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A 20th Century Fox Retrospective Scrapbook: 1952


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Firefighting was the name of the game in Red Skies of Montana, the first Fox release of the year with Richard Widmark and Jeffrey Hunter.

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Mala Powers turned outlaw in Rose of Cimarron, determined to find the people who killed her parents.

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Japanese War Bride was directed by King Vidor and was a saga detailing the fight against anti-Japanese feelings.

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Viva Zapata provided Marlon Brando with a meaty part and Anthony Quinn with his first Oscar (and he was very good here)

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Dale Robertson and Joanne Dru took on another slice of the West in Return of the Texan.

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Phone Call from a Stranger was a touching drama in which all the players shone, as Gary Merrill visited the loved ones of people lost in a plane crash that he survived.

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5 Fingers was also highly regarded as it found James Mason as an enemy spy.....

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Deadline USA was one of the great newspaper films with a top performance from Humphrey Bogart.

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With a Song in My Heart was a plush musical biopic that was immensely popular and provided Susan Hayward and Thelma Ritter with Oscar nominations.

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Dan Dailey played Dizzy Dean in a film that obviously was an attempt to recapture the magic of The Pride of the Yankees.....

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Belles on Their Toes picked up the story of Cheaper by the Dozen, after Myrna Loy was left a widow. Much warm family stuff must be in store here.

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The Outcasts of Poker Flat was filmed multiple times, and this one was the last to surface....

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Kangaroo was in  Australia of course as Maureen O'Hara ran into two outlaws, one of whom was played by Peter Lawford.

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Lydia Bailey served up tropic adventure and intrigue (foreign poster)

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Diplomatic Courier was an espionage thriller with Tyrone Power and Patricia Neal.

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Wait until the Sun Shines, Nellie told of the tale of the changing fortunes of a family over 20 years.

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First in 1951 there was a loose version of Thwe Count of Monte Cristo; The Man in the Iron Mask got the same treatment in 1952.

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We're Not Married was an all-star portmanteau film with many couples discovering a side effect to their visit to a justice of the peace....

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Don't Bother top Knock had Marilyn Monroe as a psycho babysitter. She was actually quite good. Richard Widmark was her employer, and Anne Bancroft made her film debut.

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What Price Glory found John Ford remaking one of his own films. This was a hit, but the original remained the critical favorite.

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Clifton Webb was hilarious in the delicious Dreamboat, a superior comedy in which he played a man less then thrilled to find out his old Silent films were being broadcasty on TV by his former co-star Ginger Rogers.

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O Henry's Full House was another multi-part all star film which reenacted several stories from the noted writer. All were involving and the film was fascinating.

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Ginger Rogers appeared again in Monkey Business, another sublime comedy. This time Cary Grant was her leading men, and the film glowed with comic ingenuity.

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The Snows of Kilimanjaro was a popular Hemingway adaptation, and its also one of the few Fox films that entered the public domain.

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Night Without Sleep had Gary Merrill worried that he committed a murder while in an alcoholic stupor.

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Lure of the Wilderness was a remake of Swamp Water.... so more romance in the land of the marshes.

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My Wife's Best Friend was a twist on Unfaithfully Yours; this time it was Anne Baxter cooking up ideas of how to get revenge.....

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Crime and romance came to Argentina in Way of the Gaucho.

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Joseph Cotten committed a big heist but wife Teresa Wright urged him to return it in the thriller The Steel Trap. Wright was the best element.

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Les Miserables was given a brand new version with an all star cast....

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Bloadhounds of Broadway was a musical for Mitzi Gaynor based on Damon Runyon stories. This was remade in 1989.

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Something for the Birds might have been one of the earliest ecological comedies.

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The Thief of Venice was a European B that made its dubbed American bow 2 years after being first released.

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My Pal Gus found Richard Widmark falling for his son's teacher.....

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the Star was a drama in which as a faded star, Bette Davis received her 9th Oscar nomination. She was the best reason to watch.

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Pony Soldier returned Tyrone Power to the Western vistas.

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John Philip Sousa was the latest to go through the musical biopic treatment, played here by Clifton Webb.

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My Cousin Rachel was a gothic tale with a very impressive starring turn from Richard Burton and with oodles of great atmosphere. Fox made a remake in 2017.

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Ruby Gentry capped the year with Jennifer Jones as the central part of a steamy love triangle.

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1953 would bring big changes to Fox, and they would never be the same again.....

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17 hours ago, CinemaInternational said:

Japanese War Bride was directed by King Vidor and was a saga detailing the fight against anti-Japanese feelings.

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This is a good one though seems to be very hard to find today. I saw it in a revival theater several years ago. Don Taylor (he was the young cop in "The Naked City") is a WWII vet returning home with his Japanese wife (Shirley Yamaguchi). Taylor's friend Cameron Mitchell is accepting but Mitchell's wife Marie Windsor is not.

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My top 10 from this batch:

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1. DEADLINE U.S.A. Excellent cast, sharp script, solid production values. A very good crime drama with plenty of commentary about the newspaper business.

2. 5 FINGERS. Another fine film with an excellent cast. Seems to get better with repeat viewings.

3. DIPLOMATIC COURIER. Great thriller. Patricia Neal has a good role in this one. Never understood why TCM doesn't air it.

4. PONY SOLDIER. One of Tyrone Power's better action films from the 1950s.

5. MONKEY BUSINESS. Hysterical. Top-notch cast and direction. Dated but fun.

6. THE SNOWS OF KILIMANJARO. A little slow in spots but the cinematography is wonderful. Peck and Hayward work well together.

7. MY COUSIN RACHEL. Strange, brooding "romance" drama. But wonderfully played by Burton & De Havilland.

8. WE'RE NOT MARRIED. A good portmanteau. Not all the segments hold up, but for the most part, it's well done and entertaining.

9. PHONE CALL FROM A STRANGER. High concept studio product. Performances are uniformly superb. 

10. MY WIFE'S BEST FRIEND. I like this Richard Sale comedy a lot. But then I like Macdonald Carey and Anne Baxter too. Cecil Kellaway tries to steal it and almost succeeds.

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