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Gone with the Wind
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Gone with the Wind (1939) More at IMDbPro »

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Overview

User Rating:
8.2/10   170,443 votes »
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Up 24% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Writers:
Margaret Mitchell (story)
Sidney Howard (screen play)
(more)
Contact:
View company contact information for Gone with the Wind on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
17 January 1940 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
For the thousands who remember its unparalleled drama, action and romance! For the new thousands to whom the wonders will be revealed for the first time! Breathtaking spectacle, inspired acting by the greatest cast ever assembled! The screen's most exciting love story! The most-talked about picture ever made! [reissue] See more »
Plot:
A manipulative Southern belle carries on a turbulent affair with a blockade runner during the American Civil War. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Awards:
Won 8 Oscars. Another 11 wins & 6 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
Scarlett's So High Spirited And Vivacious See more (659 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Thomas Mitchell ... Gerald O'Hara

Barbara O'Neil ... Ellen - His Wife (as Barbara O'Neill)

Vivien Leigh ... Scarlett - Their Daughter

Evelyn Keyes ... Suellen - Their Daughter

Ann Rutherford ... Carreen - Their Daughter

George Reeves ... Brent Tarleton - Scarlett's Beau
Fred Crane ... Stuart Tarleton - Scarlett's Beau

Hattie McDaniel ... Mammy - House Servant
Oscar Polk ... Pork - House Servant

Butterfly McQueen ... Prissy - House Servant

Victor Jory ... Jonas Wilkerson - Field Overseer
Everett Brown ... Big Sam - Field Foreman
Howard C. Hickman ... John Wilkes (as Howard Hickman)
Alicia Rhett ... India - His Daughter

Leslie Howard ... Ashley - His Son

Olivia de Havilland ... Melanie Hamilton - Their Cousin

Rand Brooks ... Charles Hamilton - Her Brother
Carroll Nye ... Frank Kennedy - A Guest

Clark Gable ... Rhett Butler - Visitor from Charleston
Laura Hope Crews ... Aunt 'Pittypat' Hamilton

Eddie 'Rochester' Anderson ... Uncle Peter - Her Coachman (as Eddie Anderson)

Harry Davenport ... Dr. Meade
Leona Roberts ... Mrs. Meade

Jane Darwell ... Mrs. Merriwether
Ona Munson ... Belle Watling
Paul Hurst ... Yankee Deserter

Isabel Jewell ... Emmy Slattery
Cammie King Conlon ... Bonnie Blue Butler (as Cammie King)
Eric Linden ... Amputation Case
J.M. Kerrigan ... Johnny Gallagher

Ward Bond ... Tom - Yankee Captain
Jackie Moran ... Phil Meade

Cliff Edwards ... Reminiscent Soldier
Lillian Kemble-Cooper ... Bonnie's Nurse in London (as L. Kemble-Cooper)
Yakima Canutt ... Renegade
Marcella Martin ... Cathleen Calvert
Louis Jean Heydt ... Hungry Soldier Holding Beau Wilkes
Mickey Kuhn ... Beau Wilkes
Olin Howland ... A Carpetbagger Businessman
Irving Bacon ... Corporal
Robert Elliott ... Yankee Major

William Bakewell ... Mounted Officer

Mary Anderson ... Maybelle Merriwether
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Eric Alden ... Rafe Calvert (uncredited)
John Arledge ... Dying Soldier (uncredited)
Roscoe Ates ... Convalescent Soldier (uncredited)
Trevor Bardette ... Minor Role (uncredited)
Lennie Bluett ... Yankee Soldier in Shantytown / Townsperson (uncredited)
Ralph Brooks ... Gentleman at Twelve Oaks Barbecue (uncredited)
Daisy Bufford ... Housemaid at Evening Prayers (uncredited)
Ann Bupp ... Minor Role (uncredited)
James Bush ... Gentleman (uncredited)
Ruth Byers ... Housemaid at Evening Prayers (uncredited)
Gary Carlson ... Beau Wilkes (uncredited)
Horace B. Carpenter ... Atlanta Citizen (uncredited)
Louise Carter ... Bandleader's Wife (uncredited)
Shirley Chambers ... Belle's Girl (uncredited)
Eddy Chandler ... Sergeant at Hospital (uncredited)
Wallis Clark ... Poker-Playing Captain (uncredited)
Richard Clucas ... Minor Role (uncredited)
Frank Coghlan Jr. ... Collapsing Soldier (uncredited)
Billy Cook ... Boy with Tears When Death Rolls Are Read (uncredited)

