Fox Studio Vaults Unearth George Raft and Clifton Webb Classics


The folks at 20th Century Fox are busy little bees digging into their vaults to find collectible classics for film fans. The recent wave of worthies includes:

Of particular note is My Gal Sal (1942), the biopic/musical with Victor Mature (Victor Mature Movie Articles) as Tin Pan Alley songsmith Paul Dresser, following his rise from medicine show huckster to purveyor of tunes popularized by chanteuse, Rita Hayworth. Mature, quintessentially known for his strong-man roles in Samson and Delilah, The Robe and Demetrius and The Gladiator, was slightly out of character in a Fox musical, but fared better than critics gave him credit for. Knowing his limitations, however, he once said, “I’m no actor, and I’ve got 64 pictures to prove it!”

The Power and the Glory (1933), A railroad magnate’s (Spencer Tracy Movie Articles) life unfolds, from his rise from a humble track walker to the unhappiness that ultimately came with his success. The first Hollywood film to tell its story through narrated flashbacks.

Deep Waters (1948), Set on the coast of Maine, as lobsterman Dana Andrews is cajoled by social worker fiancee Jean Peters to act as a mentor to troubled orphan Dean Stockwell and steer him towards responsible adulthood. Powerful 20th Century Fox cast of contract players includes Jean Peters, Cesar Romero, Anne Revere.

Nob Hill (1945), The musical tale of Barbary Coast innkeep George Raft’s bid to break into the upper crust; due to Raft’s penchant for film noir and action films, he was rarely seen in Technicolor, making Nob Hill a treat for his fans but it isn’t he who walks away with the movie — youngster Peggy Ann Garner steals every scene!

The Forbidden Street (1949), Jacques Tourneur’s unusual period drama tracking the doomed relationship between rich Victorian (Maureen O’Hara) who falls for her impoverished alcoholic art teacher art teacher (Dana Andrews).

Earthbound (1940) Warner Baxter is gunned down by his ex-lover (Lynn Bari), who then callously sets up her husband (Henry Wilcoxon) to take the fall for the murder.

Warner Baxter returns Warner Baxter saddled up for a third and final time as the Mexican Robin Hood, riding to retrieve the land of lovely Lynn Bari from predatory sheriff Robert Barrat. The Return Of The Cisco Kid (1939).

For Heaven’s Sake (1950), a comedy of earthbound misadventures for angelic helpmate Clifton Webb, with Joan Blondell, Joan Bennett and Robert Cummings.Elopement (1951), another comedy with Webb, joined by Charles Bickford, as furious new father-in-laws reluctantly teaming to track down runaway newlyweds Anne Francis and William Lundigan.

The Caribbean Mystery (1945) features James Dunn as a Brooklyn detective searching for a missing surveying team in Trinidad; Aaron Spelling penned the screenplay for One Foot in Hell (1960), a sagebrusher that finds sheriff Alan Ladd out for revenge on his community after his wife dies.

Joel McCrea bolts from new bride Barbara Stanwyck when he think he killed someone on their wedding day in Banjo on My Knee (1936);  and in Destination Gobi (1953), Richard Widmark leads a team of American servicemen in Mongolia who depend on local nomads to help them when Japanese forces launch an attack.

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  • Shelly Brisbin

    I’m VERY excited to see The Power and the Glory released. It’s really a fine performance by Tracy, but a film most people don’t know about. I’m also hopeful that some of Tracy’s other early Fox films (he was under contract there for the first five years of his film career) will be coming down the pipeline. 

  • Barb in OK

    Great!  And many thanks to Fox for digging through those files! The one film I’m really wanting to find is a little 1932 Fox Pre-Code film called “Hat Check Girl,” which starred Sally Eilers and Ginger Rogers.  Fox, does this exist anywhere?  Anyone out there have a lead on this one?   Thanks for any info…. I keep dreaming that maybe a print of it is at UCLA or somewhere getting restored……

  • DIRK

    Maybe its the Power of Film (we all have our own favorites; movies that moved us), but I’ve always thought it interesting what gets a DVD release and which films stay hidden in the vaults — I’d love to be in on these pitch meetings (I think it must involve a dart board and darts!)

    • Gfkseratt

       Thanks Dirk!!   I’ve been wondering the same thing…… you suppose its all to do
      with what “THEY” like, and not necessarily what the public (you & me & many others)
      would like ??  Its up for grabs, I guess……….

  • Gord Jackson

    I’ll believe it when I see it.  Fox was supposed to release “The Raid” on August 7 and, in anticipation I pre-ordered a copy of it.  Come time for its shipment and I’m informed that it has been withdrawn leaving me to wonder if the same thing might not also happen with “One Foot in Hell” which I would also like to acquire.  Something about “once bitten, twice shy.”

  • mark

    Great to see fox releasing classics, i would like to see the betty grable and june haver films released.Two films i would love to see are Diamond Horseshoe 1945, I’ll get by 1950.There is another film called Winged Victory 1944 with Jeanne Crain And Judy Holliday, i think there are problems with copy right with this film, i brought a vhs copy of this off e-bay about 6 years ago, the picture quality was terrible, would be nice to see a nice clear print on dvd, here’s hoping.

  • ED

    Glad that 20th(FOX) is going into their vault for old movies.  My wish list would include Betty Grable’s Coney Island, Wabash Avenue, The Shocking Miss Pilgrim, Diamond Horseshoe, and Springtime in the Rockies.  Also Jeanne Crain’s Centennial Summer, and Margie.  I would also like to see Vivian Blaine’s Three Little Girls im Blue, Greenwich Village, and If I’m Lucky.  How about Loretta Young’s Rachel and the Stranger, Mother is a Freshman,and And Now Tomorrow.  Also would like MGM (or who took over their studio) to release some June Allyson/Van Johnson movies like Too Young to Kiss, Remains to be Seen, The Bride goes Wild, and High Barbaree.  Plus June and Jack Lemmon in You Can’t Run Away From It.  Universal still hasn’t released Deanna Durbin’s Hers To Hold, Spring Parade, and Christmas Holiday.  Those are the only missing (3) films of the 21 she made at Universal so I can complete my collection. 

  • Pat27s

    Hope they will release “Junior Miss” with Peggy Ann Garner in time for Christmas this year.