Henry Fonda hosts this retrospective on the career and films of iconic filmmaker David O. Selznick, who epitomized the era of the auteur producer in 30s and 40s Hollywood. It follows Selznick's early career at Paramount, RKO and MGM, where he had to overcome talk of nepotism on the part of father-in-law Louis B. Mayer. After earning a reputation of literary fidelity with critically acclaimed adaptations of classic novels: "David Copperfield," "Little Women," "A Tale of Two Cities," and "Anna Karenina," the dynamic producer founded his own studio, Selznick International, where he produced pictures of depth and scope including Best Picture winners "Gone with the Wind" and "Rebecca." Clips from many of his films are shown as are interviews with many of his contract artists (Gregory Peck, Ingris Bergman, Dorothy McGuire, Alfred Hitchcock, Joseph Cotten, and Ingrid Bergman.) Written by
Melvyn Douglas was one of the actors under consideration for the part of Ashley Wilkes in "Gone with the Wind," and he can be clearly seen in Lana Turner's screen test. In one of Selznick's infamous memos, the producer expressed disinterest in casting the actor in the part as he photographed "too beefy" for that role in the test. See more »
Footage showing Selznick with Victor Fleming is described as the producer making preparations for filming. The film was prepared by Selznick in collaboration with director George Cukor, not Fleming, who was working on "The Wizard of Oz" at the time. Fleming did not come on board the production until after filmimg had started and Cukor withdrew from the film. See more »
I said to him once, uh, perhaps he ought to try a simpler picture sometime. Start off with a couple of kids on a park bench and see what he could make out of that... and he said, 'Ohm that's not for me," he said. "The trouble with meis that I-I made my, uh, masterpiece when I was quite a young man, "\'Gone with the Wind.'" He said, "I know that's going to be the lead line in my obituary." He said, "every time I make a picture, I'm trying to top 'Gone with the Wind.'" Well, uh, he didn't... but ...
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