Gone with the Wind (1939) Poster


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  • The following FAQ entries may contain spoilers. Only the biggest ones (if any) will be covered with spoiler tags. Spoiler tags are used sparingly in order to make the page more readable. Edit (Coming Soon)

  • For detailed information about the amounts and types of (a) sex and nudity, (b) violence and gore, (c) profanity, (d) alcohol, drugs and smoking, and (e) frightening and intense scenes in this movie, consult the IMDb Parents Guide for this movie. The Parents Guide for Gone with the Wind can be found here. Edit (Coming Soon)

  • Spoiled, headstrong, and manipulative Southern belle Scarlett O'Hara (Vivien Leigh) is pursued by blockade-runner and arms dealer Rhett Butler (Clark Gable), but her heart belongs to Ashley Wilkes (Leslie Howard) even though Ashley has chosen to marry Melanie 'Melly' Hamilton (Olivia de Havilland), his cousin from Atlanta. Edit (Coming Soon)

  • Gone With the Wind is a 1936 novel by American author Margaret Mitchell. The novel was adapted for the screen by American playwright/screenwriter Sidney Howard. It won the Oscar for Best Picture at the 1940 Academy Awards ceremony. Edit (Coming Soon)

  • Gone with the Wind takes place over a 12-year period, beginning in April 1861 just before the outbreak of the American Civil War [1861-1865] between the Confederate South and the Unionist North and follows through most of the Reconstruction Period during which the South tries to rebuild itself. Tara, the O'Hara cotton plantation on which Scarlet lives, is located in the Confederate state of Georgia. Edit (Coming Soon)

  • They were deliberately trying to spoil Scarlett's appetite so she wouldn't eat at the party. The party was probably going to have a huge banquet, and it was a common practice in the Old South to make younger women eat a large meal before the banquet so they wouldn't eat too much there and appear unladylike or unsophisticated. What results in the scene is a small battle of wills between Scarlett and Mammy, with Mammy the eventual winner. Edit (Coming Soon)

  • The dress is one that has a plunging neckline and exposed a large amount of Scarlett's chest. Scarlett chose the dress specifically so she'd appear sexier and more attractive to the young men at the party who would flock to her so she could flirt with them—her purpose in doing so was to make Ashley Wilkes jealous. Such a breech of protocol for a large cotillion was very much frowned upon in the Old South. Scarlett would be making a spectacle of herself which would bring shame on her as well as her parents and her family's good name. She still does so, however, in defiance of her parents, Mammy, and her friends. Edit (Coming Soon)

  • No, it depicts a smaller event that happened two and a half months earlier. On the night of September 1st, 1864, the day before the city surrendered, the Confederate rearguard under General Hood deliberately set fire to a trainload of munitions and matériel, a nearby steel rolling mill, and some warehouses to prevent them from falling into the hands of Sherman's Army, which was advancing on the city from three sides. In the novel, when Scarlett first hears of the Burning of Atlanta from Frank Kennedy at Tara, she confuses it with the fire at the Atlanta Depot she saw as she fled the city, but Frank carefully distinguishes the two events for her. Edit (Coming Soon)

  • He'd gone mad because of the destruction of his estate (aside from the mansion) and the death of his wife from typhoid fever. As a proud and successful southern plantation owner, Gerald was overcome with grief when the Northern Army came along, stole all his crops, livestock and food, and used his home for their headquarters and his property for their campground. Mrs O'Hara dying was probably the final incident which pushed him over the edge. It's a condition he never fully recovers from, as we see as the story progresses. Also, there's a part in the book where the author states that most of his bluster and brawling voice were for his wife, and now that she was gone, he was like an actor on a stage whose audience has suddenly disappeared. Edit (Coming Soon)

  • A carpetbagger is a Northerner who went to the South after the Civil War for political or financial advantage. Edit (Coming Soon)

  • Three times. Her first husband was Charles Hamilton (Rand Brooks), Melanie's brother, but he is killed shortly after their marriage when he goes off to fight in the War. Her second marriage was to Frank Kennedy (Carroll Nye), a wealthy store-owner who provided her with the $300 she needed to pay the taxes on Tara. When Frank was shot and killed during a political skirmish against some Union soldiers, Scarlett accepts a proposal from Rhett Butler. Edit (Coming Soon)

