Repeated viewings of “Gone With the Wind” led this pol to read Rudy Behlmer’s book “Memo from David O. Selznick,” about the autocratic producer’s voluminous correspondence with his stars and directors, among them Alfred Hitchcock.
As Newt Gingrich tells it, an interviewer once asked the director of “Rebecca” what he thought of all those D.O.S. memos.
“I have always wondered what was in them,” replied Hitch.
The lesson learned? “I can send out memos, but I need to follow them up,” says Gingrich.
Another Oscar-winning pic that made a big impact on the former Speaker of the House is William Wyler’s 1959 epic. ” ‘Ben-Hur’ is stunningly faithful to the spirit of Lew Wallace, who started out writing a book to disprove Christ and ended up writing a book proving Christ. The end of ‘Ben-Hur’ is as powerful a commitment of faith as anything that has ever been filmed. And Charlton Heston was able to carry it off,” says Gingrich.