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A 20th Century Fox Retrospective Scrapbook: 1943


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The War, in addition to being featured in many of the films in 1943, also had an effect on the number of films released. Fox averaged above 50 movies a year prior to this point, but in 1943, there were 34, caused in part by fewer B films, and in part by many male stars being drafted into the army. Tyrone Power for example, would make one film in 1943 before going into the US forces, and did not return to Hollywood until 1946. And yet, this did not stop Fox from making a few masterpieces in late 1943.....

The year began with another wartime documentary, We Are the Marines

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Henry Fonda went off to war under the watchful eyes of Thomas Mitchell in Immortal Sergeant. Maureen O'Hara was the beloved waiting for Fonda to return

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Chetniks! The Fighting Guerrillas took a different spin on WWII films by focusing on Yugoslavian soldiers. Phillip Dorn was the lead.

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Jack Benny became known as The Meanest Man in the World in a comedy with Pricilla Lane, Edmund Gwenn, and Eddie Rochester Anderson.

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Otto Preminger both directed Margin for Error and appeared in it as the Nazi villain. Joan Bennett was the lead. Milton Berle was also in this drama.

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The Young Mr. Pitt was a biopic about William Pitt the younger, played here by Robert Donat. There was also room for Robert Morley and John Mills in this film.

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Dixie Dugan was intended to start a B movie series, and was based on a popular comic strip. The movie didn't get its audience or the sequels.

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George Sanders and Gail Patrick starred in Quiet Please Murder, a thriller involving Nazis, booksellers, and libraries.

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Hello, Frisco, Hello was a charming film and a good showcase for Alice Faye, but its most lasting effect might be the lovely Oscar winning song "You'll Never Know", tugging hearts ever since it was first penned. (And Fox's most recent Best Picture winner, The Shape of Water, received a lot of mileage from that song)

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Stuart Erwin and Evelyn Venable were the leads in the comedy He Hired the Boss

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The war-set (Norwegian) Steinbeck tale The Moon is Down brought the war back to the fore, with a distinguished cast of character actors.

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The Brits turned in the war documentary, Desert Victory

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Roddy McDowell then starred in a perennial family favorite along with a beloved horse in My Friend Flicka.

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Annabella and John Sutton were headed toward a dramatic confrontation in the war film Tonight We Raid Calais.

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George Sanders went undercover to expose Nazi saboteurs in They Came to Blow Up America

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Crash Dive, with Tyrone Power on a submarine, was his last film before heading off for the actual war.

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The Ox-Bow Incident was the first of 3 Fox films to be up for Best Picture in 1943. It was an unflinching tale, regarded as one of the great screen westerns, and a savage indictment against lynch mobs.

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Laurel and Hardy lightened things up with the comedy Jitterbugs.

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Betty Grable returned in Coney Island, a nostalgic musical set in the 1890s.

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Stormy Weather was one of the first all-African-American cast films, a musical that thrived on Blues and Jazz, and was in many ways a landmark film. It was also a showcase for Lena Horne.

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George Montgomery and Annabella faced off against the Nazis in Bomber's Moon.

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Heaven Can Wait was a glorious film. Don Ameche was never better than he was here, Gene Tierney was lovely, and the film itself by turns was both very funny and tremendously moving as it made its way through the crazy, unpredictable force known as life itself. It was one of Ernst Lu****'s finest hours, and he made many masterpieces. It might have only been nominated for Best Picture (losing to Casablanca, really a 1942 film), but this is one of my 2 favorite films of 1943 from any studio.

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Monty Woolley and Gracie Fields tried out Holy Matrimony.

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Dorothy McGuire made a striking film debut in the domestic drama Claudia, playing a young newlywed.

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Wintertime was the last of Sonia Henie at Fox.

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Sweet Rosie O'Grady was Betty Grable in another old-fashioned musical charmer.

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The war returned in Paris After Dark.

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The theme was continued in Gudalcanal Diary

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And in a documentary, The Battle of Russia

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Laurel and Hardy kicked up their feet in The Dancing Masters.

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Happy Land was misleadingly titled as Don Ameche's character suffered from deep depression folling the loss of his son in the war. Worth noting in retrospect: Natalie Wood made her film debut in a walk-on bit.

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The Song of Bernadette won Jennifer Jones an Oscar and begame a beloved perrennial and one of the best regarded religios themed films to emerge from Hollywood.

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The Gang's All Here was a dose of musical zest.

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the year closed with a sublime Jane Eyre, one of the best literary adaptations of a bonafide classic.

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11 hours ago, CinemaInternational said:

It was one of Ernst Lu****'s finest hours

Heehee, since Libitsch is now verboten. (good old Otto)

Don't know why they'd show the horse laying down (sick, dead?) in the My Friend Flicka poster-would scare me from seeing the movie.

Great job CI. I love seeing the variety of one studio's output for one year-IMPRESSIVE.

 

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