Gone with the Wind (film)

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Gone with the Wind

Original 1939 film poster
Directed by Victor Fleming
George Cukor
Sam Wood
Produced by David O. Selznick
Written by Novel:
Margaret Mitchell
Sidney Howard
Ben Hecht
David O. Selznick
Jo Swerling
John Van Druten
Starring Clark Gable
Vivien Leigh
Leslie Howard
Olivia de Havilland
Hattie McDaniel
Music by Max Steiner
Cinematography Ernest Haller
Distributed by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
New Line Cinema (1998 re-release)
Release date(s) December 15, 1939
Running time 222 min
Language English
Budget $3,900,000 (estimated)
Gross revenue $390,500,000
All Movie Guide profile
IMDb profile

Gone with the Wind is a 1939 film adapted from Margaret Mitchell's 1936 novel of the same name. It went on to win ten Academy Awards, a record that would stand for years, and has been dubbed by the American Film Institute as fourth in the top 100 American films of the 20th Century. It has sold more tickets than any other film in history, and today has become one of the most popular films of all time, and the most enduring symbol of the golden age of Hollywood.


Spoiler warning: Plot and/or ending details follow.

The story opens on a large cotton plantation named Tara in rural Georgia in 1861, on the eve of the American Civil War. Scarlett O'Hara is the eldest of three daughters of Irish immigrant Gerald O’Hara and his wife Ellen. She is seemingly sought after by every young man in the county, except the refined Ashley Wilkes, for whom Scarlett longs. She is upset to hear of Ashley’s imminent engagement to his cousin Melanie Hamilton, to be announced the next day at a barbecue at his family’s home, the nearby plantation Twelve Oaks.

At Twelve Oaks, she notices she is being admired by a handsome but roguish visitor, Rhett Butler, who had been disowned by his Charleston family. Rhett finds himself in further disfavor among the male guests when, during a discussion of the probability of war, he states that the South has no chance against the superior numbers and industrial might of the North.

When Scarlett is alone with Ashley, she confesses her love for him. He admits he finds Scarlett attractive, but says that he and the gentle Melanie are more compatible. She accuses Ashley of misleading her and slaps him in anger, which is heightened when she realizes that Rhett has overheard the whole conversation. “Sir, you are no gentleman!” she protests, to which he replies, “And you, miss, are no lady!”

The barbecue is disrupted by the announcement that war has broken out, and the men rush to enlist. As Scarlett watches Ashley kiss Melanie goodbye, Melanie’s shy young brother Charles, with whom Scarlett had been innocently flirting, asks for her hand in marriage before he goes. She consents, they are married, and she is just as quickly widowed when Charles dies not in battle, but of pneumonia.

Scarlett's mother sends her to the Hamilton home in Atlanta to cheer her up, although the O’Haras' outspoken housemaid Mammy tells Scarlett she knows she is going there “like a spider”, waiting for Ashley’s return. Scarlett and Melanie attend a charity ball in Atlanta, where Rhett makes a surprise appearance, now a heroic blockade runner for the Confederacy. Scarlett shocks Atlanta society by accepting his bid for a dance, even though she is still in mourning. While they dance, Rhett tells her of his intention to win her, which she says will never happen.

The tide of war turns against the Confederacy, and Scarlett makes another appeal to Ashley’s heart while he is visiting on Christmas furlough. But eight months later, as the city is being besieged by the Union Army in the Battle of Atlanta, Melanie goes into a premature and difficult labor, and Scarlett must deliver the child herself. Rhett appears with a horse and wagon to take them out of the city, including a perilous ride through the burning depot and warehouse district. He leaves her with a kiss on the road to Tara, which she repays with a slap, to his bemusement, as he goes off to fight with the Confederate Army.

On her journey back home, she finds Twelve Oaks burned out and deserted. She is relieved to find Tara still standing, but learns that her mother has just died, and her father's mind has begun to crumble under the strain. With Tara pillaged by Union troops, and the fields untended, Scarlett vows she will do anything for the survival of her family and herself: “As God is my witness, I’ll never be hungry again.”

Scarlett sets her family and servants to picking the cotton fields. She also fatally shoots a Union deserter who threatens her during a burglary, and finds gold coins in his haversack. With the defeat of the Confederacy and war's end, Ashley returns from being a prisoner of war. Mammy restrains Scarlett from running to him when he reunites with Melanie. The dispirited Ashley finds he is of little help to Tara, and when Scarlett begs him to run away with her, he confesses his desire for her and kisses her passionately, but says he cannot leave Melanie.

