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 Gone With the Wind

Trivia & Fun Facts About GONE WITH THE WIND

In early drafts of the book, Scarlett was named Pansy, Melanie was Permalia and Tara was Fontenoy Hall. Earlier titles included Bugles Sang True, Not in Our Stars, Tote the Weary Load and Tomorrow Is Another Day. Mitchell finally turned to an Edward Dowson poem for inspiration: "I have forgotten much, Cynara, gone with the wind...."

Because of its length, the novel sold for $3 a copy, 50 cents higher than most hard-bound books of the day. The book weighed 2 1/2 pounds.

Mitchell told friends she considered Basil Rathbone perfect casting for Rhett (this was before he had played Sherlock Holmes on screen). When the press asked her for her choice, she fobbed them off by suggesting Groucho Marx or Donald Duck.

After a few requests for background information from producer David O. Selznick's researchers, Mitchell refused to have anything to do with the film. She did not consider herself an expert on Southern history and did not want to be held responsible for any historical inaccuracies that might make it to the screen. Instead she suggested they hire Atlanta historian Wilbur Kurtz and writer Susan Myrick, who made numerous contributions to the production.

Costume designer Walter Plunkett signed to work on the film for 15 weeks. When that period ran out long before the script was even finished, producer David O. Selznick tried to convince him to stay on for free. Instead, Plunkett agreed to reduce his weekly fee.

Only two actresses interviewed during the Scarlett O'Hara talent search made it into the film. Alicia Rhett played Ashley's sister, India, and Mary Anderson played Maybelle Merriwether. Both came from the South. Only Anderson continued to work in Hollywood, most notably as the young nurse in Alfred Hitchcock's Lifeboat (1944).

The biggest star to come out of the talent search was a New York hat model named Edythe Marrener. After testing her in Hollywood, Selznick told her she didn't have what it took to be a movie star. She decided to stay on anyway and changed her name to Susan Hayward.

When nobody could figure out how to shoot the camera movement at the end of Scarlett's first scene with her father -- which involved synching film of the actors, a sunset effect and two different matte paintings, all shot at different times -- production manager Ray Klune turned to the UCLA math department, which calculated the effect using advanced calculus.

Butterfly McQueen was not happy with the depiction of Prissy as a lazy, ignorant black woman but at least could console herself that her salary would pay for a semester of college. But she wasn't pleased when, in her big scene, Leigh really hit her in take after take.

Scarlett's retching in the "I'll never be hungry again" scene had to be post-dubbed, but the ladylike Leigh could not produce a believable sound, so de Havilland dubbed it in for her.

Every time the company tried to film Belle Watling's (Ona Munson) first scene, the horses pulling her carriage ruined the scene by urinating. It took three hours -- from 1 a.m. to 4 a.m. -- before they had completely emptied their bladders.

Thomas Mitchell, who played Scarlett's father, was terrified of horses. Ironically, his character died after falling from a horse.

Before Selznick wrote the "Tomorrow is another day" speech, the film ended with Mammy comforting Scarlett after Rhett's departure with the line "He'll come back. Didn't I say the last time? He'll do it again. I always know. Mammy always knows."

At the Oscar® ceremonies, host Bob Hope quipped, "It's a great thing -- this benefit for David O. Selznick."

Thomas Mitchell -- who played Scarlett's father, Gerald O'Hara -- won Best Supporting Actor for 1939, but for another film, Stagecoach.

Hattie McDaniel was the first black actor to win an Oscar®. She would be the only black actor to take the award until 1963, when Sidney Poitier won Best Actor for Lilies of the Field.

Screenwriter Sidney Howard was the first posthumous Oscar®-winner. He had been killed in a farming accident in August 1939.

The film would be the most nominated until 1950, when All About Eve received 14 Oscar® nominations. Its Oscar® record would be broken by Gigi (1958), which captured nine Academy Awards®.

