Gone with the Wind (film)
|German title||Blown by the wind|
|Original title||Gone with the Wind|
|Country of production||United States|
with overtures up to 238 minutes
|Age rating||FSK 12|
|production||David O. Selznick|
Hal C. Kern ,
James E. Newcom
Gone with the Wind (Original title: Gone with the Wind ) is an American literature from the year 1939 with Vivien Leigh and Clark Gable in the lead roles. The film is based on the novel of the same name by Margaret Mitchell , which was published in 1936 and soon became one of the most successful novels in American literary history. The film produced by David O. Selznick , a left-liberal Jew, is one of the most famous Hollywood films and one of the great film classics. Nonetheless, he has been criticized for romanticizing slavery in the old south and promoting racist clichés .
With a running time of almost four hours, it was the film with the longest running time at the time, and with production costs of around four million US dollars, it was also the most expensive film at the time. It was voted number 4 of the 100 Greatest US Films of All Time by the American Film Institute . It has been shown in cinemas several times since its premiere and is the most commercially successful work in film history with inflation-adjusted box office earnings of around 7.2 billion US dollars (2019) .
The film takes place during the Civil War and the subsequent Reconstruction era. The main character is the spirited Southern Belle Scarlett O'Hara ( Vivien Leigh ), who falls into a stormy romance with Rhett Butler ( Clark Gable ). Although she marries Rhett, she still adores her childhood friend ( Leslie Howard ), who is married to the good-natured Melanie Hamilton ( Olivia de Havilland ). It was directed by Victor Fleming ; the soundtrack comes from Max Steiner .
Gone with the Wind went to the 1940 Academy Awards with a record 13 nominations and was awarded eight Oscars and two honorary Oscars. Among them was the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress for Hattie McDaniel , who won the first African-American artist.
1861, shortly before the start of the Civil War : Scarlett O'Hara, who grew up on the Tara cotton plantation near Atlanta , is in love with Ashley Wilkes, heir to the neighboring Twelve Oaks. She learns by chance that Ashley wants to get engaged to his good-natured and quiet cousin Melanie Hamilton. At a lavish garden party in Twelve Oaks, she tries to get Ashley to marry her instead of Melanie. At the festival, Scarlett also meets Rhett Butler from Charleston , who was disowned by his family due to a scandal and who generally has a bad reputation - also because he dares to utter inconvenient truths such as the inferiority of the southern states compared to the northern states . The news bursts into the garden party that Lincoln has declared war on the southern states. The mostly war-loving southerners at the festival happily go out into the civil war . Before that, Army Captain Ashley marries Melanie, and Scarlett, out of spite, accepts the proposal from Melanie's naive brother Charles - one of Scarlett's countless suitors. However, Charles dies in the training camp just weeks after the wedding.
In the hope of seeing Ashley again, Scarlett moves to Atlanta to live with Melanie and her simple-minded aunt "Pittypat" Hamilton. There Scarlett meets Rhett Butler again at a charity ball for wounded soldiers. At an "auction" of the ladies for the benefit of the hospital, the butler buys Scarlett as a dance partner, although as a widow she is actually not allowed to dance. Scarlett, frustrated by the socially prescribed mourning period, enthusiastically accepts the offer. She begins to work in the hospital with Dr. Working Meade is rather repulsed by the many seriously wounded soldiers. In addition, the southern states are increasingly falling behind the northern states in the war. Eventually, the Northern Army attacks the city in the Atlanta Campaign . Meanwhile, Scarlett and the childish and frightened slave Prissy have to help Melanie during the difficult birth of Ashley's son. Rhett Butler helps them escape to their home plantation Tara. He drives up a horse and a cart and brings them with Melanie and the child out of the burning city. Then he leaves to join the army of the Confederate States to join, which is on the decline. There is a first kiss between Rhett and Scarlett, which she defends against.
When Scarlett arrives in Tara, she finds the body of her mother, who had died of typhus a few days earlier . Her father, the proud plantation owner Gerald, has lost his mind about it, the two sisters are sick and, in addition to the Union soldiers , Confederate marauders and freed slaves have stolen almost everything. Few of the O'Hara family's slaves have remained to farm the land. The slave owners, who were rich up to then, got to know hunger and misery and had to tackle the field work themselves. In this situation, Scarlett becomes the head of the family, finds food, tries to get everyday life back on track, drives everyone to work and even kills a marauding Union soldier to protect her home and family. Scarlett and Melanie also take care of the southern soldiers returning from captivity, among them Ashley. Scarlett tries again to win him over and even wants to run away with him. But Ashley is traumatized by the war and has withdrawn into an illusory world before the war.
