Fox Film

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This article is about the defunct film studio. Fox Film_sentence_0

For its extant successor, see 20th Century Studios. Fox Film_sentence_1

"William Fox Film Corporation" redirects here. Fox Film_sentence_2

For the founder, see William Fox (producer). Fox Film_sentence_3

Fox Film_table_infobox_0

Fox Film CorporationFox Film_table_caption_0
IndustryFox Film_header_cell_0_0_0 FilmFox Film_cell_0_0_1
FateFox Film_header_cell_0_1_0 Merged with Twentieth Century Pictures to form 20th Century-FoxFox Film_cell_0_1_1
PredecessorFox Film_header_cell_0_2_0 Fox Film_cell_0_2_1
SuccessorFox Film_header_cell_0_3_0 20th Century-FoxFox Film_cell_0_3_1
FoundedFox Film_header_cell_0_4_0 February 1, 1915; 105 years ago (1915-02-01) in Fort Lee, New JerseyFox Film_cell_0_4_1
FounderFox Film_header_cell_0_5_0 William FoxFox Film_cell_0_5_1
DefunctFox Film_header_cell_0_6_0 May 31, 1935; 85 years ago (1935-05-31)Fox Film_cell_0_6_1
SubsidiariesFox Film_header_cell_0_7_0 Fox Film_cell_0_7_1

The Fox Film Corporation was an American company that produced motion pictures, formed by William Fox on February 1, 1915. Fox Film_sentence_4

It was the corporate successor to his earlier Greater New York Film Rental Company and Box Office Attractions Film Company. Fox Film_sentence_5

The company's first film studios were set up in Fort Lee, New Jersey, but in 1917, William Fox sent Sol M. Wurtzel to Hollywood, California to oversee the studio's new West Coast production facilities, where the climate was more hospitable for filmmaking. Fox Film_sentence_6

On July 23, 1926, the company bought the patents of the Movietone sound system for recording sound onto film. Fox Film_sentence_7

After the Wall Street crash of 1929, William Fox lost control of the company in 1930, during a hostile takeover. Fox Film_sentence_8

Under new president Sidney Kent, the new owners merged the company with Twentieth Century Pictures to form 20th Century-Fox in 1935. Fox Film_sentence_9

History Fox Film_section_0

Background Fox Film_section_1

William Fox entered the film industry in 1904 when he purchased a one-third share of a Brooklyn nickelodeon for $1,667. Fox Film_sentence_10

He reinvested his profits from that initial location, expanding to fifteen similar venues in the city, and purchasing prints from the major studios of the time: Biograph, Essanay, Kalem, Lubin, Pathé, Selig, Reynaud, Solax, Star Film Company, and Vitagraph. Fox Film_sentence_11

After experiencing further success presenting live vaudeville routines along with motion pictures, he expanded into larger venues beginning with his purchase of the disused Gaiety theater, and continuing with acquisitions throughout New York City and New Jersey, including the Academy of Music. Fox Film_sentence_12

Fox invested further in the film industry by founding the Greater New York Film Rental Company as a film distributor. Fox Film_sentence_13

The major film studios responded by forming the Motion Picture Patents Company in 1908 and the General Film Company in 1910, in an effort to create a monopoly on the creation and distribution of motion pictures. Fox Film_sentence_14

Fox refused to sell out to the monopoly, and sued under the Sherman Antitrust Act, eventually receiving a $370,000 settlement, and ending restrictions on the length of films and the prices that could be paid for screenplays. Fox Film_sentence_15

In 1914, reflecting the broader scope of his business, he renamed it the Box Office Attraction Film Rental Company. Fox Film_sentence_16

He entered into a contract with the Balboa Amusement Producing Company film studio, purchasing all of their films for showing in his New York area theaters and renting the prints to other exhibitors nationwide. Fox Film_sentence_17

He also continued to distribute material from other sources, such as Winsor McCay's early animated film Gertie the Dinosaur. Fox Film_sentence_18

Later that year, Fox concluded that it was unwise to be so dependent on other companies, so he purchased the Éclair studio facilities in Fort Lee, New Jersey, along with property in Staten Island, and arranged for actors and crew. Fox Film_sentence_19

The company became a film studio, with its name shortened to the Box Office Attractions Company; its first release was Life's Shop Window. Fox Film_sentence_20

Fox Film Corporation Fox Film_section_2

Always more of an entrepreneur than a showman, Fox concentrated on acquiring and building theaters; pictures were secondary. Fox Film_sentence_21

The company's first film studios were set up in Fort Lee, New Jersey where it and many other early film studios in America's first motion picture industry were based at the beginning of the 20th century. Fox Film_sentence_22

In 1914, Fox Film began making motion pictures in California, and in 1915 decided to build its own permanent studio. Fox Film_sentence_23

The company leased the Edendale studio of the Selig Polyscope Company until its own studio, located at Western Avenue and Sunset Boulevard, was completed in 1916. Fox Film_sentence_24

In 1917, William Fox sent Sol M. Wurtzel to Hollywood to oversee the studio's West Coast production facilities where a more hospitable and cost-effective climate existed for filmmaking. Fox Film_sentence_25

With the introduction of sound technology, Fox moved to acquire the rights to a sound-on-film process. Fox Film_sentence_26

In the years 1925–26, Fox purchased the rights to the work of Freeman Harrison Owens, the U.S. rights to the Tri-Ergon system invented by three German inventors, and the work of Theodore Case. Fox Film_sentence_27

This resulted in the Movietone sound system later known as "Fox Movietone" developed at the Movietone Studio. Fox Film_sentence_28

Later that year, the company began offering films with a music-and-effects track, and the following year Fox began the weekly Fox Movietone News feature, that ran until 1963. Fox Film_sentence_29