Perfectionists are never happy, as publicist Russell Birdwell learned on his drive with Selznick to a celebration Oscar® party. According to Selznick biographer Bob Thomas, the producer snapped to Birdwell, who had campaigned tirelessly for the Gone with the Wind awards, "I don't know why we didn't get the Best Actor award for Gable. Somewhere you failed. You didn't put on the proper campaign; otherwise, Clark Gable would have been sure to get it." After the devastated Birdwell failed to report to work for two days, Selznick called and admitted, "I was a pig. I worked so hard and waited so long, I got piggish and wanted everything." Source: Mason Wiley & Damien Bona, Inside Oscar, 1986.

Famous Quotes From GONE WITH THE WIND (1939)

"There was a land of Cavaliers and Cotton Fields called the Old South....Here in this patrician world the Age of Chivalry took its last bow....Here was the last ever to be seen of Knights and their Ladies Fair, of Master and of Slave....Look for it only in books, for it is no more than a dream remembered, a Civilization gone with the wind...." --Prologue.

"Fiddle-de-Dee! War! War! War! This war talk's spoiling all the fun at every party this spring. I get so bored. Besides, there isn't going to be any war." -- Vivien Leigh, as Scarlett O'Hara.

"Land's the only thing in the world that matters! The only thing worth working for, fighting for, dying for! Because it's the only thing in the world that lasts." -- Thomas Mitchell, as Gerald O'Hara.

"You can't show your bosom before three o'clock!" -- Hattie McDaniel, as Mammy, cautioning Leigh, as Scarlett O'Hara, about her dress for the Hamilton's barbecue.

"No war can come into our world. Whatever comes, I'll love you -- just as I do now -- until I die." -- Olivia de Havilland, as Melanie Wilkes, to Leslie Howard, as Ashley Wilkes.

"Isn't it enough that you've gathered in every other man's heart today? Must you have mine, too? You cut your teeth on it!" -- Howard, as Ashley Wilkes, to Leigh, as Scarlett.

"You're a girl of admirable spirit, Miss O'Hara, and I hope to see more of you when you're free of the spell of the elegant Mr. Wilkes. He doesn't strike me as half good enough for a girl of your...what was it? ...your passion for living."
"You aren't fit to wipe his boots!"
"And you were going to hate him for the rest of your life!" -- Clark Gable, as Rhett Butler, in his first encounter with Leigh.

"Look what he did to me. Made me a widow -- so I've got to wear black the rest of my life -- I look terrible in black." -- Leigh, "mourning" her first husband, Rand Hopkins, as Charles Hamilton.

"You know what trouble Ah's talkin' about. I'm talkin' about Mistuh Ashley Wilkes. He'll be comin' to Atlanta when he get his leave -- and you sittin' there waitin' fo' him -- jes' like a spider." -- McDaniel, as Mammy, objecting to Leigh's travel plans.

"If you've enough courage, you can do without a reputation." -- Gable, as Rhett Butler, to Leigh.

"This is the last of my father's fine Madeira that he got from his uncle, Admiral Wilbur Hamilton of Savannah, who married his cousin, Jessica Carroll of Carrollton, who was his second cousin once removed and kin to the Wilkeses, too. And I saved it to wish Ashley a Merry Christmas. But you mustn't drink it all at once, because it is the last." -- Laura Hope Crews, as Aunt Pittypat Hamilton.

"Tell me you love me, and I'll live on it all the rest of my life!" -- Leigh, to Howard.

"You should be kissed by somebody who knows how. Some day I'll kiss you, and you'll like it. But not yet. I'm waiting for the memory of the estimable Ashley Wilkes to fade." -- Gable, as Rhett.

"Ah don' know nuthin' 'bout birthin' babies." -- Butterfly McQueen, as Prissy.

"Take a look, my dear. It's a historic moment. You can tell your grandchildren how you watched the Old South disappear one night." -- Gable, on the evacuation of Atlanta.

