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A 20th Century Fox Retrospective Scrapbook: 1960


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By the way, I thought I should inform readers of these of future plans. I hope to continue doing these as long as there is interest and ideally would like to carry it to the modern day to encompass all of Fox History (although I'll definitely need to deploy the Fox Searchlight titles to help brush up some post 2000 years). There are still many films that might benefit from another look.

 

The 60s dawned with a successful war film Sink the Bismark!

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Bobbikins dealt with a talking baby with stock tips.

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the thriller The Third Voice starred Edmond O'Brien and was the end of the line for Laraine Day.

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Can-Can was a very entertaining musical, but was not as big at the Box Office as Fox had hoped....

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The Wind Cannot Read had Dirk Bogarde in a tale of forbidden love in WWII

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Seven Theives was a heist film with Edward G. Robinson, Eli Wallach, Joan Collins, and Rod Steiger

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The Rookie was a little comedy.

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A boy and his dog in A Dog of Flanders, based on the children's classic

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Wild River is a personal favorite. A tremendous film, very moving, extremely well acted and affecting.

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When Comedy was King was a much-admired comedy retrospective

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13 Fighting Men took on a would be heist at the end of the Civil War.

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Twelve Hours to Kill was a crime film with a big phrase on its poster that made its plot obvious....

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Ernie Kovacs was the lead in the military flavored comedy Wake Me When It's Over.

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North West Frontier, an action adventure set in India, was a major hit in England.

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Criminals hid out in the Valley of the Redwoods

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Orson Welles was a major figure in two love triangles in Crack in the Mirror

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The Bible provided the basis for the next film: The Story of Ruth.

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Murder Inc was overall a blase crime film, but Peter Falk was electrifying as a gangster.

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Operation Amsterdam was another British WWII film

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The Lost World was a loose take on a famed HG Welles story.

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From the Terrace was very glossy, but unfortunately shallow. Myrna Loy was sensational though, but she was only in the first 25 minutes.

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The Idiot was a version of the Dostoevsky classic straight from the USSR.

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Sons and Lovers was a solid version of the infamous DH Lawrence book, highlighted by a good cast.

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It was back to the west with Young Jesse James

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For the Love of Mike was a little film involving a boy hoping to raise money for a shrine in his town

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The high-Powered Rifle involved a female gangster.

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Squad Car was a crime quickie.

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Back to the West with Walk Tall.

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Marilyn Monroe made her next to last film, and her last completed film at Fox, with Let's Make love, directed by George Cukor.

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Underwater adventure was in store in September Storm

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High Time sent Bing Crosby, in his 50s, back to college. A good natured comedy, the later passages were very entertaining. Also the first Blake Edwards film with Henry Mancini music (first of 24).

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The Captain's Table was a British comedy.

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Weddings and Babies was an independent pickup

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The 39 Steps was one of several remakes of Hitchcock classics made over the years

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Desire in the Dust was a melodrama with Raymond Burr, Joan Bennett, and Martha Hyer

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Alan Ladd and Don Murray starred in the western One Foot in Hell

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The Goddess of Love came via Europe

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And John Wayne went North to Alaska

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Another Euro adventure was in store in Legions of the Nile.

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Upstairs and Downstairs was a British comedy.

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Diane Baker starred in a new version of the old melodrama Tess of the Storm Country.

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Back to ocean adventure in The Secret of the Purple Reef

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Joan Collins became a heroine of the Bible in Esther and the King.

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The year was capped with the return of Elvis in Flaming Star....

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Oh, and a certain film called Cleopatra got underway in 1960. It would have a big effect on Fox's finances and number of films released for several years.

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Yay, we are in a new decade. I've been waiting to cover the 60s.

Here's my Top 10:

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1. WILD RIVER. Intense, one of Elia Kazan's more potent dramas. Jo Van Fleet is exceptional.

2. MURDER INC. Reminds me of the 30s gangster films from Warner Brothers. Peter Falk steals the show.

3. SINK THE BISMARCK! Good British war film. I like Kenneth More in most anything he does. 

4. CAN-CAN. Re-teaming of Sinatra and MacLaine is buoyed by lively production numbers and strong production values. 

5. SEVEN THIEVES. Well made heist film. Robinson and Steiger are excellent. And so is Joan Collins, who always gives a smart performance.

