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

TV Movie  -   -  Documentary  -  October 1988 (USA)
7.7
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Ratings: 7.7/10 from 351 users  
Reviews: 9 user | 1 critic

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

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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)
Frances Dee ...
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 production 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

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

October 1988 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

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

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »
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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 Sidewalks of London (1938) See more »

Soundtracks

California Here I Come
(1924) (uncredited)
Music by Joseph Meyer
Played often in the score
See more »

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User Reviews

 
The greatest story behind the making of a Hollywood epic
3 July 2006 | by (New York) – See all my reviews

David O. Selznik, one of the most successful producers in the Hollywood of the 1930s, probably never considered what he was getting into, when he decided to bring Margaret Mitchell's massive novel, "Gone with the Wind", to the movies. The monumental task to recreate the book, which was a favorite among the American public of the era, was not an easy, or a happy undertaking by Mr. Selznik, or the people that were involved in the project.

David Hinton's documentary, which was shown by TCM recently, is a gem of a film because it gives a fantastic account of all that went on to make the film. "Gone with the Wind" stories have been told forever, or so it seems, yet, in the documentary they are examined thoroughly again by a lot of Mr. Selznik's collaborators who were still around in 1989 to tell the story.

The best thing in "Making of a Legend: Gone with the Wind" is the footage where many stars were tested for the leading roles. The characters of the book were coveted by most of the actors of the time because they realized the importance about appearing in it would mean to their careers. We see actors of the stature of Jean Arthur, Joan Bennett, Tallulah Bankhead, among the ones that wanted to contribute to the movie, yet, they were not chosen.

David O. Selznik comes across as a disorganized genius who had no idea about what he was doing. His memos to the cast and crew were something not to be believed. Some people resented this way of communication. His battle with George Cukor is also told and how Victor Fleming, who by all accounts was not the perfect candidate, came to be the one that was able to complete the picture.

There are some excellent comments, especially from Ann Rutherford and Evelyn Keyes, who explain what they saw while the film was in production. Some others also come on to tell us their view about what the film changed their lives and the experience of having worked with a mad man who was so intent in getting the movie done. It's a good thing this film was done during the 1930s because it would probably had cost more than 200 million in today's dollars! Thanks to director David Hinton this epic movie is examined and put in its proper context to help the viewer understand the way Hollywood worked during the time it decided to convert the book into a movie.


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