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25 Things You Probably Didn't Know About "Gone With The Wind"

Oh fiddle dee dee. What better way to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the beginning of the Civil War then with the movie that taught us all that tomorrow is another day?

  • 1. One of the most popular working titles for Gone With The Wind was "Ba! Ba! Black Sheep".

  • 2. The Atlanta fire was the first scene to be shot. To get a realistic blaze and clear out the backlot, MGM used the remains of several old sets, including the Great Wall set from King Kong.

  • 3. Rhett was not allowed to say the word "miscarriage" on film and so the line was changed to use the word "accident" right before Scarlett tumbles down the stairs.

  • 4. Vivien Leigh's natural eye color was blue but was color corrected to Scarlett O'Hara's green in post-production.

  • 5. During filming, Clark Gable caused a scandal when he eloped with Carole Lombard during a two day break. They married in Kingman, Arizona with Gable's agent hosting the "reception" in his car where the bride and groom had sandwiches and coffee.

  • 6. All seven of the existing Technicolor cameras were used to film the fire. Flames leapt over 500 feet in height and covered 40 acres. It tooks over 15,000 gallons of water to douse the flames.

  • 7. Clark Gable disliked his participation in Gone With The Wind, which he considered "a woman's picture".

  • 8. Hattie McDaniel became the first African-American to be nominated for, and win, an Academy Award. It was also the first time an African-American attended the awards as a guest.

  • 9. None of the interior sets had ceilings and a majority of the upper portions of exterior sets were optically modified with matte paintings to save on cost.

  • 10. The wounded solider in the makeshift Atlanta hospital that talks about his brother Jeff would go on to voice Jiminy Cricket.

  • 11. The final cut of the movie was over 20,000 feet; edited down from over half a million.

  • 12. Melanie's blue dress had the hoops removed and was only shot from the waist up since aspect ratio of the time couldn't accomadate two dresses built with hoops in the same shot.

  • 13. None of the African American cast were allowed to attend the movie's premiere.

  • 14. During Melanie's birth scene, the director sat off camera and occassionally pinched her toes to make Olivia feel pain.

  • 15. Most of the principle cast disliked the characters they played. Leslie Howard thought he was too old to play Ashley, Rand Brooks detested being Scarlett's wimpy first husband Charles Hamilton and Butterfly McQueen disapproved of the negative stereotype of Prissy.

  • 16. To heighten publicity during casting, fans were asked to vote on which actress should play Scarlett. British born Leigh only received one vote.

  • 17. Trying to make Scarlett's character more to the taste of Clark Gable, director Victor Fleming had Vivien Leigh's breasts taped together for the illusion of cleavage while wearing the famous red dress.

  • 18. Clark Gable almost quit over the fact that the script called for Rhett to cry on film.

  • 19. Clark Gable worked a total of 71 days and received over $120,000. In contrast, Vivien Leigh worked 125 days but only received $25,000.

  • 20. Barbara O'Neil played Scarlett's mother. The actress was only 28; Vivien Leigh was 25.

  • 21. Another scandal was that Vivien Leigh arrived on set from England with her lover...Laurence Olivier. Both had left their respective spouses and children and were engaged in an illicit affair.

  • 22. Cigarettes were not considered dangerous at the time, and Vivien Leigh was known to go through 4 packs a day during filming.

  • 23. The horse used by Scarlett to escape the Atlanta Depot was supposed to be a nag, but weighed too much in order to see its ribs. The make-up department ended up painting dark shadows on its ribs to give the appearance of starvation.

  • 24. After the original director, George Cukor, was fired for being "a women's director" (gay), Leigh had to fight with his replacement Victor Fleming to keep her vision of O'Hara. Fleming wanted her portrayed as a complete bitch with no nuance or insight into her motivations.

  • 25. On the original poster, the leads were listed as such: Clark Gable, Leslie Howard, Olivia de Havillan, and "presenting" Vivien Leigh. The order was changed when Leigh won the Oscar.

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