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For the movie “Gone With the Wind”, 1,400 actresses were interviewed to play the part of Scarlett O’Hara

Marija Georgievska

The movie Gone With the Wind is a monumental, historical romance adapted from Margaret Mitchell’s novel. It tells the story of the American Civil War and its aftermath from the viewpoint of a Southern family.

The story is about Scarlett O’Hara, the strong-willed daughter of a Georgia plantation owner. It was directed by Victor Fleming and produced by David O. Selznick of Selznick International Pictures in 1939.

Theatrical pre-release poster.

Theatrical pre-release poster.

Clark Gable and Vivien Leigh in Gone With the Wind.

Clark Gable and Vivien Leigh in Gone With the Wind.

Filming was delayed for two years due to Selznick’s determination to secure Gable for the role of Rhett Butler, and the “search for Scarlett” led to 1, 400 women being interviewed for the part.

In all, some 400 actresses performed readings for the part and 1, 400 were given an interview.

In all, some 400 actresses performed readings for the part and 1, 400 were given an interview.

Olivia de Havilland and Vivien Leigh publicity photo for Gone with the Wind, 1939

Olivia de Havilland and Vivien Leigh publicity photo for Gone with the Wind, 1939.

There were many actresses and producer Selznick couldn’t’ decide who would be best to play Scarlett.

But he only needed a stand-in to start filming, since the tremendous “Burning of Atlanta” scene was one of the first.

When Actress Vivien Leigh joined Selznick on the director’s platform she was called in for a screen test immediately. Leigh almost lost the part because of her British accent when she gave her first informal reading.

Leigh brought a copy of the book to the set every day to make director Fleming angry.

Leigh brought a copy of the book to the set every day to make director Fleming angry.

Vivien Leigh photographed by Roloff Beny, 1958.

Vivien Leigh photographed by Roloff Beny, 1958.

When it was decided that Vivien was going to play Scarlett, the Ocala, Florida chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy were greatly offended that a British actress had been chosen to play the role.

However, when they found out that the role could have gone to Katharine Hepburn, they stopped their protest, because they thought that it was better for Scarlett to be played by an Englishwoman than a Yankee.

Leigh won the academy Award for Best Actress.

Leigh won the academy Award for Best Actress.

Vivien won the Academy Award for Best Actress for her performances as Scarlett O’Hara. The movie set records for the total number of wins and nominations at the time.

It was immensely popular, becoming the highest-earning film made up to that point, and retained the record for over a quarter of a century. When adjusted for monetary inflation, it is still the most successful film in box-office history.