20th Century Fox goes back to its Fox Studio roots with the Murneau, Borzage, and Fox DVD box set. This 12 movie collection bridges the history of the Fox studios from the silent era to the first talkies with the work of two of the studio’s great directors, F.W. Murneau and Frank Borzage. This classic cinema DVD box set is a must for film aficionados though it is rather expensive.
If you are a classic film fan, the best place to start with the Murneau, Borzage, and Fox DVD box set it the documentary by John Cork. It features a biography of both directors and Fox as it also tells the story of Hollywood itself from the fight against the Edison trust to the development of other studios.
In it you learn the importance of F.W. Murneau. Fox hired the German director because he was impressed by how original and beautiful his films were. Murneau was also hired to school John Ford, Raoul Walsh, Allan Dwan, and even Borzage who would win the first Best Director Academy Award in 1927.
The documentary also covers the first attempts at sound and other improvements to film. Logically, it spends a lot of time on Murneau’s masterpiece Sunrise. Though it was made as a silent, it became the first Movietone sound film.
There are a few very interesting factoids in this John Cork documentary such as the fact test audiences, comment cards, and changes based on the comments date back to the silent era. The documentary closes with what happened to William Fox after he lost his studio, Murneau’s car accident, and the last film by Frank Borzage
Murneau, Borzage, and Fox has a who’s who of film experts, curators, professors who give a very thorough and varied view of the two directors and William Fox. There are, of course, many clips from the directors’ movies. Most of the clips are of astonishing quality if not pristine.
This documentary is a must for any fan of classic cinema.