Twentieth Century-Fox : a corporate and financial history /
by Aubrey Solomon.
Metuchen, N.J. : Scarecrow Press, 1988.
xiii, 285 p. : ill.
More Details
series title
Metuchen, N.J. : Scarecrow Press, 1988.
general note
Includes index.
catalogue key
Bibliography: p. 213-215.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 1989-07:
There is a new era of movie historiography. For decades, there were the works of insiders: autobiographies such as Walter Wanger's My Life with Cleopatra (1963), inside histories such as Benjamin Hampton's History of the Movies (1931), and journalistic accounts like Bosley Crowther's The Lion's Share (1957), about MGM. Then historians, in works like Douglas Gomery's The Hollywood Studio System (CH, Jun '86) and Nick Roddick's A New Deal in Entertainment (CH, Mar '85), began to mine the most primary of sources--the studio archives themselves. Solomon's book, as the latest in the line, should have burrowed most deeply into this paper record; but, curiously, a decision was made to rely only on the most accessible secondary materials, supported by a few interviews. Thus, to take only one instance, to document the complex WW II era (a "boom" time as the author argues, but also one of a liberalizing screen and of cooperation with the government), this work cites only four issues of Business Week, one of Variety, and a lone interview. Excluded are germane records in the National Archives, the "Hays Office," and the studio archives themselves. Despite these limitations, the book makes imaginative use of trade paper figures to sketch costs and earnings in two appendixes. Another asset is the flavorful sampling of the memoranda of production chief Darryl Zanuck taken from the papers of writer producer/director Philip Dunne in the University of Southern California. Besides the appendixes, there is a brief bibliography, a dozen tables, and an index, but only two photographs, one of the movie lot and one of Zanuck. Useful mainly at graduate level. -T. Cripps, Morgan State University
Review Quotes
...a fascinating, and continuing, saga.
...a good history...a thorough and professional job.
...flavorful sampling of the memoranda of productions chief Darryl Zanuck........
The tale of its triumphs and disasters is told in this book with admirable clarity and spirit.......
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, July 1989
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Long Description
New in Paperback! In 1935, two film production companies merged to form one of the most influential corporations in the world--Twentieth Century-Fox. Here is the story of that dynamic company and of the personalities who molded it over the past fifty years, from Darryl F. Zanuk to Barry Diller. Unlike any previous volume on a film studio, this in-depth history is told from a corporate viewpoint, covering the trends that influenced film-making, profit-making incentives, and the creative policies resulting in films like The Grapes of Wrath, the Snake Pit, The Robe, Cleopatra, The Towering Inferno, and Star Wars. The book spans the birth of the movies; the rise of the studio system; the coming of sound; the Consent Decrees; the development of CinemaScope; the growth of independent production; and the video revolution. The result is an inside view of how the studio operated, with information never before published on the costs and grosses of films, as well as exclusive interviews and memos. Available in paperback 2001. Cloth version previously published in 1988.

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