“If it isn’t for the writing, we’ve got nothing. Writers are the most important people in Hollywood. And we must never let them know it.” Irving Thalberg

They called him “The Boy Wonder” and his filmmaking methods are still in use today.

Irving Thalberg 1925ish
Irving Thalberg, in his early twenties. After Louis B. Mayer met the young man he instructed his attorney, “Tell him if he comes to work for me, I’ll look after him as though he were my son,” and he did — eventually making him vice president, and part owner of MGM.

“That man has never written a word, yet he can tell me exactly what to do with a story. I didn’t know you had people like that out here.” George S. Kaufman

“Then you’re not the office boy?” she asked. He smiled, as he sat himself behind his desk: “No, Miss Shearer, I’m Irving Thalberg, vice-president of the Mayer Company. I’m the man who sent for you.” They married in 1927.

“Thalberg has always fascinated me. His peculiar charm, his extraordinary good looks, his bountiful success, the tragic end of his great adventure. The events I have built around him are fiction, but all of them are things which might very well have happened… I’ve long chosen him for a hero (this has been in my mind for three years) because he is one of the half-dozen men I have known who were built on a grand scale.” F. Scott Fitzgerald

George Cukor with Norma Shearer and Irving Thalberg in 1936.

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