The first half century of Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation is chronicled from its beginnings under Hungarian immigrant William Fox to it emergence as a major studio when it merged with the new Twentieth Century Pictures led by the dynamic producer Darryl F. Zanuck. Clips from some of the studio's first films like the 1917 "Cleopatra" to the disastrous 1963 "Cleopatra" with Elizabeth Taylor. Written by
THe fifty years covered in the documentary's title are 1915 through 1965. See more »
I can remember being on tour with Darryl when the dreaded "Wilson" was playing. It was chloroform. It was endless. I saw it I think fourteen times. It was just...
[rolls his eyes in boredom]
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Before I talk about the content of this film, I want to point out that it is NOT 150 minutes as is indicated on IMDb, but 129 minutes. Just in case you want to know.
This is a retrospective of the 20th Century-Fox Studio from its inception to 1997--a period MUCH greater than 50 years. However, the emphasis clearly is mostly on the first 40-50 years. It's narrated by James Coburn and is pretty typical of such a film--having LOTS of clips of films, photos and interviews. On the plus side, the clips were in good condition and consisted of many rare clips. On the negative, and it's a small one, there could have been more interviews--but, of course, perhaps many of the folks who could have been in the film simply chose not to participate--though I would loved to have seen and heard from Shirley Temple today (among others). Still, it was nice to see the likes of Alice Faye, Debbie Reynolds and Roddy McDowell. I also would LOVED it if the film was a mini-series or at least much longer (and considering the material, it easily could have been).
The film is the type that will make cinephiles drool and is nearly as perfectly done as "When the Lion Roars"--the great film about the history of MGM. However, I also realize that the average person couldn't care less about much of the material--silent films, the advent of sound and Hollywood's Golden Age. A treat for me, that's for sure.
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