David O. Selznick filmography
David O. Selznick (1902–1965) was an American motion picture producer whose work consists of three short subjects, 67 feature films, and one television production made between 1923 and 1957. He was the producer of the 1939 epic Gone With the Wind. Selznick was born in Pittsburgh and educated in public schools in Brooklyn and Manhattan. He began working in the film industry in New York while in his teens as an assistant to his father, jeweler-turned-film producer Lewis J. Selznick. In 1923, he began producing films himself, starting with two documentary shorts and then a minor feature, Roulette (1924). Moving to Hollywood in 1926, Selznick became employed at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM), where he produced two films before switching to Paramount in early 1928. After helping to guide Paramount into the sound era, Selznick moved to RKO Radio in 1931 where he served as the studio's executive producer. During his time at RKO he oversaw the production of King Kong (1933) and helped to develop Katharine Hepburn and Myrna Loy into major film stars.
In 1933 Selznick returned to MGM, this time as a vice-president in charge of his own production unit. During his two years with the studio he produced elaborate versions of Leo Tolstoy's Anna Karenina and Charles Dickens' David Copperfield and A Tale of Two Cities. In 1935, he left MGM to form his own production company, Selznick International Pictures, where he produced adaptations of Robert Smythe Hichens' The Garden of Allah (1936), Frances Hodgson Burnett's Little Lord Fauntleroy (1936), Anthony Hope's The Prisoner of Zenda (1937), and Mark Twain's The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1938). Selznick also became a pioneer in the use of Technicolor with the first and last of these films and also with his productions of A Star is Born and Nothing Sacred (both 1937). In 1939 Selznick brought Swedish actress Ingrid Bergman to the United States to star in Intermezzo and the following year he brought Alfred Hitchcock over from England to direct Rebecca. Also in 1939, Selznick produced his epic version of Margaret Mitchell's Gone With the Wind, which became the most financially successful film of all time.
Selznick liquidated his corporation in the early 1940s but returned to independent producing in 1943. His work from this period included two more Hitchcock films, Spellbound (1945) and The Paradine Case (1948) and several films starring Jennifer Jones, among them Since You Went Away (1944), Duel in the Sun (1946) and Portrait of Jennie (1948). Selznick ceased his independent productions in 1948. Beginning with Carol Reed's The Third Man (1949), he entered into a period of co-producing motion pictures with other filmmakers. In 1954, he made his sole venture into television with the production Light's Diamond Jubilee. Selznick retired from filmmaking after producing an adaptation of Ernest Hemingway's A Farewell to Arms (1957).
Selznick's productions were the recipients of numerous Academy Award nominations. Two of his films—Gone With the Wind and Rebecca—won Academy Awards for Best Picture. Six other films that he produced—Viva Villa! (1934), David Copperfield (1935), A Tale of Two Cities (1935), A Star is Born (1937), Since You Went Away (1944), and Spellbound (1945)—were nominated for Best Picture. As of 2013, four of the films Selznick produced have been added to the National Film Registry: King Kong (1933), The Prisoner of Zenda (1937), Gone With the Wind (1939), and The Third Man (1949). For his work in motion pictures, Selznick received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
|"There are only two kinds of class: First class and no class."|
|— David O. Selznick|
The release dates, titles, and names of the directors for Selznick's films are derived from the filmographies presented in the books Memo From David O. Selznick by Rudy Behlmer and David O. Selznick's Hollywood by Ronald Haver. The quotes are derived from Behlmer's book.
Selznick began working in the film industry while in his early teens. He was employed—after school hours—by his father, film producer Lewis J. Selznick, initially as head of publicity and advertising and later as a newsreel Film editor. When the elder Selznick went bankrupt in 1923, young David took a job as a promoter for a two-reel short about prizefighter Luis Firpo. Afterwards he convinced the Mineralava Beauty Clay Company to produce a two-reel film of a beauty contest they were sponsoring with actor Rudolph Valentino as the judge.
|April 23, 1923||Will He Conquer Dempsey?||(none credited)||Silent|
|1923||Rudolph Valentino and His 88 American Beauties||(none credited)||Silent|
Aetna-Selznick Distributing Corporation
I promoted and made for $17,000 a little picture called Roulette … As I recall, it didn't lose any money, but it didn't make any worth mentioning.
|January 19, 1924||Roulette||S. E. V. Taylor||Silent|
I become manager of the writer's department, then head of the writer's department, then assistant story editor, then associate story editor, then assistant stooge to Harry Rapf, and then finally was given my chance to make a Tim McCoy Western … I decided that … it would be just as easy to make two of them at a time as one.