Gerald O'Hara dies after he is thrown from his horse while chasing a Yankee carpetbagger off his property. Scarlett is left to care for the family, and realizes she can't pay the taxes on Tara. She knows that Rhett is in Atlanta. Believing he is still rich, she has Mammy make an elaborate gown for her from her mother’s drapes. But upon her visit, Rhett tells her his foreign bank accounts have been blocked, and that her attempt to get his money has been in vain. However, as she departs, she encounters her sister’s fiancé, the middle-aged Frank Kennedy, who now owns a successful general store and lumber mill.

Soon Scarlett is Mrs. Frank Kennedy. She becomes a hard-headed businesswoman, willing to trade with the despised Yankees and use convict laborers in her mill. When Ashley is about to take a job offer with a bank in the north, Scarlett preys on his weakness by weeping that she needs him to help run the mill; pressured by the sympathetic Melanie, he relents. One day, after Scarlett is attacked while driving alone through a nearby shantytown, Frank, Ashley, and others make a night raid on the shantytown. Ashley is wounded in a melee with Union troops, and Frank is killed.

With Frank’s funeral barely over, Rhett visits Scarlett and proposes marriage. Scarlett is aghast at his poor taste, but takes him up on his offer. After a honeymoon in New Orleans, Rhett promises to restore Tara, while Scarlett builds the biggest and most crassly opulent mansion in Atlanta. A daughter, Bonnie, is born. Rhett adores her as a less spoiled version of her mother, and does everything to win the good opinion of Atlanta society for his daughter’s sake. Scarlett, still pining for Ashley, lets Rhett know that she wants no more children. In anger, he kicks open the door that separates their bedrooms to show her that he will decide that.

When visiting the mill one day, Scarlett listens to a nostalgic Ashley wish for the simpler days of old that are now gone, and when she consoles him with an embrace, they are spied by two gossips — including Ashley's sister India Wilkes, who has always held a grudge against Scarlett. Scarlett’s reputation is again sullied, but Melanie refuses to believe in the rumors, and invites her to Ashley’s birthday party. Afterwards, a drunken Rhett tells her he will make her forget Ashley, and sweeps her up the stairs in his arms, telling her, "This is one night you're not turning me out." She awakens the next morning with the look of guilty pleasure, but Rhett returns to apologize for his behaviour and offer a divorce. When he returns from a visit to London with Bonnie, Scarlett tells him resentfully that she is pregnant again. After Rhett tells her to "cheer up. Maybe you'll have an 'accident,'" Scarlett lunges at him and, when he steps out of the way, falls down the grand staircase of their home and miscarries.

As Scarlett recovers, and Rhett attempts a reconciliation, young Bonnie, as impulsive as her grandfather, dies in a fall from her pony when she attempts to jump a fence. Scarlett and Rhett are devastated and exchange recriminations over her death. Melanie visits to comfort them, but then collapses in labor from a pregnancy she was warned could kill her. On her death bed, she asks Scarlett to look after Ashley for her, as Scarlett had looked after her for Ashley. With her dying breath, Melanie also tells Scarlett to be kind to Rhett, that he loves her. Outside, Ashley collapses in tears, helpless without his wife. Only then does Scarlett realize that she never could have meant anything to him, and that she had loved something that never really existed.

She runs home to find Rhett packing to leave her, saying it is too late to salvage their marriage. She begs him not to leave, telling him she realizes now that she had loved him all along, that she never really loved Ashley. Rhett tells her that as long as there was Bonnie, whom he could spoil and love unconditionally, as he wished he could with Scarlett, there was a chance that they could have been happy, but now that chance was gone.

As Rhett walks out the door, she begs him, "Rhett, if you go, where shall I go? What shall I do?" He answers, “Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn,” and turns away. She sits on her stairs and weeps in despair, "What is there that matters?" She then recalls the voice of her father Gerald: "Land's the only thing that matters, it's the only thing that lasts." And Ashley: "Something you love better than me, though you may not know it. Tara." And Rhett: "It's from this you get your strength, the red earth of Tara."