  • Two days after Bonnie's (Cammie King Conlon) death, Melanie collapses and dies two days after that. Before passing, however, Melly asks Scarlett to look after Ashley and their son. After saying goodbye, Scarlett walks out of the bedroom and sits down with Ashley. Asking him to take her into his arms, Scarlett fails to see Rhett watching. In disgust, Rhett leaves the room and returns to their own house. In tears, Ashley confesses his love for Melly. Realizing that she never stood a chance with Ashley, Scarlett notices that Rhett has gone and runs after him. She finds him packing his clothes in preparation for returning to Charleston. Scarlett pleads with him to stay or take her with him, but Rhett has had enough. Just before he walks out the door, Scarlett asks what's to become of her now. "Frankly, my dear," Rhett replies coldly, "I don't give a damn." As Rhett heads off into the morning fog, Scarlett closes the door behind him and collapses on the staircase in tears. Wondering what she can do to get him back, she decides to wait until tomorrow to think about it. Instead, she thinks about her other great love—Tara—and vows to return there and to try to win Rhett back. Edit (Coming Soon)

  • No, far from it. The first color movies were shown in 1908, and Hollywood made its first color feature in 1922 in The Toll of the Sea (1922). Even Selznick International Pictures, which produced GWTW, had made four previous features in Technicolor, including A Star Is Born (1937) (1937). Other Technicolor features released before GWTW include Becky Sharp (1935) (1935, and often cited mistakenly as the first color feature film), Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937) (1937), The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938) (1938), and The Wizard of Oz (1939) (1939). It is true, however, that the vast majority of films of this time were shot in black and white. Edit (Coming Soon)

  • No. "Damn" was surprisingly common in intertitles of silent movies, and John Gilbert even shouts "Goddamn you!" to the enemy during battle in The Big Parade (1925) (1925), and cries, "Christ! He's dead!" in The Show (1927) (1927). Talkies that used "damn" include Glorifying the American Girl (1929) (1929), Gold Diggers of Broadway (1929) (1929), Hell's Angels (1930) (1930), The Big Trail (1930) (1930), The Dawn Patrol (1930) (1930), The Green Goddess (1930) (1930), Dirigible (1931) (1931), Blessed Event (1932) (1932), The 39 Steps (1935) (1935), The Man Without a Country (1937) (1937), and Holiday (1938) (1938). GWTW wasn't even the first Best Picture Oscar winner to use "damn": Clive Brook says it in Cavalcade (1933) (1933). Edit (Coming Soon)

  • The Tara set remained standing on the studio backlot as it changed hands from Selznick to RKO to Desilu. By the 1950s, Tara was quite dilapidated from exposure to the weather and from the fact that like most sets it was only a facade, with no rear enclosure. See here. It was used as the decaying family mansion on the television series Yancy Derringer (1958) (1958-1959). In 1959, the set was sold, dismantled, and shipped to Atlanta, Georgia, where it was going to be the centerpiece of a theme park. In 1980, the late Betty Talmadge (wife of Georgia Senator Herman Talmadge) bought Tara and stored it in her barn south of Atlanta, Ga. In 2014, Peter Bonner, creator of the only GWTW Tour (his book, Lost In Yesterday is filled with the true stories) began the Saving Tara Project which has cleaned up the existing pieces and begun giving tours of the site. The doors, windows and side porches still exist and are being displayed in the barn for now. The front doorway of Tara was restored by the owners (Talmadge) and is on temporary display at Atlanta's Margaret Mitchell House & Museum, which also has the large oil painting of Scarlett seen in the movie. Contrary to the urban legend, Tara was not made of papier-mâché but clay bricks made with clay and horsehair. A number of bricks have been found still attached to the roof line and other pieces of the side porch. It is Mr. Bonners hope to build a permanent structure on the Talmadge site house both Tara and the Fitzgerald House which was Margaret Mitchell's family home and her stated model for Tara in her book. More can be learned of the project thru his book, the Official Guide to the Saving Tara Project. The only part of the exterior of Twelve Oaks that was actually built was the front porch, seen when John and India Wilkes greet the O'Hara family. The far shot of Twelve Oaks, showing the house and the tree-lined driveway, was mostly a matte painting. The Twelve Oaks gardens where the barbecue is held were actually Busch Gardens, in Pasadena, California. Edit (Coming Soon)