After the McCoy Westerns, Selznick was assigned as assistant to producer Hunt Stromberg on the film White Shadows in the South Seas (1928). Disagreements with Stromberg and senior producer Irving Thalberg over the choice of the film's director (W. S. Van Dyke or Robert J. Flaherty) led to Selznick's termination with the company.
|March 12, 1928||Spoilers of the West||W. S. Van Dyke||Silent|
|March 24, 1928||Wyoming||W. S. Van Dyke||Silent|
In response to my question as to what will happen to Schulberg, he [Lasky] said, in effect, that they would be kicking him upstairs. … One of my rows with Paramount … was my insistence that no one man could possibly personally produce more than a few pictures per year.
In early 1928 Selznick accepted the position of assistant to producer B. P. Schulberg at Paramount Studios. The professional relationship between the two, however, eventually deteriorated after Schulberg went to Europe for several months in 1929. During his absence, studio head Jesse L. Lasky placed Selznick into Schulberg's position and decided to keep him there. Selznick remained with Paramount until his resignation in June 1931.
Selznick worked in a variety of jobs (i.e. supervisor, producer, associate producer, executive producer, or substantial contributor). The 13 films listed below were those whose production he was known to be heavily involved in. Except where noted these films are all-talking.
|August 5, 1928||Forgotten Faces||Victor Schertzinger||Silent|
|March 14, 1929||Chinatown Nights||William A. Wellman||Part talking|
|May 27, 1929||The Man I Love||William A. Wellman|
|June 12, 1929||The Four Feathers||Merian C. Cooper
Ernest B. Schoedsack
|Soundtrack with music and sound effects but no spoken dialogue|
|August 15, 1929||The Dance of Life||John Cromwell
A. Edward Sutherland
|Partly filmed in Technicolor|
|September 14, 1929||Fast Company||A. Edward Sutherland|
|February 2, 1930||Street of Chance||John Cromwell|
|March 14, 1930||Sarah and Son||Dorothy Arzner|
|March 27, 1930||Honey||Wesley Ruggles|
|May 1, 1930||The Texan||John Cromwell|
|July 18, 1930||For the Defense||John Cromwell|
|July 23, 1930||Manslaughter||George Abbott|
|November 15, 1930||Laughter||Harry d'Abbadie d'Arrast|
I sold him [David Sarnoff, President of RCA, parent company at the time to RKO Radio and RKO Pathé] the idea of putting me in charge not only of production at RKO, but also his rival production unit, Pathé. In October 1931, I signed a contract to take over both and to merge them. I stayed at RKO until my contract expired in 1933. My new contract … was about to be signed when "Deac" Aylesworth became head of the company. Aylesworth insisted upon the new but still unsigned contract being changed to the extent of giving him approval of everything connected with production. I refused to accept this.
In 1931 Selznick and director Lewis Milestone attempted to form their own production company. After several months, however, the two were unsuccessful in achieving financial backing. Milestone eventually accepted an offer to because head of production at United Artists while Selznick accepted a similar position at RKO Radio.
|March 10, 1932||The Lost Squadron||George Archainbaud|
|April 14, 1932||Symphony of Six Million||Gregory La Cava|
|May 5, 1932||State's Attorney||George Archainbaud|
|June 3, 1932||Westward Passage||Robert Milton|
|July 9, 1932||What Price Hollywood?||George Cukor|
|August 12, 1932||The Age of Consent||Gregory La Cava|
|September 2, 1932||Bird of Paradise||King Vidor|
|September 9, 1932||The Most Dangerous Game||Ernest B. Schoedsack
|September 16, 1932||Thirteen Women||George Archainbaud|
|October 2, 1932||A Bill of Divorcement||George Cukor||Film debut of Katharine Hepburn|
|November 4, 1932||Little Orphan Annie||John S. Robertson|
|November 20, 1932||The Conquerors||William A. Wellman|
|December 4, 1932||Rockabye||George Cukor|
|December 25, 1932||The Half-Naked Truth||Gregory La Cava|
|December 29, 1932||The Animal Kingdom||Edward H. Griffith|
|February 9, 1933||Topaze||Harry d'Abbadie d'Arrast|
|February 16, 1933||The Great Jasper||J. Walter Rubin|
|February 23, 1933||Our Betters||George Cukor|
|March 2, 1933||King Kong||Merian C. Cooper
Ernest B. Schoedsack
|Added to the National Film Registry in 1991|
|March 9, 1933||Christopher Strong||Dorothy Arzner|
|March 23, 1933||Sweepings||John Cromwell|
|May 30, 1933||The Monkey's Paw||Wesley Ruggles|
After refusing to sign a new contract with RKO, Selznick returned to MGM in 1933, this time in the position as vice-president in charge of his own unit. During the next two years he personally produced 11 features for the studio before departing to form his own production company.