"Heaven help General Sherman and all his Yankees if they run into you!" -- Gable to Leigh.

"Here's a soldier of the South loves you, Scarlett -- and nobody else. Wants to feel your lips and arms. Wants to take the memory of your kisses into battle with him. Never mind about loving me. You're a woman sending a soldier to his death with -- with a beautiful memory....Kiss me, Scarlett -- kiss me once." -- Gable, bidding Leigh goodbye on the road to Tara.

"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 over I'll never be hungry again...no, nor any of my folks!...If I have to lie -- or steal -- or cheat -- or kill! As God is my witness, I'll never be hungry again!" -- Leigh.

"And the wind swept through Georgia....SHERMAN!" -- Title card introducing the film's second half.

"Scarlett, do you think it would be dishonest if we went through his haversack."
"I'm ashamed I didn't think of that myself." -- De Havilland, as Melanie Hamilton, and Leigh, deciding what to do with the Yankee soldier Leigh has just killed.

"Well, I guess I've done murder. Oh, I won't think about that now. I'll think about that tomorrow." -- Leigh.

"The whole Confed'rut army got de same troubles -- crawlin' cloe's an' dysent'ry!" -- McDaniel.

"What do you think becomes of people when their civilization breaks up? Those who have brains and courage come through all right. Those who haven't are winnowed out." -- Howard, trying to survive the war's end.

"What you up to wid Miss Ellen's po'teers?"
"You're going to make my new dress out of them!"
"Not outer Miss Ellen's po'teers! Not w'ile Ah's got breaf in mah body!"
"They're my portieres now! I'm going to get the three hundred dollars in Atlanta! And I've got to go looking like a queen!" -- McDaniel and Leigh.

"Were you really there?"
"Where?"
"At the Watling woman's place. What did it look like? Are there cut glass chandeliers and plush curtains and dozens of gilt mirrors? And are there girls?"
"Good heavens, Mrs. Meade! Remember yourself!"
"But this is the only chance I've ever had to hear what a bad house looks like!" -- Leona Roberts, as Mrs. Meade, questioning Harry Davenport, as Dr. Meade, about his visit to Belle Watling's.

"And, Miz Wilkes, if you ever see me on the street, you -- you don't have to speak to me. I'll understand..."
"I shall be proud to speak to you. Proud to be under obligation to you. I hope -- I hope we meet again."
"No. That wouldn't be fittin' neither." -- Ona Munson, as Belle Watling, setting the limits of obligation for de Havilland.

"I can't go all my life waiting to catch you between husbands." -- Gable, proposing to Leigh.

"Ah ain' never thought ter say it 'bout none of Miss Ellen's blood, but Miss Scarlett ain' nuthin' but a mule in hawse harness. She give herseff airs lak a fine hawse, but she a mule jes' de same! An dat Butler man, he come of good stock an' he all slicked up lak a race hawse, but he a mule in hawse harness jes' lak her!" -- McDaniel, responding to Leigh and Gable's wedding.

"You get your strength from this red earth of Tara, Scarlett. You're part of it, and it's part of you." -- Gable to Leigh.

"Observe my hands, my dear. I could tear you to pieces with them -- and I'd do it, if it would take Ashley out of your mind. But it wouldn't. So I think I'll remove him from your mind forever, this way...I'll put my hands so, on each side of your head...And I'll smash your skull between them like a walnut...and that will block it out." -- Gable, trying to get into Leigh's mind.

"Never, at any crisis of your life, have I known you to have a handkerchief." -- Gable, to Leigh.

"I want to see if somewhere there isn't something left in life of charm and grace." -- Gable, leaving Leigh.

"But, Rhett, if you go what shall I do? Where shall I go?"
"Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn!" -- Leigh and Gable at their final parting.

"Tara! Home!...I'll go home -- and I'll think of some way to get him back. After all, tomorrow is another day!" -- Leigh, delivering the film's final line.

Compiled by Frank Miller