Selznick Seeks a Backup Score for Gone With the Wind

A book to celebrate GWTW's 75th Anniversary!

A book to celebrate GWTW’s 75th Anniversary!

 On Thursday, November 9, 1939, producer David O. Selznick wrote to John Hay Whitney, chairman of the board of Selznick International Pictures, about the situation with Gone With the Wind’s composer. Max Steiner had issued yet another warning that he would not be able to meet Selznick’s deadline for the movie’s score.

“We discount this very largely because Steiner is notorious for such statements and works well under pressure,” Selznick wrote.

Still, Selznick wasn’t taking any chances. He had approached Herbert Stothart, MGM’s musical director and composer, about taking over the score. Stothart had scored the music for a number of Selznick productions, including Viva Villa!, David Copperfield and Tale of Two Cities.

 “Very secretly we ran the picture for [Stothart] today and he is simply frantic with eagerness and enthusiasm to do it,” Selznick informed Whitney. Stothart also guaranteed that he would be able to make Selznick’s deadline.

Max Steiner was set to record several reels of Gone With the Wind’s music the next day. Selznick was willing to listen to the composer’s work over the weekend. Then he would make his decision about which composer would score the music for Gone With the Wind. (To be continued…)

Happy 75th Anniversary, Gone With the Wind!

Special 75th Anniversary Offer for Gone With the Wind fans: free personally inscribed, autographed bookplate for readers of The Complete GONE WITH THE WIND Trivia Book.  Details here:   http://paulinebartel.com/blog/?p=1793

Blog Bio: Pauline Bartel is the author of The Complete GONE WITH THE WIND Trivia Book (2nd edition) and an expert on the film and its history. Visit the website (www.paulinebartel.com/resources/books/books-available) for further information. Follow her on Twitter @PaulineBartel and “like” her on Facebook (www.facebook.com/TheCompleteGWTWTriviaBook).

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