Biography of David O. Selznick (1902-1965)

Producer of American cinema, born in Pittsburgh (Pennsylvania) on May 10, 1902 and died in Hollywood (California) on June 22, 1965, whose full name is David Oliver Selznick.


His father was a Ukrainian emigrant who is professionally interested in the film already in 1915. He/She came to pay $500 of the time for purchasing the rights of works that also on Broadway. It was he/she who interest to their children so that they work together in the Middle, especially in the sector of production, and thus Myron and David followed in their footsteps. Created the "Lewis J. Selznick Enterprises Inc." where had the opportunity to train them in the complex and arduous business framework of the moment. On the death of the father the company was dissolved so David is engaged in the production of documentaries, two of which - which dealt with the Boxer Jack Dempseyand the actor Rudolph Valentino-, reported le prestige and money.

In 1926 it is linked to the Metro Goldwyn Mayer in the post that today would be associate producer, and intervenes decisively in the renewal of the production departments, strongly influenced in its way of working by Hunt Stromberg. However, a confrontation with Irving Thalberg, the all-powerful head of the MGM production, is cause that Selznick decides to leave the company.

In 1928 it becomes Paramount, where has occasion to delve into his work and begins to produce films that show clearly its marked personality. Three years later tries to create his own production company with director Lewis Milestone, but eyebrow in their efforts due to the opposition of Louis B. Mayerand passes as head of production at RKO, company that has absolute freedom to select projects and make these to conclude according to its forecasts. Then comes the professional designation of "executive producer" - defines your concept of what should represent the figure-term that will make school in all the film companies. During the time he/she served in the RKO were some of the most famous titles of this producer, which include King Kong (1931).

Its prestige grows in such a way that Louis B. Mayer has no problem in calling him again and offer the Vice-Presidency of the MGM. Made his debut in his new role with dinner at eight (1932), a film in which they were a majority of the stars of the producer, Lionel Barrymore, Jean Harlow, etc. The director was George Cukor, always aroused the interest of Selznick, since it was he/she who left the theater direction and will happen to the cinema.

His star begins an irresistible ascent and continues to produce titles such as Ana Karenina (1935), a brilliant adaptation of the Tolstoy novel that he/she directed Clarence Brown - another favorite producer - directors and Greta Garbo. Feeling on the cusp, Selznick once again trying to create his own production company and, on this occasion, surprisingly, the own Irving Thalberg helps you to get you your project.

It produces one of the first films in color, the garden of Allah (1936), Richard Boleslawski, who is starring Marlene Dietrich. In that same year buy the rights of a discrete novel, what with the wind, Margaret Mitchell, who will become the most famous film of the history of cinema. Selznick realized full cinematic potential that the work could lock up if it did as it was due, so he/she turned his capacity for work in the completion of the project. After making propaganda by all Hollywood of his project, he/she sought is performers. Dozens of actors and actresses aspired to roles protagonists, who ended up making Clark Gable and Vivien Leigh. The latter was a personal commitment of Selznick - already started filming-since he/she was a young actress, known only in England. The film was directed by Victor Fleming, however, many times, it was the same Selznick who had to deal with placing order on that huge set, full of talent and jealousy. Even it has been said that more than any sequence was directed by the producer, as the station. Ultimately, the personality of Selznick managed to finish a project that has made exemplary and that alone would be sufficient to recall the figure of those who conceived it.

In the Decade of the 1940s producer returns to show their sense of smell when it comes to discovering artists with great future. It does come from the United Kingdom to Alfred Hitchcock and together carry out several projects, first of which was Rebecca (1940), which was followed by other films such as recalls (1945) and the Paradine (1947) process. The song of Bernadette (1943), of Henry King, stands out for being starring Jennifer Jones, a beautiful woman and discrete actress with whom Selznick had lived an intense affair.

In 1946 established the bases for the Organisation Realising Selznick, although destiny is going to do some of his most important aides to die, resulting in difficulties. In this stage they deserve a special mention duel in the Sun (1947), a western designed online epic, in the wake of what the wind, which is signed by King Vidor, but in which William Dieterle and Josef von Stenberg, intervened also although the own Selznick returned to participate in the filming of some scenes in a remarkable way. He/She was starring Gregory Peck, Joseph Cotten and Jennifer Jones.

