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A 20th Century Fox Retrospective Scrapbook: 1955

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1955 began with Richard Burton doing a fine job playing Edwin Booth in the intriguing Prince of Players. John Derek played his notorious brother, John Wilkes Booth.

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In The Racers, Kirk Douglas played a race car driver in love with Bella Darvi.

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White Feather found Robert Wagner as a Western hero.

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Tyrone Power and Susan Hayward went to Africa in Untamed. Bad poster though....

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A Man Called Peter was a warm and tender story about a beloved minister and his wife. A truly affecting film.

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Violent Saturday was a bank robbery in a small town. Following this film, co-star Sylvia sidney would go on an 18-year hiatus from films before successfully restarting her career.

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Fred Astaire and Leslie Caron were in love with each other and with dance in Daddy Long Legs.

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Olivia De Havilliand was a swashbuckler in That Lady, also the film debut for Paul Scofield. Maybe Olivia picked up some  tips and skills from Errol Flynn....

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Green Magic was a documentary from Italy.

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Joan Collins hit a desert island in The Adventures of Sadie.

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Anthony Quinn fought the bulls and romanced Maureen O'Hara in The Magnificent Matador.

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Clark Gable was trying to find Susan Hayward's missing husband in Soldier of Fortune, but she ended up faling for Gable in this good adventure tale.

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Angela was a film noir co-production between the US and Italy.

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The Seven Year Itch has become a film more familiar for one brief moment moreso then the will-he-or-won't-he-be-involved-with-her plot.

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House of Bamboo transferred the noir The Street With No Name to Japan....

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Ricardo Montalban was wrongfully accused of being a serial killer in A Life in the Balance.

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Bette Davis made her second appearance as Queen Elizabeth I in The Virgin Queen, and was definitely the best element of the film, which even featured her in a scene with a bald head!

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How to be Very Very Popular was the last hurrah for Betty Grable. She retuired afterwards.

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Love is a Many-Splendored Thing (foreign poster) was a lush romance and was Fox's biggest hit of the year. It's also a very effective tearjerker.

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The Left Hand of God had Humphrey Bogart playing a man posing as a priest in China in a very unusual and effective drama.

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Michael Rennie was a priest who later became a saint in the historical drama Seven Cities of Gold.

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The Tall Men found Clark Gable in the west with Jane Russell as the object of his affections.

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The Girl in the Red Velvet Swing was a version of a historical scandal at the turmn of the century, with Joan Collins as the impetus of it all.

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Oklahoma has been managed by Fox for many years, but it was actually handled by RKO in most of its original engagements, save for the rare 70 MM screenings by Manga. Still, Fox has owned this musical in the decades since and it has become engrained in their history.

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The Deep Blue Sea found Vivian Leigh tossing her life aside to be with a lover....

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The View from Pompey's Head involved a lawyer having a decidedly less then ideal homecoming....

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Another Jennifer Jones film of 1955 was Good Morning, Miss Dove and the drama of an influential teacher was one of her best films.

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The Rains of Rancipur capped the year. it was a semi-accurate remake of The Rains Came (although lana Turner's fate was different from Myrna Loy's in the original). A remake right about on par with the original.

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This is an interesting batch of pictures, with a variety of stars and acting styles.

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1. THE TALL MEN. Gable ended his long association with MGM the previous year. Pairing him with Jane Russell is a smart move, and Robert Ryan in a supporting role ensures quality acting. Definitely one of Gable's better films from this period, it's like he was finally able to get away from some of the pablum that held him back at MGM. 

2. THE LEFT HAND OF GOD. Just like Gable, I think Bogart made better pictures when he became a freelancer. This is a good film.The supporting cast is phenomenal.

3. THE VIRGIN QUEEN. Bette Davis excels, but so do Richard Todd and Joan Collins. 

4. A MAN CALLED PETER. Another important film for Richard Todd. This was Jean Peters' last motion picture, at age 29. 

5. UNTAMED. Excellent cinematography. Great story. Power works well with Hayward, and the supporting cast is top-grade. Power's long contract at Fox ended with this picture, but he would be back for one more as a freelancer two years later.

6. THE GIRL IN THE RED VELVET SWING. A project Monroe turned down. Collins is sensational. Ray Milland and Farley Granger are dependable. Plus we get Cornelia Otis Skinner. The productional values are slick, and it's highly entertaining. 

7. THE RAINS OF RANCHIPUR. I prefer it over the original. I think the flood sequence works much better in CinemaScope and color. Turner's first film after ending her long association with MGM. Burton seems miscast but still manages to do fine. I especially like the subplot with MacMurray and Caulfield.

8. VIOLENT SATURDAY. A neglected film noir, with a sturdy cast. It's in color. Sylvia Sidney is ninth billed, but she's one of the main reasons to watch it.

9. DADDY LONG LEGS. Charming. Wonderful supporting cast.

10. HOW TO BE VERY VERY POPULAR. This is a very very silly movie. Watch it and you will be very very entertained. I'm being very very serious.

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