Gino Corrado ... Minor Role (uncredited)
Martina Cortina ... Housemaid at Twelve Oaks (uncredited)
Luke Cosgrave ... Bandleader (uncredited)
Kernan Cripps ... Yankee Soldier in Shantytown (uncredited)
Patrick Curtis ... Melanie's Baby (uncredited)

Yola d'Avril ... Belle's Girl (uncredited)
Ned Davenport ... Jewel Collector at Bazaar (uncredited)
Lester Dorr ... Minor Role (uncredited)
Phyllis Douglas ... Bonnie Blue Butler - Age 2 (uncredited)
Joan Drake ... Hospital Nurse (uncredited)
F. Driver ... Housemaid at Evening Prayers (uncredited)
Edythe Elliott ... General's Wife (uncredited)
Susan Falligant ... Minor Role (uncredited)

Richard Farnsworth ... Soldier (uncredited)

Frank Faylen ... Soldier Aiding Dr. Meade (uncredited)
Kelly Griffin ... Bonnie Blue Butler as Newborn (uncredited)
George Hackathorne ... Wounded Soldier in Pain (uncredited)
Chuck Hamilton ... Yankee Soldier in Shantytown (uncredited)
Evelyn Harding ... Cancan Girl (uncredited)
Inez Hatchett ... Housemaid at Twelve Oaks (uncredited)
Jean Heker ... Hospital Nurse (uncredited)
Ricky Holt ... Melanie's Son (uncredited)
Shep Houghton ... Southern Dandy (uncredited)
Jerry James ... Dancer - Atlanta Bazaar (uncredited)
Si Jenks ... Yankee on Street (uncredited)
Tommy Kelly ... Boy in Band (uncredited)
Emmett King ... Party Guest (uncredited)
W. Kirby ... Yankee Soldier in Shantytown (uncredited)
Timothy J. Lonergan ... Party Guest (uncredited)
Margaret Mann ... Woman Writing Letter at Atlanta Church Hospital (uncredited)
William McClain ... Old Levi (uncredited)
George Meeker ... Poker-Playing Captain (uncredited)

Charles Middleton ... Man with Stove Pipe Hat in Charge of Convict Workers (uncredited)
Alberto Morin ... Rene Picard (uncredited)
Adrian Morris ... Carpetbagger Orator (uncredited)
Lee Murray ... Drummerboy (uncredited)
H. Nellman ... Yankee Soldier in Shantytown (uncredited)
David Newell ... Cade Calvert (uncredited)
Naomi Pharr ... Housemaid at Evening Prayers (uncredited)
Lee Phelps ... Bartender (uncredited)
Spencer Quinn ... Extra (uncredited)
Jolane Reynolds ... Cancan Girl (uncredited)
Marjorie Reynolds ... Guest at Twelve Oaks (uncredited)
Suzanne Ridgeway ... Cancan Girl (uncredited)
Louisa Robert ... Minor Role (uncredited)
Azarene Rogers ... Housemaid at Twelve Oaks (uncredited)
Scott Seaton ... Guest at Birthday Party (uncredited)
Tom Seidel ... Tony Fontaine (uncredited)
Terry Shero ... Fanny Elsing (uncredited)
William Stack ... Minister (uncredited)
William Stelling ... Returning Veteran (uncredited)
Harry Strang ... Tom's Aide (uncredited)
Dirk Wayne Summers ... Youngest Boy in Band (uncredited)
Emerson Treacy ... Minor Role (uncredited)
Phillip Trent ... Gentleman / Bearded Confederate on Steps of Tara (uncredited)
Julia Ann Tuck ... Bonnie at Six Months (uncredited)
Tom Tyler ... Commanding Officer During Evacuation (uncredited)
Dale Van Sickel ... Gentleman at Twelve Oaks Barbecue (uncredited)
E. Alyn Warren ... Frank Kennedy's Clerk (uncredited)
Blue Washington ... Renegade's Companion (uncredited)
Rita Waterhouse ... Girl in Blue Dress (uncredited)
John Joseph Waterman Jr. ... New Born Baby Boy (uncredited)

Dan White ... Undetermined Minor Role (uncredited)
Sarah Whitley ... Housemaid at Twelve Oaks (uncredited)
Ernest Whitman ... Carpetbagger's Friend (uncredited)
Guy Wilkerson ... Wounded Card Player (uncredited)
Zack Williams ... Elijah (uncredited)

John Wray ... Prison Gang Overseer (uncredited)

Directed by
Victor Fleming 
George Cukor (uncredited)
Sam Wood (uncredited)
 
Writing credits
Margaret Mitchell (story of the old south "Gone with the Wind")