Hope lights Scarlett's face: "Tara! Home. I'll go home, and I'll think of some way to get him back! After all, tomorrow is another day!" And in the final scene, Scarlett stands once more, resolute, before Tara.

Spoilers end here.

Behind the scenes

Producer David O. Selznick, head of Selznick International Pictures, decided that he wanted to create a film based on the novel after his story editor Kay Brown read a pre-publication copy in May 1936 and urged him to buy the film rights. A month after the book's publication in June 1936, Selznick bought the rights for $50,000, a record amount at the time. Major financing for the film was provided by Selznick business partner John Hay Whitney, a financier who later went on to become a U.S. ambassador.

The casting of the two lead roles became a complex, two-year endeavor. Many famous or soon-to-be-famous actresses were either screen-tested, auditioned, or considered for the role of Scarlett, including Katharine Hepburn, Norma Shearer, Bette Davis, Barbara Stanwyck, Joan Crawford, Lana Turner, Susan Hayward, Carole Lombard, Irene Dunne, Merle Oberon, Ida Lupino, Joan Fontaine, Loretta Young, Miriam Hopkins, Tallulah Bankhead, Frances Dee, and Lucille Ball.

Four actresses, including Jean Arthur and Joan Bennett, were still under consideration by December 1938. But only two finalists, Paulette Goddard and Vivien Leigh, were tested in Technicolor, both on December 20. Selznick had been quietly considering Vivien Leigh, a young English actress little known in America, for the role of Scarlett since February 1938, when Selznick saw her in Fire Over England and A Yank at Oxford. Leigh's American agent was the London representative of the Myron Selznick talent agency (headed by David Selznick's brother, one of the owners of Selznick International), and she had requested in February that her name be submitted for consideration as Scarlett. By summer of 1938, the Selznicks were negotiating with Alexander Korda, to whom Leigh was under contract, for her services later that year. But for publicity reasons David arranged to meet her for the first time on the night of December 10, 1938, when the burning of the Atlanta Depot was filmed. The story was invented for the press that Leigh and Laurence Olivier were just visiting the studio as guests of Myron Selznick, who was also Olivier's agent, and that Leigh was in Hollywood hoping for a part in Olivier's current movie, Wuthering Heights. In a letter to his wife two days later, Selznick admitted that Leigh was "the Scarlett dark horse", and after a series of screen tests, her casting was announced on January 13, 1939. Just before the shooting of the film, Selznick informed Ed Sullivan: "Scarlett O'Hara's parents were French and Irish. Identically, Miss Leigh's parents are French and Irish."

For the role of Rhett Butler, Clark Gable was an almost immediate favorite for both the public and Selznick. But as Selznick had no male stars under long-term contract, he needed to go through the process of negotiating to borrow an actor from another studio. Gary Cooper was thus Selznick's first choice, because Cooper's contract with Samuel Goldwyn involved a common distribution company, United Artists, with which Selznick had an eight-picture deal. However, Goldwyn remained noncommittal in negotiations. Warner Bros. offered a package of Bette Davis, Errol Flynn, and Olivia de Havilland for the lead roles in return for the distribution rights. But by then Selznick was determined to get Clark Gable, and eventually found a way to borrow him from Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. Selznick's father-in-law, MGM chief Louis B. Mayer, offered in May 1938 to fund half of the movie's budget in return for a powerful package: 50% of the profits would go to MGM, the movie's distribution would be credited to MGM's parent company, Loew's, Inc., and Loew's would receive 15 percent of the movie's gross income. Selznick accepted this offer in August, and Gable was cast. But the arrangement to release through MGM meant delaying the start of production until Selznick International completed its eight-picture contract with United Artists.

Principal photography began January 26, 1939, and ended on June 27, 1939, with post-production work (including a fifth version of the opening scene) going to November 11, 1939. Director George Cukor, with whom Selznick had a long working relationship, and who spent almost two years in preproduction on Gone with the Wind, was replaced after less than three weeks of shooting. Victor Fleming, who had just directed The Wizard of Oz, was called in from MGM to complete the picture, although Cukor continued privately to coach Leigh's and De Havilland's performances. Another MGM director, Sam Wood, worked for two weeks in May when Fleming temporarily left the production due to exhaustion.

