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Gone with the Wind (1939)

A manipulative woman and a roguish man conduct a turbulent romance during the American Civil War and Reconstruction periods.

Directors:

, (uncredited) | 1 more credit »

Writers:

(story of the old south "Gone with the Wind"), (screenplay)
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Popularity
854 ( 165)

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Top Rated Movies #158 | Won 8 Oscars. Another 10 wins & 9 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Ellen - His Wife (as Barbara O'Neill)
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John Wilkes (as Howard Hickman)
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India - His Daughter
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

The most magnificent picture ever! See more »

Genres:

Drama | History | Romance | War

Certificate:

G | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

17 January 1940 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Lo que el viento se llevó  »

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Box Office

Budget:

$3,977,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$1,192,593, 28 June 1998, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$198,676,459

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$400,176,459
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

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

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)| (1967 Reissue)| (1971 Reissue)| (1998 Reissue)| (1954 Reissue)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

David O. Selznick's first choice to direct Gone with the Wind (1939) was George Cukor, with whom Selznick had a long working relationship, and who had already spent almost two years in pre-production on the film. After filming had been officially commenced, Cukor came into conflict with Clark Gable and Selznick on the set. Gable thought Cukor, seen as a "woman's director", was giving too much attention to Vivien Leigh and Olivia de Havilland, while Selznick felt the film, under Cukor's direction, lacked dynamism. The director and producer also quarreled against each other on the direction of the film and the script, the latter of which had not been completed yet and still going through countless revisions from different writers. After less than three weeks of principal photography, Cukor was fired by Selznick. With the budget and production problems accelerating to the extreme, Selznick was frantic to find a new director as soon as possible. At Gable's suggestion, the producer, then, thought about Victor Fleming. To be sure before he made an official decision, Selznick went to the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer studio to view footage from Fleming's latest picture, The Wizard of Oz (1939), which was not yet released. After viewing all of the footage, Selznick was astonished. He was highly impressed by the film and Fleming's direction. He saw Fleming as a visionary filmmaker, who can expertly (1) create a film with an epic size and scope of titanic proportions and with great ambition; (2) create a world-building universe where audiences can instantly be transported to, where they can be part of the story and action; (3) mix and blend different film genres that would work beautifully and perfectly with a particular story; (4) imbue great sensitivity to the characters; and (5) coach great performances from his actors. Just from watching the footage for "Oz", Selznick believed that Fleming, as a director, would have the same qualities, ambition, and vision that Selznick had and needed for Gone with the Wind (1939). When talking about the director with Louis B. Mayer, then-head of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Selznick learned that Fleming was also a consummate studio director, who was capable of doing the job, keep it under control, take it home, get it done, and deliver exactly what the studio wanted, while adhering true to his own instincts and vision in filmmaking. That further endeared to Selznick. After reviewing other potential candidates for the position, he decided that Fleming should be the one to direct the film. MGM, then, called in Fleming from The Wizard of Oz (1939) to direct Gone with the Wind (1939). The director, himself, initially had some reservations about directing the film, but after a couple of meetings with Selznick, he shared the producer's ambition for the film and began to believe that he can do it and, after a short time, finally agreed to direct the picture. King Vidor stepped in to direct the sept-tone Kansas sequences and a couple of reshoots for "The Wizard of Oz" in Fleming's absence. From that moment on, progress had gained momentum on the production. Fleming had managed to halt filming, in order to work with Selznick and Ben Hecht to revise and complete the script, which eventually resulted in restoring Sidney Howard's original script at the behest of both Fleming and Hecht. Not only did he worked closely with Selznick and the crew, but also with the actors. Despite his reputation as a "man's director", due to his robust attitude and love of outdoor sports, he was also proven an effective director of women. Due to the sheer giant magnitude of the film and his tireless commitment to the film, Fleming collapsed from exhaustion and was temporarily excused from production in order for him to fully recover. In his absence, Sam Wood, a veteran MGM director, stepped in to complete principal photography. Fleming eventually recovered and returned back to work to oversee the editing and the post-production work of both Gone with the Wind (1939) and The Wizard of Oz (1939). As of the end of principal photography, Cukor had undertaken eighteen days of filming, Fleming ninety-three, and Wood twenty-four. See more »

Goofs

In the railyard where the soldiers are laid out, two men carry a rolled up stretcher across the top of the frame and then turn left to proceed down the left side. The man in the rear steps on the leg of a soldier and leaves a footprint/depression in a dummy's leg. See more »

Quotes

[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

Opening credits prologue: There was a land of Cavaliers and Cotton Fields called the Old South... Here in this pretty world Gallantry took its last bow.. Here was the last ever to be seen of Knights and their Ladies Fair, of Master and Slave... Look for it only in books, for it is no more than a dream remembered. A Civilization gone with the wind... See more »

Connections

Referenced in Mr. Love (1985) See more »

Soundtracks

Ben Bolt (Oh Don't You Remember)
(1848) (uncredited)
Music by Nelson Kneass
Poem by Thomas Dunn English (1842)
Sung a cappella by Vivien Leigh
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Scarlett's So High Spirited And Vivacious
21 October 2006 | by See all my reviews

Before I ever saw Gone With the Wind, I was well acquainted with Max Steiner's theme. It opened WOR TV's Million Dollar Movie before every broadcast in New York in the Fifties and Sixties. When my parents took me to see Gone With the Wind in one of MGM's re-releases as the film music started in my youthful eagerness to show off my knowledge I remarked to all who could hear that that was stolen from Million Dollar Movie.

