Produced by David O. Selznick

January 26 to February 26

More than any single figure, David O. Selznick codified prestige-with-a-capital-P filmmaking during the Golden Age of the Hollywood studios. A creative producer in the truest sense who was renowned for his attention to detail, Selznick began his life in movies working for father Lewis J. Selznick’s production companies before moving to MGM, where he filled the enormous shoes of the studio’s legendary second-in-command, Irving Thalberg, and eventually became the son-in-law of studio head Louis B. Mayer. Young Selznick had the keys to the kingdom at MGM, but he was soon bucking for independence, and in 1935 went his own way with Selznick International Pictures, throwing himself into worrying and willing a string of enduring classics into being, including A Star is Born, Nothing Sacred (both 1937), Rebecca (1940), and the highest grossing American film ever, Gone With the Wind (1939). Overseeing every aspect of the filmmaking process on his movies, from writing to casting to editing to directing, Selznick garnered ten Academy awards nominations in his brilliant career. He also brought Hitchcock to America; gave his second wife, Jennifer Jones, her greatest roles; and, in the words of biographer David Thomson, “cared for every facet of making a film and had a greater sense of how to photograph individuals, how to use sets and music, and how to construct picture than many directors.” Let this retro stand as incontrovertible evidence that the “Selznick touch,” though hard to classify, was nevertheless very real—and close to a guarantee of movie magic.

Previously Screened