Scarlett tries to raise money because Tara is taxed high and former slave overseer Jonas Wilkerson threatens to buy the plantation at a foreclosure sale. While visiting Wilkerson, Scarlett's still confused father is so upset that he falls from his horse and dies. Meanwhile, Scarlett goes to see Rhett Butler, who is a prisoner of war in Atlanta Jail. She flatters him to borrow the amount of money from him. Rhett sees through their insincerity and refuses. In her need, Scarlett marries Frank Kennedy, her sister Suellen's long-time, older fiancé, in order to get his money, because he has a small fortune due to a successful business. Scarlett persuades Frank to get into the lumber business and takes over the management of the sawmill. She comes under social criticism because she hires convicts under harsh conditions as workers, trades with " Yankees " and often travels alone unaccompanied. After a robbery on Scarlett, her husband takes part in an act of revenge that costs him his life. The other people involved, including Ashley and Dr. Meade, barely escapes and is suspected of vigilante justice by the Northerners. Rhett eventually stands up for them with an excuse, saving their lives.
Rhett Butler, who has long been in love with Scarlett, proposes marriage to her, which she accepts. He tries to win his wife's love by showering her with luxury and traveling with her. Among other things, they are building a magnificent villa in Atlanta. The marriage remains happy on the surface, however, as Scarlett still holds on to her supposed love for Ashley. Scarlett gives birth to a daughter. She then refuses Rhett marital intercourse because she is worried about her figure and fears further pregnancies. One day she meets Ashley in the sawmill and the two talk about their memories of the time after the war. Ashley thanks Scarlett for everything she's done for him and Melanie and hugs her. This scene is observed by Ashley's sister India, who suspects an affair and spreads rumors about it. Scarlett therefore doesn't dare to go to Ashley's birthday party. Rhett eventually forces her to attend the festival. Melanie welcomes Scarlett lovingly and urges the guests not to ostracize Scarlett. That same evening, the angry and drunk Rhett attacks Scarlett at home to "erase the invisible third party in his marriage from their thoughts".
The next morning, Scarlett is too proud to admit to Rhett how much she enjoyed that night of love, and Rhett informs her that he is leaving. He travels to London with his daughter , who is unhappy there and wants to return. When Rhett returns from the trip, he learns from Scarlett that she is pregnant again. A heated argument ensues, in the course of which Scarlett falls down the stairs and suffers a miscarriage. Rhett is ashamed of his behavior. The attempt to save the marriage is thwarted by the death of the daughter, who breaks her neck while jumping hurdles with her pony. Scarlett and Rhett blame each other for the girl's death. Rhett almost loses his mind about it. He locks himself up with his daughter's corpse for days, and only Melanie finally manages to persuade him to have the child buried.
Despite the advice of the doctors, Melanie got pregnant again and collapsed. On her deathbed , Melanie asks Scarlett to take care of her husband Ashley and also to reconcile with Rhett because he would love her so much. After Melanie's death, Scarlett realizes that her love for Ashley was a pipe dream and that she has found her ideal partner in Rhett Butler, whom she actually loves. She asks Rhett for forgiveness. But for him this realization comes too late. He doesn't care about Scarlett's plea not to leave her alone, and he leaves her. Scarlett decides to return to Tara and is determined to get Rhett back.
Cast and dubbing
The names of the actors in the credits are not sorted according to the size of the roles, but according to the places where they appear for the first time: the Tara Plantation, the Festival of Twelve Oaks and Atlanta.
After the death of Olivia de Havilland in July 2020, of the actors mentioned in the opening credits, only Mickey Kuhn , who played Melanie Hamilton's son Beau Wilkes, is still alive .
