Gone with the Wind is a 1939 American epic historical romance movie that was adapted from Margaret Mitchell’s 1936 novel of the same name. The movie was produced by David O. Selznick of Selznick International Pictures and it was directed by Victor Fleming. Take a look below for 27 more interesting and fun facts about Gone with the Wind.
1. Actress Vivien Leigh didn’t enjoy kissing Clark Gable because, she claimed, his dentures smelled bad.
2. Vivien Leigh smoked four packs of cigarettes during the filming of the movie and Clark Gable was a lifelong three packs a day smoker.
3. Over 1,400 actresses were considered for the female lead role of Scarlett O’Hara. Some known actresses at the time that were in the running were Bette Davis, Joan Crawford, Jean Arthur, Lana Turner, Barbara Stanwyck, Claudette Colbert, Susan Hayward, Katherine Hepburn and Lucille Ball.
4. Carole Lombard, the real life love of Clark Gable was also in the running for the lead role.
5. Tallulah Bankhead, who was a real life southern belle, was the major front runner but her unsavory personal life made producers pass her up on casting her as Scarlett.
6. Even though 1,400 actresses were considered for the role, only 400 were given actual reading. Of all the screen tests, only Vivien Leigh and Paulette Goddard were given their tests in color.
7. Producer David O. Selznick only seriously considered four actors for the role of Rhett Butler, who was the male lead. The actors were Clark Gable, Gary Cooper, Errol Flynn and Ronald Coleman.
8. George Cukor was the original choice as director for both Gone with the Wind and The Wizard of Oz, but both times Victor Fleming took over for Cukor and got the actual credit for direction.
9. Gable was reluctant to play Rhett Butler because a previous drama he did called Parnell in 1937 was a huge flop. However, he was given a $50,000 bonus to take the role and he did.
10. He was very distressed by having to cry on film. In fact, he was so upset that he almost quit the movie, but Olivia de Havilland convinced him to stay.
11. Gable was paid over $120,000 for 71 days of work and Vivien LEigh received about $25,000 for 125 days of work.
12. Judy Garland was the first choice to play Scarlett’s kid sister Careen, but she was already committed to doing The Wizard of Oz at the time.
13. Leslie Howard didn’t think that he was right to play Ashley Wilkes because he was too old for the role of Scarlett’s suitor and that his costume made him, “look like a fairy doorman at a hotel.”
14. The controversial word “damn” in Gable’s final line, “Frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn,” had been used in several silent films and talkies before it was used in Gone with the Wind.
15. Originally, the main character’s name was Pansy and the titles considered for the novel itself were, Tomorrow is Another Day, Bugles Sang True, Not in Our Stars, Ba! Ba! Black Sheep, and Tote the Weary Load.
16. The public wasn’t happy that an unknown English actress played the quintessential southern belle. In fact, Leslie Howard who played Scarlett’s unrequited love Ashley Wilkes as also English.
17. The four main characters are only in one scene together in the entire three and a half hour movie, which is when Scarlett learns that her second husband has been killed.
18. The shot of hundreds of dead and injured Confederate soldiers had 800 real people mixed in with 800 dummies. This is because the union rules at the time required a certain amount of extras to be used.
19. 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.
20. Gone with the Wind was the first color movie to win the Academy Award for Best Picture.
21. Since it’s almost four hours long, it’s the longest running of all motion pictures to win the Academy Award for Best Picture.
22. Hattie McDaniel became the first African American to be nominated for and win an Academy Award.
23. At 2 hours, 23 minutes and 32 seconds, Vivien Leigh’s performance in the movie is the longest to ever win an Academy Award.
24. If box office receipts were adjusted for inflation, Gone with the Wind would be the top grossing movie of all time. According to the Guinness World Records, the total gross in 2012 figures for Gone with the Wind would be $4,401,358,554.94.
25. Margaret Mitchell personally approved of Vivien Leigh’s interpretation of Scarlett.
26. Barbara O’Neil was only 28 when she appeared as Ellen O’Hara, who is Scarlett’s mother. Vivien Leigh was 25 when she appeared as Scarlett, who is supposed to be 16 at the beginning of the movie.
27. Tara is a profitable plantation but its owner Gerald O’Hara is described as an Irish immigrant of impoverished background. According to the novel, Gerald won the plantation in a poker game.
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