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A 20th Century Fox Retrospective Scrapbook: 1951

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This was a pretty low key year for Fox at the Oscars (their only Best Picture nominee was only nominated in one other category), but still there is plenty of variety here and quite a few good films.

Richard Widmark began the year with the esteemed war film Halls of Montezuma.

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Call Me Mister was the last screen pairing of Betty Grable and Dan Dailey.

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Of Men and Music was a musical documentary, not the Hollywood made musical that might be expected....

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I'd Climb the Highest Mountain was a warm, moving tale of a minister and his wife and their three years of selfless devotion to a small rural town in Georgia.

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In The 13th Letter, bizarre poison pen letters were unleashed over a sleepy Canadian town. Michael Rennie, Charles Boyer, and Linda Darnell starred.

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The Navy received laughs when Gary Cooper and Jane Greer starred in You're in the Navy Now.

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Lucky Nick Cain found George Raft in his favorite territory: noir.

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The Count of Monte Cristo was in for many revisions in this particular B film.....

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14 Hours was a race against time to keep a men from leaping to his demise from a precarious ledge. Richard basehart was the man, Paul Douglas and Barbara Bel Geddes were out to stop him.

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Bird of Paradise was a less-saucy remake of the early 30s Joel McCrea-Dolores Del Rio film, this time with Louis Jourdan and Debra Paget.

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Tyrone Power made a return to westerns in Rawhide, alongside Susan Hayward.

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Hayward was back again making her way through the garment jungle in I Can Get It For You Wholesale.

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It was Danny Kaye times two in the comedy On the Riviera.

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Follow the Sun was a sweet, moving film with Glenn Ford as a golfer who made a comeback after tragedy, while Anne Baxter was his loving wife. The film was a good-hearted gem.

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Love blossomed between Loretta Young and Joseph Cotten due to sleepwalking in the comedy Half Angel.

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Noir invaded San Francisco in The house on Telegraph Hill.

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WWII warfare went under water in The Frogman, which popularized scuba diving in the process.

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Jeanne Crain went off to college in Take Care of My Little Girl.

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Clifton Webb made his final turn as Mr Belvedere while he investigated a retirement home.....

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Monty Wooley was in good form in As Young As You Feel, playing a man determined to show he could still work in spite of his age. Thelma Ritter was fine as his wife in this amiable comedy.

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Glenn Ford was out to stop escaped convicts in the old west.....

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Illicit passions were unleashed in the tale of the notorious affair between David and Bathsheba, which came to no good end.... (foreign poster here)

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Betty Grable returned with Macdonald Carey in Meet Me After the Show.

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The Guy Who Came Back took on football in lieu of the war....

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People Will Talk found Cary Grant contending with patient Jeanne Crain and a lawsuit on the other hand in People Will Talk.

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A Millionaire for Christy was a wispy comedy with Eleanor Parker looking for a wealthy husband....

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James Stewart was out to stop a disaster in the air in No Highway in the Sky.

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Journey into Light found Sterling Hayden as a fallen minister who has to go down deep before rebounding.

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The Day the Earth Stood Still was one of the best sci-fi films ever made and a great credit to stars Michael Rennie and Patricia Neal and director Robert Wise.

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June Haver and William Lundigan's marriage was put to the test in the witty comedy Love Nest by a Mr Blandings style apartment building they bacght and his former WAC (!) buddy Marilyn Monroe.

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James Mason played German General Rommels in The Desert Fox. Jessica Tandy played his wife.

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Jean Peters tried her hand at swashbuckling in Anne of the Indies.

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The real lead in The Model and the Marriage Broker was Thelma Ritter, and she was in excellent form. The film was truly wonderful and one of the best of 1951.

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Golden Girl found Mitzi Gaynor as a singing star in trouble after she fell for a Confedate in the Civil War era.

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Let's Make It Legal was a good comedy vehicle for Claudette Colbert and MacDonald Carey as a pair of exes who might not be separated very long.....

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Sam Fuller returned to the topic of the Korean War in Fixed Bayonets.

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Elopement found Clifton Webb as a befuddled father after his daughter Anne Francis committed the title action.

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The Girl on the Bridge had Hugo Haas preventing a suicide and then getting driven into a different can of worms.

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I'll Never Forget You was a slice of time travel romance.

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Decision Before Dawn was a War film, and the studio's Best Picture nominee of 1951. it also closed the year.

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I'd say my top favorites from Fox in 1951 are:

1. I'D CLIMB THE HIGHEST MOUNTAIN
2. RAWHIDE 
3. THE FROGMEN
4. THE HOUSE ON TELEGRAPH HILL
5. THE SECRET OF CONVICT LAKE
6. THE 13TH LETTER
7. THE DESERT FOX
8. THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL
9. DECISION BEFORE DAWN
10. LET'S MAKE IT LEGAL

The Betty Grable films from '51 are rather formulaic and not too inspired...feels like they were starting to scrape the bottom of the barrel with her. 

Susan Hayward did quite well...it was a strong year for her at the studio.

THE 13TH LETTER was a remake of a French picture. Clever how they transferred the setting to Canada so they could include French culture and English in it. It's a very well made film that deserves to be more widely known. Otto Preminger at the top of his game; a strong central performance from Charles Boyer.

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The 13th Letter is a remake of the excellent French film Le Corbeau (1943).

You're in the Navy Now marked the film debuts of Lee Marvin, Jack Warden, Harvey Lembeck, and Charles Bronson, while 14 Hours saw the debuts of Grace Kelly, Jeffrey Hunter, and John Cassavetes.

My choice for Fox films of the year:

  1. The Day the Earth Stood Still
  2. Decision Before Dawn
  3. The Desert Fox
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On 5/6/2019 at 7:48 PM, TopBilled said:

I'd say my top favorites from Fox in 1951 are:

1. I'D CLIMB THE HIGHEST MOUNTAIN
2. RAWHIDE 
3. THE FROGMEN
4. THE HOUSE ON TELEGRAPH HILL
5. THE SECRET OF CONVICT LAKE
6. THE 13TH LETTER
7. THE DESERT FOX
8. THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL
9. DECISION BEFORE DAWN
10. LET'S MAKE IT LEGAL

The Betty Grable films from '51 are rather formulaic and not too inspired...feels like they were starting to scrape the bottom of the barrel with her. 

Susan Hayward did quite well...it was a strong year for her at the studio.

THE 13TH LETTER was a remake of a French picture. Clever how they transferred the setting to Canada so they could include French culture and English in it. It's a very well made film that deserves to be more widely known. Otto Preminger at the top of his game; a strong central performance from Charles Boyer.

I actually enjoyed the 2 Betty Grable musicals.  Let's Make It Legal was a yawn.  Best one in '51 was Decision Before Dawn receiving a Best Pic Oscar nod.  Widmark scored in The Frogmen.  The Day the Earth Stood Still is a sci-fi classic.

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1 hour ago, filmnoirguy said:

I actually enjoyed the 2 Betty Grable musicals.  Let's Make It Legal was a yawn.  Best one in '51 was Decision Before Dawn receiving a Best Pic Oscar nod.  Widmark scored in The Frogmen.  The Day the Earth Stood Still is a sci-fi classic.

The Grable musicals were definitely formulaic at this point. They were still making money, still pleasing the crowds. But not as original as the stuff she had made five to ten years earlier. I think THE FROGMEN is very underrated. It should have more people talking about it. I love the cast and the underwater scenes. The story's well written and it maintained my interest throughout. It's one I can re-watch and still find just as enjoyable as I did when I first saw it.

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