- Producer David O. Selznick paid $50,000 for the movie rights for Selznick International.
- In a studio poll, 98 percent of the respondents chose Clark Gable as the actor who
should play the role of Rhett Butler, but Gable wanted no part of it at first. "It
was too big an order," he said. "Rhett was too much for any actor to tackle in
his right mind."
- Other actors considered for the role of Rhett: Warner Baxter, Ronald Coleman, Gary
Cooper, Errol Flynn, Fredric March and Basil Rathbone.
- In the highly publicized and expensive search to fill the role of Scarlett (more than
1,400 women were considered), one hopeful gift-wrapped herself in a seven-foot-high box
and had the package delivered to Selznick's front porch. When the producer opened the
door, she shouted, "Merry Christmas, Mr. Selznick! I am your Scarlett O'Hara!"
- Bette Davis was originally considered for the Scarlett role but was under contract at
Warner Bros. Jack Warner would let her out only if she teamed with Errol Flynn. Davis
refused to work with Flynn, because she felt he was too much of a womanizer, and the deal
- When Margaret Mitchell was asked if she were interested in playing any roles in the
film, she said Butterfly McQueen had already won the only part she would like--the role of
- Franklin D. Roosevelt's White House cook, Lizzie McDuffie, auditioned for the role of
Mammy. Of course, Hattie McDaniel won it and the Oscar--the first awarded to an
- Barbara O'Neil, who played Scarlett's mother, Ellen, was only a year older than Vivien
- F. Scott Fitzgerald was an uncredited writer on the film's script.
- For the cast's wardrobe, 5,500 costumes were made, including 1,200 Confederate Army
uniforms at a cost of $153,818. The cost for laundering the costumes during production was
more than $10,000.
- During production, 449,512 feet of film was shot, 59 leading and supporting cast members
were used, along with 2,400 extras, 1,100 horses, 375 other animals and 450 vehicles.
- The army uniforms were made with new cloth and then aged using a process combining
sandpaper, emery wheels, fine steel brushes, beeswax, lumber, stone and dirt.
- The final production cost was $3.7 million (roughly $41 million in current dollars),
plus $550,000 ($6 million in current dollars) for marketing, advertising and prints.
- In the scene where Melanie gave birth to baby Beau, she was assisted in her labor pains
by director George Cukor, who would twist her ankle sharply under the blanket whenever he
wanted her to "perform" a contraction.
- For the scene where Scarlett wanders through the field of battered and bloodied
Confederate soldiers, Selznick originally tried to cast 2,000 extras. When only 800 actors
responded, he wanted to use dummies to complete the scene, but the Extras Guild demanded
he pay scale for the dummies. Selznick laughed and filmed his scene with 800 extras and
400 (uncompensated) dummies.
- The movie's most famous line, "Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn!" almost
didn't make the cut. The Motion Picture Production Code forbade the use of damn. In
fact, Selznick was fined $5,000 for offensive language after the release. He felt it was
money well spent.
- Anxious to return to New York and husband Laurence Olivier, Vivien Leigh worked 16-hour
days, six days a week, to complete the film. By the time GWTW wrapped on July 1,
1939, an exhausted Leigh had worked 125 days, with only a few off during the entire shoot.
In contrast, Gable worked 71 days, de Havilland 59 and Leslie Howard only 32.
- The world premiere took place December 15, 1939, in Atlanta (Margaret Mitchell's
hometown), where the governor declared it an official state holiday.
- When GWTW's first run ended in June 1940, it had earned almost $24 million
(nearly $270 million in current dollars).
- Gone with the Wind in Technicolor was the first color film to win an Oscar.