Hitchcock, Selznich and the End of Hollywood

Director: Michael Epstein
Screenwriters: Michael Epstein

Institute History

  • 1999 Sundance Film Festival


A film paying homage to two of Hollywood’s central icons, Hitchcock, Selznick and the End of Hollywood creates an unparalleled portrait of two very different personalities amidst the demise of the studio system. Like all great stories, the lives of these men were filled with romance, tragedy, and dramatic twists like those in their own classic films. What they shared—a zealous desire to become masters of their domain—had a lasting impact on the way Hollywood films are made.
Although they came from completely opposite backgrounds, each fought his way to eminence and made an indelible mark on Hollywood. Though he came from a wealthy New York family, Selznick worked even harder to make himself a success, starting his own studio at age thirty-six. Aggressive and unyielding, he controlled every aspect of his films, unafraid of alienating people even though he was called a megalomaniac.
Hitchcock emerged from a working-class family in London’s East End and found his niche as a director in lesser-known English studios. His meticulous, autocratic style separated him from his colleagues. By thirty, he was England’s preeminent filmmaker, and by forty he had achieved international success with The 39 Steps and The Lady Vanishes and decided it was time to venture to Hollywood. He clashed with Selznick on their very first collaboration, Rebecca, and so a struggle began. Superbly written and edited and infused with wonderful clips of these masters at work, Hitchcock, Selznick and the End of Hollywood is a delight with its juxtaposed, in-depth look at two Hollywood mavericks.

Michael Epstein, Director
Michael Epstein is a documentary producer, director, and writer whose work has been honored awith an Academy Aaward nomination, a Peabody, and a Wariters Guild Award. He has worked for such acclaimed public television series as American Masters, The American Experience, and Frontline. His previous film, The Battle Over Citizen Kane, was part of the 1996 Sundance Film Festival and later aired on PBS. He lives in Brooklyn, New York, with his wife.

— Lisa Viola

Screening Details


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