Victor Fleming

“Fleming’s talent for spectacular action and his ability to elicit strong performances from leading stars made him one of the most popular directors of the 1930s. He is most widely known for The Wizard of Oz (1939) and for taking over the direction of Gone with the Wind (1939) from George Cukor.” - The Virgin International Encyclopedia of Film, 1992

Victor Fleming

Director / Producer
(1889-1949) Born February 23, La Cañada, California, USA
Top 250 Directors

Key Production Country: USA
Key Genres: Romance, Drama, Melodrama, Romantic Drama, Musical, Fantasy, Adventure, Adventure Drama, Sea Adventure
Key Collaborators: Cedric Gibbons (Production Designer), John Lee Mahin (Screenwriter), Spencer Tracy (Leading Actor), Harold Rosson (Cinematographer), Lionel Barrymore (Leading Character Actor), Clark Gable (Leading Actor), Jean Harlow (Leading Actress), Blanche Sewell (Editor), Frank Morgan (Leading Character Actor), Herbert Stothart (Composer), Franz Waxman (Composer), Ward Bond (Character Actor)

"Fleming’s work is not unified by a particular cinematic style, although it is coherent in thematic terms. His world is one of male camaraderie, joyous action, pride in professionalism, and lusty love for women who are not too ladylike to return the same sort of feelings. In this regard, his work is not unlike that of Howard Hawks, but Fleming lacked Hawks’ ability to refine style and content into a unified vision. Fleming’s name is not well known today. Although he received directorial credit for what is possibly the most famous movie ever made in Hollywood (Gone with the Wind), he is not remembered as its director. His work stands as an example of the best done by those directors who worked within the studio system, allowing the film to bear the stamp of the studio rather than any personal vision." - Jeanine Basinger (International Dictionary of Films and Filmmakers, 2000)
"Fleming's career is an unusual one. He is credited as director for two of the most famous Hollywood movies ever: The Wizard of Oz (1939) and Gone with the Wind (1939). Yet his contribution to both seems intangible: no single person seems responsible for The Wizard of Oz, and Gone with the Wind properly belongs to Selznick. Nevertheless, Fleming's work on Oz has left to posterity a movie whose magic has influenced generations of writers, artists and film-makers." - The Movie Book, 1999
"Fleming's work has a Jekyll and Hyde quality of its own. Within the same year, Jekyll could turn out the raucously entertaining Bombshell while Hyde was being heavy-handed with White Sister... This mysterious figure probably expressed more of Hollywood's contradictions than did most of his colleagues. Yet, aside from Cukor, he was the only Metro director who could occasionally make the lion roar." - Andrew Sarris (The American Cinema, 1968)
"A first-rate craftsman, and part of an expert team, Victor Fleming happened to be at MGM at the right time to direct Gone with the Wind (1939) and The Wizard of Oz (1939)... Actors liked working with him, and he secured inspired performances from Gary Cooper in The Virginian (1929), Clark Gable in Red Dust (1933), and Spencer Tracy, who won an Academy Award for Captains Courageous (1937)." - Ronald Bergan (Film - Eyewitness Companions, 2006)
"The pace of his films is normally slow, the cinematography picturesque, and the heroes real he-men (Treasure Island, 34; Captains Courageous, 37; Gone with the Wind, 39). Nevertheless, Fleming was one of Hollywood's best directors of fantasy (When the Clouds Roll By, 20; The Wizard of Oz, 39; A Guy Named Joe, 43)." - William R. Meyer (The Film Buff's Catalog, 1978)
TSPDT Guide
Highly Recommended
Gone with the Wind (1939) , The Wizard of Oz (1939)
Recommended
Red Dust (1932), Bombshell (1933)
Worth a Look
Mantrap (1926), The Virginian (1929), Treasure Island (1934), Reckless (1935), Test Pilot (1938), Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1941), A Guy Named Joe (1943)
Approach with Caution
Captains Courageous (1937), Tortilla Flat (1942), Joan of Arc (1948)
Acclaimed Films / IMDB Filmography
1,000 Greatest Films
Amazon Products
Films / Books
    The Wizard of Oz
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