Million Dollar Movie is gone now, but Gone With the Wind, book and film, remain eternal. In these days Margaret Mitchell's southern point of view book might have trouble finding a publisher, let alone selling film rights to the story. But it is a tribute to her and the characters she created that they remain alive in everyone's mind who reads the novel or sees the film. And that's just about the same because I can't think of another film that remained so faithful to the text.

It is said that Margaret Mitchell wrote the book with Clark Gable in mind as Rhett Butler. As the sober and ever realistic, but charming Rhett, Gable for most of the film is playing a character not to dissimilar from what he usually played on screen. However in the last half hour of the film when he's hit with unbelievable tragedy and he edges to the point of madness, Gable reached dimensions he never did before or subsequently.

If Mitchell knew who she wanted as Rhett, nobody knew who would be Scarlett. The search for Scarlett O'Hara is one of those Hollywood legends as every actress with the possible exception of Edna May Oliver read for the part. Gone With the Wind started filming without a Scarlett as the famous burning of Atlanta sequence was done first. While it was being down, David O. Selznick settled on a fairly unknown British actress, at least in the USA, Vivien Leigh.

It was a stroke of casting genius. Vivien Leigh's screen output is pretty small, she was primarily a stage actress. Gone With the Wind is more her film than Rhett Butler's. The story is her story, how she evolved from a flighty young southern belle to a hardbitten woman who is determined to survive in the style of living she's become accustomed to from the pre-Civil War era. In the process she helps all those around her economically, but loses all their previous affection.

I've always felt the key scene in the film is after Leslie Howard tells Leigh, he'll be marrying Olivia DeHavilland and Leigh makes a fool of herself with him, she finds out that Clark Gable has overheard the whole thing. He's fascinated by her, but because of that he's on to all her ploys.

Leslie Howard usually comes in for the smallest amount of analysis among the four leads. His Ashley Wilkes is not all that different from Alan Squire in The Petrified Forest. Imagine Squire as a wealthy plantation owner and you've Ashley. He's stronger than he realizes though, he's the one that reluctantly enlists in the Confederate Army while the cynical Rhett Butler makes some big bucks as a blockade runner.

I've always felt however that the most difficult acting job in Gone With the Wind was the role of Melanie Hamilton. Olivia DeHavilland after initially considering trying out for Scarlett, decided to go after Melanie.

It's a deceptive part, superficially it's a lot like the crinoline heroines DeHavilland was doing at Warner Brothers. Melanie is the counterpoint to Scarlett, an incredibly kind and decent soul who can't see bad in anyone. One of her best scenes is with Ona Munson who is Belle Watling, the most prominent madam in Atlanta. The other women of society snub her, but DeHavilland accepts her help for the Confederate cause. It's not about politics or slavery for Melanie, her husband is at war and his cause is her's.

And DeHavilland's death scene would move the Medusa to tears. It's a great tribute to the playing skill of Olivia DeHavilland in that Melanie NEVER becomes a maudlin character. She got her first Oscar nomination for Melanie in the Supporting Actress category, but lost it to fellow cast member Hattie McDaniel as Scarlett's mammy.

Hattie's a shrewd judge of character, she's a slave, but she's also a family confidante of the O'Haras. As Gable says, she's one of the few people he knows whose respect he wants.

Of course Gone With the Wind is from the southern point of view. Growing up in Atlanta, Margaret Mitchell heard reminisces from many Confederate veterans and the stories they told found their way into Gone With the Wind. It's about what the white civilian population endured during the war and Reconstruction.

David O. Selznick got a bit of irony in there though. Please note during the burning of Atlanta the slaves who are being marched out to dig trenches are singing 'Let My People Go.' And that's just what the Union Army was coming to Atlanta to do.

Gone With the Wind copped so many Oscars for 1939 that Bob Hope quipped at the Academy Awards ceremony that it was a benefit for David O. Selznick. Of course it was the Best Picture of 1939 and Vivien Leigh won the first of her two Best Actress Awards.

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer kept itself in the black for years by simply re-releasing Gone With the Wind. Unlike any other classic film, it won new generations of fans with theatrical re-release. Somewhere on this planet there are people seeing this 67 year old classic and it is winning new fans as I write this.

And I think Gone With the Wind, the telling of the interwoven lives of Rhett, Scarlett, Ashley, and Melanie and the world they knew, will be something viewed and read hundreds of years from now.


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