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June 1994


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Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
David Desser <[log in to unmask]>
Tue, 14 Jun 1994 09:22:15 -0500
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
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>Has anyone ever done anything on Victor Fleming?  I wonder why Fleming has
>received so little attention.  Is it because he was a contract director at
>MGM, not a director's studio?  Because he died in '49, before the rise of
>interest in directors?  I think for storytelling and pace many of his films
>stand up pretty well.
>Selden West
One real problem with Victor Fleming is that the two best known films with
which he was associated had numerous other directors involved at all
levels, including entire scenes not shot by him.  I refer, of course, to
_The Wizard of Oz_ and _Gone with the Wind_.  I wonder what films of his
compel interest in Fleming.  And is the reason that MGM is not considered a
director's studio because so few genuinely talented directors worked there?
 Aside from Cukor, which contract director at Metro can compare to the
likes of Michael Curtiz and Raoul Walsh at Warner's?  not to mention Ford
and Henry King at Fox or, for that matter, George Stevens at RKO.  And,
lest we get too carried away, can any Metro figure compare even remotely to
Lubitsch, Mamoulian, DeMille (!), von Sternberg and Sturges (Preston) at
Paramount?  Could it be that Metro films from the 30's are, with some
exceptions, the least interesting of the Golden Age movies precisely
because so few first-rate directors worked there?  And if we do find some
interest in MGM is it not the stars we find of value?
    Just some quick thoughts.
David Desser,UIUC Cinema Studies
2109 FLB/707 S. Mathews, Urbana, IL  61801