6. FLAMING STAR. Elvis' best dramatic role. 

7. LET'S MAKE LOVE. Monroe's last completed film for Fox. Nice cameos by Bing Crosby and Gene Kelly.

8. NORTH TO ALASKA. One of John Wayne's more enjoyable offerings from this period. I particularly like Stewart Granger in this film. It's a rousing adventure comedy.

9. ONE FOOT IN HELL. Feels like a TV western, but it's well played by an exceptional cast. Interesting to see Alan Ladd against type as a bad guy.

10. DESIRE IN THE DUST. Raymond Burr was on a break from Perry Mason when he starred in this drama. Joan Bennett plays his very unhappy wife. This was Bennett's last motion picture for awhile. She left the movies to deal with dark shadowy vampires on television.

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I agree with your assessment that From the Terrace is glossy but shallow, but I've gone back to it again and again. It's the right kind of slick.

I'm a fan of High Time, the early Blake Edwards college comedy, mostly for the young cast supporting Bing Crosby. You can't go wrong with Tuesday Weld and Richard Beymer made more sense here than in West Side Story, in my opinion. And Fabian fit right in, which he didn't always; sometimes it felt like casting him was a gimmick to bring in "the kids". I'm not sure the folks at Fox were casting geniuses. A quick rundown of the films Marilyn somehow managed to avoid doing for them over the years when she was their biggest asset shows that clearly. She was miscast in Let's Make Love, but understandably wanted to finish out her contract. Fox also should have done better by Elvis than they did, but at least his Fox films never sank to the level of his mid-Sixties musical misfires for other studios.

The Story of Ruth was a decent, fairly heartfelt entry into the "Biblical" genre, much more so than crass attempts like MGM's The Prodigal.

Can-Can had most of the right elements but didn't really land right. I've never really been sure why, but it seems to have gotten bogged down somewhere in the middle and never fully recovered.

North to Alaska had one of the great musical tie-ins with Johnny Horton's theme song and the movie itself was a lot of fun.

I can't believe there's a Lauren Bacall movie I don't remember ever hearing about, but I'm drawing a blank on North West Frontier.

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23 minutes ago, DougieB said:

I can't believe there's a Lauren Bacall movie I don't remember ever hearing about, but I'm drawing a blank on North West Frontier.

It was really produced in 1959, but I don't think it premiered in America until a year later. It's never shown on TCM when they do their various tributes to Bacall. But it's quite good. The production values are outstanding, the plot is very involving and Kenneth More works rather well with Bacall. Also, it's nice to see Bacall step out of her normal comfort zone and do something in the action adventure genre.

Produced by the Rank Organisation. In Eastman Color and CinemaScope.

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0053126/?ref_=nv_sr_1?ref_=nv_sr_1

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41 minutes ago, TopBilled said:

It was really produced in 1959, but I don't think it premiered in America until a year later. It's never shown on TCM when they do their various tributes to Bacall. But it's quite good. The production values are outstanding, the plot is very involving and Kenneth More works rather well with Bacall. Also, it's nice to see Bacall step out of her normal comfort zone and do something in the action adventure genre.

Produced by the Rank Organisation. In Eastman Color and CinemaScope.

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0053126/?ref_=nv_sr_1?ref_=nv_sr_1

Very interesting. Thanks. I liked her in Blood Alley so I expect I would like this.

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On 5/27/2019 at 3:35 PM, TopBilled said:

It was really produced in 1959, but I don't think it premiered in America until a year later. It's never shown on TCM when they do their various tributes to Bacall. But it's quite good. The production values are outstanding, the plot is very involving and Kenneth More works rather well with Bacall. Also, it's nice to see Bacall step out of her normal comfort zone and do something in the action adventure genre.

Produced by the Rank Organisation. In Eastman Color and CinemaScope.

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0053126/?ref_=nv_sr_1?ref_=nv_sr_1

they just ran it a week or two ago on movies!

lom turns out to be a real pos.

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