Gone With The Wind, When Hollywood got it right
A Record Breaking Film
In 1939, an outstanding year for quality movie releases, 'Gone with the Wind' was nominated for an incredible thirteen Academy Awards and won eight including Best Picture. It was an amazing achievement for an amazing film.
The film remains the all-time top box office earner (after inflation is calculated). Perhaps this is why cinema’s classic lines like “as God is my witness, I shall never go hungry again” and “frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn” remain an enduring part of the English language.
Gone With the Wind, even after 60 years, remains an unquestionable masterpiece. Few modern films can adeptly tackle the breadth of story that director Victor Fleming does. It is part of a bygone era of filmmaking that resonates well as the basis for some of the industry’s most ambitious projects. Few epic romances can compare to the style, grandeur and passion embodied herein. It is without doubt one of cinema's crowning achievements.
One of Hollywood's most popular leading men of the 1930s and '40s, Clark Gable was nominated for three Best Actor Oscars over the course of his career and even became the first actor ever to win an Academy Award for a comedy performance when he won for IT HAPPENED ONE NIGHT (1934). He earned his royal nickname when he won a popularity poll in 1936 and The New York Daily News crowned him King of Hollywood.
She made only 20 films in the course of her career, but India-born British actress Vivien Leigh walked away with two Best Actress Oscars more than a decade apart to prove she had talent as well as striking good looks. She was also a prolific stage performer, frequently in collaboration with her husband, Laurence Olivier, who directed her in several of her roles.
......Olivia de Havilland
Olivia de Havilland is the last surviving principal cast member from Gone With the Wind. She earned five Academy Award nominations and two Best Actress Oscars over the course of her long career. She made eight movies with Errol Flynn and her enduring screen persona was of a sweet damsel in distress.
A major Broadway star, Leslie Howard spent much of his career specialising in roles that conveyed a certain type of gentle, civilised Englishness. He was a close friend of Humphrey Bogart, who named his son after him.
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The most successful black film actor of her time, and one of the most recognizable and beloved character actresses of the 1930s and '40s, her performances are unquestionably those of a gifted actress and comedienne. She was the first African American performer to win an Oscar (which she won for Best Supporting Actress).
Other Cast Members
Maybelle Merriwether Mary Anderson
Beau Wilkes Mickey Kuhn
Charles Hamilton Rand Brooks
Prissy Butterfly McQueen
Big Sam Everett Brown
Gerald O'Hara Thomas Mitchell
Brent Tarleton Fred Crane
Bell Whatling Ona Munson
Aunt "Pittypat" Hamilton Laura Hope Crewes
Frank Kennedy Carroll Nye
Dr. Meade Harry Davenport
Ellen O'Hara Barbara O'Neil
John Wilkes Howard Hickman
Pork Oscar Polk
SueEllen O'Hara Evelyn Keyes
India Wilkes Alicia Rhett
Bonnie Blue Butler Cammie King
Careen O'Hara Anne Rutherford
This is the basic plot, somewhat abridged!
The film extends over a time period of twelve years and centres round the indomitable but narcissistic plantation belle , Scarlett O'Hara, and covers her various romantic pursuits during the chaotic Civil War years and afterwards. She ultimately seeks refuge for herself and her family back at the beloved plantation Tara which she staunchly defends against Union soldiers, carpetbaggers, and starvation itself. She finally marries her worldly admirer Rhett Butler, but her apathy toward him in their marriage dooms their battling relationship, and she again returns to Tara to find consolation. The film falls nicely into 2 parts. Part I deals with Scarlett O'Hara before and during the war. Part II continues the story line after the war and Scarlett's tumultuous relationship with Rhett Butler.
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The film begins with Scarlett, in typical fashion, flirting with two young men.
They talk of a Barbecue the next day at the Wilkes' plantation down the road from Tara. Scarlett is heartbroken to learn from Gerald O'Hara that Ashley Wilkes is going to ask his cousin Melanie to marry him.
