The year 1939, according to many, was the greatest year Hollywood ever saw. “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington,” “Ninotchka,” “Stagecoach,” “The Wizard of Oz,” to name just a few of the 365 films released that year.
Eighty million movie theater tickets were sold each week to audiences yearning for escape and entertainment. At the top of the heap was “Gone With The Wind,” an epic filled with love, lust, war, betrayal and mint juleps. A film that became a classic. How did it happen?
Weeks into the filming its producer, the legendary David O. Selznick, didn’t like what he saw. A beloved novel was not receiving the kind of treatment he had envisioned for the millions who had read the book and the millions who had not. On a rampage he fired the director and tossed the screenplay. He then pulled a director from another major motion picture and hired a renowned script doctor to breathe new life into the project. MGM Studio’s future was about to weigh heavily on the shoulders of three men thrust together to reimagine history for the masses.
Enter the office of David O. Selznick.