Fox's forthcoming Murnau/Borzage box set

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Official press release from Fox, I c&p-ed this from nitrateville:



The Iconic Careers of Directors F.W. Murnau And Frank Borzage At Fox Studios Are Captured In A 12 Film DVD Collection, Brilliantly Restored And Remastered With An All New In-Depth Documentary, Two Exclusive Coffee Table Books Focusing on Their Creative Legacy and Murnau’s Lost Film 4 Devils

Arriving December 9, 2008 With 12 New-To-DVD Releases

“In the late 20s, the most exciting experiments were taking place at the Fox studios.”
Martin Scorsese – A Personal Journey with Martin Scorsese Through American Movies

CENTURY CITY, Calif. – At the very first Academy Awards® in May, 1929, two directors cemented their place in cinematic history as F.W. Murnau’s Sunrise took home the prize for Unique and Artistic Picture and Frank Borzage garnered Best Director for 7th Heaven. At the time, both men were under contract with William Fox, owner of Fox Film Corporation, who had invested heavily on making sure that movie directors were the stars of his films, gambling that audiences would gravitate to strong stories told by brilliant filmmakers. These awards validated Fox’s vision for movies as an art form and these two director’s craft.

Now, Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment presents a collection saluting F. W. Murnau and Frank Borzage whose daring camera movements and visually extravagant styles were integral in the development of modern movies and the studio that allowed them to flourish with MURNAU, BORZAGE AND FOX, available December 9, 2008. Celebrating their collected works, their influence on director’s to follow and their collaborations with William Fox in the late 1920s and early 1930s, MURNAU, BORZAGE AND FOX features 12 films from the Hollywood legends including newly remastered versions of Murnau’s Sunrise and Borzage’s 7th Heaven, as well as an all-new feature length documentary from filmmaker John Cork looking at William Fox’s patronage and Murnau and Borzage’s effect on the film industry. Additionally, the set features two exclusive hard-cover books showcasing rare, unpublished photos from the careers of both filmmakers, one of which focuses solely on Murnau’s 4 Devils, the lost film considered by those that saw it to be the greatest movie ever made, pushing the boundaries of what Hollywood movies were at the time.

While his career was cut short due to a fatal auto accident in 1931 at the age of 42, the impact of F.W. Murnau on the film community can still be felt to this day. Heralded by his contemporaries such as John Ford, Allan Dwan, William Wellman, Howard Hawks and Raoul Walsh during his time at the studio, William Fox brought the expressionist director from Germany to Hollywood after he saw his 1924 film The Last Laugh. This premiere collection includes two surviving works that Murnau made with Fox from 1927-1930 including the beautifully filmed, three-time Oscar® winner Sunrise (1927) starring Janet Gaynor and George O’Brien and the country set, marital crisis City Girl (1930). Murnau’s lost, and perhaps most famous work 4 Devils (1928) is also paid tribute with a featurette and all-new book focused on the film as well as a look at the screenplay and more. Also included is the rarely seen European silent alternate version of Sunrise, restored by the Nardoni Filmovy Archiv.

Frank Borzage’s career at Fox lasted only seven years, but it would be the silent films he helmed at the studio that would come to define his career as he won the first Best Director Oscar® for 7th Heaven and again in 1931 for Bad Girl. Ten of Borzage’s surviving films are featured in the collection including the melodramatic love story 7th Heaven (1927), another triple-Oscar® winner at the inaugural ceremony also starring Janet Gaynor. Borzage would go on to collaborate with Gaynor two more times at Fox; as a spirited young woman who joins a traveling carnival in Street Angel (1928) and as a young farm girl who falls in love with a soldier during World War I in Lucky Star (1929). Other featured Borzage works include Lazybones (1925), They Had To See Paris (1929), two versions of Song O’ My Heart (1930), Liliom (1930), Bad Girl (1931), After Tomorrow (1932), Young America (1932) and a reconstruction of the lost film The River (1929).

