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Financial Crisis at MGM

"There were always financial crises," director Joseph L. Mankiewicz once recalled of his stint with MGM. "Someone would come out from the East and announce that the business was in deep trouble, and what would happen was that they'd reduce the number of matzo balls in Louis Mayer's chicken soup from three to two. Then they'd fire a couple of secretaries and feel virtuous."

["I got a job at Metro and went to see Louis Mayer who told me he wanted me to be a producer," Mankiewicz said on another occasion. "I said I wanted to write and direct. He said, 'No, you you have to produce first, you have to crawl before you can walk.' Which is as good a definition of producing as I ever heard."]

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