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Gone with the Wind ( 1939)

    January 12, 2025


   Sturges-Young Center for the Arts

   Main Stage/Theatre

Tickets $4



Gone with the Wind is a 1939 American epic historical romance film adapted from the 1936 novel by Margaret Mitchell. The film was produced by David O. Selznick of Selznick International Pictures and directed by Victor Fleming. Set in the American South against the backdrop of the Civil War and the Reconstruction era, the film tells the story of Scarlett O’Hara (Vivien Leigh), the strong-willed daughter of a Georgia plantation owner, following her romantic pursuit of Ashley Wilkes (Leslie Howard), who is married to his cousin, Melanie Hamilton (Olivia de Havilland), and her subsequent marriage to Rhett Butler (Clark Gable).

The film had a troubled production. The start of filming was delayed for two years until January 1939 because Selznick was determined to secure Gable for the role of Rhett, and concluded in July. The role of Scarlett was challenging to cast, and 1,400 unknown women were interviewed for the part. Sidney Howard‘s original screenplay underwent many revisions by several writers to reduce it to a suitable length. The original director, George Cukor, was fired shortly after filming began and was replaced by Fleming, who in turn was briefly replaced by Sam Wood while taking some time off due to exhaustion. Post-production concluded in November 1939, just a month before its premiere.

In 1861, on the eve of the American Civil WarScarlett O’Hara lives at Tara, her family’s cotton plantation in Georgia, with her parents, two sisters, and their many black slaves. Scarlett is deeply attracted to Ashley Wilkes and learns he is to be married to his cousinMelanie Hamilton. At an engagement party the next day at Ashley’s home, Twelve Oaks, a nearby plantation, Scarlett makes an advance on Ashley but is rebuffed; however, she catches the attention of another guest, Rhett Butler. The party is disrupted by news of President Lincoln’s call for volunteers to fight the South, and the Southern men rush to enlist. Scarlett marries Melanie’s younger brother, Charles, to arouse jealousy in Ashley before he leaves to fight. Following Charles’s death while serving in the Confederate States Army, Scarlett’s mother sends her to the Hamilton home in Atlanta. She creates a scene by attending a charity bazaar in mourning attire and waltzing with Rhett, now a blockade runner for the Confederacy.

Film Information

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