When they arrive at Twelve Oaks, Scarlett is the center of attention, and all of the other girls resent her except for Melanie. Melanie and Ashley talk of their marriage as they overlook the garden. Scarlett is sitting beneath a tree with all the men surrounding her, at her beck and call. She is enjoying this until she spies Ashley and Melanie together. The girls all have to go take a nap, but once they are all asleep Scarlett sneaks out and listens in on the conversation the men are having about the upcoming war.
Everyone is sure the war will be short and glorious. After all, "southern gentlemen are worth any ten Yankees. Everyone knows that." Everyone, that is, except Rhett Butler -- he thinks the war will be hard fought. After Rhett and all the men get into a confrontation, he leaves. Shortly after, Ashley follows him. Scarlett intercepts Ashley, and she gets him alone in the library to confess her love for him. Ashley says he loves her too, but they are too different and cannot be together. After Ashley leaves, Rhett Butler shows himself, he was in the room the whole time. Scarlett comes out of the room and she hears all of the other girls talking about her, but Melanie sticks up for her.
The war begins and all the men are going to enlist. Charles Hamilton asks Scarlett to marry him.
She says yes to try to make Ashley jealous. In a double wedding, Ashley and Melanie and Charles and Scarlett get married.
Scarlett is widowed when Charles dies of pneumonia. Ellen O'Hara gives Scarlett permission to go to Atlanta and stay with Melanie and her Aunt Pittypat. They are at a charity dance for the Rebel army, when Scarlett runs into Rhett again. He bids $150 to dance with her which scandalises everyone as she was only recently widowed. Scarlett and Rhett become close and she spends time with him, because he is the only man around to take her out.
Rhett says that Scarlett should be, "kissed and often, by someone who knows how."
The Grand Ball
At Christmas time (1863), the soldiers get three days leave. Ashley asks Scarlett to look after Melanie. Scarlett and Melanie volunteer at the hospital for the wounded from the war. Belle Whatling donates money to the hospital, but no one but Melanie will take it because she runs a brothel. Scarlett recognizes the handkerchief that the donation comes in, it is Rhett Butler's. Scarlett, nursing at the hospital, helps to show how gruesome the injuries and how desperate the conditions were. In the summer of 1864, Sherman starts to attack Atlanta and everyone is fleeing the city. Scarlett learns from Big Sam, her slave, that her mother is sick. Scarlett is caught up in the refugee traffic and Rhett comes by and saves her. Then he asks Scarlett to run away to Mexico with him. Scarlett says that she wants to go back to Tara, but Dr. Mead convinces her that it wouldn't be the best thing to do, because Melanie is pregnant and she cannot make the journey.
The siege of Atlanta by the Yankees is on in earnest. Melanie goes into labor and Scarlett has to deliver the baby herself as the doctors are all tending the war wounded.
The baby is a boy, and Melanie names it Beau. Scarlett sends Prissy to get Rhett and ask him to bring his horse and carriage.
Rhett, Scarlett, Melanie, Prissy, and Beau start on their journey to Tara. They have to cross through the fires set by the retreating Confederates in downtown Atlanta. Brigands try to steal the horse and carriage from Rhett, but he escapes. Rhett acts very heroically, and then he leaves them at the road to Tara, and goes to join the war.
Escape From Atlanta
After a long, hard journey Scarlett gets them back to Tara which, miraculously, is still standing, dirty and damaged. Scarlett leaves the carriage, and runs towards the house. Her father greets her at the door, but he is changed. His mind has gone. Their house has been looted, but it's still standing because it was used as a Yankee headquarters. Scarlett finds out that her mother died, she is very upset. Scarlett's father still thinks that her mother is alive. Scarlett is the only one that the family can depend on. She vows her famous line, "As God as my witness I will never be hungry again."
Part 2 opens with Scarlett defending herself from and finally killing a Yankee looter and she takes all of his looted money.
