43 Exhilarating Facts About 'Gone With The Wind'

Vishvendra Ahlawat
Jan 27, 2023 By Vishvendra Ahlawat
Originally Published on Feb 16, 2022
Edited by Jade Scott
Fact-checked by Gowri Rao
Read some exciting facts about 'Gone With The Wind' in this article.
Age: 3-18
Read time: 7.5 Min

'Gone With The Wind' is one of those golden movies that is remembered even after decades.

This movie not only won awards for years after its release but was also chosen as one of the greatest movies after over half a century of its release. The dialogue from this movie, like the line "Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn" has left such a long-lasting impression that people still quote it on the internet.

This movie became such a great success because it pointed out some great social issues that people faced at the time of the Civil War, such as theft and slavery.

The movie is a rollercoaster ride that passes through drama, love, violence, and death, and every scene was nailed by perfect acting performed by the actors.

Apart from the on-screen story, there are many incidents related to this movie that went unknown to most of us. For a single role in this movie, over 14,000 candidates applied which clearly shows how big the budget and hype must have been for this movie at that time.

Today, in this article, we will be revealing 43 facts about 'Gone With The Wind' that we bet most fans don't know about.

The Story Of 'Gone With The Wind'

The story and journey of 'Gone With The Wind' have had many ups and downs. In this article, you will find many unknown facts about this movie.

  • The breathtaking scene of the burning of Atlanta in the movie is considered one of the most expensive scenes to have been shot at that time.
  • David Selznick, the producer, burnt down all of the previous and old sets to make it look as realistic as possible.
  • Although this scene appeared in the latter parts of the movie, it was the very first scene shot in the movie. A single mistake while shooting the scene would have turned out to be really expensive and time-wasting.
  • Also, producer David Selznick wanted the after-battle scene to look as realistic as possible. That's why he wanted 2500 side extras to play as dead bodies to show wounded confederate soldiers.
  • However, at that time, only a maximum of 1500 extras were available, so they arranged 1000 human dummies to make up for the planned numbers.
  • They decide to cast Vivien Leigh for the iconic role of Scarlett O'Hara after shooting for 'Gone With The Wind' had already started. Many southerners protested against the idea of hiring a British actress for that role initially.
  • This movie runs for around four hours or 234 minutes, to be precise. It was a much longer time compared to the other movies and the only point that many reviewers complained about.

Star Cast Of 'Gone With the Wind'

  • For the role of Rhett Butler, the producer had only seriously considered four actors; Errol Flynn, Ronald Coleman, Gary Cooper, and Clark Gable although Clark Gable beat actors such as Gary Cooper to bag the role.
  • At first, George Cukor was chosen as the director for 'Gone With The Wind' and 'The Wizard of Oz' but both times, Victor Fleming took over.
  • Clark Gable was disinclined to play the role of Rhett Butler because his previous drama called 'Parnell' turned out to be a huge flop. However, he accepted the offer to play the role and was given a $50,000 bonus.
  • Clark Gable almost left the movie because he was very bothered by all the crying parts he had, but Olivia de Havilland somehow convinced him to not leave.
  • They paid Clark Gable over $120,000 for around 70 days of work and Vivien Leigh got $25,000 for 125 days of work.
  • The scene when Scarlett learns that her second husband has been killed is the only scene in the whole four-hour-long movie where the four main characters are together.
  • Hattie McDaniel didn't get to attend the premiere on a racially discriminating basis and this outraged Clark Gable so much that he decided to boycott the premiere until she was also allowed to attend. However, his demands were not taken seriously and Hattie McDaniel convinced him to attend the premiere without her.

Reviews Of 'Gone With The Wind'

'Gone With The Wind' being a different idea, had mixed reviews. Some the facts about the movie are listed below:

