adapted from Margaret Mitchell's Pulitzer-winning 1936 novel and produced by David O.
Published on May 1, 2014
Winner of eight Academy Awards - featuring the biggest stars from Hollywood's Golden Age and still number one in ticket sales - "Gone With The Wind" continues to captivate the world 75 years after it was made.
The Harry Ransom Center, a humanities research library and museum at The University of Texas at Austin, is organizing a major exhibition about the making of "Gone With The Wind", the 1939 blockbuster film based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by Margaret Mitchell,
Opening in September 2014 the exhibition will be an historical examination into the making of this quintessential Hollywood film.
Before a single frame was shot, the film was embroiled in controversy for its depiction of race and violence in the Civil War-era Old South.
Drawn exclusively from the Ransom Center's David O. Selznick archive, the exhibition will include photographs, audition footage, storyboards, letters, and the legendary producer's own memos.
Visitors will get a behind-the-scenes view of the four year journey, from the purchase of the movie rights, to Hattie McDaniel's Oscar win as best supporting actress.
The exhibition will also feature three original gowns worn by Vivien Leigh, in her Oscar-winning performance as Scarlett O'Hara.
The newly conserved costumes will be displayed together for the first time in more than 25 years.
Visitors will be swept away by the tumultuous story behind the making of "Gone With The Wind" including issues of race and the film's depiction of history.
A beautifully illustrated book featuring never-before-seen images will serve as a permanent record to the exhibition.
A companion web exhibition will also be launched on the Ransom Center's website.
The 75th anniversary of this classic film provides an unique opportunity to showcase the Ransom Center's magnificent David O. Selznick collection and to provide a contemporary perspective on why "Gone With The Wind" remains one of the most iconic films of all time.
As Gone With the Wind is re-released, Hannah Betts explains why its leading lady – and the star who played her – was a pioneering influence
'Better to be all woman than a sappy lady’: among other lessons, Scarlett enlightened Hannah, above, about great love and taking responsibility for mistakes Photo: Andrew Crowley
By Hannah Betts
7:00AM BST 19 Oct 2013
New Zealand Cousin Carol entered my life when I was a gauche eight-year-old, she a barely less gauche (being from NZ) 22. She stayed with my family at weekends, the two of us becoming unlikely room-mates. At her hands I was initiated in such feminine arcana as scouring my face off with a Buf-Puf (tick), giggling about boys (fail), and the merits of sexy underwear (happily then something of a pass).
On one score, however, she proved the oracle. During one of our late-night conferences, she handed me a heavy tome, with a cover of a dancing girl in a jet crinoline. She was the most ravishing woman I had ever seen. “This is something you will need,” NZCC intoned, the weight of womanhood behind her. “Read it and you will understand why.” In one bound, I had been both Scarletted and Viviened.
And so began a lifelong romance. It is a love affair I will be reliving over the next few weeks. First, at the V & A’s new Leigh display, opening on November 5, the 100th anniversary of her birth. Second, at Starring Vivien Leigh: a Centenary Celebration at the National Portrait Gallery. And, finally, by losing myself in all the digitally remastered glory of Gone With the Wind (1939), released on November 22 nationwide as part of the British Film Institute Leigh season to mark the same centenary.
Once again, I will revel in Scarlett – and Leigh’s – life lessons. For what didn’t Gone With the Wind teach impressionable females, whether in prose or (extremely) glorious Technicolor? If Margaret Mitchell’s Pulitzer-winning epic schooled me about the American Civil War, it no less enlightened me in other matters. Mitchell gave us mothers and daughters, fathers and sons, feminine rivalries and grudging friendships.
One learns that great love may be merely an idea – and a wrong idea, at that. Scarlett World exemplifies the principle that no one can rescue you but yourself: that life means taking responsibility for – then clawing one’s way out of – a series of monumental mistakes; tomorrow, as ever, being another day. Better be all woman than some sappy lady. Not all heroines are blonde. Charm is more important than beauty (as the novel’s opening line asserts: “Scarlett O’Hara was not beautiful, but men seldom noticed it when caught by her charm...”) Flirting can be a girl’s most powerful weapon, for which the right outfit is key, even when one has to drag down one’s late mother’s curtains. Bosoms may indeed be strategically bared before noon.