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Sol M. Wurtzel

Actor Tom Mix, Fox Film western manager Sol M. Wurtzel, and general manager Winfield R. Sheehan.

Solomon Max "Sol" Wurtzel (September 12, 1890 – April 9, 1958) was an American film producer.


  • Life and career 1
  • Partial filmography 2
  • References 3
  • External links 4

Life and career

Born in New York City; his parents were both German Jews (Surname Wurtzel is a variant spelling of German and Yiddish wurzel, root in English). Wurtzel worked as an executive assistant to William Fox, founding owner of the Fox Film Corporation. In 1911, Wurtzel hired Alan E. Freedman as a bookkeeper for Fox's fledgling film processing laboratory. Freedman would remain for over 50 years, eventually turning the operation into the gargantuan "Color by DeLuxe" DeLuxe Laboratories. In 1917, Fox sent Wurtzel to California to oversee the studio's West Coast productions. . He developed a formula for creating consistently money making "B" rated movies that are heralded today. (source-Early Fox Film Corporation-letters)

Wurtzel eventually became involved in production and between 1932 and 1949 he produced more than one hundred and fifty-nine films including a large number of both the Charlie Chan and Mr. Moto series as well as other successes such as Bright Eyes in 1934, starring Shirley Temple and featuring her enduring trademark song: "On The Good Ship Lollipop".

He discovered young director John Ford who later went on to earn four Academy Awards. He also discovered and made a star of famous cowboy Will Rogers. (source: Early Fox Film Company- letters)

He put sultry dancer Rita Cansino in his 1935 production Dante's Inferno. The star that became Rita Hayworth was born. As well, he gave an unknown Norma Jean Baker her first walk-on in his 1947 production of Dangerous Years appearing as Marilyn Monroe.

He produced several successful (post-Hal Roach) Laurel and Hardy, comedies in the 1940s such as Great Guns (1941), A-Haunting We Will Go (1942), Jitterbugs (1943), and The Big Noise (1944). In 1943, he produced Chetniks! The Fighting Guerrillas on the guerrilla resistance movement in Serbia.

On his passing in 1958, it was John Ford who gave the eulogy at Wurtzel's funeral. Sol M.Wurtzel was interred in the Hillside Memorial Park Cemetery in Culver City, California.

Much of Wurtzel's family continued to work at Fox Studios until the late 1980s.

Partial filmography


External links

  • Sol M. Wurtzel at the Internet Movie Database
  • Sol Wurtzel: The Forgotten Mogul
  • "William Fox, Sol M. Wurtzel, and the Early Fox Film Corporation" (McFarland and Company, February 2001) ISBN 0-7864-0857-X
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