Twentieth Century Fox

Album: The Doors (1967)


  • This song is about a fashionable, but unfeeling woman. The title is a play on words - it's the name of a popular movie studio, but Jim Morrison's lyrics refer to a girl - "fox" was a popular term for a pretty girl at the time. The movie studio is used to represent the woman in the song, who is glamorous, but artificial.

    The studio, 20th Century Fox, is one of the Big Six studios. Fox Film Corporation was founded in 1915, while Twentieth Century Pictures was founded in 1933. They merged in 1935 and became "The Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corporation."
  • Producer Paul Rothchild had the band walk on wooden planks during the chorus to get the pounding effect.
  • In 2002, original Doors Robby Krieger and Ray Manzarek joined Police drummer Stewart Copeland and Cult singer Ian Astbury to form a new group which they called "21st Century Doors," the name being a takeoff on this song. They were going to start touring in 2002, but had to postpone until 2003 when Copeland broke his arm while biking. Krieger and Manzarek replaced him with drummer Ty Dennis, and Copeland filed a lawsuit claiming they broke an oral agreement to keep him as their drummer. The band was also sued by original drummer John Densmore, and by Jim Morrison's parents, who felt they were misappropriating the Doors name. Krieger and Manzarek eventually changed the name to "Riders On The Storm."
  • In Greil Marcus' book The Doors: A Lifetime of Listening to Five Mean Years, the author compares this song to a Lichtenstein painting - pop art, with an irony and a sardonic grin. He ruminates upon it as a ballad about how guys have it tough, having to conquer the world to win a gal's eye, where all a gal has to do is look good.
  • Doors' drummer John Densmore reminisces in his book Riders on the Storm: My Life with Jim Morrison and the Doors that in the early days of the band, summer in 1967, he ached to be part of the Monterey Pop Festival, but they weren't invited. While later told that they were "overlooked," Densmore supposed that The Doors were just too edgy and dangerous to mix it up with all those peace-n-love flower children.

Comments: 17

  • Grace from Argentina"Sent to manless school" doesn't seem to have much sense...because: what is it what "never hesitates" then? That "It" of the following line would be needing an appropriate antecedent.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn August 19, 1967, Freddy Cannon performed his covered version of the Doors' "Twentieth Century Fox'" on the Dick Clark ABC-TV Saturday-afternoon program 'American Bandstand'...
    His version did not make Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart...
    And on the day of his appearance on 'Bandstand', the Doors' "Light My Fire"* was at #2, the week before it was in it's third of three weeks at #1 on the Top 100...
    It would be fourteen years before Freddy had another Top 100 record, on September 20th, 1981 his duet with the Belmonts, "Let's Put the Fun Back in Rock 'n Roll", entered the chart at #89, and would peak at #81...
    Mr. Cannon, born Frederick Anthony Picariello Jr., will celebrate his 81st birthday this coming December 4th {2017}...
    * Personal note, have great affection for "Light My Fire", it was at #1 on July 31st, 1967, the day I was discharged from the U.S. Navy.
  • John from Fargo, NdI am not old enough that I should even get this but as Everyone seems to have missed it I am going to take a shot at it.
    "Got the world locked up inside a plastic box"
    Seems pretty obvious to me that he is talking about the fact that birth control pills.... Which gave women the ability to be promiscuous without the risk of an unwanted pregnancy...... And came in a plastic box. DUH. ... Gave a woman control over her life in many ways which did not previously exist.
    You could sleep your way to the top as it were and make plenty of mistakes on the way. I find it difficult to believe that no one else has made this incredibly obvious connection..... I was four years old when this song was released and probably did not really "hear it" so to speak for 26 years after that.
  • Chris from Sacramento, CaI was felt this song was about Marilyn Monroe. She was contracted with twentieth century fox production co. and she did drop out of school.
  • G from Warwick, RiThe 1989 cover by Pandora's Box has the debated line as "Since his mind left school" (gender changed, as cover was sung by female artist). Maybe that's the line?
  • Dusty from St. Louis, MoThis song can be used to describe the true, but unfortunate reality that most 21st century Americans (United States) are dumb, fat, lazy, materialistic, and superficial. It's a horrible reality. This is not the America I think of. If you go back in time, why were the Revolutionaries fighting? For plastic surgery? The Founding Fathers, and the eighteenth century Americans were hardcore and tough. So were the 1900's. Ever since the 80's, really, we became superficial and materialistic. There are people suing for pointless reasons, and getting huge payouts. And then you have the "safety" of our children. There can be no violence, swearing or anything anywhere. Whatever happened to freedom of speech, press, and religion? They try and quarantine us, the youth, into safety bubbles. It's not going to work, and it's stupid and pointless. I play lawn darts. Whatever happened to those? My dad loved them. But, the safety bubble came. Not sure how this started, but thanks for reading my whole rant. I have more, too. Just email me.
  • Josh from Bemidji, Mnthe line is: since her mind left school.
  • San from San Fransisco, Ca20th Century Fox is a term meaning "attractive woman". Thats why Jim Morrison likely wrote this song for his girlfriend Pamela Courson.
  • Anthony from Orange, CaI honestly thought and had no doubt about the line being "She sets her mind on school." Maybe it was the title 20th Century Fox that lead me to think that the woman or women in general that the song is about are these new women becoming independent like never before: beautiful, smart, and of strong character...that's what the song has meant to me anyway.
  • Matthew from Los Angeles, CaThis song is definetely about Pamela Courson. It describes her extremely well. You don't believe me? Just read Angels Dance and Angels Die.
  • Douglas from Melbourne, FlL.A.'s materialistic women, are the basis for this song.
  • Stefanie from Rock Hill, ScI thought that line was "Since her man left school."
  • Johnny from Los Angeles, CaCody, I think it was a little of both. Chad, I agree, that's what I heard too. I also heard that the company 20th century fox wanted to sue them! How is this about the dangers of money?
  • Calum from Edinburgh, ScotlandRe 'sent to manless school' I thought it was 'since her mind left school'
  • Stefanie Magura from Rock Hill, Scevery thme I hear the line "Got the world locked up inside a plastic box" I think of barby. I don't know why. I just do. Btw, I thought the line "sent to manless school' was "sense her man left school," whch obviously wouldn't make sense. I don't know where I got that from.
  • Cody from Ashland, Oh21st Century Doors was NOT a play off of this song, that would be way too hoaky for them. They called themselves that because it is the 21st Century now, and they are almost all that is left of The Doors. And yes, song was written about Pam.
  • Chad from Orlando, FlSaid to have been written about Jim's love, Pamela
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