David Selznick and Since You Went Away
David Selznick and Since You Went Away «I have a different concept of producing than other producers. Some producers are money men, and others are just lieutenants. For me to produce is to make a picture. As a producer, I can maintain an editorial perspective that I wouldn't have as a director. I consider myself first a
creative producer, then a showman and then a businessman. You need all three things to succeed in the business today.» - David O. SelznickThe film Since You Went Away was released in 1944. This epic film attempted to Relate to the American audience that was dealing with the war foreclosing and The flux of soldiers coming home at the time.
The Hollywood studios were Constantly trying to do their part for the war buy making films about the war in A fairy tale «Hollywood» style. Since You Went Away crossed these boundaries, And the movie audience at the time, positively responded for this reason. The Producer and screenwriter of the film knew America craved this portrayal.
Critics of the film from this period, applauded it's «realism», but in hindsight Studies of the film in the seventies and eighties were a little more critical of The film. David O. Selznick was the man behind the vision of this film and Selznick is best known for film classic's like; Gone With the Wind, (from which The formula of this movie draws heavily from) Rebecca, and King Kong. This Film was a special project for Selznick at the time, and it was seen as his Contribution to the war effort. The academy awards recognized Selznick's effort And nominated his film for best picture of 1944.David Selznick was known as a one of the great creative producers - along side Walt
Disney. A creative producer is usually «a powerful mogul who supervises The production of a film in such exacting detail that he was virtually its Artistic creator.» (Eyman p. 121) In this period, Selznick's style was Remembered best by his epic length movies in which he paid special attention to Detail.
His films catered to the female market but also had potential to cross Over to the male segment. Selznick was «increasingly becoming aware of the Commercial value of his name.» (Fenster p.36) He decided to repeat the formula That worked well in Gone With the Wind and made a decision to purchase a war Novel/diary from Margaret Wilder. Since You Went Away spawned from Wilder's Novel, after Selznick spent many hours on developing the screenplay and hiring The right cast. The war film was a popular genre to produce during the war Years in North America. Also, it was seen as a noble effort to make a film About the war. Most of the skilled directors or producers of these films, Stylized their own vision of the war with their special trademarks throughout The film. Films that did this, usually did will well at the box office as well As at the Academy Awards Ceremony.
David Selznick was looking for a hit movie To follow the success of Gone With The Wind and he hoped Since You Went Away Would be a blockbuster. Selznick spent nearly «$3,000,000 on this film», (Thomas p. 220) which meant glossy and detailed scenes throughout the film. This was an unusual amount of money for a film from this period, but David Selznick was known in Hollywood for his elaborate budgets. The films length allowed Selznick to allow it to take place over a year. The Story begins in January 12, 1943 which is immediately after Mr. Hilton departs For the war. The Hiltons are a middle/upper class family who are now faced with Dealing with dealing with the trials and tribulations of everyday life without the support of a male authority figure. A lot of emphasis is placed on the Female audience's familiarity with «the details of day to day living and plenty Of humorous sentimental reportage of housekeeping: rationing, the problems of Two growing daughters and the business of getting jobs to help the family's Reduced budget.»(Hartung p 374) Selznick increased the original ages of the two Daughters so Shirley Temple (Bridget) and Jennifer Jones (Jane) could play the Roles and romance could be introduced. Nineteen forty-four was quite the Turbulent year for the American populous.
The war was coming to a close, and America saw the return of their heroes after a glorious battle. But, there was Also a feeling of nervous uncertainty and anxiety regarding the heroes return. The reviewers and reviews of Since You Went Away were very much in tune with This feeling. In the press, critics viewed this film in either of two ways. First, it seen as a triumphant return of Selznick and secondly, the critics Thought the movie attempted at a realistic portrayal. An article in Variety Magazine boasted «it's a box office mop-up» and the article also listed the Complete list of about ninety actors involved. The critic constantly mentioned David Selznick's name throughout the review and thus, set the tone for the Magnitude of this film. Similarly, in a Newsweek article, there was constant Enforcement of how much money was spent on this film and how much Selznick made On his last film. This worked as a quality control mechanism for Hollywood and The viewing audience. People knew what to expect when they went out to see a David Selznick film. The second type of review paid particular attention to the «realism» of this Film. A review in Time Magazine stated: «this is the most human, factual Picture to date». It mentioned the film dealing with things like the sorrow of Death, and the comfort of religion, food shortages, and being away from loved Ones.
For example, a scene where a telegram is sent to Mrs. Hilton, informing Her that her husband is missing in action. This scene takes place after the Housekeeper receives the telegram and yells for Mrs. Hilton who was sleeping. Upon reading the letter, Mrs. Hilton insists that there is still hope and he is Still alive. The American public at the time of this release, were caught up in These «everyday» feelings and it was apparent that Selznick deal with these Issues with as much love and heart as Selznick could fit on-screen. In another Review they mentioned that the film is «always authentic, endearing and true to Life as death and taxes» (Abel p 13) This «realism» was constantly Reinforcedwith sequences like the scenes in the rehabilitation's rooms, Psychiatrist's office and recovery wards. In these scenes, the film maker uses Lighting to cast shadows in these rooms. This is especially prevalent in the scene where Jane Hilton says good-bye to her Boyfriend Billy at the train station.
The long shadows are used to show the Shadow that is cast over America at this point in history and to enhance this On-screen realism. Indeed, this issue was the case for many Americans and People from other countries as well. Overall, it was the message that appealed To the audience the most and the modern day press agreed with this films message. But, this wasn't the absolute case. A famous film critic, at the time was very Harsh on this film. He downplayed Selznick's attempt at portraying a typical American Family. In The Nation, James Agee writes about the home that the Hiltons reside in: «They live in an American home that seven out of ten Americans would sell their souls for». This review addressed the issue of class, Which is the main bone of contention that most of the more recent articles death With. It is quite easy to look back at older films and sneer at them as inferior. But These films from the forties and fifties are cultural products that were apart Of the social fabric at this time. One must look at the politics that were in Place at the time, and see how that effected a medium such as film. Since You Went Away was shown to the people of America to increase support and Motivate people to get involved. It was also shown to troops because it the Film was also saying: «they'll be there when you get back». (Jarvie Lecture Jan 19) Since You Went Away was one of the first films to deal with the American Home front and the issue of the soldiers return.
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At the Cinema I like to go to the cinema. When I have free time I always go to see some new film. When I want to go to the cinema I usually look in the program what films are on. Then I phone my friends and we discuss what films to see. We prefer feature films but At the Cinema I like to go to the cinema. When I have free time I always go to see some new film. When I want to go to the cinema I usually look in the program what films are on. Then I phone my friends and we discuss what films to see. We prefer feature films but Comparing Hollywood and Bollywood Film industry is the world of dreams. It is a multi billion industry. You can create what you can't create in real life. It's the world of fantasy and creation. There are many kinds of films that are being released nowadays. Hollywood is the American film industry. Next to Hollywood is Bollywood, which is Indian David Selznick The film Since You Went Away was released in 1944. This epic film attempted to relate to the American audience that was dealing with the war foreclosing and the flux of soldiers coming home at the time. The Hollywood studios were constantly trying to do their part for the war buy making films about the Personal love for films When I was 14 years of age I used to see many films. Of those films I liked technical films made by Steven Spielberg and Ramgopal varma the best. Their films inspired me very much, and then I decided to become a filmmaker. I had known about film making through watching interviews of the directors,