The German dubbing was created in 1953 in the MGM synchronization studio in Berlin . Since Siegfried Schürenberg had been associated with Clark Gable as his German spokesman early on , MGM insisted on using his voice when dubbing Gone with the Wind . Ashley Wilkes was the most famous dubbing role for Axel Monjé, who also voiced foreman Big Sam.
|On the Tara plantation|
|Gerald O'Hara, owner of Tara||Thomas Mitchell||Walter Werner|
|Ellen O'Hara, his wife||Barbara O'Neil|
|Scarlett O'Hara, his oldest daughter||Vivien Leigh||Elfie Beyer|
|Suellen O'Hara, his middle daughter||Evelyn Keyes||Carola Höhn|
|Careen O'Hara, his youngest daughter||Ann Rutherford||Margot Leonard|
|Brent Tarleton, Scarlett's suitor||Fred Crane||Klaus Miedel|
|Stuart Tarleton, Scarlett's suitor||George Reeves||Paul Edwin Roth|
|Mammy, housekeeping||Hattie McDaniel||Erna Sellmer|
|Pork, domestic staff||Oscar Polk||Herbert Weissbach|
|Prissy, house staff||Butterfly McQueen||Annemarie Wernicke|
|Jonas Wilkerson, Tara overseer||Victor Jory||Hans Emons|
|Big Sam, foreman||Everett Brown||Axel Monjé|
|At the festival on twelve oaks|
|John Wilkes, owner of Twelve Oaks||Howard C. Hickman|
|India Wilkes, his daughter||Alicia Rhett|
|Ashley Wilkes, his son||Leslie Howard||Axel Monjé|
|Melanie Hamilton, cousin of the two||Olivia de Havilland||Tilly Lauenstein|
|Charles Hamilton, Melanie's brother and Scarlett's first husband||Rand Brooks||Paul Edwin Roth|
|Frank Kennedy, a guest and Scarlett's second husband||Carroll Nye||Wolfgang Lukschy|
|Rhett Butler, a guest from Charleston and Scarlett's third husband||Clark Gable||Siegfried Schürenberg|
|Aunt "Pittypat" Hamilton, Melanie's aunt||Laura Hope Crews|
|"Uncle Peter", Pittypat's slave||Eddie Anderson||Walter Bluhm|
|Dr. Meade, doctor||Harry Davenport|
|Mrs. Carolyn Meade, his wife||Leona Roberts|
|Mrs. Dolly Merriwether||Jane Darwell|
|Belle Watling, prostitute||Ona Munson||Hilde Hildebrand|
|Minor supporting roles|
|Plundering Yankee deserter on Tara||Paul Hurst|
|Bonnie Blue Butler, Scarlett's and Rhett's daughter||Cammie King Conlon|
|Johnny Gallagher, whipper at the sawmill||JM Kerrigan||Manfred Meurer|
|Phil Meade, Dr. Meade's son||Jackie Moran||Horst Gentzen|
|Bonnie's nanny in London||Lillian Kemble-Cooper|
|Cathleen Calvert, guest at Twelve Oaks||Marcella Martin|
|Beau Wilkes, Melanie and Ashley's son||Mickey Kuhn|
|Yankeecorporal, prison guard||Irving Bacon|
|Southern officer on horseback on the run||William Bakewell|
|Emmy Slattery, mistress of Jonas Wilkerson||Isabel Jewell|
|Soldier whose leg needs to be amputated||Eric Linden|
|Tom, Yankee Captain (in Wilkes' house)||Ward Bond|
|Wounded soldier remembering childhood (voice)||Cliff Edwards|
|Robber ambushing Scarlett||Yakima Canutt|
|Starving soldier holding Beau Wilkes in his arms||Louis Jean Heydt|
|Carpet excavator businessman||Olin Howland|
|Yankee major, head of the prison||Robert Elliott|
|Maybelle Merriweather, Mrs. Merriweather's daughter||Mary Anderson|
Acquisition of rights
Even before the book was even published, numerous producers rejected a film adaptation, including Louis B. Mayer and Irving Thalberg for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer , Pandro S. Berman at RKO Pictures and David O. Selznick for Selznick International Pictures . Jack L. Warner of Warner Brothers liked the story, but his studio's biggest star, Bette Davis , wasn't interested in the role of Scarlett, and Darryl F. Zanuck for 20th Century Fox didn't offer enough money for the film rights either. David Selznick only changed his mind about a film adaptation after his story editor Kay Brown and business partner John Hay Whitney urged him to buy the film rights. In June 1936, a month after the book was published, Selznick bought the film rights for $ 50,000. Initially, Selznick was ridiculed for his efforts, as films about the American Civil War were more like box office poison up to then . However, the novel subsequently developed into the greatest bestseller that American literary history had known until then.