The war is finally over!! (1865) Frank Kennedy wants Suellen to marry him, and Ashley comes home to Tara. But there is trouble, the Yankees have raised the taxes on Tara to $300 -- an unreachable amount of money. Ashley and Scarlett talk at the barn. Scarlett confesses her love for him again He says that he admires her fearlessness. They kiss, and then Scarlett asks Ashley to run away, then he says that she can't go because she has too much honor to leave Tara. Emmy Slattery and Mr. Wilkinson come to Tara and offer to buy it from them. Scarlett tells them to leave. Gerald chases them away on his horse but falls off and dies.
Scarlett decides that she'll go see Rhett in Atlanta and ask him for the $300. She dresses up in a dress that she made out of curtains. Rhett is in jail, and he says that he can't get his money out because it is hidden in Europe. After this Scarlett runs into Frank Kennedy. She marries him for the $300 , and then she starts a lumber business with Ashley. As Scarlett is on her way to the mill, she is attacked by hobos, but Big Sam saves her life.
Later that night, the women are all together, and India tells off Scarlett for all of the things that she has done. The husbands have gone to the woods to attack the men who attacked Scarlett. Rhett tries to save them from doing it but it is too late, Ashley was shot and Frank Kennedy was killed making Scarlett a widow again. Rhett makes up a lie to tell the Yankees of them being at Belle Whatley's house, so that they can get back inside without Ashley getting arrested. Melanie invites Belle to her house to thank her for saving Ashley's life.
Scarlett and Rhett are talking and he again asks her to marry him, and this time she says yes. They go on a grand honeymoon to New Orleans. Scarlett wants to go back to Tara. They go back, and build a mansion in Atlanta. They have a baby girl named 'Bonnie Blue' Butler. Scarlett doesn't want to have any more children because she is still in love with Ashley. They separate, and Rhett goes to see Belle and she convinces him to go back, because Bonnie needs him. Rhett gets drunk one night after Melanie's party and he wants to rid Ashley in Scarlett's mind forever. This is the famous 'carry her (to bed) up the Grand Staircase' scene.
Gone with the Wind, Clark Gable, Vivien Leigh, 1939
The next morning he apologizes then says he is going to London and taking Bonnie with him. Bonnie hates it there and says that she wants to go home and see her mother. Rhett takes Bonnie home, and then says he's leaving. Scarlett tells him that she is pregnant, they both say that they don't want the baby and Rhett says maybe Scarlett will have an accident. As he says this she falls down the stairs causing her to miscarry. After some time, Mellie tells Rhett that Scarlett is better. They are on the patio talking and watching Bonnie, when Bonnie decides that she will jump. But she does not make it and dies, just like Gerald.
Mammy calls on Mellie to help her, because Scarlett and Rhett are both distraught. But Mellie is very ill, and falls when she is at their house and never recovers. Mellie dies shortly after. Scarlett realizes as Mellie dies that her love for Ashley never existed, and that she really loves Rhett. She rushes home to tell him, but it is too late. He has already made up his mind to go to Charleston. Scarlett begs him not to go, "where shall I go .... what shall I do?" But Rhett says his famous words, "Frankly my dear, I don't give a damn."
Seen the film - now read the books!
Margaret Mitchell's epic novel of love and war won the Pulitzer Prize and went on to give rise to two authorized sequels and one of the most popular and celebrated movies of all time.
History of the Film
The best-selling novel Gone With The Wind was published in 1936 and won the Pulitzer Prize in 1937 but was mostly written in the late 1920s. It was the only novel that Margaret Mitchell wrote. The story of how the film was made is almost as interesting as the film itself. Maybe one day a movie will be made of how Gone With the Wind was made.....
