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Selznick International Pictures was a Hollywood motion picture studio created by David O. Selznick in 1935, and dissolved in 1943. In its short existence the independent studio produced two films that received the Academy Award for Best Picture—Gone with the Wind (1939) and Rebecca (1940)—and three that were nominated, A Star Is Born (1937), Since You Went Away (1944) and Spellbound (1945).
In the Tradition of Quality
Selznick International Pictures was founded in 1935 by producer David O. Selznick and investor Jock Whitney after Selznick left Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and leased a section of the RKO Pictures lot in Culver City, California. The studio itself had been built in 1918–19 by film pioneer Thomas Ince. When Ince died in 1924 the studio was taken over by Cecil B. DeMille. Eventually Pathe took over and then in the 1930s it became part of RKO. In 1957 it would become part of Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz's company, Desilu.
Selznick leased offices at the studio during the first year or so and at the beginning of 1937 Selznick International Pictures took over the entire lot. The SIP name went up over the entrance of the historic Southern Plantation style administration building and that view of the front of the building became the iconic studio logo seen at the beginning of SIP films. Even though the studio reverted to RKO in the 1940s, Selznick kept offices there for the rest of his life.
Selznick raised the initial funding of US$400,000 in Los Angeles, with half of that amount coming from his brother Myron Selznick, a Hollywood agent, and the other half from MGM production chief Irving Thalberg and his wife actress Norma Shearer. He raised an additional $300,000 from "small" investors in New York, and then the final $2.4 million from Jock Whitney and his family. Whitney himself became chairman of the board, and Selznick president, of the new company.
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