NYT Sunday Puzzle – February 23, 2014

NYT Sunday Puzzle - February 23, 2014

Title: Reel-life Anniversary

In the spot to the right of the title where we would normally see the name of the puzzle’s constructor, it says “A namesake of 119-Across.”

119-Across: Director of the eight starred films in this puzzle, who was born on 2/23/1889. Answer: Victory Fleming.

24A. *1939 Judy Garland film = The Wizard of Oz
37A. *1933 Jean Harlow film = Bombshell
54A. *1943 Spencer Tracy/Irene Dunne film = A Guy Named Joe
68A. *1939 Vivian Leigh/Clark Gable film = Gone with the Wind
89A. “1942 Spencer Tracy/Hedy Lamarr film = Tortilla Flat
103A. *1948 Ingrid Bergman Film = Joan of Arc
5D. *1932 Clark Gable/Jean Harlow film = Red Dust
98D. *1925 Percy Marmont film = Lord Jim

When I looked at this puzzle’s title, it was immediately obvious that there was a movie theme. For anyone who knows anything about movies, 24A. and 68A. were ridiculously easy to fill in. And Gone with the Wind made it easy for me to get the name of the director in question since I’ve read books and articles about what took place during the filming. Actually, three directors worked on the film. The original director George Cukor was fired shortly after filming began (because of disagreements with producer David O. Selznick). Victor Fleming replaced Cukor though Sam Wood stepped in as temporary director when Fleming briefly walked out in a huff. Fleming was given sole directorial credit and received an Academy Award as Best Director.

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