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
The first scene shot for "Gone with the Wind" was the 'Burning of Atlanta' sequence shot with doubles for Rhett and Scarlett, who hadn't even been cast yet. The structure burning in the background is actually King Kong's Wall on Skull Island. Selznick needed to clear the lot so he could build his Atlanta set, Ironically, he had been executive producer on "King Kong" when he was at RKO. Another co-incidence connected with that shot is that is when his brother Myron introduced him to his sought-after Scrlett, Vivien Leigh. 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 »
[as "A Tale of Two Cities" clip is shown]
For the first time literary classics are filmed with at least the illusion of fidelity to the original.
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