Anyway, the Siren has two favorite passages in this book. One is the story of Dimitri Tiomkin, David O. Selznick and the "orgasm music" for Duel in the Sun. This is the other one, tucked away in a footnote. A week from Monday, the family Campaspe flies to Paris for a small rest. The Siren (who will still be posting from there whenever possible) will thus be exercising her meager French. Guess that is what made her think of this:
At an executive meeting at MGM, Nicholas Schenck was fretting about [producer Mervyn] LeRoy's failure to stay within his budget on The Wizard of Oz, and [Louis B.] Mayer presented the young Joseph Mankiewicz as an experienced writer and director who could explain such things. When all the executives turned to Mankiewicz for an explanation, Mankiewicz felt some irresistible impulse to evoke Victor Hugo and blurted out, "I suppose LeRoy s'amuse." Schenck said, "What?" Mankiewicz repeated his inspired line. Somebody said, "That's French." Schenck said, "Why are you talking French?" "All I could think of," Mankiewicz said later, "was 'Why am I here?'"
Hope everyone had a happy and restful weekend.