  • Many of the costumes by Walter Plunkett were donated by the Selznick family, as part of the David O. Selznick Collection, to the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center, University of Texas at Austin. Because the original costumes were in somewhat fragile condition, exact replicas were created of some of the more famous ones. An online exhibit can be seen here. These costumes were extensively restored in 2012 by renowned costume restorer Cara Varnell, and two will be displayed at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London in 2012 and '13. The "Bengaline Gown", worn by Scarlett in the New Orleans hotel room while Scarlett and Rhett are on their honeymoon and Scarlett has gone on a shopping spree, is on display at the Marietta (Georgia) Gone With the Wind Museum, called "Scarlett On the Square." The gown is made of an ecru woven silk, with elaborate embroidered leaf-motif sleeves overlying elaborate black pleated Chinese silk. The green sprig muslin dress Scarlett wears to the barbecue at Twelve Oaks was restored by Plunkett in 1976 and then donated to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art where it is "the most visited item" in the Costume Department. The green muslin, organdy, and satin dress Scarlett wears on her post-honeymoon visit to Tara with Rhett is on display at the Cinémathèque Française in Paris. Edit (Coming Soon)

  • The first rough cut of GWTW ran four and a half hours, about 48 minutes longer than the final release. Most of the editing was done by eliminating minor scenes, or making trims to the remaining scenes (e.g., entrances and exits). Much excess Atlanta Bazaar and fire footage was cut this way. One of the few complete sequences to be cut was a montage of testimony by Belle Watling's girls before a Provost Marshal, following Frank Kennedy's death. Other deleted scenes were the O'Hara family's ride to Twelve Oaks for the barbecue, and Scarlett's final return to Tara (except for the silhouette pull-back shot). Reportedly, some of that deleted material exists today. Also, black & white screen tests by several actresses for the role of Scarlett, and some Technicolor costume tests, are included in a documentary about the making of the movie. Edit (Coming Soon)

  • Not really. The scenes behind the title credits were filmed in the South, as well as the shot of a riverboat at dusk during Scarlett and Rhett's honeymoon. Information about the Old Mill in North Little Rock, Arkansas, is archived here. Otherwise, all location shooting with the principal actors was done in Los Angeles County and neighboring Ventura County, with some additional scenes, using stand-ins and stunt doubles, done in Chico in Northern California and Big Bear Valley in Southern California. Tara was built on the back lot at Selznick International Studios in Culver City, California. See the filming locations page here for details of where specific scenes were filmed. Edit (Coming Soon)

  • No. It was filmed in a screen aspect ratio of 1.37:1, as all other Hollywood movies of its time were up until 1953. In 1954, to accommodate the introduction of widescreen films, the picture was screened in an aspect ratio of 1.75:1 by simply matting the top and bottom of the picture in the projector gate. Unfortunately, during this re-issue, five shots were optically re-framed to fit this process, forever altered from the film's original state. These include the first and last pull-back shots, the shot of Scarlett running down the driveway of Tara at the end of the first scene, and the shot of Melanie running over a hillock to greet Ashley returning after the war. For its 1967 reissue, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer decided to create "widescreen" 70mm prints by cropping almost 40 percent of the top and bottom of the original image, making a 2.21:1 image. An illustration of what this looked like can be seen here. Fortunately, all television showings and all home video releases since then have used the original screen aspect ratio of 1.37:1, or only slightly cropped for television's 1.33:1 image. Edit (Coming Soon)

  • All of the scenes directed by George Cukor are in the first half of the movie, and total about 17 minutes. They are, in order: (1) Ellen O'Hara returns home (except shots of Jonas Wilkerson, and Gerald and Ellen in the study); (2) Evening prayer services at Tara; (3) Mammy and Scarlett prepare for the barbecue; (4) the Widow Hamilton tries on a bonnet in her room (single shot); (5) Individual shots at the Atlanta Bazaar: Scarlett taps her feet to the music, Melanie and Scarlett listen to an announcement, Captain Butler's entrance, Scarlett's reaction to his entrance, Rhett smiles at Scarlett's acceptance, Scarlett walks across the floor to Rhett, far shots of Rhett and Scarlett waltzing; (6) Scarlett gives Ashley a sash and begs an admission of his love; (7) All scenes set in and about Aunt Pittypat's house on the day of the birth of Melanie's baby (except Scarlett stops a dispatch rider). Edit (Coming Soon)

