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  • Writer's pictureThomas Duncan

Gone with the Wind (1939) ft. Christine Duncan


Guest: Christine Duncan (12x guest: Pretty Woman, Sleepless in Seattle, When Harry Met Sally, There's Something About Mary, My Fair Lady, Pillow Talk, The Odd Couple, Bringing Up Baby, A Few Good Men - Revisit, Guess Who's Coming to Dinner, Top Gun, Dial M for Murder)


Cast:

  • Victor Fleming, Director

  • Sidney Howard, Writer

  • Max Steiner, Music

  • Thomas Mitchell as Gerald O'Hara

  • Barbara O'Neil as Ellen O'Hara

  • Vivien Leigh as Scarlett O'Hara

  • Evelyn Keyes as Suellen O'Hara

  • Ann Rutherford as Carreen O'Hara

  • Hattie McDaniel as Mammy

  • Howard Hickman as John Wilkes

  • Alicia Rhett as India Wilkes

  • Leslie Howard as Ashley Wilkes

  • Olivia de Havilland as Melanie Hamilton

  • Rand Brooks as Charles Hamilton

  • Carroll Nye as Frank Kennedy

  • Clark Gable as Rhett Butler

  • Harry Davenport as Dr. Meade


*Recognition:

  • Gone with the Wind was originally released on December 15, 1939 (85th anniversary this year).

  • Upon its release, Gone with the Wind broke attendance records everywhere. While there is no great data for box office gross for this period, the premiere was a 3 day event that former President Jimmy Carter once called "the biggest event to happen in the South in my lifetime."

  • Gone with the Wind would garner overwhelming praise particularly for its scale, its technical marvel and ambition, and for Vivien Leigh's performance as Scarlett with only a few detractors feeling the movie was too long.

  • Gone with the Wind would also be recognized by the Oscars with a record (at the time) 13 nominations for Best Actor (Gable), Supporting Actress (De Havilland), Original Score, Sound, and Visual Effects while winning Best Picture, Director (Fleming), Actress (Leigh), Supporting Actress (McDaniel), Screenplay, Art Direction, Cinematography, and Editing as well as two Honorary Oscars for outstanding achievement in the use of color for the enhancement of dramatic mood in the production and for pioneering in the use of coordinated equipment in the production.

  • Sidney Howard became the first posthumous recipient of an Oscar for his work on the screenplay, and David O. Selznick also received the first Thalberg award for humanitarianism.

  • The Oscar win for Hattie McDaniel was especially controversial at the time due to the backlash within her own community for how she and the black community were depicted on screen as well as her segregation during the ceremony itself; she and her escort were made to sit at a separate table at the back of the room. However, she would be the only recipient of color from 1939 until 1963 when Sidney Poitier would win Best Actor for Lilies of the Field.

  • The film has gone through subsequent rereleases in 1942, 1947, 1954, 1961, and 1967 with each time increasing its total box office.

  • It is only one of 11 films to hold the title as the highest grossing film of all-time. The film is also the longest holder of that honor as it had the record from 1939 until it was unseated by The Sound of Music in 1965, and then, after it reclaimed the crown after its 1967 rerelease, was unseated again by The Godfather in 1972 totaling roughly 31 years as the King of the Box Office.

  • To date, it is ranked still #1 as the highest inflation adjusted gross of all-time.

  • The film has been featured in several high-profile industry polls. In 1977, it was voted the most popular film by the American Film Institute (AFI).

  • In 2016, it was selected as the ninth best "directorial achievement" in a Directors Guild of America members poll.

  • It has been recognized by the AFI on the following lists:

    • 100 Years...100 Movies – #4

    • 100 Years...100 Passions – #2

    • 100 Years...100 Heroes and Villains

      • Rhett Butler, Hero – Nominated

      • Scarlett O'Hara, Hero – Nominated

    • 100 Years...100 Movie Quotes:

      • "Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn." – #1

      • "After all, tomorrow is another day!" – #31

      • "As God is my witness, I'll never be hungry again." – #59

      • "Fiddle-dee-dee." – Nominated

      • "I don't know nothin' 'bout birthin' babies." – Nominated

    • 100 Years of Film Scores – #2

    • 100 Years...100 Cheers – #43

    • 100 Years...100 Movies (10th Anniversary Edition) – #6

    • 10 Top 10 – #4 Epic film

  • The critical perception of the film has shifted in the intervening years, which resulted in it being ranked 235th in Sight & Sound's prestigious decennial critics poll in 2012, and Film directors ranked it 322nd.

  • Although the film has been criticized as historical negationism, glorifying slavery and the Lost Cause of the Confederacy myth, it has been credited with triggering changes in the way in which African Americans were depicted cinematically. Gone with the Wind is regarded as one of the greatest films of all time, and in 1989 became one of the twenty-five inaugural films selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry.

  • Gone with the Wind currently holds a 90% among critics on RT, a 97 score on Metacritic, and a 3.8/5 on Letterboxd.


Plot Summary: "Gone with the Wind" is a sprawling epic that unfolds against the backdrop of the American Civil War. Vivien Leigh delivers a captivating performance as Scarlett O'Hara, a Southern belle whose resilience and determination define her journey through love and loss. Clark Gable's Rhett Butler adds charisma and complexity to the narrative, creating a tempestuous dynamic with Scarlett. Director Victor Fleming weaves together romance, tragedy, and historical upheaval, crafting a visually stunning and emotionally charged cinematic experience. With its grand scale and memorable characters, "Gone with the Wind" remains a classic that transcends time, leaving an indelible mark on the history of filmmaking.


Did You Know:

  • The fact that Hattie McDaniel would be unable to attend the premiere in racially segregated Atlanta outraged Clark Gable so much that he threatened to boycott the premiere unless she could attend. He later relented when she convinced him to go.

