Fox Cinema Archives, the MOD program launched by Fox last year, continues to confound, frustrate and, every once in a while, come up with some surprisingly first rate work. My New York Times column this week takes a look at some recent releases from Fox’s very mixed bag; once again, the quality of the transfers ranges from the execrable (“Meet Me after the Show”) to the excellent (“The Model and the Marriage Broker”), while there’s no apparent logic behind the titles chosen for release. And why the studio that imposed CinemaScope in the 1950s should be the last company still releasing widescreen films in pan-and-scan remains a mystery beyond my modest powers of comprehension.
I haven’t been able to look at everything they’ve put out, though, so if folks have some discoveries to share (or titles particularly to be shunned), I’d love to hear about them. What Fox films would you like to see coming out in this program? What comes to mind for me right away, because I’ve been working on Allan Dwan for a few months now, are Dwan’s late 30s films for Fox’s B-unit, which include at least one perfect entertainment (the 1936
“Fifteen Maiden Lane”) and a pretty strong melodrama that weds Dwan’s fascination with parentage to an audacious racial theme (the 1937 “One Mile from Heaven”).