Gone With the Wind

Directed by Victor Fleming
Starring Clark Gable, Hattie McDaniel, Leslie Howard

Warner Brothers Home Entertainment | November 17, 2009 | DVD

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Margaret Mitchell wrote her only novel between 1926 and 1929 and then let it collect dust for six years before showing it to an editor. By the time of the film's release, Mitchell's novel had surpassed 1,500,000 in sales. The novel swept the nation, and everyone, everywhere, was reading it. Selznick paid $50,000 for the rights to the book. Selznick brought in a number of screenwriters in addition to Sidney Howard to help him get a grasp on the material. Among them were Edwin Justin Mayer, John Van Druten, Ben Hecht, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and Jo Swerling. For the part of Scarlett O'Hara, David O. Selznick issued a national talent search. Scores of famous Hollywood actresses tested for the part. Many southerners (and Americans in general) were upset when Selznick cast Vivien Leigh in the role. The very prospect of an Englishwoman playing the part of an American Southern belle was outrageous. But after the film's release most southerners changed their minds. On the contrary, many said, "Better an English girl than a Yankee." The novel was so well known and loved that MGM conducted national polls to determine who should play the leads. Gable was the clear choice for Rhett, while many of Hollywood's top actresses were considered for the role, including Bette Davis, Katharine Hepburn, Miriam Hopkins, Joan Crawford, Margaret Sullivan, Barbara Stanwyck, Paulette Goddard, Lana Turner, Jean Arthur, Mae West, Tallulah Bankhead, and Lucille Ball. In all, 32 actresses did screen tests for the film. Vivien Leigh was given the part of Scarlett O'Hara on Christmas Day, 1938. Ronald Colman, Errol Flynn, and Gary Cooper were considered for the part of Rhett Butler, but the character was written with Clark Gable in mind. George Cukor was the film's original director. Victor Fleming was Cukor's successor. When Fleming fell sick, Sam Wood took over, but Fleming resumed his position after his convalescence. In addition to nine Oscars, GONE WITH THE WIND also won special academy recognition for production designer William Cameron Menzies's outstanding contribution. The film was the first film to ever credit a production designer--previously, the role of the production designer was held by the studio’s art department head, who oversaw all the films in production. Because of the scope of the project and the amount Menzies contributed to it, MGM created a new title for him. Hattie McDaniel won Best Supporting Actress for her role as Mammy--the first Academy Award given to an African American. At the time, there were only 7 Technicolor cameras in existence, all of which were used for the production of GONE WITH THE WIND. For 25 years after its release, GONE WITH THE WIND was the most successful picture in history. When adjustments are made for inflation, GONE WITH THE WIND retains the second-highest U.S. box office return of the 20th century, bested only by TITANIC. George Reeves, who went to fame as Superman, played Stuart Tarleton. Neither Victor Fleming nor Clark Gable initially wanted to do the film. Gable felt that he could never live up to the audience’s expectations for the larger-than-life Rhett Butler, while Fleming worried that the film's production costs could bankrupt the studio. "Well, I guess I’ve done murder. I won’t think about that now. I’ll think about it tomorrow."--Scarlett O’Hara (Vivien Leigh), exhibiting her famous coping mechansm "Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn."--Rhett Butler (Clark Gable) to Scarlett O'Hara (Vivien Leigh)

Video Release: November 17, 2009

Studio: Warner Brothers Home Entertainment

UPC: 883929107162

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Gone With the Wind

Directed by Victor Fleming
Starring Clark Gable, Hattie McDaniel, Leslie Howard, Olivia de Havilland, Vivien Leigh

