The Professional Theatre at Southern Utah University

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Synopsis: Moonlight and Magnolias

Synopsis: Moonlight and Magnolias

Legendary Hollywood producer David O. Selznick has a problem. He has just fired the director of Gone with the Wind and the script is on its umpteenth version. He desperately needs a new director and writer—immediately. However, the writer he wants, Ben Hecht, has never read the novel. Selznick gives him a brief synopsis of the story and offers him $15,000 to write a revised screenplay by the end of the week.

Selznick also calls in director Victor Fleming, pulling him from finishing The Wizard of Oz to be the new director of Gone with the Wind. Hecht is still not sold on the success of the storyline, but Selznick believes in this movie, so much so that he locks the three of them in his office for five days, with bananas and peanuts as their only food, to pull together a new script.

Work begins. Selznick and Fleming attempt to act out all the characters in the novel while Hecht types. Early in the week, Hecht and Fleming constantly clash. By day three, fatigue, hunger and sarcasm prevail. Tempers flare. There’s even an attempt to escape from the office—if only for just a shower and a meal.

By the end of the week, Selznick asks, “Is there anything wrong with getting the job done, no matter what it takes?” Completing this job may take everything these men have to give! Take a fun, farcical look at the behind-the-scene birth of one of the most beloved films of all time.