Get ready to take the ultimate studio tour of the ultimate movie studio.
Film historian Michael Troyan serves as your guide in his stunning new book, “Twentieth Century Fox: A Century of Entertainment” (Lyons Press, $50), which covers every inch of the movie company that opened its gates in 1915 as Fox Film Corp. (Its ultimate name didn’t come until merging with Twentieth Century Pictures in 1935.)
At more than 700 pages, lifting the book will do wonders for your biceps. Your eyes will also get a good workout poring over hundreds of rarely seen photos from the archives of the studio responsible for such cinematic treasures as “All About Eve,” “The Sound of Music” and Betty Grable’s gams. Undoubtedly, Fox’s most iconic star remains Marilyn Monroe, who’s seen in dozens of gorgeous photos, including a “Niagara” publicity still in which she sizzles in a hot pink dress, and a more innocent 1946 image of Monroe, then 20, lunching with actress Jean Peters in the Café de Paris.
Troyan also spotlights the many sets on the lot (Old New York Street showed up in everything from “A Tree Grows in Brooklyn” to “The Girl Can’t Help It”) and devotes sections to shooting locations for every Fox feature, awards and a complete studio filmography. It all makes for a fantastic Fox tale.