By Paul J. Bradley

Dinner at Eight (1933)
David O. Selznick’s first production was the star cast for Dinner at Eight. Based on the 1932 play of the same name by George S. Kaufman and Edna Ferber, Selznick assigned Frances Marion to write the adapted screenplay. Similar in structure to the award-winning Grand Hotel, which was released a year earlier, Dinner at Eight had an equally all-star cast including Jean Harlow, Wallace Beery, Lionel Barrymore, John Barrymore and especially silent movie veteran Marie Dressler.

Dinner at Eight is a behind-closed-doors story of a variety of guests at a prestigious Manhattan party, hosted by the affluent Millicent and Oliver Jordan. Oliver’s health is failing, and he is worried that somebody is trying to buy up his stocks in his shipping business. Millicent’s plans for the party are not going smoothly, but all the guests have their own worries too.
Working for Selznick
Producer David O. Selznick wanted to create something grander than Grand Hotel and felt that Kaufman and Ferber’s play would be the answer. Eddie Goulding, the director of Grand Hotel, was expected to direct the film, but Selznick brought in George Cukor from RKO…

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The Great Frances Marion: Early Hollywood’s Pioneering Screenwriter (Part 2)


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