A must read for all fans of "Gone With the Wind" ! Good job Zoey !
Since 2009 is the 70th anniversary of the release of Gone With The Wind, I thought it might be appropriate to rent the movie and watch it again since I hadn't watched it in over twenty years. It did not disappoint.
Not only has it been 70 years since Gone With The Wind was released, but it had its debut on this date in 1939 in Atlanta, Georgia.
I'm pretty sure that everyone is familiar with the movie, so I won't go into plot details, especially since you can find them at Wikipedia.
However, following are some interesting tidbits that you might not know about both the book, the author, the movie, and the movie stars.
- Margaret Mitchell, author of the book, won the 1937 Pulitzer Prize for Gone With The Wind.
- Director Victor Fleming also directed The Wizard of Oz. What a great year 1939 was for him!
- The movie was nominated for 13 Academy Awards and won 10, a record that stood for 20 years.
- In 1998, the American Film Institute ranked the movie #4 on its list of the 100 greatest films of all time. In 2007, when the list was updated, Gone With The Wind fell to #6 behind Raging Bull and Singin' In The Rain. Nope. Bad move.
- The movie has sold more tickets than any other film in history. How, you might ask? Gone With The Wind was re-released in 1947, 1954, 1961, 1967, 1971, 1989, 1998, and 2009.
- When adjusted for inflation, the movie is the highest grossing film of all time in North America and England.
- A young and unknown George Reeves played Stuart Tarleton, although the credits are in error as they indicate he played Brent Tarleton. You might remember George Reeves as the original Superman from the 1950s television series. Reeves' death in 1959 of a gunshot wound is still a source of controversy, with some believing it was suicide and others beliving it was murder. In 1999, his death was featured in an episode of Unsolved Mysteries and Mysteries and Scandals.
- Many actresses were considered for the role of Scarlet: Lucille Ball, Tallulah Bankhead, Joan Crawford, Bette Davis, Olivia de Havilland (who wound up playing Melanie Hamilton), Joan Fontaine, Kathryn Hepburn, Carole Lombard, Barbara Stanwyck, Lana Turner, and Loretta Young.
- Gary Cooper was the first choice to play Rhett Butler.
- Tara, the iconic Southern plantation house, existed only as a plywood and papier-maché façade.
- Movie censors (in America?) didn't like the use of the word damn. Fortunately, the Motion Picture Association's board passed an amendment to the Production Code just six weeks before the movie's release allowing it "in context." See what you can do when you have powerful friends?
- The word damn was actually used twice in the movie, the first time referring to Yankees as damn Yankees.
- Hattie McDaniel, who played Mammy, as well as other black actors and actresses were prevented from attending the premiere in Atlanta due to Georgia's Jim Crow laws, which prevented black people from sitting with white people. Clark Gable was going to boycott the premiere because of the Jim Crow laws, but Hattie convinced him to attend.
- In 2005, the American Film Institute voted "Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn" the most memorable movie line ever. Two more lines from the movie also made the Top 100:
"After all, tomorrow is another day" - #31
"As God is my witness, I'll never be hungry again" - #59
- Hattie McDaniel became the first black person to win an Academy Award. Unfortunately, because she was black, she was not presented with the standard Oscar statuette. Instead she, Hal Kern and James Newcom (editing), and William Menzies (color) were given miniature statuettes on plaques. The plaques were replaced in 1962 with standard Oscar statuettes.
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