The Making of Gone With The Wind

The Making of Gone With The Wind

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Gone With The Wind is one of the most popular movies of all time. To commemorate its seventy-fifth anniversary in 2014, The Making of Gone With The Wind presents more than 600 items from the archives of David O. Selznick, the film's producer, and his business partner John Hay "Jock" Whitney, which are housed at the Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas at Austin. These rarely seen materials, which are also being featured in a major 2014 exhibition at the Ransom Center, offer fans and film historians alike a must-have behind-the-camera view of the production of this classic.

Before a single frame of film was shot, Gone With The Wind was embroiled in controversy. There were serious concerns about how the film would depict race and violence in the Old South during the Civil War and Reconstruction. While Clark Gable was almost everyone's choice to play Rhett Butler, there was no clear favorite for Scarlett O'Hara. And then there was the huge challenge of turning Margaret Mitchell's Pulitzer Prize-winning epic into a manageable screenplay and producing it at a reasonable cost. The Making of Gone With The Wind tells these and other surprising stories with fascinating items from the Selznick archive, including on-set photographs, storyboards, correspondence and fan mail, production records, audition footage, gowns worn by Vivien Leigh as Scarlett, and Selznick's own notoriously detailed memos.

This inside view of the decisions and creative choices that shaped the production reaffirm that Gone With The Wind is perhaps the quintessential film of Hollywood's Golden Age and illustrate why it remains influential and controversial decades after it was released.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 352 pages
  • 279 x 279 x 35mm | 2,495g
  • Austin, TX, United States
  • English
  • 628 color and b&w photos
  • 0292761260
  • 9780292761261
  • 514,742

Table of contents

Foreword by Robert Osborne


Spring 1936

Selznick International Pictures

Summer 1936

The Book Deal

Fall 1936

Who Should Play Scarlett?

Tallulah Bankhead

"With New People or with Stars"

Other Film Projects

Sidney Howard

"Stop Planting Stories about Hepburn"

Winter 1936

The Invasion of the South

The "Creole Girl"

The First Protest

Through Scarlett's Eyes

First Draft

Selznick's Theory of Adaptation

Spring 1937

Cukor's Trip South

Norma Shearer

Paulette Goddard

Summer 1937

The Bigelow Twins

Casting African Americans



Fall 1937

Choosing Rhett


Winter 1937-1938


William Cameron Menzies and Lyle Wheeler

The Story Department

Don't Give Up the Scarlett Hunt

Bebe Anderson

Margaret Tallichet

Mercedes McCambridge

Susan Hayward

Butterfly McQueen

Marcella Martin

Summer 1938

The Gable Deal

The Confidential Player

"I Am Scarlett"

Walter White and the NAACP

"Try to Make This Gable's Next Picture"

Fall 1938

Lana Turner and Other Studio Stock Players


Winter 1938-1939

Other Film Projects

Wilbur Kurtz and Susan Myrick

"Dixie's Sacred Drawl"

The Burning of Atlanta

The Finalists

Casting Supporting Roles

Vivien Leigh

"Plunkett Has Come to Life"


Script Doctors

"One More Will Only Confuse Us"

January 1939

Filming Begins

February 1939

The Atlanta Bazaar

The "Negro Problem"

Childbirth Scene

Victor Fleming is Hired--Hiatus

March 1939

The Wedding

Scarlett's Walk with Gerald

Twelve Oaks

The Atlanta Bazaar

The Examiner

April 1939

The Evacuation

The Jail Scene

The Hospital

The "Klan Sequence"

Melanie's Death

Fleming Collapses; Sam Wood Steps In

Belle on the Steps of the Hospital

May 1939

The Search for Dr. Meade

Return to Tara

The Yankee Deserter

Rhett and Belle

No More Babies

The Pull Back Shot

Scarlett's Oath and Tara Cotton Field

Feeding Soldiers

Melanie and Mammy on the Stairs

Outside Jail; Atlanta Streets

June 1939

The Shooting Schedule Becomes More Chaotic

The "Hate Word"

"Frankly, My Dear . . ."

Bonnie Learns to Ride

Shanty Town

The Lumber Mill

"Bonnie's Death Ride"

Rhett and Scarlett's Honeymoon

The Paddock (Fleming) and Scarlett under the Bridge

Summer 1939

Bits and Retakes

Fall 1939



The Fox Riverside Preview

Winter 1939

The Atlanta Premiere

Spring 1940

Wide Release



Illustration Credits

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About Steve Wilson

Steve Wilson is the curator of the film collection at the Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas at Austin. He has curated several exhibitions at the Ransom Center, including Shooting Stars, a display of Hollywood glamour photography, and Making Movies, a major exhibition on film production.
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Rating details

111 ratings
4.41 out of 5 stars
5 57% (63)
4 31% (34)
3 11% (12)
2 1% (1)
1 1% (1)
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