Lastly, Murnau, Borzage & Fox (2008) is a feature length documentary by filmmaker John Cork examining the early history of Fox films and studio head William Fox and his patronage of German expressionist F.W. Murnau. In turn, Murnau’s cinematic styles would influence Fox’s stable of directors including Frank Borzage, John Ford and Raoul Walsh.

A rich collection of true historical significance, MURNAU, BORZAGE & FOX will be available for a suggested retail price of $239.98 U.S. / $269.98 Canada. Prebook is October 29.

Murnau, Borzage And Fox DVD Collection Special Features & Disc Specifics

Lazybones (1925) – Frank Borzage
§ Feature film (1.20:1 aspect ratio)
§ Newly created score composed by Tim Curran
§ Still gallery

Street Angel (1928) – Frank Borzage
· Feature film (1.20:1 aspect ratio)
· Still gallery

7th Heaven (1927) – Frank Borzage
· Feature film (1.20:1 aspect ratio)
· Commentary by film historians Robert Birchard and Anthony Slide
· Still gallery
· The River reconstruction featurette
· The River Still gallery

Sunrise (1927) – F.W. Murnau
· Movietone version of feature film (1.20:1 aspect ratio)
· European silent version of feature film (1.33:1 aspect ratio)
· Original Movietone score
· Olympia Chamber Orchestra score composed and conducted by Timothy Brock
· Commentary by ASC Cinematographer John Bailey
· Outtakes with commentary by John Bailey
· Outtakes with text cards
· Original scenario by Carl Meyer with annotations by F. W. Murnau
· Theatrical trailer
· Still gallery
· Sunrise screenplay
· Restoration notes

Lucky Star (1929) – Frank Borzage
§ Feature film (1.20:1 aspect ratio)
§ Newly created score composed and conducted by Christopher Caliendo
§ Still gallery

The Had To See Paris (1929) – Frank Borzage
§ Feature film (1.20:1 aspect ratio)
§ Still gallery

City Girl (1930) – F.W. Murnau
§ Feature film (1.19:1 aspect ratio)
§ Newly created score composed and conducted by Christopher Caliendo
§ Still gallery
§ Murnau’s 4 Devils: Traces of a Lost Film – a film by Janet Bergstrom
§ 4 Devils screenplay
§ 4 Devils treatment
§ 4 Devils Still gallery

Liliom (1930) – Frank Borzage
§ Feature film (1.20:1 aspect ratio)
§ Still gallery

After Tomorrow (1932) – Frank Borzage
§ Feature film (1.33:1 aspect ratio)
§ Still gallery

Young America (1932) – Frank Borzage
§ Feature film (1.33:1 aspect ratio)
§ Still gallery

Song O’ My Heart (1930) – Frank Borzage
§ Full sound version of film (1.20:1 aspect ratio)
§ Music and Effects version of film (1.20:1 aspect ratio)
§ Still gallery

Bad Girl (1931) – Frank Borzage
§ Feature film (1.20:1 aspect ratio)
Murnau, Borzage And Fox (2008)
§ Feature length documentary (1.66:1 aspect ratio)


Lazybones (1925) – Frank Borzage
Steve Tuttle (Charles Jones), the titular lazybones, takes on the responsibility of raising a fatherless girl, causing a scandal in his small town. Many years later, having returned from World War I, he discovers that he loves the grown-up girl.

Street Angel (1928) – Frank Borzage
First-ever ACADEMY AWARD-Winning actress Janet Gaynor plays Angela, in “a simple, but pathetically beautiful love tale” (Film Daily) that unfolds in the picturesque landscape of Naples, Italy.

7th Heaven (1927) – Frank Borzage
Frank Borzage’s inspiring romantic tale of love and courage is a true cinematic masterpiece. Starring Janet Gaynor and Charles Farrell. Winner of three Academy Awards®, including Best Director.