David O. Selznick was one of the first Americans to realize the commercial importance and distribution of coproductions, since they offered the possibility of opening up several markets. From this point of view, Selznick wheel films as the third man (1949), by Carol Reed. In the 1950s, it produces Stazione Termini (1953), Vittorio de Sica, starring Jennifer Jones. It was a contradictory shoot, as Truman Capote altered some of the original ideas of the script, and Selznick, according to his custom, let feel their particular vision of the shooting. However, it was an intense work, halfway between a melodrama and a romanticism the taste of the American public in those years.

Among the projects that were in the mind and on the table of Selznick, it should be noted a version of l to work of Tolstoy war and peace, which, in tripping over that already had underway Dino de Laurentiis, so it decided to abandon the process. He/She wanted to make farewell to arms (1957), the novel by Hemingway, with John Hustonas director and was even considering the possibility of De Sica is put in front of the shooting, but finally this task was provided by Charles Vidor.

He thought to Antonio and Cleopatra screen and drove up to the possibility of doing a musical version of what the wind was, but was interrupted his idea for the death.Many players got prestige and fame for the special insight from Selznick to discover them, support them and keep them in difficult times; they are the cases, among many others, of Ingrid Bergman, Fred Astaire, David Niven, Joseph Cottenand Alida Valli.

It was, together with Irving Thalberg, one of the most emblematic figures in United States film production. The concept that this profession was renewed. Not only was devoted to obtaining the relevant financing, but it also did give his work a creative vein which, in its own way, gave him a rank similar to that of director or screenwriter. Selznick took care of point out what could be the best actors for certain roles; It supported the directors, when it considered that that was for the benefit of the film; (e) on more than one occasion, when he/she felt that things did not come out as it was, he/she even directed sequences. But, on the other hand, had very clear that a film, above all, must be profitable, because otherwise it would be of very little.

Your work style may be debatable for those who think that cinema is something pure, exclusively artistic, and where everything must be subject to the "creation". But, insdiscutiblemente, with his way of working he/she managed thousands of people to go to the rooms and produced works without which, the history of the cinema would not have been the same.


As associate producer:

1929: The four feathers; Betrayal; The border of death; The Dance of Life; The man I love.

Executive Producer:

1932: Hollywood naked; The evil Zaroff; Are Secrets of the French PoliceIs My Face Red?; Men of America; Hold ' Em Jail; Girl Crazy; The Half Naked Truth; The Lost Squadron; Completo State Attorney; The Roadhouse Murder; Roar of the Dragon; Westward Passage; Beyond the Rockies; The Age of Consent; Hell's Highway; Thirteen Women; Little Orphan Annie; Penguin Pool Murder; The conquistadores.1933: temptation; No Other Woman; Lucky Devils; The Past of Mary Homes; King Kong; Soul dancer.

As producer:

1918: a Pair of Silk Stockings.1924: Roulette.1932: The Phantom of Crestwood; Bird of paradise; The Animal Kingdom; Bill of Divorcement; The melody of the vida.1933: Topaz; Honor your father; Our Betters; Meet the Baron; Night flight; Towards the heights; Dinner at eight o'clock; Scarlet River; The Great Jasper; Crossfire.1934: Viva Villa; Public enemy number 1.1935: David Copperfield; Vanessa, Her Love Story; Reckless (and argument); Anna Karenina; History of ciudades.1936 two: the garden of Allah. The little Lord.1937: the prisoner of Zenda; Was born a star (and uncredited screenwriter); The Queen of New York.1938: the adventures of Tom Sawyer; The Young in Heart.1939: what the wind (and uncredited screenwriter); The sacred loop; InterMezzo.1940: Rebeca.1944: since you left (and screenwriter); Reward Unlimited.1945: Recuerda.1946: duel in the Sun (and screenwriter). 1947: the Paradine process (and screenwriter). 1948: Jennie (and uncredited screenwriter). 1949: the third hombre.1950: heart salvaje.1952: The Wild Heart.1953: station Termini.1957: a farewell to arms.

Other credits:

1927: Spoilers of the West (production supervisor). 1928: Forgotten Faces (editor and production supervisor); Wyoming (production supervisor). 1936: the daughter of Dracula (as screenwriter). 1999: Hitchcock, Selznick and the End of Hollywood (actor).