Producer David O. Selznick had acquired the film rights to Mitchell's novel in July, 1936 for $50,000 - a record amount at the time to an unknown author for her first novel, causing some to label the film "Selznick's Folly." At the time of the film's release, the fictional book had surpassed 1.5 million copies sold. Major financing for the film was provided by Selznick's business partner John Hay Whitney, a financier who later went on to become a U.S. ambassador.
The casting of the two lead roles became a complex, two-year endeavour. Many famous or soon-to-be-famous actresses were either screen-tested, auditioned, or considered for the role of Scarlett, including Katharine Hepburn, Norma Shearer, Bette Davis, Barbara Stanwyck, Joan Crawford, Lana Turner, Susan Hayward, Carole Lombard, Irene Dunne, Merle Oberon, Ida Lupino, Joan Fontaine, Loretta Young, Miriam Hopkins, Tallulah Bankhead, Frances Dee, and Lucille Ball. But only two finalists, Paulette Goddard and Vivien Leigh, were tested in Technicolor, both on December 20.
Selznick had been quietly considering Vivien Leigh,
a young English actress little known in America, for the role of Scarlett since February 1938, when Selznick saw her in 'Fire Over England' and 'A Yank at Oxford'. After a series of screen tests, her casting was announced on January 13, 1939. While approximately 1,400 actresses auditioned for the part of Scarlett O'Hara, the story goes that David O. Selznick only considered Clark Gable for the part of Rhett Butler. In the end, Leigh received about $25,000 for her services while Gable took home over $120,000. Clark Gable was an almost immediate favourite for both the public and Selznick.
Gable signing contract for
Gone With The Wind with
David O. Selznick and L. B. Mayer
Lyle Wheeler was art director of Selznick
International Pictures and William Cameron Menzies was production designer. Together Wheeler and Menzies supervised a staff of seven artists who provided more than 1,500 watercolor sketches for Gone With the Wind. From these sketches, which indicated every camera angle proposed for the movie, two hundred sets were designed and ninety were erected.
William Menzies, Production Designer
Principal photography began January 26, 1939 and ended on June 27, 1939, with post-production work (including a fifth version of the opening scene) going to November 11, 1939. Cinematographer Lee Garmes began the production, but after a month of shooting what Selznick and his associates thought was "too dark" footage, was replaced with Ernest Haller, working with Technicolor cinematographer Ray Rennahan. Most of the filming was done on "the back forty" of Selznick International with all the location scenes being photographed in California, mostly in Los Angeles County or neighboring Ventura County.
Director George Cukor, with whom Selznick had a long working relationship,
and who spent almost two years in pre-production on 'Gone with the Wind', was replaced after less than three weeks of shooting. Victor Fleming, who had just directed 'The Wizard of Oz', was called in from MGM to complete the picture, although Cukor continued privately to coach Leigh's and De Havilland's performances. Another MGM director, Sam Wood, worked for two weeks in May when Fleming temporarily left the production due to exhaustion. Estimated production costs were $3.9 million; only Ben-Hur (1925) and Hell's Angels (1930) had cost more.
Vivien Leigh, Clark Gable, Victor Fleming
Even before casting had been completed, filming began with the famous "Burning of Atlanta" scene. But rather than set fire to Atlanta itself, producer David O. Selznick and the crew of the film actually burned down a bunch of old sets on the studio backlot. The fire was so intense that Culver City residents called the fire department reporting that MGM was burning down. The cost of producing this blaze, shot on December 10, 1938, was estimated at $25,000.'GWTW''s two lead stars, Vivien Leigh as Scarlett O'Hara and Clark Gable as Rhett Butler, both received nominations for their performances. But while Leigh took home the Best Actress statuette, Gable lost to Robert Donat's performance in 'Goodbye, Mr. Chips' at the 1939 Academy Awards. The film earned five more Academy Awards including Best Picture, Best Actress in a Leading Role -
Vivien Leigh, Best Actress in a Supporting Role - Hattie McDaniel, Best Cinematography, Colour, Best Director, Best Film Editing , Best Writing, Screenplay, an Honorary Award - William Cameron Menzies - "For outstanding achievement in the use of colour for the enhancement of dramatic mood in the production of 'GWTW'", and Technical Achievement Award - Don Musgrave - "For pioneering in the use of coordinated equipment in the production 'GWTW'."