Sidney Howard (screen play)

Oliver H.P. Garrett  contributing writer (uncredited)
Ben Hecht  contributing writer (uncredited)
Jo Swerling  contributing writer (uncredited)
John Van Druten  contributing writer (uncredited)

Produced by
David O. Selznick .... producer
 
Original Music by
Max Steiner (musical score)
 
Cinematography by
Ernest Haller (photographed by)
Lee Garmes (photographed by) (uncredited)
 
Casting by
Charles Richards (uncredited)
Fred Schuessler (uncredited)
 
Production Design by
William Cameron Menzies (this production designed by)
 
Art Direction by
Lyle R. Wheeler  (as Lyle Wheeler)
 
Set Decoration by
Howard Bristol (uncredited)
 
Costume Design by
Walter Plunkett (costumes designed by)
 
Makeup Department
Sydney Guilaroff .... hair stylist: Miss Leigh (uncredited)
Ben Nye .... associate hair stylist (uncredited)
Ben Nye .... associate makeup artist (uncredited)
Hazel Rogers .... associate hair stylist (uncredited)
Hazel Rogers .... associate makeup artist (uncredited)
Paul Stanhope .... makeup artist (uncredited)
Monte Westmore .... hair stylist (uncredited)
Monte Westmore .... makeup artist (uncredited)
 
Production Management
Raymond A. Klune .... production manager
William J. Scully .... unit manager (uncredited)
Daniel T. Shea .... assistant production manager (uncredited)
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Eric Stacey .... assistant director (as Eric G. Stacey)
Peter Ballbusch .... second unit director (uncredited)
Ridgeway Callow .... second assistant director (uncredited)
B. Reeves Eason .... second unit director (uncredited)
Arthur Fellows .... second second assistant director (uncredited)
James A. FitzPatrick .... second unit director: Southern backgrounds (uncredited)
Harve Foster .... first assistant director: second unit (uncredited)
Chester M. Franklin .... second unit director: Chico unit (uncredited)
William Cameron Menzies .... second unit director (uncredited)
John Sherwood .... second second assistant director: second unit (uncredited)
Ralph Slosser .... second assistant director: second unit (uncredited)
 
Art Department
Edward G. Boyle .... interior decorator
Joseph B. Platt .... interiors
Harold Coles .... property manager (uncredited)
Arden Cripe .... on-set propmaster (uncredited)
Hobe Erwin .... set designer (uncredited) (replaced)
Harold Fenton .... construction superintendent (uncredited)
James Forney .... drapes (uncredited)
Dorothea Holt .... illustrator (uncredited)
Ross B. Jackman .... propmaker (uncredited)
J. McMillan Johnson .... production illustrator (uncredited)
Tom Jung .... poster designer (uncredited)
Roy McLaughlin .... greensman (uncredited)
Joseph B. Platt .... set designer (uncredited)
George Rule .... assistant property master (uncredited)
Henry J. Stahl .... art department supervisor (uncredited)
Florence Yoch .... landscaping: Tara (uncredited)
 
Sound Department
Frank Maher .... recorder
Fred Albin .... sound effects editor (uncredited)
Fred Albin .... sound re-recordist (uncredited)
T.A. Carman .... boom operator (uncredited)
Arthur Johns .... sound effects editor (uncredited)
Arthur Johns .... sound re-recordist (uncredited)
Thomas T. Moulton .... sound director (uncredited)
Gordon Sawyer .... supervising sound editor (uncredited)
 
Special Effects by
R.D. Musgrave .... mechanical effects supervisor (uncredited)
Lee Zavitz .... fire effects (uncredited)
 
Visual Effects by
Jack Cosgrove .... special photographic effects
F.R. Abbott .... back projection (uncredited)
Haller Belt .... back projection (uncredited)
Alan Cook .... back projection (uncredited)
Byron L. Crabbe .... matte artist (uncredited)
Fitch Fulton .... matte artist (uncredited)
Jack Shaw .... matte artist (uncredited)
Albert Simpson .... matte artist (uncredited)
Clarence Slifer .... special effects cinematographer (uncredited)
 