Cinematographer Lee Garmes began the production, but after a month of shooting what Selznick and his associates thought was "too dark" footage, was replaced with Ernest Haller, working with Technicolor cinematographer Ray Rennahan. Most of the filming was done on "the back forty" of Selznick International with all the location scenes being photographed in California, mostly in Los Angeles County or neighboring Ventura County. Estimated production costs were $3.9 million; only Ben-Hur ( 1925) and Hell's Angels (1930) had cost more.


Argentina:  Atp
Australia:  PG
Belgium:  KT
Canada ( Brit.Col):  G
Canada (Manitoba):  PG
Canada ( Ontario):  PG
Canada ( Maritime):  G
Canada (Quebec):  G
Chile:  TE
Finland:  K-16
Germany:  12
Iceland:  L
Netherlands:  AL
New Zealand:  PG
Norway:  16
Peru:  PT
Portugal:  M/12
South Korea:  12
Sweden:  11
United Kingdom:  PG
United States:  G

First public preview

When David O. Selznick was asked by the press in early September how he felt about the film, he said: "At noon I think it's divine, at midnight I think it's lousy. Sometimes I think it's the greatest picture ever made. But if it's only a great picture, I'll still be satisfied."

On September 9, 1939, Selznick, his wife Irene, investor Jock Whitney and film editor Hal Kern drove out to Riverside, California with all of the film reels to preview it before an audience. The film was still unfinished at this stage, missing many optical effects and most of Max Steiner's music score. They arrived at the Fox Theatre, which was playing a double feature of Hawaiian Nights and Beau Geste. Kern called for the manager and explained that they had selected his theatre for the first public screening of Gone with the Wind. He was told that after Hawaiian Nights had finished, he could make an announcement of the preview, but was forbidden to say what the film was. People were permitted to leave, but the theatre would thereafter be sealed with no re-admissions and no phone calls out. The manager was reluctant, but finally agreed. His only request was to call his wife to come to the theatre immediately. Kern stood by him as he made the call to make sure he did not reveal the name of the film to her.

When the film began, there was a buzz in the audience when Selznick's name appeared, for they had been reading about the making of the film for over two years. In an interview years later, Kern described the exact moment the audience realized what was happening:

When Margaret Mitchell's name came on the screen, you never heard such a sound in your life. They just yelled, they stood up on the seats...I had the [manually-operated sound] box. And I had that music wide open and you couldn't hear a thing. Mrs. Selznick was crying like a baby and so was David and so was I. Oh, what a thrill! And when "Gone with the Wind" came on the screen, it was thunderous!

In his seminal biography of Selznick, David Thomson wrote that the audience's response before the story had even started "was the greatest moment of his life, the greatest victory and redemption of all his failings."

After the film, there was a huge ovation. In the preview cards filled out after the screening, two-thirds of the audience had rated it excellent, an unusually high rating. Most of the audience begged that the film not be cut shorter and many suggested that instead they eliminate the newsreels, shorts and B-movie feature, which is eventually how Gone with the Wind was screened and would soon become the norm in movie theatres around the world.

1939 response

The film premiered in Atlanta, Georgia, on December 15, 1939 as the climax of three days of festivities hosted by the mayor which consisted of a parade of limousines featuring stars from the film, receptions, thousands of Confederate flags, false antebellum fronts on stores and homes, and a costume ball. The governor of Georgia declared December 15 a state holiday. President Jimmy Carter would later recall it as "the biggest event to happen in the South in my lifetime."

From December 1939 to June 1940, the film played only advance-ticket road show engagements at a limited number of theaters, before it went into general release in 1941.

It was a sensational hit during the Blitz in London, opening in April 1940 and playing continuously for four years. It is still the most watched movie of all-time in the U.K.

Worldwide release dates

Racial politics

Some have criticized the film for romanticizing, sanitizing or even promoting the values of the antebellum South, in particular its reliance on slavery. For example, syndicated columnist Leonard Pitts has referred to it as "a romance set in Auschwitz." But the majority of filmgoers back in 1939 expressed no concerns about this. In fact, the blacks in the film were generally portrayed in a better light than the black characters in the book.

Portrayal of Black characters

The character of Mammy, played by Hattie McDaniel, has been linked with the stock character of the "happy slave", an archetype that implicitly condones slavery. However, some, as in Scarlett's Women: Gone with the Wind and Its Female Fans by Helen Taylor, have argued that Mammy's character is more complex than this, that her character represents someone who cared for others, despite the racism and oppression she suffered. Other writers also point out that despite her position as slave, she is not shy about upbraiding her white mistress, Scarlett; and indeed, she is yelling at Scarlett in her first scene.