Sunrise (1927) – F.W. Murnau
In this fable-morality silent film masterpiece (which is subtitled “A Song of Two Humans”), an evil temptress (Margaret Livingston) bewitches a farmer (George O'Brien) and convinces him to murder his neglected wife (Janet Gaynor). After he comes to his senses - before he is about to kill his wife - the married couple renew their love in the city.

Lucky Star (1929) – Frank Borzage
Mary (Janet Gaynor), a poor farm girl, meets Tim (Charles Farrell) just as word comes that war has been declared. Tim enlists in the army and goes to the battlefields of Europe, where he is wounded and loses the use of his legs. Home again, Tim is visited by Mary and they are powerfully attracted to each other; but his physical handicap prevents him from declaring his love for her. Deeper complications set in when Martin (Guinn Williams), Tim’s former sergeant and a bully, takes a shine to Mary.

They Had To See Paris (1929) – Frank Borzage
Oklahoma mechanic Pike Peters finds himself part owner of an oil field. His wife Idy, hitherto content, decides the family must go to Paris to get culture and meet the right kind of people. Pike and his grown son and daughter soon have flirtatious French admirers; Idy rents a chateau from an impoverished aristocrat while Pike responds to each new development with homespun wit. In the inevitable clash, will pretentiousness and sophistication or common sense triumph?

City Girl (1930) – F.W. Murnau
Lem goes to Chicago to sell the wheat his family has grown on their farm in Minnesota. There he meets the waitress Kate. They fall in love and get married before going back to the farm. Kate is accepted by Lem’s mother and kid sister but is rejected by his father, who believes she married for the money. The reapers arrive and quickly make things even more complicated by making their move on Kate. Lem misunderstands the situation and believes Kate is actually interested. In despair Kate leaves the farm and Lem goes looking for her.

Liliom (1930) – Frank Borzage
This gorgeously mounted story — later remade as the musical Carousel — follows Liliom, a poor, but cocky man who turns to thieving to support his new family. But when a holdup turns disastrous and Liliom loses his life, he is allowed to return to Earth years later in an attempt to set things right.

After Tomorrow (1932) – Frank Borzage
No matter how responsible they are, a young couple’s pending marriage plans are destroyed by their self-serving families.

Young America (1932) – Frank Borzage
Already in trouble with the law, Arthur and his friend Nutty break into a drugstore to get medicine for Nutty’s grandmother. The druggist’s wife, Mrs. Doray, asks for custody. When he hears them arguing over him, Arthur runs away. When he returns Mr. Doray is being robbed by bandits at the drugstore.

Song O’ My Heart (1930) – Frank Borzage
(Full sound version, and music and effects version) In this “flawlessly” (The New York Times) recorded feature loosely based on his own life, “John McCormack’s famous tenor voice is reproduced so naturally and so pleasingly” (Film Daily).

Bad Girl (1931) – Frank Borzage
In this Winner of two OSCARS® (Best Director for Borzage and Best Writing/Adaptation) — a touching drama set during the depression — a poor young couple must marry when she becomes pregnant.

Murnau, Borzage And Fox
Street Date: December 9, 2008
Pre-Book Date: November 12, 2008
Price: $239.98 U.S. / $269.98 Canada
Catalog Number: 2256220
Closed Captioned: Yes

Mildred Dixon (Pashmina), Friday, 12 September 2008 11:54 (fourteen years ago) link

Amazon have it on pre-order for ~167 dollars

This is some pretty thrilling shit, no? Even one year ago, who would have expected such a thing to exist. Out of all of these films, I have seen "Sunrise" and "Seventh Heaven" only.

Mildred Dixon (Pashmina), Friday, 12 September 2008 11:56 (fourteen years ago) link

had no idea Borzage (just before Lang) did a Liliom.