Stunts
Yakima Canutt .... stunt coordinator (uncredited)
Yakima Canutt .... stunt double: Clark Gable (uncredited)
Ruth Cedar .... stunt double: Vivien Leigh (uncredited)
B. Reeves Eason .... stunts (uncredited)
Dorothy Mae Fargo .... stunt double: Vivien Leigh (uncredited)
Richard Farnsworth .... stunts (uncredited)
Frank Fawcett .... stunt double: Paul Hurst (uncredited)
Lila Finn .... stunt double: Vivien Leigh (uncredited)
Peggy Fior .... stunt double: Vivien Leigh (uncredited)
Aline Goodwin .... stunt double: Vivien Leigh (uncredited)
Carey Harrison .... stunts (uncredited)
Mozelle Miller .... stunt double: Vivien Leigh (uncredited)
Joan Rodgers .... stunt double: Vivien Leigh (uncredited)
J. Lewis Smith .... stunt double: Clark Gable (uncredited)
Richard Smith .... stunt double: Cammie King (uncredited)
Dale Van Sickel .... stunts (uncredited)
Hazel Warp .... stunt double: Vivien Leigh (uncredited)
Jack Williams .... stunts (uncredited)
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Arthur E. Arling .... camera operator (uncredited)
R.J. Campbell .... rigging gaffer (uncredited)
Roy Clark .... second assistant camera (uncredited)
Vincent J. Farrar .... camera operator (uncredited)
Paul Hill .... assistant camera (uncredited)
Paul Ivano .... director of photography: second unit (uncredited)
Wally Oettel .... electrical superintendent (uncredited)
Roy F. Overbaugh .... camera department head (uncredited)
Fred Parrish .... still photographer (uncredited)
James Potevin .... chief electrician (uncredited)
Harold Rosson .... director of photography: second unit (uncredited)
Cliff Shirpser .... assistant camera: Technicolor (uncredited)
Karl Struss .... director of photography: Technicolor tests (uncredited)
Arthur Williams .... second assistant camera (uncredited)
Fred Williams .... chief grip (uncredited)
Harry L. Wolf .... camera operator (uncredited)
 
Casting Department
Harvey Clermont .... casting assistant (uncredited)
Charles Richards .... casting manager (uncredited)
Fred Schuessler .... casting manager (uncredited)
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Marion Dabney .... associate wardrobe supervisor (uncredited)
Elmer Ellsworth .... associate wardrobe supervisor (uncredited)
John Frederics .... hat designer: Scarlett (uncredited)
Eugene Joseff .... costume jeweller (uncredited)
Edward P. Lambert .... wardrobe supervisor (uncredited)
Edward Maeder .... consultant: costumes (uncredited)
Michi Okubo .... costumer (uncredited)
Eddie Schmidt .... tailor: Mr. Gable (uncredited)
 
Editorial Department
Hal C. Kern .... supervising film editor
James E. Newcom .... associate film editor
Ernie Leadlay .... assistant film editor (uncredited)
Richard L. Van Enger .... assistant film editor (uncredited)
 
Music Department
Louis Forbes .... assistant musical director (as Lou Forbes)
Leo Arnaud .... orchestrator (uncredited)
William Axt .... composer: stock music (uncredited)
R.H. Bassett .... orchestrator (uncredited)
George Bassman .... orchestrator (uncredited)
Dudley Chambers .... orchestrator (uncredited)
Cecil Copping .... orchestrator (uncredited)
Maurice De Packh .... orchestrator (uncredited)
Adolph Deutsch .... composer: additional music (uncredited)
Adolph Deutsch .... orchestrator (uncredited)
Hugo Friedhofer .... composer: additional music (uncredited)
Hugo Friedhofer .... orchestrator (uncredited)
Stuart Frye .... music editor (uncredited)
Bernhard Kaun .... orchestrator (uncredited)
Arthur Kay .... orchestrator (uncredited)
Albert Hay Malotte .... orchestrator (uncredited)
Earl B. Mounce .... music mixer (uncredited)
Joseph Nussbaum .... composer: additional music (uncredited)
Joseph Nussbaum .... orchestrator (uncredited)
Darol Rice .... orchestrator (uncredited)
Heinz Roemheld .... composer: additional music (uncredited)
Heinz Roemheld .... orchestrator (uncredited)
Max Steiner .... conductor (uncredited)
Franz Waxman .... composer: stock music (uncredited)
 
Transportation Department
Joyce Allen .... transportation coordinator (uncredited)
George Doan .... transportation coordinator (uncredited)
 
