Peter Bart: In The Calm Before The Merger Storm, It Is All Quiet On The Disney-Fox Front

The 20th Century Fox lot these days is haunted by the sounds of silence. Disney’s annexation of the Fox empire is imminent but the rules of the game provide that no one on either side is allowed to talk about it. Not even the top executives, and not even to one another.

With Hollywood on the brink of historic change, it’s too bad Louis B. Mayer isn’t around to witness it. It was back in 1924 when Mayer summoned every star in town, even the President of the United States, to honor the opening of his heralded new MGM studio.

The pomp and ceremony was as bogus as it was grand. Mayer’s actual assets at that moment totaled a mere $100,000. And the “G” in Metro Goldwyn Mayer (Samuel Goldwyn) had already fled the venture. Alert to all this, President Calvin Coolidge bailed at the last moment. MGM’s biggest star,
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