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Gone with the Wind (1939)

G  |   |  Drama, Romance, War  |  17 January 1940 (USA)
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Ratings: 8.2/10 from 199,955 users  
Reviews: 685 user | 151 critic

A manipulative Southern belle carries on a turbulent affair with a blockade runner during the American Civil War.


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Top Rated Movies #153 | Won 8 Oscars. Another 9 wins & 8 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Ellen - His Wife (as Barbara O'Neill)
Fred Crane ...
Oscar Polk ...
Everett Brown ...
Howard C. Hickman ...
John Wilkes (as Howard Hickman)
Alicia Rhett ...


Scarlett is a woman who can deal with a nation at war, Atlanta burning, the Union Army carrying off everything from her beloved Tara, the carpetbaggers who arrive after the war. Scarlett is beautiful. She has vitality. But Ashley, the man she has wanted for so long, is going to marry his placid cousin, Melanie. Mammy warns Scarlett to behave herself at the party at Twelve Oaks. There is a new man there that day, the day the Civil War begins. Rhett Butler. Scarlett does not know he is in the room when she pleads with Ashley to choose her instead of Melanie. Written by Dale O'Connor <daleoc@interaccess.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Winner of Ten Academy Awards [reissue] See more »


Drama | Romance | War


G | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

17 January 1940 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Lo que el viento se llevó  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$3,977,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$1,192,593 (USA) (26 June 1998)


$198,655,278 (USA) (13 November 1998)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (1969 re-release) | (1985 re-release) | (1994 re-release) | (1989 re-release) | (copyright length)

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System) (5.0 Surround Sound) (L-R)



Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


David O. Selznick asked Alfred Hitchcock for help with the scene in which the women wait for the men from the raid on Shantytown and Melanie reads "David Copperfield". Hitchcock delivered a precise treatment, complete with descriptions of shots and camera angles. Hitchcock wanted to show Rhett, Ashley, etc. outside the house, dodging the Union soldiers. He also wanted an exchange of meaningful glances between Melanie and Rhett inside the house. Virtually nothing of this treatment was used. See more »


When Ashley comes to Atlanta for Christmas during the war, he and Melanie go upstairs to bed and call over the banister of the staircase landing to Scarlett. They proceed on to their room, and we see the light from their room reflected on the wall at the staircase landing. The light disappears as their bedroom door closes, leaving Scarlett watching in misery. However, when we see Prissy and Scarlett packing to leave Atlanta because Sherman is coming (while Melanie is in labor) it appears that there is no bedroom in a position that could leave a light on the landing wall. See more »


[first lines]
Brent Tarleton: What do we care if we *were* expelled from college, Scarlett? The war is gonna start any day now, so we'd have left college anyhow.
Stuart Tarleton: War! Isn't it exciting, Scarlett? You know those fool Yankees actually *want* a war?
Brent Tarleton: We'll show 'em!
Scarlett: Fiddle-dee-dee! War, war, war; this war talk's spoiling all the fun at every party this spring. I get so bored I could scream. Besides... there isn't going to be any war.
Brent Tarleton: Not going to be any war?
Stuart Tarleton: Why, honey, of course there's gonna be a war.
Scarlett: If either ...
See more »

Crazy Credits

Rather than simply saying "Selznick International in association with Metro-Goldwyn Mayer presents Margaret Mitchell's 'Gone With the Wind'", the opening credits say "Selznick International in association with Metro-Goldwyn Mayer has the honor to present its Technicolor production of Margaret Mitchell's story of the Old South 'Gone With the Wind'". See more »


Referenced in Twenty Bucks (1993) See more »


Bridal Chorus (Here Comes the Bride)
(1850) (uncredited)
from "Lohengrin"
Written by Richard Wagner
In the score after Scarlett's nightmare
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Astounding Film - GWTW is the Definition of a Classic!
15 November 2003 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

The setting is a Georgia plantation. The year is 1861, and sixteen-year-old Scarlett O'Hara is infatuated with the blond, drowsy-eyed Ashley Wilkes - the problem is, Ashley plans to marry another woman. Little matter that every other man in the county is courting Scarlett and that a charming scoundrel named Rhett Butler is staring at her with questionable intent - she cares only for Ashley.

Suddenly, the Civil War brakes out, changing the fates and fortunes of all. Scarlett, clever, manipulative, and charming, proves an adept survivor - but what will she have to do to survive? And will she ever learn whom it is that she really loves?

GWTW is one of the most meticulously cast films ever; with the possible exception of Leslie Howard as Ashley (in his forties, rather old to be playing a man half that age), every role was perfectly assigned. After you watch Vivien Leigh you will be unable to imagine anyone else playing Scarlett, and Hattie McDaniel's strong, unforgettable performance as "Mammy" netted her an academy award (the first for an African-American actor).

GWTW's backdrop is the gruesome Civil War, and in the end this film is the story a woman and a civilization (the Old South) going through a war that will not leave either of them unchanged.

The cinematography is beautiful, memorable. Gone With the Wind was shot entirely in gorgeous technicolor; the scene of the fire in Atlanta required the use of all eight technicolor cameras in existence at the time.

The pragmatic may think Gone with the Wind overly dramatic; the restless may find it too long; the action-stimulated, too subtle. None of this, however, detracts from the fact that GWTW retains a lasting appeal as one of the crowning cinematic achievements of the 20th century. Those who see its ending as depressing - tragic, even - perhaps miss the point - which Scarlett O'Hara makes in her very last instant with us, tear-stained eyes uplifted in a sudden, curious burst of hope beneath all the turmoil; that .. . "After all, tomorrow is another day." 10/10

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Green 'dress' Jwink72
Paulette Goddard was almost chosen to play Scarlett ZurichGnome
Clark Gable No Oscar ? roye1955
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Rhett was 17 years older than Scarlett?! hellotrouble
Who was the boss, Scarlett or Mammy? dollymaeflow
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