Gone with the Wind: Epic Film’s 75th Anniversary

Frankly, my dear, we do give a damn.

It is estimated that three hundred thousand people lined the streets of Atlanta as Hollywood royalty arrived for the long anticipated world premiere of Gone with the Wind. Three days of festivities preceded the screening at Loew's Grand Theatre on Peachtree Street.

Spotlights heighten the excitement at the premiere of Gone with the Wind on Friday night, December 15, 1939.

Clark Gable was there with Carole Lombard. Vivien Leigh and Laurence Olivier. Claudette Colbert, Olivia de Havilland and governors from five former Confederate states. Former president Jimmy Carter recalled that the premiere was the biggest event to happen in the South in his lifetime.

The film was nominated for thirteen Academy Awards, won in eight categories including Best Picture, and was also awarded two honorary awards. Gone with the Wind has placed in the top ten on the American Film Institute's 100 Years 100 Movies since its inception in 1998. In 2005, the AFI released a list of 100 Greatest Movie Quotes. The top movie quote of all time? "Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn" from GWTW.  Over the years, Gone with the Wind has had eight major theatrical releases resulting in 283,100,000 admissions (Guinness World Records) in the United States alone.

From the first, the American public envisioned Clark Gable in the role of Rhett Butler. Producer David O. Selznick delayed filming for two years until he could secure the services of Gable from MGM. After a long search, he cast the relatively unknown British actress Vivien Leigh in the coveted role of Scarlett O'Hara. Selznick built buzz during filming, and after its release Gone with the Wind became a worldwide phenomenon. With all of the accolades, though, there were many who objected to the racial stereotypes in the film and to the sentimental depiction of the Old South.

Margaret Mitchell

The film was adapted from Margaret Mitchell's beloved 1936 novel. First printed in June, the novel sold more than one million copies by Christmas. The book was awarded the 1937 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and remains one of the bestselling novels of all time.

Margaret Mitchell was born in Atlanta, Georgia on November 8, 1900. She grew up listening to stories about the Civil War and worked hard to maintain historical accuracy in her novel.

Historical storyteller Lynn Rymarz will present a dramatization of the life of Margaret Mitchell at the library on December 10, 2014 at 7:00 p.m.  Register Here

comments powered by Disqus