Other crew
Wilfred M. Cline .... technicolor associate (as Wilfrid M. Cline)
Natalie Kalmus .... supervisor: Technicolor Co.
Barbara Keon .... scenario assistant
Wilbur G. Kurtz .... historian
Susan Myrick .... technical advisor
Will Price .... technical advisor
Ray Rennahan .... technicolor associate
Betty Baldwin .... executive secretary: Mr. Selznick (uncredited)
Peter Ballbusch .... montage director (uncredited)
Russell Birdwell .... publicist (uncredited)
Katherine Brown .... story editor: Eastern (uncredited)
William Clark .... wrangler (uncredited)
Sally De Marco .... dance double: Vivian Leigh (uncredited)
Lillian K. Deighton .... researcher (uncredited)
Howard Dietz .... publicist: Atlanta and New York premieres (uncredited)
Connie Earl .... script clerk (uncredited)
Frank Floyd .... dance director (uncredited)
Henry Ginsberg .... studio manager (uncredited)
Charles Handley .... consultant: National Carbon Corp. (uncredited)
Carey Harrison .... riding double: Thomas Mitchell (uncredited)
William Hebert .... assistant: Mr. Dietz (uncredited)
Will Hill .... technical advisor (uncredited)
Winton C. Hoch .... consultant: Technicolor Color Company (uncredited)
Henri Jaffa .... associate supervisor: Technicolor Co. (uncredited)
David Joy .... consultant: National Carbon Corp. (uncredited)
Val Lewton .... story editor (uncredited)
Al Lichtman .... agent: Loew's Inc. (uncredited)
Mason N. Litson .... location manager (uncredited)
Franclein Macconnel .... script reader (uncredited)
William S. McCune .... production assistant (uncredited)
Mozelle Miller .... stand-in: Ms. Leigh (uncredited)
Richard Mueller .... color advisor (uncredited)
R.D. Musgrave .... mechanical engineer (uncredited)
Eddie Prinz .... dance director (uncredited)
Lydia Schiller .... script clerk (uncredited)
Myron Selznick .... production associate (uncredited)
Howard Strickling .... unit publicist (uncredited)
Arthur Tovey .... double: Leslie Howard (uncredited)
Frank Whitbeck .... trailer supervisor (uncredited)
C.V. Whitney .... production associate (uncredited)
John Hay Whitney .... production associate (uncredited)
 
Crew verified as complete


Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
238 min | Sweden:223 min (1969 re-release) | Sweden:234 min (1985 re-release) | UK:224 min (1994 re-release) | UK:233 min (1989 re-release) | 226 min (copyright length)
Country:
Language:
Color:
Color (Technicolor)
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
3 Channel Stereo (Western Electric Sound System) (5.0 Surround Sound) (L-R)
Certification:
Argentina:Atp | Australia:PG | Australia:G (TV rating) | Belgium:KT | Brazil:Livre | Canada:G (British Columbia/Nova Scotia/Québec) | Canada:PG (Manitoba/Ontario) | Finland:K-12 (1970) | Finland:K-16 (1949) | Germany:12 (DVD rating) | Iceland:L | Netherlands:AL | Netherlands:6 (TV rating) | Netherlands:6 (Blu-ray rating) (2009) | New Zealand:PG | Norway:16 | Peru:PT | Portugal:17 | Portugal:M/16 (R-14) (re-rating) | Portugal:M/12 (re-re-rating) | South Korea:12 | Sweden:15 (original rating) | Sweden:11 (re-release) (1985) | UK:A (original rating) (passed with cuts) | UK:PG (tv rating) | UK:PG (re-rating) (1989) (2013) | UK:PG (video rating) (1988) (1994) | USA:TV-PG (TV rating) | USA:Approved (original release) (PCA #5729) | USA:G (re-rating) (1971) | West Germany:12 (f)

Did You Know?

Trivia:
In 1994, Judy Lewis went public with the information that she is indeed the love child of Clark Gable and Loretta Young, which had been the subject of speculation in Hollywood for years. (Young always claimed she went away for a while, found the girl, and adopted her.) Gable's real life daughter is a close friend of Gable's on-screen daughter in this film, Cammie King Conlon (Bonnie Blue Butler).See more »
Goofs:
Crew or equipment visible: After Rhett angers the men about how he doubts the South can win the war, Ashley goes after him. As Ashley is leaving the room, for a brief moment, the shadow of a shorter person can be seen behind him.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 of you boys says "war" just once again, I'll go in the house and slam the door.
Brent Tarleton:But Scarlett, honey...
Stuart Tarleton:Don't you *want* us to have a war?
[...]
See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in Chance Pe Dance (2010)See more »
Soundtrack:
Deep RiverSee more »

FAQ

Was any part of the movie filmed in the South?
Was it shot in widescreen?
Does the movie depict the Burning of Atlanta?
See more »
51 out of 64 people found the following review useful.
Scarlett's So High Spirited And Vivacious, 21 October 2006
Author: bkoganbing from Buffalo, New York

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.

Was the above review useful to you?
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