Tyrone Power was one of the top stars of Hollywood's heyday in the 30's & 40's. His "unholy looks" [frequent director, Henry King] and talent helped put the then fledgling 20th Century Fox Studio on the map! Coming from an acting dynasty, his range was effective enough to be equally at home in swashbucklers (some of the best ever made, including "The Mark of Zorro," "The Black Swan," among others) parlor room comedy ("Second Honeymoon"), westerns ("Jesse James" with Henry Fonda), musicals & glossy drama, ("Alexander's Ragtime Band," "The Razor's Edge," "The Sun Also Rises"), 'disaster' epics ("In Old Chicago") & dark film noir---the best of the bunch being the cult classic, "Nightmare Alley." Of this later film, Power was never allowed by studio chief Darryl Zanuck to utilize the dramatic potential he showed. Portraying a high-class con-artist who ends up as the "Geek" of a traveling carnival, the film wasn't successful at the box office and the studio promptly returned him to the reliable swashbuckler genre. After nearly 20 years under contract to 20th Century Fox, Power left the studio in the early 50's to pursue theatre work and freelance. Though he wouldn't rekindle the box-office heights of the 30's and 40's, he nevertheless had some of his greatest successes during the 50's with such smashes as, "The Eddy Duchin Story," John Ford's, "The Long Gray Line" and Billy Wilder's, "Witness for the Prosecution." A heavy smoker, Tyrone Power died tragically at the age of 44 of a heart attack, in Spain, on the set of "Solomon and Sheba."
On December 30, 2009, the Library of Congress announced that Rouben Mamoulian's 1940 classic, "The Mark of Zorro", starring Tyrone Power, has been inducted into the National Film Registry. According to the National Registry's December statement: Under the terms of the National Film Preservation Act, each year the Library of Congress names 25 films to the registry that are "culturally, historically or aesthetically" significant to be preserved for all time. These films are not selected as the "best" American films of all time, but rather as works of enduring importance to American culture. Read the LOC National Film
Registry announcement here.
Twenty-four additional films were also selected.
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