Whether producing for his own entity, Selznick International, or via one of his earlier relationships with studios, David O. Selznick is generally considered to be one of the great showmen, and producers of extremely high quality films.
With a career going back to the early 1920s, he came into his own in the 1930s, first at RKO, as an exec. producer, and later producer, of films such as What Price Hollywood?, Bird of Paradise, The Most Dangerous Game, Bill of Divorcement, Christopher Strong, and King Kong.
Moving to M-G-M, Dinner at Eight, Viva Villa!, David Copperfield, Anna Karenina, A Tale of Two Cities…
and then he formed his own production company, taking over the old Ince studio in Culver City, down the street from M-G-M, and continued (as an early supporter of Technicolor) with Garden of Allah, A Star is Born, The Prisoner of Zenda, Nothing Sacred and others, finally producing the Best Picture of 1939.
The Selznick International (Vanguard) library ended up with ABC, and is now controlled by Disney. Preservation of the original elements has been ongoing, and films have been licensed to various publishers.
Some of the films landed with Criterion (Rebecca, Spellbound), while others have been made available via Kino Studio Classics.
They currently have Duel in the Sun, The Paradine Case, Portrait of Jennie in release, with Intermezzo, The Young at Heart, and The Wild Heart, scheduled for January of 2018.
There are two films that always seemed to link, almost as one, in my mind.
Both from 1944 – Since You Went Away, in some ways earlier take on Best Years of Our Lives, was released in June of 1944, and I’ll Be Seeing You, as a Christmas release.
Both are well worth your time.
SYWA was photographed by Stanley Cortez and Lee Garmes, with a score by Max Steiner, while IBSY by shot by Tony Gaudio, and directed by William Dieterle.
Here’s where it got confusing, and this probably goes back to my interest in all things Selznick when I was in my teens and early ’20s.
Since You Went Away stars Claudette Colbert, Jennifer Jones, Joseph Cotten and Shirley Temple, along with an extraordinary cast of other players.
I’ll Be Seeing You stars Ginger Rogers, Joseph Cotten and Shirley Temple.
Somehow they’ve always been oddly conjoined in my mind, especially as they’re both set during WWII.
All of that aside, it’s nice to be finally getting access to this library of films.
Since You Went Away is the original Roadshow, with Intermission.
Both appear to be taken from decent fine grains, or dupes, and are of nice quality.
Garden of Allah is around the corner, and that, presuming it’s from the recombine performed a dozen or so years ago, should be magnificent.
Image – 3.75 – 4
Audio – 5
Pass / Fail – Pass