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Gone with the Wind has generated interest in every aspect of its production. Yet one crucial aspect has never been fully understood or appreciated—the vital shaping role played by executive producer David O. Selznick.

In this book, Alan David Vertrees challenges the popular image of Selznick as a megalomaniacal meddler whose hiring and firing of directors and screenwriters created a patchwork film that succeeded despite his interference. Drawing on ten years of research in the Selznick archives, and examining the screenplay's successive drafts, dramatic continuity designs and "storyboard" sketches (many of which are reproduced here), and production correspondence and memoranda, Vertrees interprets the producer's actions as manipulation, not indecision, establishing Selznick's "vision" as the guiding intelligence behind the film's success.

In his drive to create a cinematic monument, Selznick also reformed many key facets of studio filmmaking, inventing jobs such as "production designer" (inaugurated by William Cameron Menzies), which persist today. This book thus adds an important chapter to the story of classical Hollywood cinema and the making of the film that has been lauded variously as the "Sistine Chapel of movies" and the "single most beloved entertainment ever produced."

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780292787292
Publisher: University of Texas Press
Publication date: 10/13/1997
Series: Texas Film and Media Studies Series
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 260
Product dimensions: 7.00(w) x 10.00(h) x 0.55(d)

About the Author

Alan David Vertrees, of Lake Forest, Illinois, holds a Ph.D. in theater and film from Columbia University.

Table of Contents

  • Acknowledgments
  • Foreword by Thomas Schatz
  • One. "The Vision of One Man"
  • Two. Sidney Howard and the Screenwriting of Gone with the Wind
  • Three. William Cameron Menzies and the "Script in Sketch Form"
  • Four. Film Direction and Production Design of Gone with the Wind
  • Five. Executive Producers and Classical Hollywood Film Production
  • Notes
  • Bibliography
  • Index

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