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The Making of a Legend: Gone with the Wind (1988)

Not Rated | | Documentary | TV Movie October 1988
This is a documentary that revisits the making of Gone with the Wind with Archival footage, screen tests, insightful interviews and rare film footage.

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1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Narrator (voice)
L. Jeffrey Selznick ...
David O. Selznick ...
Himself - Producer of 'Gone with the Wind' (archive footage)
Irene Mayer Selznick ...
Herself - Wife of David O. Selznick (archive footage)
...
Himself - Director of 'A Star Is Born' (archive footage) (as William Wellman)
Marcella Rabwin ...
Herself - Executive Assistant to David O. Selznick
Katherine Brown ...
Herself - Eastern Story Editor for David O. Selznick (as Kay Brown Barrett)
...
Himself - Starting Director of 'Gone with the Wind' (archive footage)
Margaret Mitchell ...
Herself - Author of 'Gone with the Wind' (archive footage)
Jimmy Fidler ...
Himself - Radio Broadcaster (voice) (archive footage)
Silvia Shulman Lardner ...
Herself - Secretary to David O. Selznick (as Silvia Schulman Lardner)
...
Herself - Actress Testing for Scarlett (archive footage)
...
Actress in a film clip (archive footage)
Margaret Tallichet ...
Herself - Actress Testing as Scarlett (archive footage)
...
Herself - Actress Testing as Scarlett (archive footage)
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Storyline

This documentary on the making of GWTW focuses on the driving force behind the legendary film, producer David O. Selznick. He purchased the rights and over several years, tried to have a script developed. Several writers had their hand in the effort and in truth, the script was never properly finalized, something that dogged the film throughout its production. While the decision to cast Clark Gable as Rhett Butler was fairly straightforward, finding the right actress to play Scarlett O'Hara captured national attention with several of Hollywood's top stars vying for the part. The original director, George Cukor, left before the films completion as did his replacement, Victor Fleming. Selznick directed some of the scenes himself and was driven to get the film completed just as he wanted. From the film's initial test screening, the film-going public adored the results. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Documentary

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

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Release Date:

October 1988 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Der Film, der zur Legende wurde: Vom Winde verweht  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Olivia de Havilland did not take part in this documentary due to her not wishing to be involved in any of the 50th anniversary celebrations of Gone with the Wind (1939). See more »

Connections

Features A Tale of Two Cities (1935) See more »

Soundtracks

Go Down Moses (Let My People Go)
(uncredited)
Traditional Negro spiritual
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User Reviews

 
You couldn't ask for a better "making of" documentary...
22 August 2005 | by (U.S.A.) – See all my reviews

Selznick himself would have given his highest rating of approval to this fascinating documentary which traces the birth of the Margaret Mitchell novel through its publication and on to Hollywood, where it became a major chore for David O. Selznick to wittle the 1,000 page novel into a workable screenplay. Selznick's work habits are examined at length and the kind of stress his perfectionist behavior gave everyone around him is understandable. But his persistence paid off and, of course, the end result was all anyone could hope for.

Having read many books on this subject, I can assure you this is a project that is well worth viewing for anyone who has more than a passing interest in the making of the film. There are some interesting and revealing comments by George Cukor, the original director on the film who was fired after a few weeks of filming but still remained on good terms with Selznick after Victor Fleming took over.

Most interesting aspect are a series of tests made by various actors and actresses under consideration for roles--most of whom were highly unsuitable if the tests are to be taken seriously.

Missing among the cast members who speak about the film is Olivia de Havilland, who was probably too heavily involved in personal matters at the time this was being put together and could not find time to make her contribution--which would have been a significant one. Fortunately, she turned up for last year's DVD release of the film in a segment called "Melanie Remembers". But Evelyn Keyes and Ann Rutherford do a nice job of describing some behind-the-scenes events as well as the initial premiere of the film in Keyes' home town of Atlanta. Butterfly McQueen recalls what it was like to play Prissy.

Excellent commentary by Christopher Plummer is a definite plus, and the well written script gives the viewer a complete feeling of what it was like for everyone involved in the making of this great classic. By the time it reaches the film's world premiere reaction, you will be thoroughly involved and entertained by the interesting presentation of facts. As an added bonus, much of the documentary is accompanied by selections from Max Steiner's massive score.

Summing up: A documentary you can't afford to miss.


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