  • 'Gone With The Wind' became the first color movie to win the Academy Award for Best Picture.
  • 'Gone With The Wind' also became the longest-running of all motion pictures to have won Academy Awards for Best Picture, with a duration of almost four hours.
  • Hattie McDaniel also became the first-ever African American to not only get nominated for an Academy Award but to also win it.
  • With over two hours, 23 minutes, and 32 seconds, actress Vivien Leigh performed the longest ever performance and won an Academy Award.
  • If we consider inflation and adjust box office collections according to it, then 'Gone With The Wind' would have been the highest-grossing movie of all time! According to Guinness World Records, in today's terms, this movie has made over $4.4 billion.
  • Barbara O'Neil was 28 at the time she appeared as Scarlett's mother, Ellen O'Hara. Vivien Leigh was only three years younger than her while playing the role of her daughter.
  • Margaret Mitchell, the writer of the novel 'Gone With The Wind' admitted that she wrote it while she was healing from an ankle injury and had nothing to do in her free time.
  • The film went under the direction of three different directors before completion.
  • The first director, Gorge Cukor, was removed after only 18 days of working for the film. He was replaced by Victor Fleming but he also left for some time off after facing a mental breakdown. In the meantime, Sam Wood directed for 24 days until Fleming was able to join again.
  • Victor Fleming also directed 'The Wizard of Oz'.
  • Vivian Leigh almost lost her role for reading in her actual accent, which was not suitable for the role of Scarlett.

Fun Facts About 'Gone With The Wind'

Many of the off-set talks and incidents in this movie went unknown. Some of the most exciting facts about 'Gone With The Wind' are discussed in this section:

  • Over 1400 women auditioned for the role of Scarlett.
  • 'Gone With The Wind' was the third most expensive movie made at that time with a production cost of around $3.5 million, placing only after 'Hell's Angel' ($4 million) and 'Ben Hur' ($4.5 million). Its cost translates to $66 million in today's time.
  • The most famous line from the movie where Rhett Butler says 'Frankly my dear, I don't give a damn' was initially censored and replaced with 'My dear, frankly, I don't care.'
  • But Selznik preferred to pay a fine rather than see this scene get censored because he believed it would take away originality from the scene.
  • The day movie premiered was declared a statewide holiday in Georgia. Atlanta's mayor also declared a holiday for three days.
  • It is said that Clark Gable did not like being a part of the movie at all because he thought that it was a 'woman's picture' although Rhett became Gable's most famous role.
  • Scott Fitzgerald was also one of the side writers but did not get the results that he wanted from fellow writers and the public.
  • Leslie Howard was not interested in acting like a 21-year-old for the character of Ashley Wilkes while actually being in his 40s. He only accepted playing the role because producer Selznik had promised him a producing credit in one of his future productions.
  • Katharine Hepburn also tried hard to get the role of Scarlett, the quintessential southern belle, and was also suggested by her friend George Cukor but was not selected as producer Selznick thought she was not fit for the role.
  • After playing the role of one of the Tarleton Twins, George Reeves got the role of iconic Superman in the series 'The Adventures Of Superman'.
  • Victor Fleming won the 12th Academy Award for Best Director.
  • Sidney Howard, an American dramatist and screenwriter, was the posthumous winner of the Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay.
  • Clark Gable and Hattie McDaniel were friends in real life and used to prank each other on and off set.
  • Olivia de Havilland lived the longest among the starring cast and passed away on July 26, 2020 at the age of 104.
  • Gable married actress Carole Lombard in 1939, after divorcing his second wife Rhea Langham during the filming of 'Gone With The Wind'. Carole Lombard is said to have visited her during shooting.
  • The pink patterned dress that Vivien wore during the famous burning of Atlanta scene and during her time spent in Tara was bought by a Brazilian woman for $95,000. That woman also claimed that she had watched the movie 8,000 times.
  • Unlike other novels, where writers start from the beginning, Mitchell wrote the end of the book first and wrote the first chapter at the end. It meant that she already knew that Scarlett and Rhett would not make it. Mitchell also said that she did not enjoy writing the first half that much.
  • Selznick International Pictures had the movie rights to 'Gone With The Wind' in 1939.
  • The horse which Thomas Mitchell rode also got to feature in the next movie 'The Lone Ranger'.

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Written by Vishvendra Ahlawat

Bachelor of Business Adminstration

Vishvendra Ahlawat picture

Vishvendra AhlawatBachelor of Business Adminstration

Vishvendra is a recent graduate with a Bachelor's in Business Administration from CCS (Chaudhary Charan Singh) University, with a strong interest in digital marketing and social media. He has perfected his skills in SEO optimization to create targeted and engaging content.

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Fact-checked by Gowri Rao

Bachelor of Arts specializing in Economics

Gowri Rao picture

Gowri RaoBachelor of Arts specializing in Economics

With a bachelor's degree in Economics from Krea University, Gowri is a highly skilled data analyst and an expert in regression and causation modeling. Her interests in economic trends, finance, and investment research complement her professional expertise. In addition to her professional pursuits, Gowri enjoys swimming, running, and playing the drums, and she is also a talented tutor.

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