The growing company needed space, and in 1926 Fox acquired 300 acres (1.2 km) in the open country west of Beverly Hills and built "Movietone City", the best-equipped studio of its time. Fox Film_sentence_30

Decline Fox Film_section_3

When rival Marcus Loew died in 1927, Fox offered to buy the Loew family's holdings. Fox Film_sentence_31

Loew's Inc. controlled more than 200 theaters, as well as the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer film studio. Fox Film_sentence_32

The Loew family agreed to the sale, and the merger of Fox and Loew's Inc. was announced in 1929; MGM studio bosses Louis B. Mayer and Irving Thalberg were not included in the deal, and fought back. Fox Film_sentence_33

Using powerful political connections, Mayer called upon the Justice Department's antitrust unit to delay giving final approval to the merger. Fox Film_sentence_34

William Fox was badly injured in a car crash in the summer of 1929, and by the time he recovered, he had lost most of his fortune in the stock market crash of 1929, ending any chance of the Fox/Loew's merger being approved, even without the Justice Department's objections. Fox Film_sentence_35

Overextended and close to bankruptcy, Fox was stripped of his empire in 1930 and later ended up in jail on bribery and perjury charges. Fox Film_sentence_36

Fox Film, with more than 500 theatres, was placed in receivership. Fox Film_sentence_37

A bank-mandated reorganization propped the company up for a time, but it soon became apparent that despite its size, Fox could not stand on its own. Fox Film_sentence_38

William Fox resented the way he was forced out of his company and portrayed it as an active conspiracy against him in the 1933 book Upton Sinclair Presents William Fox. Fox Film_sentence_39

Merger Fox Film_section_4

Main article: 20th Century Studios § History Fox Film_sentence_40

Under new president Sidney Kent, the new owners began negotiating with the upstart, but powerful independent Twentieth Century Pictures in the early spring of 1935. Fox Film_sentence_41

The two companies merged that spring as 20th Century Fox. Fox Film_sentence_42

For many years, 20th Century-Fox claimed to have been founded in 1915. Fox Film_sentence_43

For instance, it marked 1945 as its 30th anniversary. Fox Film_sentence_44

However, in recent years it has claimed the 1935 merger as its founding, even though most film historians agree it was founded in 1915. Fox Film_sentence_45

Products Fox Film_section_5

Feature films Fox Film_section_6

Main article: List of Fox Film films Fox Film_sentence_46

A 1937 fire in a Fox film storage facility destroyed over 40,000 reels of negatives and prints, including the best-quality copies of every Fox feature produced prior to 1932; although copies located elsewhere allowed many to survive in some form, over 75% of Fox's feature films from before 1930 are completely lost. Fox Film_sentence_47

Newsreels Fox Film_section_7

In 1919, Fox began a series of silent newsreels, competing with existing series such as Hearst Metrotone News, International Newsreel, and Pathé News. Fox Film_sentence_48

Fox News premiered on October 11, 1919, with subsequent issues released on the Wednesday and Sunday of each week. Fox Film_sentence_49

Fox News gained an advantage over its more established competitors when President Woodrow Wilson endorsed the newsreel in a letter, in what may have been the first time an American president commented on a film. Fox Film_sentence_50

In subsequent years, Fox News remained one of the major names in the newsreel industry by providing often-exclusive coverage of major international events, including reporting on Pancho Villa, the airship Roma, the Ku Klux Klan, and a 1922 eruption of Mount Vesuvius. Fox Film_sentence_51

The silent newsreel series continued until 1930. Fox Film_sentence_52

In 1926, a subsidiary, Fox Movietone Corporation, was created, tasked with producing newsreels using Fox's recently acquired sound-on-film technology. Fox Film_sentence_53

The first of these newsreels debuted on January 21, 1927. Fox Film_sentence_54

Four months later, the May 25 release of a sound recording of Charles Lindbergh's departure on his transatlantic flight was described by film historian Raymond Fielding as the "first sound news film of consequence". Fox Film_sentence_55

Movietone News was launched as a regular newsreel feature December 3 of that year. Fox Film_sentence_56

Production of the series continued after the merger with Twentieth Century Pictures, until 1963, and continued to serve 20th Century Fox after that, as a source for film industry stock footage. Fox Film_sentence_57

Unlike Fox's early feature films, the Fox News and Fox Movietone News libraries have largely survived. Fox Film_sentence_58

The earlier series and some parts of its sound successor are now held by the University of South Carolina, with the remaining Fox Movietone News still held by the company. Fox Film_sentence_59

Serials Fox Film_section_8

Fox Film briefly experimented with serial films, releasing the 15-episode Bride 13 and the 20-episode Fantômas in 1920. Fox Film_sentence_60

William Fox was unwilling to compromise on production quality in order to make serials profitable, however, and none were produced subsequently. Fox Film_sentence_61

Short films Fox Film_section_9

Hundreds of one- and two-reel short films of various types were also produced by Fox. Fox Film_sentence_62

Beginning in 1916, the Sunshine Comedy division created two-reel comedy shorts. Fox Film_sentence_63

Many of these, beginning with 1917's Roaring Lions and Wedding Bliss, starring Lloyd Hamilton, were slapstick, intended to compete with Mack Sennett's popular offerings. Fox Film_sentence_64

Sunshine releases continued until the introduction of sound. Fox Film_sentence_65

Other short film series included Imperial Comedies, Van Bibber Comedies (with Earle Foxe), O'Henry, Married Life of Helen and Warren, and Fox Varieties. Fox Film_sentence_66

Fox's expansion into Spanish-language films in the early 1930s also included shorts. Fox Film_sentence_67

Credits to the contents of this page go to the authors of the corresponding Wikipedia page: Film.