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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 199,679 users  
Reviews: 686 user | 151 critic

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


, (uncredited) , 1 more credit »


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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


The greatest romance of all time! 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?


While writer Margaret Mitchell was too young to have experienced the American Civil War (1861-1865), much less the antebellum situation of the Southern United States, she was given vivid descriptions of them by her family. When 6-years-old, her mother took her on a buggy tour through ruined plantations and "Sherman's sentinels", the brick and stone chimneys that remained after William Tecumseh Sherman's "March and torch" through Georgia. Mitchell would later recall what her mother had said to her: "She talked about the world those people had lived in, such a secure world, and how it had exploded beneath them." See more »


Near the beginning of the movie, the field hands were tending mature cotton plants in full bloom. As the movie opened in April 1861, the cotton fields would have just been planted with the cotton plants only beginning to emerge from the soil, with no blooms at all. 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

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 »


Under the Willow She's Sleeping
(1860 (uncredited)
Written by Stephen Foster
In the score for Tara scenes
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

A Potpourri of Vestiges Review: An American magnum opus which must be watched and often, and by those who understand cinema
8 July 2011 | by (India) – See all my reviews

Margaret Mitchell's Gone with the Wind, in its true essence, is a case study on the Old American way of living where pride and honor were the very essence of human existence. Victor Fleming's rendition of the classic novel, a classic within its own right, does full justice to the themes propagated by Mitchell's evocative masterpiece. In the words of Mitchell herself, Gone with the Wind is the story of the people whose gift of gumption gave them a definitive edge to endure the tribulation and throes of the American Civil War vis-à-vis those who lacked an inner resolve and determination needed for survival.

Scarlet O'Hara, the well bred, haughty, tempestuous and opportunistic protagonist of the saga, is an ostensibly flawed individual whose inexorable urge to placate her ego and realize her fancies appears far stronger than her adherence to any credence pious to her people and relevant to her time. Her scintillating charm and unrestrained zeal not only make her an object of desire for her male counterparts but also an object of envy for the girls around her.

Vivian Leigh perfectly fits into the caricature of Scarlet O'Hara. She makes full use of her talent, courage and guile to portray a part that requires subtlety, brusqueness and poise in equal parts. It may sound like a hyperbole, but no other actress seemed better equipped to play the part a southern belle than Leigh herself, who won not one but two Oscars while playing one: first for her portrayal of Scarlet O'Hara and second for portraying Blanche DuBois in A Streetcar Named Desire opposite Marlon Brando. In fact, her portrayal of Scarlet O'Hara, in which she perfectly blends panache, poignancy and peremptoriness, is arguably the greatest portrayal by a female lead in cinematic history. Leigh uses her on-stage experience to improvise in order to add new dimensions and complexities to Scarlet's caricature, which according to the novel was mostly one dimensional: out-and-out bad. Scarlet's stubbornness and her impish obsession for a conformist like Ashley, who is not only indifferent to her feelings but also incapable of reciprocating the passion and zeal with which she pursues him, represent just one dimension of her multifaceted self, which is revealed layer by layer with the progression of the narrative. The viewer is gifted to see Scarlet in various avatars: a usurper, an egomaniac, a damsel, a nemesis, a menace, a guardian, a savior, a patriot, a fighter and most importantly as a quintessence of womanhood.

Clark Gable as Rhett Butler perfectly complements Vivian Leigh's larger than life portrayal. He is an outright reprobate, an unscrupulous opportunist whose life revolves around making money and pursuing carnal pleasures. However, behind this facade, just like Scarlet, there is a human capable of love, and worthy of being loved. These unobtrusive yet obvious similarities make Scarlet and Rhett a perfect match for each other. The subtle chemistry and tension between the two protagonists give the story its impetus and resonant charm. The rest of the cast has given exemplary performances with a special mention of Olivia de Havilland, who as Melanie is a paragon of love, humility and forgiveness. She provides a striking contrast to Scarlet's caricature and represents a more traditional picture of womanhood.

The movie's direction, cinematography, editing and music are all top notch and it is the great synergy of all these elements that makes the movie an extravaganza and an undisputed master piece, one to be savored till eternity. The movie is an amalgam of scenes, high on emotion and drama, which keeps the viewer absorbed throughout. The scene in which Scarlet's father tells her the importance of mother land, deeming it as the only thing worth fighting for, is pure gold. Other scenes that come close to matching its brilliance include the one in which Scarlet performs the duties of an obstetrician to help Melanie give birth to her child, and the one in which Scarlet pledges to protect Tara till her last breath. The movie also has an amazing repertoire of dialogs that are delivered with a nice mix of finesse and accuracy. Butler's famous dialog in which he says to Scarlet, "You should be kissed and often, and by someone who knows how," also happens to be one of all time favorite.

The movie, especially its anti-climatic ending, brings tears to eyes and leaves the viewer overwhelmed as he experiences a rainbow of different emotions, being awestruck by the tremendous impact of the journey that he is vicariously made to undergo.

PS. Gone with the Wind is undoubtedly one of cinema's greatest marvels and is a living testament to cinema's timelessness, and its limitless potential. A must watch for everyone. 10/10


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Paulette Goddard was almost chosen to play Scarlett ZurichGnome
Clark Gable No Oscar ? roye1955
Rhett was 17 years older than Scarlett?! hellotrouble
Who was the boss, Scarlett or Mammy? dollymaeflow
GWTW characters you weren't supposed to sympathize with, but did Twilight33
Why was Scarlett happy? raincrz_15
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