When the director Wellman received the Oscar for this film it is said that he put it front of producer David O.Selznick and said 'You deserve this more than I do'. The credits list eight writers including Selznick and Wellman, but the acid-sharp dialogue is generally attributed to renowned wit, Dorothy Parker. It was Selznick's third film as an independent producer and his first major success. The subject of the film was the darker, cynical side of the Hollywood star system and it has been remade twice; in 1954 with Judy Garland and in 1976 with Barbra Streisand. The story concerns a fading star, Norman Maine, who was once a big box office draw, but is now fading fast and all but he can see it. At a Hollywood party he gets drunk, as usual, and picks up a waitress, claiming he will make her into a star. Maine persuades his producer, Oliver Niles, to give her a screen test, which he reluctantly does. Niles ends up liking her and decides to make her a star. He starts by changing her name from Esther Blodgett to Vicki Lester and then proceeds to change her physically and painfully, moulding her image. Norman and Vicki get married and as her career takes off, his grinds to a halt and in desperation he turns to drink, and despite Vicki's love and encouragement, finally takes his own life. A classic melodrama it is also noted for being an early example of the newly developed Technicolor cinematography, for which W. Howard Greene received a special Academy Award.