Vivien Leigh and David Selznick with her Best Actress Award
Rhett Butler's infamous farewell line to Scarlett O'Hara, "Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn", was voted in a poll by the American Film Institute in 2005 as the most memorable line in cinema history. In 2005, the AFI ranked Max Steiner's score for the film the second greatest of all time. More than sixty years later, it remains the most widely watched film and the impact its lines have had on every day speak is simply unimaginable. A random sample: "Quittin Time!", "Fiddle-dee-dee!", "Lawd have mercy!", "I'll smash your skull between them like a walnut." And the line of the century Rhett Butler's signature -- "Frankly my dear, I don't give a damn." Matched by Scarlett's sign off for the film "After all ... tomorrow is another day."
The film premiered in Atlanta, Georgia, on December 15, 1939 as the climax of three days of festivities hosted by the mayor which consisted of a parade of limousines featuring stars from the film, receptions, thousands of Confederate flags, false antebellum fronts on stores and homes, and a costume ball. The governor of Georgia declared December 15 a state holiday. President Jimmy Carter would later recall it as "the biggest event to happen in the South in my lifetime."
From December 1939 to June 1940, the film played only advance-ticket road show engagements at a limited number of theaters, before it went into general release in 1941. It was a sensational hit during the Blitz in London, opening in April 1940 and playing continuously for four years.
'GWTW' was given theatrical re-releases in 1947, 1954, 1961, 1967 (in a widescreen version), 1971, 1989, and 1998. It made its television debut on the HBO cable network in June 1976, and its broadcast debut the following November on the NBC network, where it became at that time the highest-rated television programme ever presented on a single network, watched by 47.5 per cent of the households in America, and 65 per cent of television viewers. The film has been selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry and has undergone a complete digital restoration.
- 'Gone with the Wind' on Hollywood's Golden Age
Expert summary and analysis of the epic blockbuster
When Gary Cooper turned down the role for Rhett Butler, he was passionately against it. He is quoted saying both, "'Gone With The Wind' is going to be the biggest flop in Hollywood history," and, "I'm just glad it'll be Clark Gable who's falling on his face and not Gary Cooper."
Clark Gable's line "Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn" was voted as the #1 movie quote by the American Film Institute
In 2007, the American Film Institute ranked this as the #6 Greatest Movie of All Time.
First color film to win the Best Picture Oscar
Of all the many actresses who tested for the part of Scarlett, only Paulette Goddard and Vivien Leigh were filmed in color.
Although he was booted off the production, George Cukor continued to privately coach both Vivien Leigh and Olivia de Havilland.
After rumblings of dissatisfaction from the black members of the cast, the word "nigger" was excised from the script.
Half a million feet of film were shot. This was all edited down to 20,000 feet.
Leslie Howard was one of the few cast members not to attend the premiere in Atlanta.
Vivien Leigh wasn't happy with Victor Fleming's brusque style after the careful nurturing she had enjoyed with George Cukor. When she asked him for direction in one scene, he told her to "take the script and stick it up her royal British ass". Margaret Mitchell personally approved of Vivien Leigh's interpretation of Scarlett.
There are more than 50 speaking roles and 2,400 extras in the film.
The four principals were billed in this order: Clark Gable, followed by Leslie Howard and Olivia de Havilland and then "presenting" Vivien Leigh. This changed when Leigh won the Oscar.
There's only one scene in the entire film where all four stars appear together - when Rhett Butler informs the anxious group as the whereabouts of Scarlett's husband after the KKK run-in with the law.
