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The making of a classic: ‘Gone With the Wind' at 75




American actor Clark Gable (1901 - 1960) in his role as Rhett Butler kissing the hand of a tearful Scarlett O'Hara, played by Vivien Leigh in 'Gone With The Wind'.
American actor Clark Gable (1901 - 1960) in his role as Rhett Butler kissing the hand of a tearful Scarlett O'Hara, played by Vivien Leigh in 'Gone With The Wind'.
Hulton Archive/Getty Images

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The 1939 film swept the Oscars, winning Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actress, Best Cinematography. Plus, it arguably has one of American cinema’s best movie lines. Impressive results aside, the making of “Gone With the Wind” was met with difficulty from the start. First, filming was delayed for two years in order to secure Clark Gable for the lead. It took 1,400 screen tests and interviews before the part of Scarlett O’Hara was given to Vivien Leigh. Of course, there were also concerns about how the film, based on the Margaret Mitchell book, on how it would depict racial tension in the South during the Civil War and Reconstruction.

“The Making of Gone With the Wind” presents more than 600 items and rarely seen materials tied to the production of the classic film.

Guest:

Steve Wilson, author of “The Making of Gone With the Wind” (University of Texas Press, 2014), and curator at the Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas at Austin