IMDb > "American Masters" Hitchcock, Selznick and the End of Hollywood (1998)

"American Masters" Hitchcock, Selznick and the End of Hollywood (1998)

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Michael Epstein (written by)
View company contact information for Hitchcock, Selznick and the End of Hollywood on IMDbPro.
Original Air Date:
23 October 1998 (Season 14, Episode 1)
1 nomination See more »
User Reviews:
A hatchet job, if ever there was one See more (3 total) »


 (Episode Cast) (in credits order)
David O. Selznick ... Himself (archive footage)

Alfred Hitchcock ... Himself (archive footage)

Peter Bogdanovich ... Himself.
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

Judith Anderson ... (archive footage)

Ingrid Bergman ... (archive footage)

Raymond Burr ... (archive footage)

Leo G. Carroll ... (archive footage)
Michael Chekhov ... (archive footage)
Paula Cohen ... Herself

Joan Fontaine ... (archive footage)

Cary Grant ... (archive footage)

Gene Hackman ... Himself - Narrator (voice)
Lois Hanby ... Herself
Al Hirschfeld ... Himself

Louis Jordan ... (archive footage)
Robert E. Kapsis ... Himself (as Bob Kapsis)
David Klune ... Himself
Leonard Leff ... Himself

Norman Lloyd ... Himself
Irene Mayer Selznick ... Herself (archive footage)

Ronald Neame ... Himself

Laurence Olivier ... (archive footage)

Anny Ondra ... Herself (archive footage)

Gregory Peck ... (archive footage)
Gene Phillips ... Himself (as Father Gene Phillips)
Marcella Rabwin ... Herself
Alma Reville ... Herself (archive footage)
Peggy Robertson ... Herself

Eva Marie Saint ... (archive footage)
Thomas Schatz ... Himself

James Stewart ... (archive footage)
David Thomson ... Himself

Episode Crew
Directed by
Michael Epstein 
Writing credits
Michael Epstein (written by)

Produced by
Karen Bernstein .... producer
Michael Epstein .... producer
Tamar Hacker .... senior producer
Susan Lacy .... executive producer
Jan Rofekamp .... associate producer
Eileen Wilkinson .... associate producer
Original Music by
Richard Einhorn 
Cinematography by
Michael Chin 
Film Editing by
Bob Eisenhardt 
Sound Department
Philipe Borero .... sound mixer
Juan Rodríguez .... sound mixer
Camera and Electrical Department
Dean Hayasaka .... assistant camera (as Dean J. Hayasaka)
Dan Labbato .... assistant camera
Don Lenzer .... additional camera operator
Rita Roti .... assistant camera
Jill Tufts .... assistant camera
Editorial Department
Claudia Mogel .... assistant editor
Philip Shane .... assistant editor
Music Department
Thomas Wagner .... composer: series theme
Other crew
Claudia Mogel .... researcher
Alex Panagakis .... publicist
Michael Warwick .... location manager

Series Crew
These people are regular crew members. Were they in this episode?
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Susan Lacy  creator: American Masters

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

86 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.33 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

Movie Connections:
Features Gone with the Wind (1939)See more »


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4 out of 7 people found the following review useful.
A hatchet job, if ever there was one, 7 January 2002
Author: Albert Sanchez Moreno from United States

This documentary, part of the once-excellent "American Masters" series, details the conflict between Alfred Hitchcock, the greatest director of suspense thrillers who has ever lived, and David O. Selznick, legendary producer of many great films, and the man who brought Hitchcock to Hollywood. It is one of the most biased pieces of film-making I have ever seen.

Writer-director Michael Epstein seems intent on doing nothing better than portraying Hitchcock as a victim of the supposedly egomaniacal, compulsively meddling Selznick, who, according to Epstein, ruined numerous Hitchcock films while spending his career from 1940's onward trying to top his (Selznick's) monumental epic, "Gone With The Wind", and failing miserably at it. It then goes on to glorify Hitchcock as a creative genius (which he certainly was) who reached his full glory after breaking out of his association with Selznick.

Anyone who has read the excellent book "Memo from David O. Selznick", and seen the bulk of Selznick's films, will recognize that this notion is an amazingly idiotic one. Selznick may have been compulsive about writing memos, but anyone who reads them will realize that his films--notably "Gone With The Wind"-- would not have been as excellent as many of them were, had he not been so careful about every detail that went into them. (Selznick is also the man who gave the world the definitive films of "David Copperfield", "A Tale of Two Cities", "The Prisoner of Zenda", and "The Adventures of Tom Sawyer".)

In fact, in "Memo from David O. Selznick", there is a rather shocking memo which illustrates that Hitchcock's ideas were not always the ideas of an inspired genius--he was determined to deviate heavily from the plot line of "Rebecca" to insert his own dubious touches, such as a scene in which Maxim becomes seasick during his honeymoon with his new bride. Also dubious was Hitchcock's ill-judged attempt to try to name the nameless Joan Fontaine character Daphne, after Daphne du Maurier, author of the novel. (Maxim always calls her "darling", but never mentions her name, nor does anyone else.) Fortunately, Selznick wrote Hitchcock a blistering memo literally forcing him to stick as closely as possible to the original plot line of "Rebecca". In fact, those who see Selznick films adapted from literary works will notice that they are always meticulously faithful to their source.

Epstein writes about every post-1940 Selznick film as if it were a disaster, even such memorable ones as "Portrait of Jennie" and the vastly, vastly underrated Hitchcock film "The Paradine Case", a picture often criticized for being too "talky", and of not having any of Hitchcock's inventive visual touches, as if visual touches and unusual ideas were all there are to Hitchcock. And he barely mentions the fact that Selznick had a hand in the making of the excellent "The Third Man".

This documentary is not an objective, informative report--it is an attempt to glorify Hitchcock by taking the easy route of building him up at somebody else's expense.

I sincerely hope that "American Masters" begins to improve soon. It used to be one of the best, if not THE best, documentary series on the air. It seems as if making it a weekly series has compromised its quality.

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