Harry Ransom CenterThe University of Texas at Austin

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Inter-Office Communication

Selznick International Pictures, Inc.

To: Mr. Cukor and Mr. O'Shea - cc: Mr. Ginsberg
Date: 10/21/38


I saw Joan Sayres today. I must say that she was much more interesting than
I expected. It was, however, utterly impossible to get much of a notion as
to whether she would be a good Scarlett, because she had only had a few hours
on the script and was not up in her lines, having to read them from the pages.

I question whether she will have the requisite humor, but she does have other
qualifications, and I certainly think MGM was justified in sending her down to
us, and that George was right when he said he thought it should be possible to
photograph her effectively. I think that George ought to continue to work
with her and determine whether we should make a test.

I am still hoping against hope for that new girl, and the last words I send as
I leave the studio are those of fervent hope that somehow, some way, between
you you will be able to dig up a new girl, or that Arnow will be able to find
one. If we finally wind up with any of the stars that we are testing we must
regard ourselves as absolute failures at digging up talent; as going against
the most violently expressed wish for a new personality in an important role
in the history of the American stage or screen; as wasting the opportunity to
create a new star; as actually hurting the drawing power of the picture by having
a star instead of a new girl, in whom there would be infinitely more interest in
this particular picture; and as actually, in my opinion, hurting the quality of
the picture itself by having a girl who has an audience's dislike to beat down,
as in the case of Hepburn, or identification with other roles to overcome, as
in the case of Jean Arthur. (Paulette Goddard also has plenty against her in
the way of the public's attitude, but I think that when it comes time for the
final decision she at least has in her favor that she is not stale. For this
reason I think George ought to devote particular attention to the dramatic
sections of the Goddard test.)