Her diary from her teen years includes comments on films she saw at MGM previews. These journal entries reveal Irene to have been perceptive and frank in her observations – even at 17. Her take on Romola (1924): “…L. Gish good as always but didn’t make the most of her opportunities – leading male part should not have been the villain – not enough love interest.”
In her book Irene writes that it amused her father to ask her opinion of a movie and then try to argue her out of her point of view. When she was dating Selznick, they went to a preview of a picture of his one night and afterward he asked what she thought of it. Irene replied with noncommittal remarks – and he challenged her, “…speak up; no one’s going to hold it against you. If you’re afraid, I promise you no one will ever know a word you’ve said.” Irene writes that she was afraid but over time she felt free enough to say anything she wanted to him. Selznick told her that he was undoing the damage her father had done.
Mom and Dad Mayer at the Palm Springs Airport.
Her father flanked by Harry Rapf and Irving Thalberg.