Thursday, May 27, 2010


Gone with the Wind, first published in May 1936, is a romantic novel and the only novel written by Margaret Mitchell. The story is set in Clayton County, Georgia and Atlanta, Georgia during the American Civil War and Reconstruction and depicts the experiences of Scarlett O'Hara, the spoiled daughter of a well-to-do plantation owner. The novel is the source of the extremely popular 1939 film of the same name.

1936 original cover 54
From Wikipedia

Gone with the Wind - MITCHELL, MARGARET
From The Manhattan Rare Book Company

Above is the First Edition of Mitchell's Pulitzer-Prize winning epic of Scarlett O'Hara's near-mythic love affair with Rhett Butler, one of the most popular and enduring novels in American literature. Magnificently bound in full morocco gilt (New York: Macmillan, 1936. Octavo, recent full maroon morocco with elaborately gilt-decorated spine, marbled endpapers, all edges gilt. Fine condition) - The Manhattan Rare Book Company.
“Politically incorrect or not, Gone with the Wind remains one of the greatest American films ever made and quite possibly the best example of studio era filmmaking at its most polished. In fact Gone with the Wind is one of the few instances in Hollywood history when bigger actually meant better.
Apart from Leslie Howard, who was never quite able to get into the skin of his soft-spoken character (Howard found him a weakling), the Gone with the Wind principals — Vivien Leigh, Clark Gable, Olivia de Havilland — deliver flawless performances. Oscar winner Hattie McDaniel steals all her scenes, while Butterfly McQueen’s much derided character, the ditzy Prissy, is a hoot. McQueen, a superb comedienne, deserves much more respect than what she’s gotten thus far…..
Gone with the Wind went on to win a total of 8 Oscars, plus a special technical achievement award. In addition to McDaniel, among the winners were Leigh, director Victor Fleming (who replaced George Cukor), and screenwriter Sidney Howard…..”
-Andre Soares at Alt Film Guide

Cast overview, first billed only:
Clark Gable
.... Rhett Butler
Vivien Leigh
.... Scarlett O'Hara
Leslie Howard
.... Ashley Wilkes
Olivia de Havilland
.... Melanie Hamilton
Thomas Mitchell
.... Gerald O'Hara
Barbara O'Neil
.... Ellen O'Hara
Evelyn Keyes
.... Suellen O'Hara
Ann Rutherford
.... Carreen O'Hara
George Reeves
.... Stuart Tarleton
Fred Crane
.... Brent Tarleton
George Cukor
.... Film Director
Victor Fleming
.... Film Director
Sam Wood
.... Film Director

If any film of the past 75 years represents the pinnacle of Hollywood's Golden Age it must be Gone with the Wind. Produced in 1939, a year many film historians agree was the greatest in terms of quality output by the studio system, Gone with the Wind stood out as "the most magnificent film ever made." No expense was spared on the cast, production values and promotion. The film walked away with the Best Picture Oscar in 1939, outdistancing STAGECOACH, MR. SMITH GOES TO WASHINGTON, THE WIZARD OF OZ, and WUTHERING HEIGHTS. Gone with the Wind still stands as a popular monument to the artistic triumph of producer David O. Selznick and the Hollywood system.

Before the trouble
David A Selznick, Vivien Leigh, Leslie Howard
Olivia de Havilland and George Cukor
From HubPages

Cukor (above R) had been hired by Selznick to direct Gone with the Wind in 1936, even before the book was published and he spent the next two years involved with pre-production duties, as well as spending long hours coaching the film's female stars, Vivien Leigh and Olivia de Havilland. Cukor was fired due to disagreements with the film's producer, David O. Selznick. after less than three weeks of shooting, but continued to coach Leigh and De Havilland off the set. It may have been his reputation as a "woman's director" (and homosexual) which lost him the job, when star Clark Gable allegedly said, "I won't be directed by a fairy." Or it could be Gable's fear that his own homosexual dalliance as a young man might be made public.
(Gunsock at HubPages)

Clark Gable
Submitted by karma93 at fanpop

Vivien Leigh
Submitted by karma93 at fanpop
From left, David O. Selznick, Victor Fleming
Clark Gable and Vivien Leigh 10
From The New York Times Company

Vivien Leigh

It's quite possible that even today more people have seen Gone with the Wind than any other film. It was the film that brought the 1930s, the first and most successful decade of the Hollywood studio system, to a rousing climax; for sheer size and visual splendor nothing like it (except perhaps The Birth of a Nation) had ever been seen before. But its appeal to audiences lay elsewhere - in the way it took an enormous subject the American Civil War, and made it the background to the adventures and misadventures of, essentially, four people. Thus it became an intimate spectacular, a small story told on an epic scale. It's therefore a movie set in the Civil War but not actually about the Civil War.....

All stills from Cap.tacular

Scarlett O'Hara is in love with drippy Ashley Wilkes, and is devastated when he announces that he plans to marry his cousin Melanie. She pleads with Ashley to marry her instead, but then, on the first day of the Civil War, she meets mercurial Rhett Butler. A man to match her strength of character and romantic desires, Butler changes the course of her life. Despite hunger, and the burning of Atlanta, Scarlett survives the war and its aftermath, but ultimately loses the only man she really loved.

Twelve Oaks

Two men flirting

Fight over Ashley Wilkes

Back from Twelve Oaks

She gets him alone in the library

Rhett Butler shows himself

A double wedding

Scarlett runs into Rhett again

He bids $150 to dance with her

Nursing at the hospital

Her mother is sick

Rhett comes by and saves her

Scarlett has to deliver the baby herself



The road to Tara

His mind has gone

It's still standing

Now home to Culver Studios
(this was used in Gone with the Wind)

Picking cotton in the fields at Tara

Scarlett kills him

Scarlett confesses her love for him again

He falls off and dies from a fall

'Bonnie Blue' Butler

She does not make it

"where shall I go .... what shall I do?"

"As God as my witness I will never be hungry again."

Tomorrow is another day
(All stills from Cap.tacular)

What concerns the film, and by extension us, is what's happening to Scarlett and Rhett (Vivien Leigh and Clark Gable) and Ashley and Melanie (Leslie Howard and Olivia de Havilland). Stories about the making of the picture have filled books: the role of Scarlett O'Hara was so coveted that almost every young female star in Hollywood tested for it; David Selznick, however, eager to find a new face (and, of course, to gain maximum publicity) organized a nationwide two-year search for the perfect Scarlett before eventually signing the comparatively unknown Vivien Leigh; the original director, George Cukor, was replaced at Gable's insistence by Victor Fleming, who, because of illness, was in turn replaced by Sam Wood; writers as diverse as Scott Fitzgerald and Ben Hecht had a go at reducing Margaret Mitchell's book to filmable length; an early choice for Rhett Butler was Errol Flynn and so on. At the end of it all what emerged was a sumptuous, flamboyant entertainment, a cinematic novel - not a work of art perhaps but a rich, enjoyable wallow of a movie.

• 1939: Best film; best actress (Leigh); best director (Fleming); best screenplay; best supporting actress (McDaniel); best cinematography; best art direction (Lyle Wheeler); best film editing (Hal C. Kern, James E. Newcom); plus Irving Thalberg Memorial Award to Selznick.

• 1939: Best actor (Gable); best supporting actress (de Havilland); best original score; best sound recording (Thomas T. Moulton); best special effects (John R. Cosgrove, Fred Albin, Arthur Johns).

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