But Mammy frequently derides other slaves on the plantation as "field hands", implying that as a House Servant she is above the "less-refined" blacks. While never referring specifically to Mammy, civil rights leaders like Malcolm X were very critical of "house Negroes" who helped maintain the status quo of slavery and subjugation by being content with their place. Most apparent is the scene in the film where Mammy accompanies Scarlett to Atlanta, in order to convince Rhett Butler to help them pay the taxes on Tara. As they walk down the streets, Mammy passes by a Yankee carpetbagger who promises a group of ex-slaves " forty acres and a mule." The ex-slaves are excited, but Mammy glares at them disapprovingly.

Responding to the racial critiques of the film, Selznick replied that the black characters were "lovable, faithful, high-minded people who would leave no impression but a very nice one." While Mammy is generally portrayed in a positive light, other black characters in the film are not so fortunate.

The character of Prissy, a dim-witted slave girl, played by Butterfly McQueen, offended blacks and whites when played in the theatre. In one especially famous scene, as Melanie is about to give birth, Prissy bursts into tears and admits she lied to Scarlett: "Lawzy, we got to have a doctor. I don't know nothin' 'bout birthin' babies!" (in response, Scarlett slaps her). In The Autobiography of Malcolm X, the former civil rights leader recounted his experience of watching this particular scene as a small boy in Michigan: "I was the only Negro in the theatre, and when Butterfly McQueen went into her act, I felt like crawling under the rug."

Others have pointed out that Scarlett also slaps Ashley, Rhett, and her sister Suellen. But none of those incidents involved Scarlett punishing a slave like Prissy who could not reasonably retaliate. Others have also argued that Prissy's frightened dim-wittedness is matched by the white matron Aunt Pittypatt, who deserts Melanie and Scarlett in their time of need. But while Aunt Pittypatt is frightened and dim-witted, she knew that unlike Prissy, she could leave without consequences.

The role of Prissy catapulted Butterfly McQueen's film career, but within ten years she grew tired of playing black ethnic stereotypes. When she refused to continue being typecast that way, it ended her career.

Many black actors in the film were criticized by members of the African-American community for agreeing to play a role. Oscar Polk, who played the role of Pork, wrote an op-ed in the Chicago Defender -- a prominent newspaper in the black community -- to respond to that criticism. "As a race we should be proud," he said, "that we have risen so far above the status of our enslaved ancestors and be glad to portray ourselves as we once were because in no other way can we so strikingly demonstrate how far we have come in so few years." Polk, however, failed to mention that as of 1939 in the South, African-Americans were forcibly prevented from voting, lynched and subject to Jim Crow segregation.

Unquestioned racist comments

After the Civil War, Gerald O'Hara (Scarlett's father, who owns the plantation Tara), scolds his daughter about the way she is treating Mammy and Prissy. "You must be firm to the inferior, but gentle", he advises her. While Scarlett was criticized for being too harsh on the house servants, Gerald's premise that black people are "inferior" never gets questioned in the film at all.

Some scenes subtly undercut the apparent romanticization of Southern slavery. During the panicked evacuation of Atlanta as Union troops approach, Scarlett runs into Big Sam, the black foreman of the O'Hara plantation. Big Sam informs her that he (and a group of black field-hands who are with him) have been impressed to dig fortifications for the Confederacy. But these men are singing " Go Down Moses", a famous black spiritual that slaves would sing to call for the abolition of slavery.

The Shantytown Raid scene was changed in the film to make it less racially divisive than the book. After Scarlett is attacked in a Shantytown outside Atlanta, her husband Frank, Ashley, and others leave to raid the Shantytown that night to avenge Scarlett's honour. In the book, Scarlett's attacker was black, and her friends are identified as members of the Ku Klux Klan. In the film, no mention of the Klan is made. In both the film and the book, her life is saved during the attack by a black man, Big Sam.

