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1939 Best Picture:
Gone With The Wind

Cast: Vivien Leigh, Clark Gable, Olivia de Haviland, Leslie Howard, Hattie McDaniel, Butterfly McQueen

Vivian Leigh and Hattie McDaniel accept their Oscars.  


Dark Victory, Goodbye, Mr. Chips, Love Affair, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, Ninotchka, Of Mice and Men, Stagecoach, The Wizard of Oz, Wuthering Heights

Other Winners:
Best Actor: Robert Donat, Goodbye, Mr. Chips
Best Actress: Vivien Leigh, Gone With the Wind

Best Supporting Actor: Thomas Mitchell, Stagecoach
Best Supporting Actress: Hattie McDaneil, Gone With the Wind
Best Director: Victor Fleming, Gone With the Wind


Storyline: Based on Margaret Mitchell's best seller, set against the backdrop of the American Civil War, a spoiled Southern belle weaves a nasty web with the men in her life. 

Did it deserve to win: Oh yes! The hype machine was in overdrive over this one.  The casting calls, trouble on the set, and lots of money.  By all accounts, this should have failed miserably - but it did just the opposite.  Gone With the Wind is a melodramatic tour de force, driven primarily, but not exclusively, by an incredible performance by Vivien Leigh.  In a year when there were so many good films, this one still ranks as the best.  

Critique: All in all, this is really just an over hyped, over produced, weepy, but what a weepy it is!  A lot of plot is covered in this three and half hour saga, and therefore  Gone With the Wind is never dull.  While Vivien Leigh ultimately steals the show, the entire cast shines.  The sets seem contrived by today's standards, but they are so darn pretty to look at!

There are numerous memorable scenes in this film, from the burning of Atlanta, to 'birthin' the babies', to 'as God is my witness', to 'Frankly Scarlett!'  And despite the fact that they have been spoofed over and over again throughout the years, Gone With the Wind still holds up today as a great movie!  

OK, so there are few glaring no-no's.  The issue of slavery isn't handled in the way that we might like to see it.   The role of black characters in this film is typical of how black actors were used during the period.  They were the hired/enslaved help, usually brought in for comic relief, their behavior usually childlike, as they were treated like children, or even pets. Hattie McDaniel's win for Best Supporting Actress was a high point in black-American history, but I wonder if that role would be played the same today.


Behind the Scenes: Gone With the Wind is jam packed full of behind the scenes dirt.  At least three directors worked on this film, although Victor Fleming was credited with pulling it all together.  The role of Scarlet O'Hara was the most sought after role in Hollywood, eventually going to the then unknown, Vivian Leigh.   

Clark Gable was the unanimous choice to play Rhett Butler, at least by the fans.  He said, of being nominated for Best Actor, that this would be his last chance at winning another award. He was right.

Based on the somewhat racy novel by Margaret Mitchell, the Production had some serious doubts about allowing it to be produced.  Assault, black stereotypes, childbirth and brothels were important plot points.  Among the scenes that were toned down were the childbirth scene.  In the book it described Melonie's pain as being like an 'animal dying in a trap'.  For the film, the focus for that scene was on Prissy and Scarlett.  The character of Rhett Butler was taken down a notch, given more of a gentlemanly demeanor, than the womanizer described in the book.

For the record, here is the entire title!


Gone With the Wind is available on both VHS and DVD!

cover cover





So big a picture, they couldn't fit the title into one cel!  
Fiddle-dee-dee!  Scarlett O'Hara, as played by Vivian Leigh.
With eyes on Ashley (Leslie Howard), Scarlett isn't impressed with his fiance, Melone (Olivia de Havilland). 
Hattie McDaniel was the first black actor to ever win an Oscar, a feat that would be repeated for over twenty years.
Scarlett and Melonie are relieved that Ashley is not on the list of the dead soldiers.
Madame Belle, played by Ona Munson, tries to give money to the hospital. 
Clark Gable as Rhett Butler, and Scarlett try to escape the burning of Atlanta.
'As God is my witness!'  Leigh gives the performance of a lifetime!
In need of fast cash, Scarlett surveys her looks, while planning a visit to Rhett Butler.

It's something she saw in the window and couldn't resist.  Scarlett uses the drapes to make herself up.

Rhett warns Melonie of a trap set for Ashley by the Yankees. 

Rhett proposes marriage.

Rhett and Mamie share a drink whilst Scarlett delivers a baby.
Scarlett takes one last shot at Ashley.
Scarlett wears a red dress to the party where she expects to be brandished by the guests.
Poor Melonie remains Scarlett's faithful friend, despite it all, right up until her death.
"Frankly my dear, I don't give a damn."