Ep. 15: Author Vanda Krefft on William Fox

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Mike Gebert

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Ep. 15: Author Vanda Krefft on William Fox

PostTue Nov 21, 2017 9:40 am

NitrateVille Radio Episode 15: Author Vanda Krefft on William Fox, The Man Who Made the Movies

His name is among the most recognizable in Hollywood—yet no one knows the full story of William Fox, the silent era mogul who gave his name to 20th Century Fox and more. I talk with Vanda Krefft, whose new biography is the first modern one of the least known of the studio chiefs, a man who set out to become the Rockefeller of the movie biz at the height of the roaring 20s—and lost it all. (49:56)

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Here's The Man Who Made the Movies, The Meteoric Rise and Tragic Fall of William Fox at Amazon; it comes out next Tuesday, November 28, but can be pre-ordered now.

Unfortunately, it's hard to find many clips from Fox silents, given their very low survival rate, but here's art from some of the movies we talk about.

Annette Kellerman in Daughter of the Gods (1916)

Theda Bara in Cleopatra (1917)

Over the Hill (aka Over the Hill To the Poorhouse) (1920)

Janet Gaynor and George O'Brien in Sunrise (1927)

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Re: Ep. 15: Author Vanda Krefft on William Fox

PostTue Nov 21, 2017 10:52 am

Very good discussion. 5 stars. Very glad to see there is finally a book out on W. Fox and, as soon as I can swing it, I'll get a hold of the book. Thanks very much.

Pathe Lehrman

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Re: Ep. 15: Author Vanda Krefft on William Fox

PostTue Nov 21, 2017 4:05 pm

Another great interview, Mike, and I look forward to reading Vanda Krefft's bio. I'd like to correct one misleading comment made by her, however, and that was that there have been no previous bios about William Fox. I have four of them on my shelf, the earliest (and perhaps the very first ever published) by Upton Sinclair, modestly titled UPTON SINCLAIR PRESENTS WILLIAM FOX, written way back in 1933. Another, WILLIAM FOX: A STORY OF EARLY HOLLYWOOD, 1915-1930, was co-written by Susan Fox and Donald G. Rosellini and published in 2006. WILLIAM FOX, SOL M. WURTZEL AND THE EARLY FOX FILM CORPORATION: LETTERS, 1917-1923, while not a bio as such, provides a fascinating glimpse into Fox's thinking through letters and telegrams exchanged between him and Sol Wurtzel during the title's time period; it was co-authored by Lillian Wurtzel Semenov and Carla Winter in 2001. Most recently was Merrill T. McCord's massive WILLIAM FOX AND THE FOX FILM CORPORATION, published just last year. None of this is to take away from Ms. Krefft's biography, which I haven't yet had the pleasure of reading, but based on this interview and the engaging stories she has told promises to be a thoroughly entertaining and informative book.
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Re: Ep. 15: Author Vanda Krefft on William Fox

PostMon Nov 27, 2017 5:21 pm

Someone with a definite opinion and I look forward to seeing the supporting documentation in the book!

The matter is complicated, and I shall proceed to complicate it still more.

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