I've seen the film many times, have always enjoyed it. But I've been reading the book for the first time. It's a very long novel, and you have to stay with it if you want to see the ending. It's a good read, but Margaret Mitchell, former newspaper reporter, is very thorough in her description of both Southern culture and the changes that the Civil War brought to it. It's the size of the book that was the biggest challenge for David O Selznick. Not what parts to film, but which parts to leave out. So many characters that appeared in the book couldn't be introduced in the movie without extending the film's length to well over four hours. So he had Sidney Howard write the screenplay, then cut that down to a filmable length by hiring several more writers to further pare the script, and was still rewriting it himself while it was being filmed. Selznick was close to running out of money, so he asked his angel, millionaire Jock Whitney, to loan him enough to finish the film. The film was finally completed and edited, then was test-marketed at a theatre not far from LA. The viewers were excited about having seen it and said so on their preview cards, which allowed Selznick to rest easy, knowing he had a hit on his hands.