Moonlight and Magnolias

I recently found out from my mother that David Selznick, who produced Gone With the Wind, was her father’s uncle or cousin.  Better late than never finding out who your long lost relatives are.   So seeing Moonlight and Magnolias, at the Manhattan Theater Club last night was fun. 

The premise of this play is how David Selznick jumped into producing Gone With the Wind without a screenplay.  Literally started filming.  He put the movie on hold while he wrote the screenplay with the help of a screenwriter, Ben Hecht and the new Director, Victor Fleming.  Both the director and Screenwriter are happy to help out but do not believe in the movie at all.  Selznick on the other hand thinks this will be the best movie ever. Oscars, the whole nine yards.  They hole down in his office with bananas and peanuts for 5 days and write the script.

They act out parts of the movie, which if you have seen the movie, it is pretty funny.  It is interesting to see the interaction between a producer, a screenwriter and a director.  What is their role in the film. 

The acting by Douglas Sills who plays David Selznick was fantastic.  His energy level was high.  He played the crazy producer, the characters in the film, the son-in-law of Louis Mayer, the exhausted financier switching from one to the other with ease.  David Rasche, who plays Victor Fleming, was also solid and funny.  Matthew Arkin who plays Ben Hecht was good too.

If you haven’t seen Gone with the Wind, you wouldn’t enjoy the play as much.  The play was not a must see by any stretch but it is an interesting insight to the creation of a movie and what went on behind one of the most famous movies of the 20th century. 

Personally, I am absolutely renting Gone with the Wind this weekend.  I am inspired to see it again.