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20th Century Fox Brings Classics to Blu-ray

Twentieth Century Fox has announced a brand new interactive campaign “Voice Your Choice” which allows fans to select films for digital restoration and Blu-ray release. In addition to this program, Fox Home Entertainment will be releasing at least one classic film title on Blu-ray each month categorized as “20th Century Fox Studio Classics.”

The “Voice Your Choice” campaign starts today. You can vote at www.hometheaterforum.com and at www.foxconnect.com

 

Voice Your Choice Titles

Jesse James
Call of the Wild
The Little Princess
Steamboat Round the Bend
Swanee River 
The Return of Frank James
That Night in Rio
Pin Up Girl

The Black Swan
The Ghost and Mrs. Muir

My Gal Sal
Kiss of Death

To the Shores of Tripoli
Captain From Castile

My Friend Flicka
The Blue Bird

Crash Drive
A Letter to Three Wives

Hello, Frisco, Hello
Mother Wore Tights

Don’t Bother to Knock
Cheaper by the Dozen

Carmen Jones
On the Riviera

Anastasia
Black Widow

Broken Lance
The True Story of Jesse James

Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter?
The Tall Men

Desk Set
The Best of Everything

The River’s Edge
The Bravados

The Inn of the Sixth Happiness 
From the Terrace
Morituri

Two for the Road
North to Alaska

The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie
Bandolero!

Let’s Make Love
Do Not Disturb

The Agony and the Ecstasy
Back Door to Hell

How to Steal a Million
Bedazzled (1968)

The Undefeated
The 300 Spartans

Can-Can

20th Century Fox Studio Classics scheduled releases on Blu-ray:

1/15
Titanic (1953)
How Green Was My Valley
Wild River
Gentlemen’s Agreement

2/5
Laura

3/26
Panic in the Streets

4/2
Hello, Dolly!

5/7
Viva Zapata!

 

What titles would you like to see released on Blu-ray through this new program?

Day 25: Tyrone Power

 

Today the TCM Summer Under the Stars spotlight shines brightly on the handsome and talented Tyrone Power.

A Wonderful Night at the Fabulous Fox Theatre: The Mark of Zorro (1920)

Thursday, August 25th, I attended a very special screening at Atlanta’s Fox Theatre: 1920′s The Mark of Zorro starring the original King of Hollywood– Douglas Fairbanks. Up until last Thursday I had never seen a Douglas Fairbanks film. Something I’m not proud of for sure. The Fox Theatre is truly a gem. For most of the year the theatre features off-broadway musicals and plays, concerts, and ballet performances. In the summer The Fox holds a movie festival featuring classics and newer films. The architecture and décor enrich the moving-going experience. Often described as Arabic, Moorish, and Egyptian, the design is opulent. The main feature of the theatre is of course the auditorium. The ceiling is painted twilight blue with moving clouds and has lighted crystals that twinkle like emerging stars. Sitting near the stage and looking up, one can almost imagine being in a majestic courtyard in some far away land. The Fox also boasts the second largest theatre organ in the country. The “Mighty Mo” is used for pre-show sing-a-longs and silent film accompaniment. The organ also controls a full size baby grand piano! The screening was hosted by TCM and introduced/emceed by Ben Mankiewicz. In his introduction, Mankiewicz discussed Fairbanks’s influence on the action/adventure genre. In Mankiewicz’s words “Fairbanks was Errol Flynn before Errol Flynn was Errol Flynn.” The accompanist for the evening was renowned theatre organist Clark Wilson. He travels around the country playing his original scores for silent films (more info about Wilson in this article).

Don Diego Vega and Sgt. Gonzales
Don Diego Vega and Sgt. Gonzales

Honestly, The Mark of Zorro should be called The Mark of Fairbanksbecause in every scene he leaves his mark as he triumphs over the rest of the cast in commanding fashion. Fairbanks is Don Diego Vega, a wealthy fop who is more interested in performing magic tricks than wooing women. He is socially awkward–hands in his pockets, shuffling around with his head down. Don Diego is the kind of guy who would today live in his parents’ basement. In the opening scene, he is sitting in a bar drinking with a group of rowdy men, including the villain of our story, Sgt. Pedro Gonzales (played by Noah Beery, older brother to Wallace Beery). Led by Gonzales, the men are all discussing the pesky Zorro, champion of the poor and oppressed. Gonzales, right hand man to the governor and his dictatorship, details how he will capture and kill the masked bandit. After an elaborate display by the sergeant, Don Diego stands up and politely makes his exit. In this moment, Sgt. Gonzales has no earthly idea that he will soon receive that famous mark…

Zorro makes his entrance to an unsuspecting Gonzales
Zorro makes his entrance to an unsuspecting Gonzales

Fairbanks’s first entrance as Zorro is one of the greatest in cinema. With smoke and a wicked little smile, the audience knows the bad guys will get what is coming to them…and it is going to be loads of fun.Fairbanks’s Zorro is lean, light, and quick–blink and he’s gone as quickly as he arrived. In between swordplay and ducking flying objects, Zorro easily slinks past his opposition. He lights a cigarette, grabs a drink (he’s thirsty!), and sits back to watch the bad guys fight each other. I imagine Zorro’s motto might be “Fighting evil one prank at a time.” Being a master swordsman, Zorro is also quite the lover. No awkwardness or magic tricks here. Zorro always knows the right things to say or do, especially to the lovely Lolita Pulido (played by Marguerite De La Motte). Currently being “courted” by Don Diego, Pulido is quickly swept off her feet by the dashing and mischievous Zorro. After watching The Mark of Zorro, I now understand the magnificence that is Douglas Fairbanks. His wit, athleticism, and timing is perfect. I thoroughly enjoyed his performance and the film. His athletic style made an impression on many actors and especially on a young Archie Leach. In 1920, Leach was on his way to America to tour with the Pender troupe. During the voyage, he met Fairbanks and new bride Mary Pickford, who were on their way home from a European honeymoon. The newlyweds were nice enough to spend time with Leach, who idolized Fairbanks. The young acrobatic Leach later became Cary Grant. For years, they kept in touch and Grant often cited Fairbanks as being a huge inspiration. Fairbanks’s influence changed the action/adventure genre and many copy cats followed. He is the original Errol Flynn. or Tyrone Power. or Stewart Granger. And in my generation–the original Harrison Ford. Douglas Fairbanks as Han Solo? Hmm…