|August 23, 1933||Dinner at Eight||George Cukor|
|October 5, 1933||Night Flight||Clarence Brown|
|October 27, 1933||Meet the Baron||Walter Lang|
|December 2, 1933||Dancing Lady||Robert Z. Leonard||Film debut of Fred Astaire and an early appearance by Nelson Eddy|
|April 10, 1934||Viva Villa!||Jack Conway|
|May 4, 1934||Manhattan Melodrama||W. S. Van Dyke||On July 22, 1934, gangster John Dillinger was gunned down by FBI agents after watching this film at the Biograph Theater in Chicago, Illinois|
|January 18, 1935||David Copperfield||George Cukor|
|March 22, 1935||Vanessa: Her Love Story||William K. Howard|
|April 18, 1935||Reckless||Victor Fleming|
|August 30, 1935||Anna Karenina||Clarence Brown|
|December 25, 1935||A Tale of Two Cities||Jack Conway|
Selznick International Pictures
I simply had to fulfill my ambitions of starting my own company. It had always been an obsession of mine … that there be no interference with our work; that we must have authority.
In 1935 Selznick left MGM to form his own production company, Selznick International Pictures. He also took over the operation of Pioneer Pictures, a production company designed to produce films in Technicolor and formed by his friend and ex-associate (at RKO) Merian C. Cooper. Selznick International produced a total of 11 features, of which all but one were distributed by United Artists. Gone With the Wind was released by MGM as part of a deal with Selznick in exchange for the loan of Clark Gable in the role of Rhett Butler.
|April 2, 1936||Little Lord Fauntleroy||John Cromwell|
|November 19, 1936||The Garden of Allah||Richard Boleslawski||Filmed in Technicolor|
|April 21, 1937||A Star Is Born||William A. Wellman||Filmed in Technicolor|
|September 2, 1937||The Prisoner of Zenda||John Cromwell||Originally released in sepiatone|
Added to the National Film Registry in 1991.
|November 25, 1937||Nothing Sacred||William A. Wellman||Filmed in Technicolor|
|February 17, 1938||The Adventures of Tom Sawyer||Norman Taurog||Filmed in Technicolor|
|November 3, 1938||The Young in Heart||Richard Wallace|
|February 16, 1939||Made for Each Other||John Cromwell|
|October 5, 1939||Intermezzo: A Love Story||Gregory Ratoff||First American film appearance of Ingrid Bergman|
|December 15, 1939||Gone with the Wind||Victor Fleming||Filmed in Technicolor|
Added to the National Film Registry in 1989
|March 27, 1940||Rebecca||Alfred Hitchcock||Won the Academy Award for Best Picture|
Vanguard Films, Selznick Releasing Organization
Following the highly successful releases of Gone With the Wind and Rebecca, Selznick began a three-year liquidation of Selznick International Pictures in order to draw profits for himself and his outside investors. He developed and sold film projects to other producers and studios, and arranged loan outs of his contracted artists. Without outside backers he formed David O. Selznick Productions, Inc., which in 1941 became owner of one-fourth of United Artists.
