Ben Hecht: As a Hollywood screenwriter and playwright, Hecht is offered $15,000 by producer David O. Selznick to, in five days time, rewrite the screenplay for Gone with the Wind, the filming of which has come to a complete halt. The problem is that Hecht hasn’t read the novel, and after hearing a quick synopsis, he thinks the film is doomed to failure. He is an ex-journalist from Chicago and is very committed to pro-Jewish causes. He also butts heads with the newly appointed director Victor Fleming more than once during the five-day re-write, as he isn’t shy to share his cynicism and sarcasm.
Victor Fleming: A Hollywood director who is pulled from directing The Wizard of Oz, Fleming is to take over Gone with the Wind. His other films have been mostly action films, but he says “if you can write it, I can shoot it.” He and Selznick frantically act out all the characters in Gone with the Wind for Hecht, who types as they role-play.
David O. Selznick: A renowned Hollywood producer, Selznick confines Hecht, Fleming, and himself in his office for five days, subsisting on only bananas and peanuts, until a new screenplay is complete. He is the son-in-law of legendary film producer Louis B. Mayer of MGM fame, and throughout the play suffers from occasional catatonic stupors.
Miss Poppenghul: The long-suffering assistant of Mr. Selznick, Miss Poppenghul is constantly on-call and dutifully fulfills each request made of her during the men’s five-day confinement.