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Frankly my dear.. “Gone With The Wind” facts that you didn’t know

Ian Smith

This year is the 75 anniversary of the epic saga “Gone with the Wind, ” and Fiddle-dee-dee , are we thrilled to share fun trivia with you. We are absolutely sure that you know every line of the movie and who are we to judge, so do we. However,  we are also sure that there are some things that you probably don know about this iconic film, and  like “great balls of fire” you’ll be excited to find out these awesome trivia. Check out the bellow unknown facts for which frankly my dear you will give a damn.

1.The Novel “Gone With The Wind”  was  almost never published.
This is the front cover art for the book Gone with the Wind..Source
This is the front cover art for the book Gone with the Wind.Source

The Pulitzer Price-awarded novel, written by Margaret Mitchel was almost never published. Mitchel was considered as an introvert and extremely private person, she had written the novel of 418,000 pages for herself while she was stuck in bed after a car accident.   Initially, she refused the offer of her friend to hand the manuscript to the Harold Latham of Macmillan Publishing. Afterward, when she finally send the book to Latham, she sent a telegram asking for it back, but he refused. The book went on to sell 2 million copies in the first year.

2. Scarlet O’Hara was not the initial name for the character, neither was Gone with The Wind initial title.

Margaret Mitchel’s originally name for the main character was Pansy and the working titles for the novel were :”Bugles Sang True,” “Not in Our Stars,” “Ba! Ba! Black Sheep,” and “Tote the Weary Load and “Tomorrow is another day.” Also, originally  in the book  the O’Hara home was called “Fountenoy Hall.”

3.The Filming began without actress for the part of Scarlet O’Hara


1,400 actresses were interviewed for the part of Scarlett O’Hara. 400 were asked to do readings. It costs the directors approximately $1.6 million in today’s money  to find the perfect Scarlet O’Hara. Only 19 of 400 were given a screening test. Among the considered actresses were Jean Arthur,Lucille Ball, Miriam Hopkins, Tallulah Bankhead, Bette Davis, Claudette Colbert, Joan Crawford, Loretta Young, Paulette Goddard, Katharine Hepburn, Olivia de Havilland,Carole Lombard, Norma Shearer, Barbara Stanwyck, and Margaret Sullavan.  Only Vivien Leigh and Paulette Godard were screening in technicolor.

4. Paulette Goddard was most likely to get the part of Scarlet O”Hara.
Original publicity photo of Paulette Goddard Source
Original publicity photo of Paulette Goddard Source

Vivien Leigh and Paulette Goddard were the last two who were seriously considered for the part of Scarlet. Paulette didn’t get the part because at that time she was in a relationship with Charlie Chaplin, according to the public they were living “in sin,” and the directors wanted to avoid any scandal, so the part was given to Vivien Leigh. However, Goddard and Chaplin were secretly married in 1936,  but she never told the media.

5. Vivian Leigh almost lost the part after her first reading.
hoto of actress Vivien Leigh as Scarlet O'Hara. Source
photo of actress Vivien Leigh as Scarlet O’Hara. Source

Vivien Leigh at her first reading didn’t give much of a thought that Scarlet was a Southern American with a specific accent, so she had read the part in a British accent. After the first informal test reading, the director Cukor in order to motivate her to change the accent for the part of Southern Bell stroked her in a face with a rude argument on which Leigh replied with a hysterical laughter.

6. Clark Gable Hated The Film and his character
Publicity photo of Clark Gable Source
Publicity photo of Clark Gable Source

Despite the fact that he will be remembered for the part of Rhett Buttler and the fact that this was the most popular film he had been into, Clark Gable noted that he dislikes this movie because it was by his opinion ” A Woman Film.” He also disliked his character, Rhett Buttler.

7. Vivien Leigh was not a favorite among the fans

The producers of the film wanted to include the public audience in the movie process in order to make the picture popular before it was already filmed.So to add to the publicity, fans were asked to vote for the actress they think should play Scarlett O” Hara:  Vivien Leigh got only one vote. However, Vivien Leigh was  personally approved  by the writer of the novel, Margaret Mitchell.

