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A 20th Century Fox Retrospective Scrapbook: 1945


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What's curious here in Fox's 1945 (which had a few fewer films than 1944) is that two of the most distinguished titles of the year were right at the start. this is counterbalanced by the appearance of a marvelous film at year's end that was also Fox's biggest hit or the decade, but at least seen from today's vantage point when most of the choice titles are released at year's end, it is worth noting.

Laird Creger had been gone a few months by the time Hangover Square opened. He looked shockingly different then he was in all his other films, but he went on on a high note. This is a remarking film, and a bold, gutsy performace as he played a composer prone to deadly psychopathic blackouts. Linda Darnell also made a statement in an unsympathetic part.

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a Tree Grows in Brooklyn was the start of Elia Kazan's career as a director and was a remarkable beginning, for this was no ordinary film, but a brilliant one with one of the best child performances ever put to film by Peggy Ann Garner. James Dunn won an Oscar for appearing in it, but this film, one of the best of the 40s, should have been up for many more.

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Thunderhead-- Son of Flicka was a sequel to the 1943 film My Friend Flicka. Roddy McDowell returned to his part to star all over again.

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Note: this poster is misleading. Lubitsch was originally supposed to direct this film, but ultimately he could not so Otto Preminger directed. The resultant film, A Royal Scandal, is still a tart, deliciously witty comedy with a prime part for Tallulah Bankhead.

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Circumstantial Evidence brought noir to the table.

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Diamond Horseshoe is today one of the rarest Betty Grable films as there was never a DVD release. Musical fans still long for it. In its day, it was one of the most expensive films of the year.

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The Bullfighters was the final American film for Laurel and Hardy.

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Where Do We Go From Here was a musical that brought Fred MacMurray and Joan Leslie to Fox.

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Gracy Fields, Monty Woolley, and Roddy McDowell all appeared in Molly and Me.

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William Bendix and Joan Blondell were an item in Don Juan Quilligan

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David Niven starred in the British war film The Way Ahead.

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Geoge Raft and Joan Bennett appeared in a musical Nob Hill, but its probably likely that Vivien Blaine had most of the songs.

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Junior Miss was a popular starring role for Peggy Ann Garner. this is perhaps the only movie to have a candy named after it (Junior Mints)

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Fred MacMurray played Captain Eddie, a war drama in part, but about World War I, not the raidly ending WWII (this was released in June 1945, after VE day)

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A Bell for Adano was the film version of a very popular and very esteemed book by John Hersey, and the film with John Hodiak, William Bendix, and Gene Tierney repeated that success.

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James Dunn made his second Fox film of 1945 in the B The Caribbean Mystery

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Within These Walls was a prison film.

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State Fair was the only original Rogers and Hamerstein musical for the screen, and it is a tremendously lovely slice of homespun Americana, and a wonderful, cheerful time.

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With the war now off, Noir started to flourish and The House on 92nd Street was a lage success and a praised film at the time.

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And Then There Were None brought Agatha Christie's biggest seller to the screen with a different, happier ending, but still made for a fantastic film dripping with marvelous suspense and a lush vein of dark humor.

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Betty Grable and June Haver played the vaudeville duo known as The Dolly Sisters in the biggest Fox musical of 1945.

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Fallen Angel was meant as a change of pace for Alice Faye by putting her in a noir, but audiences didn't warm to the film, and she headed into retirement. Senn today, the film has its interesting elements.

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The Spider was a little noir B.

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Doll Face was an expensive musical vehicle for Vivien Blaine. It was based on a story by Gypsy Rose Lee.

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A Walk in the Sun was a post-war war film with Dana Andrews in the lead. Just a few years back, the film was preserved by the Library of Congress for being historically significant.

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And Leave Her to Heaven was a smash. A haunting psycological study, Gene Tierney was never better, and the film was the biggest Fox hit of any film released in the 1940s.

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Fallen Angel was meant as a change of pace for Alice Faye by putting her in a noir, but audiences didn't warm to the film, and she headed into retirement.


Alice was delighted that she was given a change in character as she was getting tired of the musicals and wanted to try a dramatic role. However, she was devastated as well as angered and bitter that the edited film cut most of her role in favor of Linda Darnell. She was infuriated at Darryl Zanuck for doing this to her. She packed her bags from her dressing room into her car and drove off the lot. She refused all offers and threats from Zanuck to return. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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42 minutes ago, midnight08 said:


Alice was delighted that she was given a change in character as she was getting tired of the musicals and wanted to try a dramatic role. However, she was devastated as well as angered and bitter that the edited film cut most of her role in favor of Linda Darnell. She was infuriated at Darryl Zanuck for doing this to her. She packed her bags from her dressing room into her car and drove off the lot. She refused all offers and threats from Zanuck to return. 

Her role was not cut down very much. Just a few scenes were eliminated. Darnell's character is killed off two-thirds of the way into the story, so Faye has the entire last act.

I think she was most upset that a song she recorded for the film was cut. Yes, this was a more serious dramatic role for her. But she was still known for her music. And audiences would have gone to see the movie expecting her to sing something. All the films she did at Fox promoted her hit songs. Not using a song she recorded for this film cost her a lot of money that she would ordinarily make on radio.

She was a movie star, but she was an even bigger star on radio. Most of her movies were glorified advertisements for her music. So she went into FALLEN ANGEL with the idea that it too would promote one of her songs. She didn't like it being cut without her being consulted. 

What they should have done, if they felt the song didn't fit into the story, was to play it over the opening credits. They could have found a compromise. There was no need for them to alienate her about this. It's clear they didn't want to lose her. That she was more valuable to them than Darnell. They refused to let her out of her contract, so she was unable to work at any other studios.

For years they claimed she owed them one more movie. So technically she ended up under contract with them longer than anyone else, because they waited 17 years (!) for her to come back and do the film she owed them. 

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