Video Release: November 17, 2009

Studio: Warner Brothers Home Entertainment

UPC: 883929107162


Edition Description
  • Originally in English

Description

One of the great cinematic achievements, technically as well as in enduring appeal, this is a movie that keeps finding an audience with every successive generation (it was restored--somewhat controversially--and re-released theatrically in 1998). The story and characters are familiar to even the most casual moviegoer: an indomitable Southern belle (Leigh) loves and loses and loves again a slyly dashing war profiteer as she struggles to protect her family and beloved plantation, Tara, from the ravages of the Civil War. Based on Margaret Mitchell's 1936 novel, which at the time of the film's release, had surpassed 1,500,000 copies sold. Selznick paid $50,000 for rights to the book and brought in a number of screenwriters in addition to Sidney Howard to help him shape the material. Among them were Edwin Justin Mayer, John Van Druten, Ben Hecht, F. Scott Fitzgerald and Jo Swerling. For the part of Scarlett O'Hara, Selznick conducted a national talent search for the part of Scarlett that has in itself become movie legend and the basis of a movie. Scores of famous Hollywood actresses tested for the part, including Bette Davis, Katharine Hepburn, Miriam Hopkins, Joan Crawford, Margaret Sullivan, Barbara Stanwyck, Paulette Goddard, Lana Turner, Jean Arthur, Mae West, Tallulah Bankhead and Lucille Ball. In all, 32 actresses did screen tests for the film. Leigh was given the part on Christmas Day 1938. Ronald Coleman, Errol Flynn and Gary Cooper were considered for the part of Rhett Butler, but the character was written with Clark Gable in mind. George Cukor was the film's original director, and Fleming was Cukor's successor. When Fleming fell sick, Sam Wood took over, but only for a short time. In addition to its nine Oscars, GWTW also won special Academy recognition for production designer Menzies's outstanding contribution to the use of color. GWTW was shot in 3-strip Technicolor. At the time, there were only 7 Technicolor cameras in existence, all of which were used for the production. McDaniel's Best Supporting Actress award was the first given to an African American.

Notes

Margaret Mitchell wrote her only novel between 1926 and 1929 and then let it collect dust for six years before showing it to an editor. By the time of the film's release, Mitchell's novel had surpassed 1,500,000 in sales. The novel swept the nation, and everyone, everywhere, was reading it. Selznick paid $50,000 for the rights to the book. Selznick brought in a number of screenwriters in addition to Sidney Howard to help him get a grasp on the material. Among them were Edwin Justin Mayer, John Van Druten, Ben Hecht, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and Jo Swerling. For the part of Scarlett O'Hara, David O. Selznick issued a national talent search. Scores of famous Hollywood actresses tested for the part. Many southerners (and Americans in general) were upset when Selznick cast Vivien Leigh in the role. The very prospect of an Englishwoman playing the part of an American Southern belle was outrageous. But after the film's release most southerners changed their minds. On the contrary, many said, "Better an English girl than a Yankee." The novel was so well known and loved that MGM conducted national polls to determine who should play the leads. Gable was the clear choice for Rhett, while many of Hollywood's top actresses were considered for the role, including Bette Davis, Katharine Hepburn, Miriam Hopkins, Joan Crawford, Margaret Sullivan, Barbara Stanwyck, Paulette Goddard, Lana Turner, Jean Arthur, Mae West, Tallulah Bankhead, and Lucille Ball. In all, 32 actresses did screen tests for the film. Vivien Leigh was given the part of Scarlett O'Hara on Christmas Day, 1938. Ronald Colman, Errol Flynn, and Gary Cooper were considered for the part of Rhett Butler, but the character was written with Clark Gable in mind. George Cukor was the film's original director. Victor Fleming was Cukor's successor. When Fleming fell sick, Sam Wood took over, but Fleming resumed his position after his convalescence. In addition to nine Oscars, GONE WITH THE WIND also won special academy recognition for production designer William Cameron Menzies's outstanding contribution. The film was the first film to ever credit a production designer--previously, the role of the production designer was held by the studio’s art department head, who oversaw all the films in production. Because of the scope of the project and the amount Menzies contributed to it, MGM created a new title for him. Hattie McDaniel won Best Supporting Actress for her role as Mammy--the first Academy Award given to an African American. At the time, there were only 7 Technicolor cameras in existence, all of which were used for the production of GONE WITH THE WIND. For 25 years after its release, GONE WITH THE WIND was the most successful picture in history. When adjustments are made for inflation, GONE WITH THE WIND retains the second-highest U.S. box office return of the 20th century, bested only by TITANIC. George Reeves, who went to fame as Superman, played Stuart Tarleton. Neither Victor Fleming nor Clark Gable initially wanted to do the film. Gable felt that he could never live up to the audience’s expectations for the larger-than-life Rhett Butler, while Fleming worried that the film's production costs could bankrupt the studio. "Well, I guess I’ve done murder. I won’t think about that now. I’ll think about it tomorrow."--Scarlett O’Hara (Vivien Leigh), exhibiting her famous coping mechansm "Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn."--Rhett Butler (Clark Gable) to Scarlett O'Hara (Vivien Leigh)
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