Dr Morbius, Friday, 12 September 2008 13:50 (fourteen years ago) link

i will never own this, but it does look pretty great. i also know nothing about 4 devils, and expect it'll only be heartbreaking frustrating to investigate into.

schlump, Friday, 12 September 2008 14:01 (fourteen years ago) link

The "4 Devils" documentary is on the existing edition of "Sunrise", I couldn't actually watch it all the way through, it was too sad. Heartbreakingly frustrating indeed.

I'm curious about the alternative European cut of "Sunrise". I had no idea this existed. I fear it's going to be no more DVDs for me till december to raise the cash for this, but I think it'll be worth it. I'm actually really impressed w/Fox for putting this out, they could have just put out the 2 Murnaus, and 7th Heaven/Street Angel/Lucky Star and people would likeley have been amazed that such a thing even existed.

Mildred Dixon (Pashmina), Friday, 12 September 2008 15:34 (fourteen years ago) link

eh, it's linked off the bottom of this article:

plastic fork (Pashmina), Wednesday, 17 September 2008 13:21 (fourteen years ago) link

I don't understand why they're linking the directors together. Why not release a Borzage box and a separate Murnau collection? (I know the real reason: Murnau is a more well-known name than Borzage, but released less on Fox. Also, it's another attempt at making Sunrise expensive/rare.)

abanana, Saturday, 20 September 2008 02:38 (fourteen years ago) link

fox had some success with the mega-Ford box set, so they are trying to do something even bigger for the film geek crew.

i saw Bad Girl a few years ago, it's just ok but admittedly the print I saw was shit so maybe they had a better source for the trsnsfer.

the bridge to erewhon (velko), Saturday, 20 September 2008 03:24 (fourteen years ago) link

Street Angel is really good. Reminds me of La Strada. Wonder if Fellini & Masina ever saw it.

C. Grisso/McCain, Monday, 22 September 2008 22:06 (fourteen years ago) link

This probably ain't the place to post it, but according to DVD Beaver, Kino's dropping some D.W. Griffith in November

The titles:

Abraham Lincoln/The Struggle
Way Down East
Sally Of The Sawdust
The Avenging Conscience

C. Grisso/McCain, Monday, 22 September 2008 22:18 (fourteen years ago) link

two months pass...

The documentary is first-rate: intelligent and not too hagiographic.

Alfred, Lord Sotosyn, Thursday, 11 December 2008 00:23 (fourteen years ago) link

Soto (or anyone who has this already) - Did you buy yours at a brick and mortar or via Amazon or...?

Kevin John Bozelka, Wednesday, 17 December 2008 19:19 (fourteen years ago) link

Netflix! But you can send me a used copy.

Alfred, Lord Sotosyn, Wednesday, 17 December 2008 20:11 (fourteen years ago) link

I want it at a brick and mortar at Amazon's price NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Kevin John Bozelka, Friday, 19 December 2008 03:11 (fourteen years ago) link


Kevin John Bozelka, Friday, 19 December 2008 03:11 (fourteen years ago) link

(screaming like a little kid; throwing temper tantrum; banging fists on floor) AAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE25647859iufidh y357ty#$%^&*(#$%^&*$%^&*OPERT

Kevin John Bozelka, Friday, 19 December 2008 03:12 (fourteen years ago) link

two weeks pass...

Guess what I just got with xmas money.....

Kevin John Bozelka, Wednesday, 7 January 2009 21:02 (fourteen years ago) link

New drapes?

Alfred, Lord Sotosyn, Wednesday, 7 January 2009 22:23 (fourteen years ago) link

three weeks pass...

Pashmina, Thursday, 29 January 2009 19:17 (fourteen years ago) link

one year passes...

just saw a Borzage @Republic film on TCM, Moonrise; what an odd, fevered little picture.

Rage, Resentment, Spleen (Dr Morbius), Thursday, 4 February 2010 05:43 (twelve years ago) link

oh, I see it's one of Kevin's 20 favorite '40s films. The opening and the Ferris wheel are somethin'.