Selznick established a film production company, Vanguard Films (1943–1951). The first three features for his new company were distributed by United Artists. In 1946 Selznick broke with UA over the distribution of Duel in the Sun, and founded his own distribution company, Selznick Releasing Organization.
|May 18, 1944||Reward Unlimited||Jacques Tourneur||A one-reel short subject for the United States Public Health Service; distributed by the Office of War Information|
|July 20, 1944||Since You Went Away||John Cromwell||Also writer|
Released by United Artists
|December 25, 1944||I'll Be Seeing You||William Dieterle||Released by United Artists|
|November 1, 1945||Spellbound||Alfred Hitchcock||One shot in color|
Released by United Artists
|February 7, 1946||The Spiral Staircase||Robert Siodmak||Produced by Vanguard Films and RKO Pictures; distributed by RKO|
|December 30, 1946||Duel in the Sun||King Vidor||Filmed in Technicolor|
Released by Selznick Releasing Organization
|December 31, 1947||The Paradine Case||Alfred Hitchcock||Released by Selznick Releasing Organization|
|December 25, 1948||Portrait of Jennie||William Dieterle||Final reel tinted and final shot in Technicolor|
Released by Selznick Releasing Organization
I was tired … Additionally, it was crystal clear that the motion picture business was in for a terrible beating from television … My company financed itself with bank loans; and these loans, with interest, had been extended to a total of about $12,000,000 … as part of the plans for the liquidation of my company and its debts, we devised what has since become known as coproduction.
In 1949 Selznick closed down his production facilities and he greatly reduced the staff of Selznick Releasing Organization. He and Jennifer Jones began traveling in Europe and were married in July 1949. For the remainder of his career he collaborated with other film producers and also made his sole venture into television.
|September 30, 1948||The Fallen Idol||Carol Reed||U.S. release November 14, 1949|
Distributed in the Western Hemisphere by Selznick Releasing Organization
|September 2, 1949||The Third Man||Carol Reed||U.S. release February 2, 1950|
A British film co-produced by Selznick and Alexander Korda and distributed in the U.S. by Selznick Releasing Organization. Selznick also provided some minor re-editing for the U.S. release.
|August 21, 1950||The Wild Heart||Michael Powell
|U.S. release May 28, 1952|
U.K. title Gone to Earth
A British Lion production made in England, co-produced with Alexander Korda. Selznick supervised reshooting (by Rouben Mamoulian) of nearly one-third of the film for its U.S. release by RKO Radio under the title The Wild Heart.
|October 14, 1950||Walk Softly, Stranger||Robert Stevenson||Produced by Vanguard Films and RKO Pictures; distributed by RKO|
|May 27, 1954||Stazione Termini
|Vittorio De Sica||Filmed in Technicolor|
An Italian film co-produced by Selznick, who re-cut the film for its U.S. release by Columbia Pictures under the title Indiscretion of an American Wife
|October 24, 1954||Light's Diamond Jubilee||King Vidor
William A. Wellman
|A two-hour television special celebrating the 75th anniversary of Thomas Edison's invention of the incandescent lamp; aired simultaneously on the ABC, CBS, DuMont, and NBC television networks|
|December 19, 1957||A Farewell to Arms||Charles Vidor||Filmed in CinemaScope and color by DeLuxe|
Produced by Selznick for Twentieth Century-Fox
Of the 68 features that Selznick produced 22 received a total of 82 Academy Award nominations with 21 wins. In addition to these Selznick himself was twice nominated for the Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award. He won the second of these two nominations.
- "David O. Selznick, 63, Producer Of 'Gone With the Wind', Dies". The New York Times. June 23, 1965. Retrieved October 18, 2011.
- Behlmer 1972, pp. 3–4
- Behlmer 1972, pp. 4–6
- Behlmer 1972, p. 6
- Haver 1980, pp. 30, 36
- Behlmer 1972, pp. 42–43
- "'Avatar' success still far behind 'Gone with the Wind'". International Business Times. 2010. Retrieved May 29, 2010.
- Behlmer 1972, p. 413
- "The 12th Academy Awards (1940) Nominees and Winners". Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. 2011. Retrieved September 8, 2011.
- "The 13th Academy Awards (1941) Nominees and Winners". Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. 2011. Retrieved September 7, 2011.
- "The 7th Academy Awards (1935) Nominees and Winners". Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. 2011. Retrieved May 20, 2016.
- "The 8th Academy Awards (1936) Nominees and Winners". Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. 2011. Retrieved September 7, 2011.
- "The 9th Academy Awards (1937) Nominees and Winners". Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. 2011. Retrieved September 7, 2011.
- "The 10th Academy Awards (1938) Nominees and Winners". Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. 2011. Retrieved September 7, 2011.