8. Both Gable and Leigh were in a middle of  “Love Scandals” during the filming.
Clark-Gable-and-Carole-Lombard-after-their-honeymoon-1939 and Legih with Oliver.Source
Clark-Gable-and-Carole-Lombard-after-their-honeymoon-1939 and Leigh with Oliver.Source

Clark Gable at that time  was married to Maria Langham but was in love with Carole Lombard. The studio actually helped Gable to divorce Langham. At the first day off , Gable eloped with Lombard and was secretly married.   While Leigh, who was already married, was in the middle of a not so secret love affair with the also-married  Laurence Olivier. After a while, Vivien Leigh and Laurence Oliver got married.

9. Most of the male principals in the movie dislike their characters

Rand Brooks, who played Scarlet’s first husband, Charles Hamilton, was actually a rough outdoors-man who was not thrilled by his perky and wimpy character.  Leslie Howard felt he was too old for the role of Ashley Wilkes and disliked his costumes which made him feel like a fairy tale doorman at a hotel.Howard was one of the few cast members not to attend the premiere in Atlanta.

10.Scott Fitzgerald was among the Screenwriters
Photograph of F. Scott Fitzgerald c. 1921, Source
Photograph of F. Scott Fitzgerald c. 1921, Source

Fitzgerald was not given credit for his Screenwriting a part for this film, but he did some notes and suggestions. His main note was to cut off the excessive dialogue between the principals, and instead, let the movements of the character speak. He was fired after he failed to come up with funny lines for Aunt Pittypat.

11. Gary Cooper turned down the part for Rhett Buttler.
Photo of Gary Cooper.Source
Photo of Gary Cooper.Source

Even though Clark Gable was Selznick’s favorite pick for the part of the dark, tall Buttler, he was not the first actor who was offered this part. Garry Cooper turned down this offer very passionately and was pretty outspoken about his opinion. He was quoted saying both, “Gone with the Wind (1939) is going to be the biggest flop in Hollywood history,” and, “I’m just glad it’ll be Clark Gable who’s falling on his face and not Gary Cooper .

12. Vivien Leigh Disliked The Kiss Scenes with Clark Gable
With Clark Gable in Gone with the Wind (1939) Source
With Clark Gable in Gone with the Wind (1939) Source

Even though the kiss scene between Scarlet and Rhett is one of the most iconic scenes in the movie history,Vivien Leigh was not thrilled about kissing Clark Gable. Despite the on-screen chemistry, Leigh  noted that Gable breath was awful and he was wearing false teeth. She was quoted saying ” Kissing Clark Gable in Gone with the Wind was not that exciting.  ”

13. Clark Gable Almost Quit

Gable begged the directors not to be shown crying on camera, but they were pretty determined. Gable didn’t want to be shown crying at the scene when Scarlet had a miscarriage because he considered that was not a manly thing to do. He threatened the directors that he will quit, and the directors threatened to fire him. However, Olivia de Havilland, who shares the scene with him crying, convinced him to stay.

14. There was a lot of cigarette smoking during the filming.


Cigarettes were not considered deadly and unhealthy at the time, so Vivien Leigh reportedly smoked four packets of cigarettes a day, while Clark Gable smoked three packets of cigarettes a day.

15. Hitchcock helped in directing One Scene of the movie

The producer Selznick asked Albert Hitchcock to help with the scene where the women wait for the men, and Melanie reads “David Copperfield”. Hitchcock provided a precise treatment, complete with descriptions of shots and camera angles. However, none of this treatment was used in the film.

16. There were not enough extras for one scene

Even though Gone With The Wind used 2,400 extras in the film, there was a scene where they were in a deficit of extras. In the scene when  Scarlet searches for Dr.Meade there were supposed to be 1,600 injured  Confederate soldiers. However, the producer Selznick refused to use 1, 600 extras lying in the dirt and also to cut costs, the production used 800 dummies among the 800 extras.

17.The Burning Of Atlanta Depot  was the first scene to be shot.

