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Jul 2, 2021

Our studio this week is 20th Century Fox, the year is 1936; two fascinating movies of dubious historicity (in the details, at least) by the ever-reliable Henry King, possibly Fox's most characteristic director. First up, Ramona, a sympathetic depiction of North American settler colonialism from the perspective of Native Americans (unfortunately, as ever, with white actors--Loretta Young and Don Ameche--playing the leads). Then, the surprisingly engrossing The Country Doctor, starring Jean Hersholt in his career defining role. We discuss the bizarre and tragic real-life story of the Ontario government's exhibition of the Dionne Quintuplets and what the movie gets right about Canadian society. Elise speculates on what Preston Sturges learned about small-town America from two Fox movies directed by Henry King that aren't even set in America, and Dave argues about the progressive influence of Darryl Zanuck on this phase of the studio. 


Time Codes:

0h 01m 00s:                  RAMONA [dir. Henry King]

0h 37m 52s:                  THE COUNTRY DOCTOR [dir. Henry King]

1h 11m 45s:                  Listener mail from Jeff (on Clara Bow series)  


Studio Film Capsules provided by The Films of 20th Century Fox by Tony Thomas & Aubrey Solomon



* Marvel at our meticulously ridiculous Complete Viewing Schedule for the 2020s

* Intro Song: “Sunday” by Jean Goldkette Orchestra with the Keller Sisters (courtesy of The Internet Archive)

* Read Elise’s latest film piece on Preston Sturges, Unfaithfully Yours, and the Narrative role of comedic scapegoating.

* Check out Dave’s new Robert Benchley blog – an attempt to annotate and reflect upon as many of the master humorist’s 2000+ pieces as he can locate – Benchley Data: A Wayward Annotation Project!  

*And Read lots of Elise’s Writing at Bright Wall/Dark RoomCléo, and Bright Lights.*

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