- "The 17th Academy Awards (1945) Nominees and Winners". Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. 2011. Retrieved September 7, 2011.
- "Films Selected to The National Film Registry, Library of Congress 1989–2009". Library of Congress. 2008. Retrieved May 30, 2010.
- "David O. Selznick". Hollywood Walk of Fame. Retrieved May 20, 2016.
- Haver 1980, p. 1
- Behlmer 1972, pp. 505–508
- Haver 1980, pp. 414–417
- Behlmer 1972, p. 8
- Behlmer 1972, p. 15
- Behlmer 1972, p. 41
- Behlmer 1972, p. 505
- Behlmer 1972, pp. 44–45
- Andrews, Roberts M. (October 11, 1991). "25 Films Designated For Preservation" (Fee required). St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Retrieved July 22, 2009.
- Behlmer 1972, p. 57
- Behlmer 1972, pp. 95, 507
- "Famous Cases & Criminals: John Dillinger". U.S. Federal Government, U.S. Department of Justice. 2011. Archived from the original on September 2, 2011. Retrieved September 8, 2011.
- Behlmer 1972, p. 95
- Haver 1980, p. 172
- Behlmer 1972, pp. 96–97
- Behlmer 1972, p. 137
- Trent 1975, p. 127
- Molotsky, Irvin (September 20, 1989). "25 Films Chosen for the National Registry". The New York Times. Retrieved May 10, 2011.
- Behlmer 1972, pp. 301–303
- Behlmer 1972, p. 301
- Slide, Anthony (1998). The New Historical Dictionary of the American Film Industry. Lanham, Maryland: Rowman & Littlefield. p. 221. ISBN 9780810866362. OCLC 681061659.
- Behlmer 1972, pp. 291, 507
- Haver 1980, p. 361
- Behlmer 1972, p. 303
- Doherty, Thomas (1993). Projections of War: Hollywood, American Culture, and World War II. New York: Columbia University Press. p. 325. ISBN 9780231082440.
- "The Spiral Staircase". AFI Catalog of Feature Films. American Film Institute. Retrieved May 20, 2016.
- Behlmer 1972, pp. 383–384
- Haver 1980, pp. 385–386
- "Screen Premiere Monday a Benefit; Showing of 'The Fallen Idol' at the Sutton to Assist Prescott Neighborhood House". The New York Times. November 10, 1949. Retrieved May 20, 2016.
- Behlmer 1972, p. 401
- Haver 1980, p. 388
- Behlmer 1972, p. 508
- "The Wild Heart". AFI Catalog of Feature Films. American Film Institute. Retrieved May 20, 2016.
- "Walk Softly, Stranger". AFI Catalog of Feature Films. American Film Institute. Retrieved May 20, 2016.
- Haver 1980, p. 417
- "The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences database". Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. 2011. Archived from the original on February 8, 2009. Retrieved September 13, 2011. (Note: enter search for person or film)
- "The 3rd Academy Awards (1929/30) Nominees and Winners". Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. 2011. Retrieved September 8, 2011.
- "The 4th Academy Awards (1930/31) Nominees and Winners". Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. 2011. Retrieved September 8, 2011.
- "The 5th Academy Awards (1931/32) Nominees and Winners". Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. 2011. Retrieved September 8, 2011.
- "The 11th Academy Awards (1939) Nominees and Winners". Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. 2011. Retrieved September 8, 2011.
- "The 18th Academy Awards (1946) Nominees and Winners". Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. 2011. Retrieved September 8, 2011.
- "The 19th Academy Awards (1947) Nominees and Winners". Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. 2011. Retrieved September 8, 2011.
- "The 20th Academy Awards (1948) Nominees and Winners". Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. 2011. Retrieved September 8, 2011.
- "The 21st Academy Awards (1949) Nominees and Winners". Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. 2011. Retrieved September 8, 2011.
- "The 23rd Academy Awards (1951) Nominees and Winners". Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. 2011. Retrieved September 8, 2011.
- "The 27th Academy Awards (1955) Nominees and Winners". Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. 2011. Retrieved September 8, 2011.
- Behlmer, Rudy (1972). Memo from David O. Selznick. New York, NY: Viking Press. ISBN 0375755314.
- Haver, Ronald (1980). David O. Selznick's Hollywood. New York, NY: Alfred A. Knopf. ISBN 0-394-42595-2.