The Stanford and Castro in November

The Fox Film Corporation played a major role in Hollywood from 1915 through 1935. During those two decades, it turned John Ford into an A-list director, brought F. W. Murnau to America, and followed Warner Brothers closely into the sound era–investing in what proved to be the better and longer-lasting technology.

But the depression hit Fox hard. By 1935, the company eagerly accepted a merger with a far more successful new kid on the block: Twentieth Century Pictures. The birth of 20th Century-Fox spelled the end of Fox Film.

Through six weeks in November and December, the Stanford will screen 18 double bills made by Fox before the merger. Sundays will be devoted to silent movies, most of them accompanied by Dennis James on the Stanford’s Wurlitzer organ.

Some highlights:

  • 11/22: John Ford’s first big-budget western, The Iron Horse is a trite but entertaining melodrama. I’ve heard James accompany this movie–using the original score–and enjoyed it considerably. On a double bill with Upstream.
  • 11/27: I’ve never seen The Power and the Glory, but I know its reputation. It’s Preston Sturges’ first produced screenplay, with a story structure that influenced Citizen Kane. On a double bill with Cavalcade.
  • 11/29: F. W. Murnau’s first American film, Sunrise, is a rarely-seen masterpiece. Read my Blu-ray review. On a double bill with Four Sons.

The Castro also has some interesting movies coming up:

  • 11/8:
    Fantasia is coming to the big screen for the first time in years.
  • 11/14: Apocalypse Now is out in a new 4K restoration. The Castro is listing its length at 153 minutes, which means it’s the original cut–much better than the longer Redux version.
  • 11/15: Great 1950’s international cinema in alphabetical order? What else can you call a double bill of The Seven Samurai
    and The Seventh Seal. I guess that totals to 14 counts of greatness.
  • 11/22:
    Goodfellas–always a great film.
  • 11/27-29: Of course, the Sing-a-Long Sound of Music. This must be very profitable for the theatre.
  • Throughout the month: Last but very much not least, the Castro will screen Wim Wenders double bills every Monday in November.