In 1939, the Hollywood Production Code dictated what could and could not be shown or said on screen, and Rhett Butler's memorable last line raised red flags. A few of the suggested alternatives were "Frankly my dear... I just don't care," "... it makes my gorge rise," "... my indifference is boundless," "... I don't give a hoot," and "... nothing could interest me less."
The premiere was held in Atlanta, Georgia on December 15, 1939. It was supposedly the first time that David O. Selznick had been in the South.
With Vivien Leigh already secured (secretly) in the role of Scarlett by David O. Selznick as early as February 1938, others actresses had little chance for the role even though thousands of dollars were spent on "testing" them, an investment considered well spent for all the publicity it generated.
Very few of the cast members liked the characters they were playing. Clark Gable was appeased into taking his role by letting him make arrangements to marry Carole Lombard; Rand Brooks was a rough outdoorsman who had to play a wimpy character; Butterfly McQueen was a very shy person; Leslie Howard felt he was too old for his role; etc.
Hattie McDaniel would have been prevented from attending the film's Atlanta premiere because of Georgia's racial segregation laws. So as not to put David O. Selznick in the awkward position of having to fight for her right to attend, she wrote to him, saying that she would be "unavailable".
DVD's of Gone With the Wind
Hollywood got it just right
What makes the movie special
Adapted from Margaret Mitchell's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, this dazzling epic of the American Civil War stars Vivien Leigh as the tempestuous Scarlett O'Hara and Clark Gable as the dashing Rhett Butler. Forever linked by passion and separated by pride and self-delusion, these unforgettable screen lovers bring Mitchell's immortal saga vividly to life.
Considered by many the definitive example of the Hollywood movie, this is by any standard one of the greatest films of all time. It could be -- and should be -- viewed from a dozen different perspectives, but it is, above all, a story about adapting to the most challenging circumstances possible. Interestingly, our heroine, Scarlett O'Hara, is not especially brave or smart or considerate. On the contrary, she is completely selfish. And she has very little interest or understanding of the world around her or of her own feelings. Yet the movie shows us that she has qualities like stubbornness and focus that enable her to survive, while those like Melanie and Ashley (who are thoughtful and honorable) do not. In the first scene, her father tells her that what matters most is Tara, and that becomes her symbol of survival. At the end of the movie, with her emotional life devastated, her first thought is to return there to start over again.
The film is about four hours long because it has a long story to tell, and to leave out anything would result in a lesser film. This film is great because it has a great story to tell. Because it has amazing acting. Because Vivien Leigh and Clark Gable are the perfect mis-matched couple of all time. Because it has a killer script. Because Victor Fleming (and all the other guest directors, like George Cukor) knows how to set up shots perfectly (my favorite is still the pull back to show Tara at sundown in the beginning - orgasmic). Because it's a bit dated. Because of the unforgettable, uplifting musical score. And because for four hours you can see one of the very few times when Hollywood just got a film right, and wasn't afraid of a lengthy running time or cost. When Hollywood really pulls out the stops and is concerned with everything at the same time, including the story, that's when a great film emerges. And "Gone With the Wind," for all its 222 minutes of running time and seeping soap opera structure, is one of the greatest films of all time. That's inarguable.
A Grand Passion
For the scene in which Scarlett escapes the burning of the Atlanta Depot, a horse was needed to play Woebegone, an old nag on the verge of collapse. A suitable candidate was finally found, but weeks later, when the horse was brought to the set, it had gained weight and its ribs were no longer visible. There was no time to find a replacement, so the makeup department painted dark shadows on its ribs to give the appearance of malnourishment.
In the scene where Scarlett searches for Dr. Meade, making her way among 1,600 suffering and dying Confederate soldiers, to cut costs and still comply with a union rule that dictated the use of a certain percentage of extras in the cast, 800 dummies were scattered among 800 extras.
In the scene where Rhett pours Mammy a drink after the birth of Bonnie, for a joke during a take, Clark Gable actually poured alcohol instead of the usual tea into the decanter without Hattie McDaniel knowing it until she took a swig.
