Synopsis: A manipulative woman and a roguish man conduct a turbulent romance during the American Civil War and Reconstruction periods.
Reaction: Classic, but long. Everyone should see this at least once, though we need to acknowledge some of the racial and historical issues that this movie represents. "Made in a different era" carries some weight, but doesn't excuse everything.
Three of the four principal actors--Leslie HowardLeslie Howard, Clark GableClark Gable and Vivien LeighVivien Leigh--died at the relatively young ages of 50, 59 and 53. Olivia de HavillandOlivia de Havilland outlived them all by 50 plus years and was the only one who remained alive until her death in 2020 at 104. Ironically, her character is the only one who dies in the film.
Clark GableClark Gable was so distressed over the requirement that he cry on film (when Melanie is comforting Rhett after Scarlett's miscarriage) that he almost quit. Olivia de HavillandOlivia de Havilland and director Victor FlemingVictor Fleming convinced him to stay.
Clark GableClark Gable disliked this, his most famous film, which he regarded as "a woman's picture."
Hattie McDanielHattie McDaniel was criticized by some African-Americans for playing in a supposedly racist film. She responded that she would "rather make seven hundred dollars a week playing a maid than seven dollars being one".
When Gary CooperGary Cooper turned down the role of Rhett Butler, he was passionately against it. He is quoted as saying "Gone with the Wind is going to be the biggest flop in Hollywood history" and "I'm just glad it'll be Clark GableClark Gable who's falling on his face and not Gary CooperGary Cooper."
Vivien LeighVivien Leigh later said that she hated kissing Clark GableClark Gable because of his bad breath, rumored to be caused by his false teeth, a result of excessive smoking. According to Frank BuckFrank Buckingham, a technician who observed the film being made, Gable would sometimes eat garlic before his kissing scenes with Vivien LeighVivien Leigh.
When Rhett pours Mammy a drink after the birth of Bonnie, for a joke during a take, Clark GableClark Gable actually poured alcohol instead of the usual tea into the decanter without Hattie McDanielHattie McDaniel knowing it until she took a swig.
At nearly four hours long, this is the longest running of all motion pictures to win the prestigious Academy Award for Best Picture.
First color film to win the Academy Award for Best Picture.
The fact that Hattie McDanielHattie McDaniel would be unable to attend the premiere in racially segregated Atlanta outraged Clark GableClark Gable so much that he threatened to boycott the premiere unless she could attend. He later relented when she convinced him to go.
Hattie McDanielHattie McDaniel became the first Black person to be nominated for, and win, an Academy Award.