TWO-SENTENCE HISTORY: Though 20th Century Fox released its share of light entertainment, studio exec Darryl Zanuck helped establish its reputation as a purveyor of serious-minded fare with movies like The Razor’s Edge (1946) and Gentleman’s Agreement (1947). After surviving the ’60s and ’70s—mostly thanks to a pair of record-breaking hits—the studio became part of Rupert Murdoch’s vast media empire in 1985.
MEMORABLE FILMS INCLUDE: The Grapes of Wrath (1940), The King and I (1956), The Sound of Music (1965), Star Wars (1977) and Die Hard (1988)
THE LOGO: The original version of the Fox logo—with its Deco-ish facade and searchlights—was created by Emil Kosa Jr., a matte artist who later painted the Statue of Liberty seen at the end of 1968’s Planet of the Apes. In 1994, and again in 2008, the logo was recreated using computer-generated imagery. The music that sometimes accompanies the logo (the “Fox Fanfare”) was composed by Alfred Newman in 1933, but was seldom heard in later years. That is, until 1977, when George Lucas used a version—arranged and recorded by John Williams—before the opening credits of Star Wars.