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A 20th Century Fox Retrospective Scrapbook: 1940

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The 1940s were a decade of glory for 20th Century Fox, but they began on a quiet note with City of Chance, a b film with Lynn Bari and C. Aubrey Smith.


The next film was trouble. The Blue Bird was a costly children's fantasy with Shirley Temple playing an unlikable character for a change. The film lost quite a bit of money, audiences and critics were indifferent, and with Shirley beginning to go through puberty, her years of child stardom at Fox were quickly drawing to a close.


He Married His Wife was a comedy with Joel McCrea finding an unusual way of not having to pay alimony to ex Nancy Kelly; by marrying her all over again.


Having already conquered the boyfriend scene, Jane Withers trudged on next to High School to bring her farther into adolescence.


The Man Who Wouldn't Talk was a remake of the 1929 film The Valiant, and began the Fox tenure for esteemed character actor Lloyd Nolan


Little Old New York was a rare non-musical role for Alice Faye. It too was a reake (of a 1923 silent of the same name) and also starred Fred MacMurray.


Young as You Feel was the latest adventure with the Jones family. But like Shirley Temple, they would be gone by the end of the year.


They Came by Night was a type of Brit Noir.


Charlie Chan was on the mystery move once more, this time to exotic Panama.


And then, a cinematic masterpiece. The Grapes of Wrath was an astonishing film, a great adaptation from the Steinbeck classic, Henry Fonda's finest hour, Jane Darwell in one of the best performances of all time, a high water mark for John Ford and everyone else involved.


Lynn Bari was next seen in Free, Blonde, and 21 playing a sensible boarder at an all-female apartment house.



Star Dust saw that Linda Darnell now had her name abouve the title, making her a true star. John Payne was the love interest in the comedy drama.


Cisco Kid 2.0 Caesar Romero returned for his second turn in the role that used to belong to Warner Baxter.


Tyrone Power resorted to crime in Johnny Apollo, but the love of Dorothy Lamour was instrumental in helping him get out of the sordid world. Lloyd Nolan player a gangster, while Edward Arnold, Lionel Atwill, and Charley Grapewin were also involved.


Jane Withers went west again in Shooting High, this time with a true emblem of the west, Gene Autry.


So This Is London was actually a comedy, although you wouldn't guess from the poster. George Sanders was featured in a supporting role.


Vera Zorina was one of the many names who flitted through Hollywood briefly in an effort to bring an exotic new star like Garbo or Dietrich to the screen. Thus, she was the star of I Was an Adventuress, but she only made a handful of films after this.


Now audiences were On Their Own with the ever-present Joneses.


Alice Faye was back in town portraying the famous Lillian Russell in a biopic that costarred Henry Fonda and Don Ameche


Ricardo Cortez took a stab at directing with the B, Girl in 313.


Earthbound was the end of the Fox years for Warner Baxter, with Andrea leeds as his co-star. Reception was not good.


Four Sons found Don Ameche in a remake of a 1928 John Ford title.


Charlie Chan could find a murder anywhere!


One Cisco Kid film was not enough for Fox in 1940. So Caesar Romero was back again.


Sailor's Lady was Nancy Kelly on the sea.


Manhattan Heartbeat was a remake in disguise, this time of 1931's Bad Girl.


The Man I Married found Joan Bennett married to a Nazi. It thus became an escape film.


Jane Withers became the Girl from Avenue A, this time going east to New York.


The Return of Hank James found Henry Fonda picking up after Tyrone Power's Jesse James died in the 1939 Western of the same name.


Pier 13 was a Lynn Bari/Lloyd Nolan remake of the Tracy/Bennett film For Me and My Gal.


Shirley temple left Fox after making the musical Young People. 


Charlie Chan continued his heavy workload.


Public Deb Number 1's poster would never work today.


Yesterday's Heroes was a nostalgic look back at college days and long lost youth.


Dean Jagger played the title character in the sweeping Brigham Young, and had the largest role, but Tyrone Power had top billing for box-office purposes.


And The Cisco Kid returned for his third 1940 adventure.


Carmen Miranda made her debut in Down Argentine Way, supporting musical leads Don Ameche and Betty Grable.


Rex Harrison starred in the well regarded Night Train to Munich but on its first release in the Us, the last two words were dropped in the days leading up to American involvement in WWII.


The Great Profile found John Barrymore spoofing himself.


Street of Memories was the newest B for Fox


Youth will be Served found Jane Withers in a musical mood.


A bigger musical was Alice Faye and Betty Grable in Tin Pan Alley.


Bari and Nolan were back again in Charter Pilot.


Curiously Charlie Chan was not in the title of Murder Over New York.


Jennie was a nostalgic B movie.


Michael Shane Private Detective started Lloyd Nolan in a new b series.


The year finished with Fonda, Lamour, and Darnell at the circus in Chad Hanna.


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2 hours ago, CinemaInternational said:

The 1940s were a decade of glory for 20th Century Fox, but they began on a quiet note with City of Chance, a b film with Lynn Bari and C. Aubrey Smith.


I wanted to mention that Lynn Bari seems to have the record for appearing in the most films for this studio. She was in 21 films for Fox, and then she was in 92 films for 20th Century Fox. That's a grand total of 113. On one website it says she was in 150 films for Fox/20th Century Fox but that might include uncredited appearances.

She stayed quite busy from 1933 to 1951.

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Down Argentine Way was Betty Grable's first starring musical at 20th Century Fox.  After its release, the fan mail began pouring in.  Zanuck had Tin Pan Alley's script rewritten to include her as Alice Faye's sister so as not to lose the momentum.  (It worked!)

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