, show up on some Fox Cinema Archives releases? It would be wonderful if that were the case. It was very exciting when the recent Warner Archive release of WESTWARD THE WOMEN (1951) included a commentary track originally recorded for a never-released regular retail DVD version.
There are discussion threads on the new Fox MOD program at Home Theater Forum and 50 Westerns From the 50s.
I'll be closely watching future developments and sharing information on Fox's new DVD program here. Let's hope it's just a matter of time before Universal follows suit with early Universal and Paramount titles!