Rage, Resentment, Spleen (Dr Morbius), Thursday, 4 February 2010 05:47 (twelve years ago) link

beautiful film, kinda stops making sense towards the end? (it's been a while)
the lead actress is so gorgeous

velko, Thursday, 4 February 2010 05:48 (twelve years ago) link

yeah, it tries to have as upbeat an ending as possible for a mad killer. kind of astonishing for the period, really.

Rage, Resentment, Spleen (Dr Morbius), Thursday, 4 February 2010 12:11 (twelve years ago) link

nine months pass...

Bad Girl goes by in a breeze

kind of shrill and very self-righteous (Dr Morbius), Friday, 12 November 2010 09:05 (twelve years ago) link

five months pass...

Strange Cargo tonight.

My mom is all about capital gains tax butthurtedness (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Monday, 18 April 2011 21:43 (eleven years ago) link

four years pass...

i saw FB's Liliom yesterday, which gets awfully talky and "Mr Jordany" when HB Warner shows up in the afterlife, but has some marvelously abstract sets and a great streetscum part for Lee Tracy. (also maybe Rose Hobart's best role til she was recut by Joseph Cornell)

The climactic moral gets to "he hit me (and it felt like a kiss)" 30 years before Goffin-King.

the increasing costive borborygmi (Dr Morbius), Monday, 8 June 2015 15:08 (seven years ago) link

one month passes...
ten months pass...

saw a Borzage Universal film Little Man, What Now? (title of novel/film later pinched by Morrissey), a 1934 marital romance of poor folk in Weimar Germany. Goddamn, Margaret Sullavan was great in everyuthing, huh?

we can be heroes just for about 3.6 seconds (Dr Morbius), Monday, 16 May 2016 15:11 (six years ago) link

As far as I know.

Hang On To Your Evol (James Redd and the Blecchs), Monday, 16 May 2016 15:12 (six years ago) link

sexiest voice in the history of film.

The burrito of ennui (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Monday, 16 May 2016 15:13 (six years ago) link

also the lead actor in LMWN, Douglass Montgomery, is sorta pretty and awkward, but given that his character is rather "emo" it works well.

we can be heroes just for about 3.6 seconds (Dr Morbius), Monday, 16 May 2016 15:16 (six years ago) link

two months pass...

Man's Castle sure is somethin'.

The burrito of ennui (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Tuesday, 26 July 2016 17:23 (six years ago) link

so fabuloso

The Hon. J. Piedmont Mumblethunder (Dr Morbius), Tuesday, 26 July 2016 17:26 (six years ago) link

solid print on YouTube btw, and most Borzage too -- even Three Comrades, which I used to own on VHS.

The burrito of ennui (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Tuesday, 26 July 2016 18:07 (six years ago) link

one year passes...

Working my way through the Murnau, Borzage and Fox set. (Daedalus Books has it for $50.) A verrry bad idea, given my current emotional fragility and longing.

Polly of the Pre-Codes (, Friday, 9 February 2018 02:59 (four years ago) link

four months pass...
one year passes...

holy moly Sunrise is pretty good huh?

closed beta (NotEnough), Saturday, 11 April 2020 21:55 (two years ago) link

two months pass...

Moonrise might be better

flappy bird, Thursday, 11 June 2020 06:37 (two years ago) link

two years pass...

TCM aired The Mortal Storm on Friday: one of the few American studio films to call out Nazis for being anti-Semitic and illiterate. Stewart and Sullavan don't have much to do beside serve the mechanics of the plot, but the plot has enough pathos.

Malevolent Arugula (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Monday, 9 January 2023 00:29 (two weeks ago) link

Havent’t seen that one in ages, but remember it being similar to what you describe.

Farewell to Evening in Paradise (James Redd and the Blecchs), Monday, 9 January 2023 00:37 (two weeks ago) link

Oh wait. It is on TCM for a bit, maybe I can rewatch.

Farewell to Evening in Paradise (James Redd and the Blecchs), Monday, 9 January 2023 00:57 (two weeks ago) link

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