  • Of the many differences between the novel and the movie, the biggest is that, in the novel, Scarlett has a child by each of her husbands: Wade by Charles Hamilton, Ella by Frank Kennedy, and Bonnie by Rhett Butler. Some supporting characters dropped from the novel are Will Benteen, a poor Confederate veteran who loves Carreen but marries Suellen; the colorful Mrs Tarleton, mother of Brent and Stuart; Ashley's other sister Honey Wilkes, whose character is combined with India Wilkes in the movie; Ellen O'Hara's sisters Pauline and Eulalie; Melanie and Charles' Uncle Henry Hamilton; Mrs Elsing and Mrs Whiting, two of the pillars of Atlanta society; and the servant Dilcey, former head woman at Twelve Oaks and the wife of Pork. In the book, they reverse some of the order of events with Melanie and Scarlett. After Scarlett and Charles Hamilton were engaged, Scarlett went about planning her wedding specifically so it would be the day before Melanie's. (A very rude thing to do considering Melanie and Ashley were engaged first.) In the movie Melanie mentions her wedding was the day before. Another difference is when they donate their wedding bands to "the Cause". In the book Scarlett throws her ring in the basket first. Melanie misreads the action, follows suit and later admiringly tells Scarlett she wanted to do it all along, but never would have had the guts if Scarlett hadn't done it first. When Scarlett tells Rhett of her second pregnancy, and they have an argument, in the movie, Rhett tells Scarlett maybe she'll get lucky, and have an accident. In the book, he adds, "... and have a miscarriage." When Bonnie is killed in the book, Rhett is outside working with her. She convinces him to raise the bar for her pony to jump over. He does it, it is too high, and Bonnie is killed, so he directly participates in the event. In the movie, Bonnie is simply riding her pony and comes across a jump that is too high for her. Scarlett still blames Rhett either way. Edit (Coming Soon)

  • Vivien Leigh had been a contender for the role since February 1938, when she asked her American agent, who worked for the Myron Selznick Agency, to submit her name to Selznick International Pictures. (Myron was David Selznick's brother, and a major stockholder in the studio.) Producer David O. Selznick watched her two latest pictures, Fire Over England (1937) (1937) and A Yank at Oxford (1938) (1938), that month, and between then and August 1938 he rented copies of all her English pictures. By summer the Selznicks were negotiating with producer Alexander Korda, who had Leigh under contract, for her services later that year. David Selznick wrote in a confidential memo in October, "I am still hoping against hope for that new girl." By December, when Leigh followed her lover Laurence Olivier to Hollywood, where he was filming Wuthering Heights (1939) (1939), she was one of four finalists for the role of Scarlett, with Paulette Goddard, Jean Arthur, and Joan Bennett. Myron Selznick arranged to bring Leigh to the studio on December 10, the night the burning of the Atlanta Depot was filmed, and introduced her to David. After a series of readings and screen tests, Leigh was told on December 25 that she had won the role. Her casting was announced on January 13, 1939, less than two weeks before filming began. Edit (Coming Soon)

  • As of April 2016, there are two members of the credited cast who are alive: Olivia de Havilland (Melanie Hamilton-Wilkes), age 99, and Mickey Kuhn (Beau Wilkes), age 83. The rest of the main credit cast is deceased Leslie Howard (Ashley Wilkes) died at the age of 50 in 1943, killed in a plane crash over the Bay of Biscay when the Germans shot down the plane he was traveling in. Hattie McDaniel (Mammy) died in 1952 from breast cancer at the age of 60. Clark Gable (Rhett Butler) died in 1960 after suffering from coronary thrombosis at the age of 59. Vivien Leigh (Scarlett) died in 1967 from chronic tuberculosis at the age of 54. Butterfly McQueen (Prissy) died in 1995 at the age of 84 after being severely burned in a fire that broke out in her home. Nearly 70% of her body was burned. Ann Rutherford (Carreen O'Hara) died of heart failure in 2012 at age 91. Cammie King Conlon (Bonnie Blue Butler) died at age 76 in 2010 from lung cancer. Alicia Rhett (India Wilkes) died of natural causes in 2014 at the age of 98. Edit (Coming Soon)

  • 29 Nov 2017 Deleted addition to 'What is "Gone With the Wind"'about? because it duplicated information already given in another QA (When and where does the movie take place?). Edit (Coming Soon)


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