Gone With the Wind

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Gone With the Wind was an instant success.
Gone With the Wind was an instant success.

Gone With the Wind, an American novel by Margaret Mitchell, was published in 1936 and won the Pulitzer Prize in 1937. The novel is one of the most popular of all time, and an American film adaptation released on Decemeber 15, 1939 became the highest-grossing film in the history of Hollywood and received a record-breaking number of Academy Awards.

Mitchell's work relates the story of a rebellious Georgia woman named Scarlett O'Hara and her travails with friends, family and lovers in the midst of the antebellum South, the American Civil War, and the Reconstruction period. It also tells the story of the love that blossoms between Scarlett O'Hara and Rhett Butler.


The book

Critics and historians regard the book as having a strong ideological commitment to the cause of the Confederacy and a romanticized view of the culture of the antebellum South. This is apparent from the book's opening pages, which describe how Scarlett's beaux, the Tarleton twins, have been expelled from university and are accompanied home by their elder brothers out of a sense of honor: a metaphor for the South's viewpoint on the statehood of Kansas.

Nevertheless, the book includes a vivid description of the fall of Atlanta in 1864 and the devastation of war (some of it absent from the 1939 film), and shows a considerable amount of historical research. Mitchell's sweeping narrative of war and loss helped the book win the Pulitzer Prize on May 3, 1937.

The official sequel, Scarlett, was written by Alexandra Ripley in 1991.

In 2000, the copyright holders attempted to suppress publication of The Wind Done Gone, a book that told the story from the point of view of the slaves. A federal appeals court ruled against the plaintiffs in 2001. The successful defense was based on the court's acceptance of the book as parody.

The film

Template:Infobox Movie In 1936, film producer David O. Selznick decided that he wanted to create a movie based on Gone With the Wind. He bought the rights for $50,000, a record amount at the time. A well-publicized casting search for an actress to play Scarlett resulted in the hire of young British actress Vivien Leigh, although many other famous or soon-to-be-famous actresses had been auditioned, considered for the role, or tested, including Katharine Hepburn, Norma Shearer, Bette Davis, Barbara Stanwyck, Joan Crawford, Lana Turner, Susan Hayward, Carole Lombard, Paulette Goddard, Irene Dunne, Merle Oberon, Ida Lupino, Joan Fontaine, Loretta Young, Miriam Hopkins, Jean Arthur, Tallulah Bankhead, Joan Bennett, Frances Dee and Lucille Ball.

Shooting began on December 10, 1938 and was completed on November 11, 1939. The film premiered in Atlanta, Georgia, on December 15, 1939, with estimated production costs of $4 million, and has become the highest-grossing movie of all time (adjusted for inflation). It garnered thirteen Academy Award nominations and eight Awards. Rhett Butler's infamous line to Scarlett O'Hara, "Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn." was exceedingly controversial at the time of the film's release, at a time when on-screen profanity was unheard of. In 2005 it was voted in a poll by the American Film Institute as the most memorable line in cinema history [1] (http://www.abc.net.au/news/newsitems/200506/s1398449.htm).

Although some have criticized the film for sanitizing or even promoting the values of the Old South, filmgoers in 1939 had a different view. Scarlett O'Hara's father, Gerald, deferred to his wife, Ellen, who was portrayed as the real head of the O'Hara household. A black woman, Mammy, was not shy about upbraiding her white mistress, Scarlett. In early 1940, an African American would win an Academy Award when Hattie McDaniel walked to the podium to accept her Oscar as Best Supporting Actress.

The film has been selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry and has undergone a complete digital restoration.


A full list can be found at The Internet Movie Database: Gone With the Wind (1939) (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0031381/fullcredits)


External link


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