First scene to be shot was the burning of the Atlanta Depot, filmed on 10 December 1938. If there was a major mistake during the filming, the entire film might have been scrapped. What was actually burned were a lot of old sets on the studio backlot, including the "Great Gate" from King Kong (1933). There were 113 minutes of footage shot, the cost of the blaze coming to more than $25,000. The fire was so intense that the unwarned public of Culver City jammed the telephones lines, thinking MGM was burning down. Scarlett was doubled by Aileen Goodwin and Lila Finn, while Rhett was doubled by Yakima Canutt and Jay Wilsey.
The first rough cut in July 1939 ran four and a half hours - 48 minutes longer than the final release.
All seven of Hollywood's then-existing Technicolor cameras were used to film the Burning of the Atlanta Depot. Flames 500 feet high leaped from a set that covered 40 acres. Ten pieces of fire equipment from the Los Angeles Fire Department, 50 studio firemen and 200 studio helpers stood by throughout the filming of this sequence in case the fire should get out of hand. Three 5,000-gallon water tanks were used to quench the flames after shooting.
Female costumes were made complete with petticoats, although they wouldn't have been missed had they not been there.
The scene where Scarlett digs up a turnip then retches and gives her "As God is my witness" line, the vomiting sounds were actually made by Olivia de Havilland since Vivien Leigh could not produce a convincing enough retch.
Vivien Leigh worked for 125 days and received about $25,000. Clark Gable worked for 71 days and received over $120,000.
Margaret Mitchell wrote her novel between 1926 and 1929. In her early drafts, the main character was named "Pansy O'Hara" and the O'Hara plantation we know as Tara was called "Fountenoy Hall."
A few of Margaret Mitchell's working titles for the novel included "Tomorrow is Another Day," "Not in Our Stars", "Bugles Sang True" and "Tote the Weary Load". The most famous working title was, "Ba! Ba! Black Sheep".
Clark Gable was so distressed over the requirement that he cry on film (during the scene where Melanie is comforting Rhett after Scarlett's miscarriage) that he almost quit. Olivia de Havilland convinced him to stay.
The final shooting script dated 24 January 1939 had a price tag of $25,000 by late 1939.
The horse that Thomas Mitchell rode was later Silver of "The Lone Ranger" fame.
Rhett was not allowed to say, on film, "Maybe you'll have a miscarriage" right before Scarlett falls down the stairs; the line is changed to "Maybe you'll have an accident."
If box office receipts for the movie were adjusted for inflation, it would be the top grossing movie of all time; Star Wars (1977) would only be the second most successful movie of all time. According to the Guinness World Records homepage the total gross in 2005 figures would be $3,785,107,801.
The Reminiscent Soldier was played by 'Edwards, Cliff' , who was also the voice of Jiminy Cricket.
Out of the four leads, three of them (Howard, Leigh, and Gable) died young. Olivia de Havilland is the only one who is still alive. Ironically, her character was the only one who died in the film.
Vivien Leigh reportedly did not like kissing Clark Gable because she said that he had excessively bad breath due to smoking.
The interior sets of Tara were built without ceilings. These were later added using matte paintings.
Sidney Howard's screenwriting Oscar was the Academy 's first posthumous award. Howard died in an accident in August 1939 while the Civil War epic was still being filmed.
Barbara O'Neil was only 28 when she appeared as Ellen O'Hara (Scarlett's mother). Vivien Leigh was 25 when she appeared as Scarlett, who is only 16 at the beginning of the film.
At nearly four hours long, this is longest running of all movies to win the Best Picture Academy Award.
Voted #4 film of all time by the American Film Institute.
Before casting had actually started, Margaret Mitchell was asked (during an interview) who, she felt, should play Rhett Butler. She replied, "Groucho Marx."
To add to the publicity, fans were asked to vote for the actress they think should play Scarlett. Out of hundreds of ballots cast, Vivien Leigh got two votes.