  • Barbara O'Neil was only 28 when she appeared as Ellen O'Hara (Scarlett's mother). Vivien Leigh was 25 when she appeared as Scarlett, who is only 16 at the beginning of the film.

  • Max Steiner was given only three months to compose the music, considering that 1939 was the busiest year of his career; in that year he wrote the music for 12 films. In order to meet the deadline, Steiner sometimes worked for 20 hours straight and took Benzedrine pills to stay awake. With almost three hours of music, "Gone with the Wind" had the longest film score ever composed up to that time.

  • Vivien Leigh later said that she hated kissing Clark Gable because of his bad breath, rumored to be caused by his false teeth, a result of excessive smoking. According to Frank Buckingham, a technician who observed the film being made, Gable would sometimes eat garlic before his kissing scenes with Vivien Leigh.

  • At 2 hours, 23 minutes and 32 seconds, Vivien Leigh's performance in this movie is the longest to ever win an Academy Award.


Best Performance: Victor Fleming (Director)/Clark Gable (Rhett)

Best Secondary Performance: Vivien Leigh (Scarlett)/Hattie McDaniel (Mammy)/Olivia De Havilland (Melanie)

Most Charismatic Award: Olivia De Havilland (Melanie)/Clark Gable (Rhett)/Vivien Leigh (Scarlett)

Best Scene:

  • Twelve Oaks

  • Melanie Gives Birth

  • Escaping Atlanta

  • Returning to Tara

  • Rhett Leaves Scarlett

  • Bonnie's Deathbed

  • Melanie's Deathbed

  • Tomorrow is Another Day

Favorite Scene: Bonnie's Deathbed/Twelve Oaks/Melanie's Deathbed

Most Indelible Moment: Tomorrow is Another Day


In Memorium:

  • Hinton Battle, 67, American actor (The Wiz, Dreamgirls, Miss Saigon) and dancer, Tony winner (1981, 1984, 1991).

  • Don Murray, 94, American actor (Bus Stop, A Hatful of Rain, The Plainsman).

  • Mark Gustafson, 64, American animator (The PJs, The Fantastic Mr. Fox) and film director (Guillermo del Toro's Pinocchio), Oscar winner (2022)

  • Aston "Family Man" Barrett, 77, Jamaican musician (Bob Marley and the Wailers) His bass work was a key feature of many Wailers hits, including I Shot the Sheriff, Get Up Stand Up, Stir It Up, Jamming, No Woman, No Cry and Could You Be Love.

  • William O'Connell, 94, American actor (Star Trek, Highway Patrol, Peter Gunn and The Twilight Zone) friend in real life, but often a Clint Eastwood movie foe in Paint Your Wagon, High Plains Drifter, The Outlaw Josey Wales, Every Which Way but Loose and its sequel Any Which Way You Can.

  • Carl Weathers, 76, American actor (Rocky, Predator, The Mandalorian, Happy Gilmore) and football player (Oakland Raiders, BC Lions)


Best Lines/Funniest Lines:

Scarlett: Rhett, Rhett... Rhett, if you go, where shall I go? What shall I do?

Rhett Butler: Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn.


Scarlett: As God is my witness, as God is my witness they're not going to lick me. I'm going to live through this and when it's all over, I'll never be hungry again. No, nor any of my folk. If I have to lie, steal, cheat or kill. As God is my witness, I'll never be hungry again.


Rhett Butler: You still think you're the cutest trick in shoe leather.


Rhett Butler: You're like the thief who isn't the least bit sorry he stole, but is terribly, terribly sorry he's going to jail.


Rhett Butler: No, I don't think I will kiss you, although you need kissing, badly. That's what's wrong with you. You should be kissed and often, and by someone who knows how.


Scarlett: But you are a blockade runner.

Rhett Butler: For profit, and profit only.

Scarlett: Are you tryin' to tell me you don't believe in the cause?

Rhett Butler: I believe in Rhett Butler, he's the only cause I know.


Rhett Butler: I can't go all my life waiting to catch you between husbands.


Rhett Butler: Did you ever think of marrying just for fun?

Scarlett: Marriage, fun? Fiddle-dee-dee. Fun for men you mean.


Scarlett: Tara! Home. I'll go home. And I'll think of some way to get him back. After all... tomorrow is another day.


Rhett Butler: With enough courage, you can do without a reputation.


Rhett Butler: Take a good look my dear. It's a historic moment you can tell your grandchildren about - how you watched the Old South fall one night.


Gerald O'Hara: Do you mean to tell me, Katie Scarlett O'Hara, that Tara, that land doesn't mean anything to you? Why, land is the only thing in the world worth workin' for, worth fightin' for, worth dyin' for, because it's the only thing that lasts.


Charles Hamilton: Are you hinting, Mr. Butler, that the Yankees can lick us?

Rhett Butler: No, I'm not hinting. I'm saying very plainly that the Yankees are better equipped than we. They've got factories, shipyards, coalmines... and a fleet to bottle up our harbors and starve us to death. All we've got is cotton, and slaves and... arrogance.

Man: That's treacherous!

Charles Hamilton: I refuse to listen to any renegade talk!

Rhett Butler: Well, I'm sorry if the truth offends you.


Scarlett: Oh! You sir are no gentlemen.

Rhett Butler: And you Ms. are no lady.


The Stanley Rubric:

Legacy: 8.67

Impact/Significance: 10

Novelty: 8.67

Classic-ness: 5.83

Rewatchability: 2.83

Audience Score: 8.8 (84% Google, 92% RT)

Total: 44.8


Remaining Questions:

  • Does Scarlett ever convince Rhett to come back?

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