Racial politics at Atlanta premiere

Racial politics spilled into the film's premiere in Atlanta, Georgia. As Georgia was a segregated state, Hattie McDaniel could not have attended the cinema without sitting in the "colored" section of the movie theatre; to avoid troubling Selznick, she thus sent a letter saying she would not be able to attend. When Clark Gable heard that McDaniel did not want to attend because of the racial issue, he threatened to boycott the premiere unless McDaniel was able to attend; he later relented when McDaniel convinced him to go.

At the costume ball during the premiere, local promoters recruited blacks to dress up as slaves and sing in a "Negro choir" on the steps of a white-columned plantation mansion built for the event. Many black community leaders refused to participate. But prominent Atlanta preacher Martin Luther King, Sr. attended, and he brought his 10-year-old son, future civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr., who sang that night in the choir.

The film also resulted in an important moment in African-American history: Hattie McDaniel won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress, the first time a black person won an Oscar.

Sexual politics

Whether Gone with the Wind celebrates women for being strong or pigeon-holes them into a submissive role is subject to intense debate. Advocates point to Scarlett O'Hara as a headstrong woman with an independent streak, and a source of strength and inspiration for women coming out of the Great Depression.

But some have criticized what they consider to be the sexist nature of the film as well. Most disturbing to them is the scene where a drunken Rhett Butler grabs Scarlett against her will and takes her upstairs as she struggles furiously in his arms — apparently to force himself sexually upon her. (It should be noted that in the book, Scarlett initially resists him but becomes responsive before any sex has occurred.) However, this moment, although shocking to some modern audiences, is properly set up by the filmmakers in a previous scene in which Scarlett decides to eliminate sex from their marriage.

However, it should be noted that these are modern-day objections to events and attitudes that are shocking only by contemporary standards. Both the book and the movie conformed to the legal and moral standards of their time, which was that a husband had a legal, moral, and ethical right to force himself sexually on his wife. This standard was true both when the book was published in 1936, as well as when the story takes place in the 1860's and 1870's.


In an attempt to draw upon his company's profits, but to pay capital gain tax rather than a much higher personal income tax, David O. Selznick and his business partners liquidated Selznick International Pictures over a three-year period in the early 1940s. As part of the liquidation, Selznick sold his rights in Gone with the Wind to Jock Whitney, who in turn sold it to Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer in 1944. Today it is owned by Turner Entertainment, whose parent company Turner Broadcasting acquired MGM's film library in 1985. Turner itself is currently a subsidiary of Time Warner, which is the current parent company of Warner Bros. Entertainment.

Gone with the Wind was given theatrical re-releases in 1947, 1954, 1961, 1967 (in a widescreen version), 1971, 1989, and 1998. It made its television debut on the HBO cable network in June 1976, and its broadcast debut the following November on the NBC network, where it became at that time the highest-rated television program ever presented on a single network, watched by 47.5 percent of the households in America, and 65 percent of television viewers. Ironically, it was surpassed the following year by the mini-series Roots, a saga about slavery in America.

Gone with the Wind also holds the record as being the biggest box-office hit in the history of movies. Adjusted for inflation, it would have made $1,329,453,600 domestically and $2,699,710,936 worldwide.

In 1998, the American Film Institute ranked it #4 on its " 100 Greatest Movies" list. The film has been selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry and has undergone a complete digital restoration.

Rhett Butler's infamous farewell line to Scarlett O'Hara, " Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn", was voted in a poll by the American Film Institute in 2005 as the most memorable line in cinema history.

In 2005, the AFI ranked Max Steiner's score for the film the second greatest of all time.

The AFI also ranked the film #2 in their list of the greatest romances of all time (100 Years... 100 Passions).

After filming concluded, the set of Tara sat on the backlot of the former Selznick Studios, now the Culver Studios (later owned by Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz as Desilu Studios before being sold to Paramount and renamed "The Culver Studios") and was disguised and used as the house in the television show The Big Valley. In 1959, the facade set of Tara was dismantled and shipped to Georgia and stored in a private barn. It was given as a gift to one of the former Georgia governor's wives. Original plans were used for the reconstruction of a replica of the original set in Charleston, South Carolina for the 1994 filming of Scarlett, the sequel to Gone With the Wind. The original famous front door of Tara's set from the 1939 epic film was donated to the Margaret Mitchell House and Museum in downtown Atlanta, Georgia where it is on permanent display, featured in the Gone With The Wind film museum. Other items from the set, such as many from the set of Scarlett and Rhett's Atlanta mansion are still stored at The Culver Studios (formerly Selznick International) including the stained glass window from the top of the staircase which was actually a painting. The famous painting of Scarlett in her blue dress which hung in Rhett's bedroom hung for years in the cafeteria at Jonesboro Elementary School, but is now on permanent display at The Margaret Mitchell Museum in Atlanta, complete with stains from the glass of sherry that Rhett Butler threw at it in his rage of anger.


