Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Fox Cinema Archives

In the comments section for last night's review of the 20th Century-Fox film 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!


Blogger Cliff Aliperti said...

The future keeps getting better for us folks who love the past! Thanks for the report!

12:01 AM  
Blogger J.C. Loophole said...

That is very welcome news! Exciting! Hopefully that amount will include more westerns as well!
Hope you are well Laura and had a nice Memorial Day. All the Loopholes are doing well.

6:57 AM  
Blogger DKoren said...

Neat! I agree, there are many Fox movie I'd love to own. I will look forward to seeing what gets released!

9:11 AM  
Blogger Caftan Woman said...

I'll feel like a kid again with the chance to see those movies.

10:19 AM  
Blogger James Corry said...

I would also certainly hope that a Fox-MOD program will get into the "RegalScope" pictures from the mid-to-late-50's only a couple of which have ever been seen in their widescreen formats since their initial theatrical releases (1957's sci-fi extravaganza "Kronos" being the most notable)....there were a TON of them made and they're ALWAYS shown pan-and-scan...."Copper Sky" being one Laura.....


10:35 AM  
Blogger DorianTB said...

Laura, thanks for the heads-up about the movies coming out from Fox Cinema Archives! What a roster of fun classic movies! Just seeing Paul Muni and Laird Cregar doing what Team B calls their "Asterix and Obelix" thing will be worth the price of admission! :-)

12:37 PM  
Blogger Ivan G. Shreve, Jr. said...

Didn't they already release Frontier Marshal on non MOD DVD? I thought it was available as a double feature disc with My Darling Clementine...

2:18 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

Glad I could share the good news, everyone! (And J.C., great to "see" you and get the good report!)

Ivan, I did a little research on FRONTIER MARSHAL and it did come out as an extra on a release of MY DARLING CLEMENTINE which was culled from the big Ford at Fox set, although curiously it was not included in the Ford at Fox set itself. (It was also not part of the original Fox Studio Classics release of CLEMENTINE.) According to what I've been reading, some of the titles in this program will be films that were originally in sets but were never released as individual titles, so that people who just want the one title can now purchase it.

Best wishes,

3:02 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

Brad, I especially meant to mention and hit "send" too soon -- thanks for sharing the thoughts on RegalScope. I'm sure you won't be surprised that if COPPER SKY is put out in this program I would buy it immediately! I watched it a couple times on Netflix this year but would sure love to see it as it was meant to be seen. Love that movie!

Best wishes,

3:12 PM  
Blogger James Corry said...

Laura, (off-topic) PLEASE keep us informed as to when the next "Criterion Sale" will be up at Barnes & Noble....it should be about that time shouldn't it?


6:39 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

Brad, funny thing, I just looked up on my blog last weekend to see when the B&N Criterion sale was last summer. (Answer: July!) I have a couple titles on my wish list. :) I'll be sure to post here if/when I hear about this summer's sale!

Best wishes,

6:46 PM  
Blogger Ivan G. Shreve, Jr. said...

Well, it's nice to know my memory hasn't left the building completely. After posting that original comment, I went and checked...and I do have that DVD. (Haven't opened it yet, but this shouldn't come as a huge surprise.)

7:58 PM  
Blogger pvitari said...

I'd be more excited if I knew that the Fox Cinema Archive were doing more than just tossing old video masters onto DVD-Rs. Worst of all, they are releasing Cinemascope titles in PAN AND SCAN. (!!!)

9:12 AM  

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