This was a major mistake that the filming production done. To make the scene more authentic they  decided to burn old sets that needed to be cleared from the studio back-lot, including sets from The Garden of Allah (1936) and the “Great Wall” set from King Kong (1933). The fire cost over $25,000 and yielded 113 minutes of footage.

18.Clark Gable was a prankster
Clark Gable as Rhett Butler and Cammie King as Bonnie Blue Butler from Gone With the Wind.
Clark Gable as Rhett Butler and Cammie King as Bonnie Blue Butler from Gone With the Wind.source

Clark Gable was very fond of Hattie McDaniel (Mammy) and liked to tease her. In the scene where Scarlet is having a baby, Rhett pours Mammy a drink. So once for a joke Gable actually pours bourbon instead of the usual tea into the decanter without McDaniel knowing it, so she took a swig.


19. Hattie McDaniel was the first African-American to win an Academy Award
Hattie McDaniel, the first African-American Oscar winner Source
Hattie McDaniel, the first African-American Oscar winner Source

Hattie McDaniel was the first African-American nominated and to  win an Academy Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role. At the same time, McDaniel was the first African-American to attended the awards, although the African American cast was not allowed to sit next to the rest of the cast.

20. None of the African-American attended the premiere in Atlanta

Atlanta was racially segregated so the African American cast from the movie was not allowed to attend the premier. The fact that Hatty McDaniels will not attend the premiere irritated Clark Gable  very much, so he threatened that he will boycott the premiere unless she attends.

21. Unfair Salary
Publicity photo of Clark Gable and Vivien Leigh as Rhett and Scarlett Source
Publicity photo of Clark Gable and Vivien Leigh as Rhett and Scarlett Source

Vivien Leigh worked for 125 days and received about $25,000. Clark Gable worked for 71 days and received over $120,000. Vivien Leigh had an appearance of 2 hours, 23 minutes, and 32 seconds, which is the longest to ever win an academy award.

22. Vivien Leigh used a lot of stunts for the part
Leigh as Scarlett O'Hara Source
Leigh as Scarlett O’Hara Source

In the scene when Scarlet eats a radish she was supposed to make  a throwing up sound, but she refused for two reason: first she was unable to produce a sound like that and second it was unladylike. Olivia De Haviland  acted as stunt double for that part.  Also Vivien Leigh was not that much of dancer so they used a stunt double for the scene when she is dancing with Clark Gable at the auction party.


23. The Premiere was a huge thing in Atlanta
The premiere of the film at Loew's Grand, Atlanta Source
The premiere of the film at Loew’s Grand, Atlanta Source

Obviously, the folks from Atlanta were thrilled about this movie. There was a huge 3 day celebration before the premiere of the film. The premiere day was announced as a holiday in Atlanta. An actual South Confederate soldiers attended the premiere, they were very very old though.

24.Gone with the Wind Academy Awards Records

Gone with the wind aside of the 8 Academy awards crushed many records in movie history. Gone with the wind is the first color movie that won an academy award, also with duration of 4 hours is the longest movie to win an academy award. Gone with the wind was the first motion picture with a total of 13 Academy Award Nomination. Beside the academy award records, this film broke other records in movie history. For instance, after the filming there were 88 hours of footage, also 500 000 feet were shot and then edited to 20,000 feet.

25. Frankly my dear….

Frankly my dear was voted as the most iconic quote in all movie history.Ironically, this line caused big problems because it was against the rules of the Hollywood Production Code which dictated what could and could not be shown. Apparently, the word “damn” was considered as forbidden and there are rumors that the production was fined $5000 for using the word. The alternative suggestions about the most iconic line were “Frankly my dear… I just don’t care,”… it makes my gorge rise,”… my indifference is boundless,”… I don’t give a hoot,” and “… nothing could interest me less.” We are utterly happy that the producers didn’t change their mind, because imagine Rhett Buttler saying ” Frankly my dear  my indifference is boundless.” Is just not right.

Ian Smith

Ian Smith is one of the authors writing for The Vintage News