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A Question About the Producers of Famous Movies


Palmerin
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My usual interest in movies is the movies themselves, not the people who produce them. However, since you folk are so knowledgeable I am going to request that you tell me about the legendary producers of the films we see at TCM.

Some are famed for being very protective and loving of their people, while others were famously hateful. I remember a gossip columnist saying of a particular producer that YOU HAD TO GET IN LINE TO HATE HIM.

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Some producers supported and nurtured their directors, editors and writers.  Val Lewton at RKO comes to my mind.  David O.Selznick was known to be interferring and drove directors crazy.  Writer Ben Hecht said, "The job of turning good writers into movie hacks is the producer's chief task."  Producer Sam Goldwyn said, "A producer shouldn't get ulcers, he should give them."  My source for both these quotes is HALLIWELL'S FILMGOER'S COMPANION (8th edition). 

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Some producers supported and nurtured their directors, editors and writers.  Val Lewton at RKO comes to my mind.  David O.Selznick was known to be interferring and drove directors crazy.  Writer Ben Hecht said, "The job of turning good writers into movie hacks is the producer's chief task."  Producer Sam Goldwyn said, "A producer shouldn't get ulcers, he should give them."  My source for both these quotes is HALLIWELL'S FILMGOER'S COMPANION (8th edition). 

 

Depending on the studio producers had a lot bigger and important role then many people know.   Producers working with the head of the studio had final say on the actors and the director as well as editing decisions.

 

Sometimes driving a director crazy (i.e. talking control of a director),  was necessary since directors some directors try to put too much of themselves in the picture.  An ego driven director needs to be put in his place.    The best situations were when the producer and director got along well and had made multiple movies together.     The studio system,  with the fixed termed contracts for all workers, required people that didn't get along to work together.    A producer has more say in putting together the team than the director.  

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 I am going to request that you tell me about the legendary producers of the films we see at TCM.

 

What is it specifically is it you want to know?

 

If you want to learn about a producer's responsibilities and different approaches to the job, I recommend  you read Front and Center by John Houseman and Memo From David O. Selznick.

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What is it specifically is it you want to know?

 

If you want to learn about a producer's responsibilities and different approaches to the job, I recommend  you read Front and Center by John Houseman and Memo From David O. Selznick.

That is part of what I want to know. I am also interested in people such as Irving Thalberg, who loved his wife, Norma Shearer, so much that he did his best to nourish and protect her career and reputation.

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That is part of what I want to know. I am also interested in people such as Irving Thalberg, who loved his wife, Norma Shearer, so much that he did his best to nourish and protect her career and reputation.

 

Thalgerg helped Shearer out so much he had her cast in roles that were not suited for her.    This is an example where a producer didn't use his power as wisely as he should have.   

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