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Founded in 1915 by the self-educated entrepreneur William Fox, the Fox Film Corporation became home to the most dazzling lineup of directorial talent in the studio era. As silent film transitioned into sound, Fox’s roster of directors included Frank Borzage, Allan Dwan, John Ford, Howard Hawks, William K. Howard, Henry King, William Cameron Menzies, F. W. Murnau, Alfred Santell, Raoul Walsh, and many others. Yet this legacy was almost lost when a 1937 vault fire at Fox’s New Jersey storage facility destroyed all of the Fox Film negatives and most of the positive prints. That any of the Fox Film inventory survives today is largely thanks to Eileen Bowser, then the director of MoMA’s film collection, who worked with the producer Alex Gordon and the author William K. Everson to rescue the nitrate work prints and reference copies stored at the Fox studio in Los Angeles.
The presentations in this series are new 4K digital reproductions of nitrate prints in MoMA’s collection, made possible by the Walt Disney Company.
Organized by Dave Kehr, Curator, Department of Film. Thanks to Schawn Belston and Steve Hawn.