Rumors of Hollywood producing a sequel to this film persisted for decades until 1994, when a sequel was finally produced for television, based upon Alexandra Ripley's novel, Scarlett, itself a sequel to Mitchell's original. Both the book and mini-series were met with mixed reviews. In the TV version, British actors played both key roles: Welsh-born actor Timothy Dalton played Rhett while Manchester-born Joanne Whalley played Scarlett.


  • Gone with the Wind is Ted Turner's favorite movie, as such he launched the TNT network with a broadcast of this film.


  • Directed by
    • Victor Fleming
    • George Cukor (uncredited, left the production)
    • Sam Wood (uncredited, took over while Fleming was away)
  • Writing credits
    • Margaret Mitchell (novel)
    • Sidney Howard - adapted screenplay
    • Ben Hecht (uncredited)
    • David O. Selznick (uncredited)
    • Jo Swerling (uncredited)
    • John Van Druten (uncredited)
  • Cast
    • Clark Gable .... Rhett Butler
    • Vivien Leigh .... Scarlett O'Hara
    • Leslie Howard .... Ashley Wilkes
    • Olivia de Havilland .... Melanie Hamilton
    • Thomas Mitchell .... Gerald O'Hara
    • Barbara O'Neil .... Ellen O'Hara
    • Evelyn Keyes .... Suellen O'Hara
    • Ann Rutherford .... Carreen O'Hara
    • George Reeves .... Stuart Tarleton (miscredited on screen as Brent Tarleton)
    • Fred Crane (actor) .... Brent Tarleton (miscredited on screen as Stuart Tarleton)
    • Hattie McDaniel .... Mammy
    • Oscar Polk .... Pork
    • Butterfly McQueen .... Prissy
    • Victor Jory .... Jonas Wilkerson
    • Everett Brown .... Big Sam
    • Howard C. Hickman .... John Wilkes
    • Alicia Rhett .... India Wilkes
    • Rand Brooks .... Charles Hamilton
    • Carroll Nye .... Frank Kennedy
    • Marcella Martin .... Cathleen Calvert
    • Laura Hope Crews .... Aunt Pittypat Hamilton
    • Eddie Anderson .... Uncle Peter
    • Harry Davenport .... Dr. Meade
    • Leona Roberts .... Mrs. Meade
    • Jane Darwell .... Dolly Merriwether
    • Paul Hurst .... Yankee Deserter
    • Cammie King .... Bonnie Blue Butler
    • Ona Munson .... Belle Watling
    • Eric Linden .... Amputation case
    • Cliff Edwards .... Reminiscent Soldier
  • Produced by
    • David O. Selznick

Academy Awards

Winner of 10 Oscars

  • Best Picture - Selznick International Pictures ( David O. Selznick, producer)
  • Best Actress in a Leading Role - Vivien Leigh
  • Best Actress in a Supporting Role - Hattie McDaniel
  • Best Cinematography, Colour - Ernest Haller, and Ray Rennahan
  • Best Director - Victor Fleming
  • Best Film Editing - Hal C. Kern, and James E. Newcom
  • Best Writing, Screenplay - Sidney Howard
  • Best Art Direction - Lyle Wheeler
  • Honorary Award - William Cameron Menzies - "For outstanding achievement in the use of colour for the enhancement of dramatic mood in the production of Gone with the Wind." (plaque).
  • Technical Achievement Award - Don Musgrave - "For pioneering in the use of coordinated equipment in the production Gone with the Wind."

5 additional nominations

  • Best Actor in a Leading Role - Clark Gable
  • Best Actress in a Supporting Role - Olivia de Havilland
  • Best Effects, Special Effects - Fred Albin (sound), Jack Cosgrove (photographic), and Arthur Johns (sound)
  • Best Music, Original Score - Max Steiner
  • Best Sound, Recording - Thomas T. Moulton (Samuel Goldwyn SSD)
  • David O. Selznick was awarded the Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award.
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