The casting of the main roles was difficult and stretched over a total of two years. Selznick wanted to sign Clark Gable from the start, but he was under contract with the MGM film studio, which refused to loan Gable. Gary Cooper , who was also favored by Selznick , could not get the role as Samuel Goldwyn , with whom he was under contract, refused a loan. Warner Brothers offered Selznick Errol Flynn , Bette Davis and Olivia de Havilland for the leading roles as well as assuming half of the production costs; in return, Warner should get the publishing rights. This offer was made mainly at the instigation of Bette Davis, but Selznick refused.
Because of the contract with MGM, the shooting had to be postponed until the end of 1938, as Selznick Pictures' contract with United Artists only ended at that time . Selznick used the time to work on the script and to find an actress for the lead role of Scarlett O'Hara, the so-called "Searching for Scarlett". He started a casting all over the USA, in which around 1,400 mostly unknown women took part. The press joked that every actress in Hollywood between the ages of Shirley Temple and May Robson is trying to get the lead. The search cost around $ 100,000 and yielded no results, but it generated a lot of publicity for the project and the casting of the female lead became a national occupation. Ninety actresses were eventually shortlisted and subjected to film recording tests.
Selznick had first thought of Miriam Hopkins and Tallulah Bankhead . Even Joan Crawford , at this time at MGM, was pulled along with Clark Gable for the lead role into consideration. After the Crawford negotiations failed, Selznick spoke to Norma Shearer , but she turned down a cast because she received negative feedback from her fans. Katharine Hepburn , on the other hand, tried to get the role with the support of her friend George Cukor , who had been hired to direct the film. But Selznick rejected Hepburn on the grounds that she was "too brittle". During the intensive and lengthy search for the female lead, almost 50,000 meters of film were recorded for the castings alone, 4,000 meters of which was in color. This means that the film also holds the record for the most extensive test recordings.
Joan Bennett , Jean Arthur and Paulette Goddard were shortlisted . The choice fell on Goddard, but this allegedly could not produce a marriage certificate for her marriage to Charlie Chaplin and was therefore considered morally untenable. In December 1938, through his brother, Selznick met the actress Vivien Leigh , who was still completely unknown in the USA , and who was present as a spectator on a set. After he attributed her serious resemblance to the character of Scarlett described by Margaret Mitchell, she was invited to the casting and signed for the role in January 1939.
Casting the role of Rhett Butler turned out to be easier. After talking to Gary Cooper and Ronald Colman at the beginning , Clark Gable became “the first and only choice” for Selznick. Also for the public and the press, Gable was the ideal cast for Rhett Butler. The actor was under contract with the Hollywood studio Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer . So that Gable could take on the male lead, he had to be loaned to the producer Selznick, which MGM initially torpedoed. Selznick's father-in-law, Louis B. Mayer, finally offered him in August 1938 to borrow Gable and provide $ 1.25 million for the film budget. The price for this, however, was high: Selznick had to pay Gable's salary, while MGM received half of the film revenue. MGM's subsidiary Loew's, Inc. should also publish the film.
Filming and script
One of the earliest footage for Gone With the Wind was the Atlanta Fire, filmed on the night of December 15, 1938, using seven cameras. David Selznick set fire to the King Kong set, which had been on the studio area since 1933. The silhouettes of Scarlett and Rhett seen in this scene were embodied by various doubles. Apart from this and some film recordings made as early as 1938, production of the film began on January 26, 1939, ten days after Vivien Leigh signed the contract. The director was initially George Cukor , but after a few days of shooting, Selznick came to the conclusion that Cukor was not the right person for this film and hired Victor Fleming . When he got sick, the director Sam Wood jumped in for a few days of shooting. Cukor and Wood's names were not included in the opening credits, although their scenes were also used in the final film. Vivien Leigh worked on set continuously for 22 weeks and only had a four-day break from filming during this time. The last film recording was made on November 11, 1939, just under a month before the premiere.
The script also saw various changes. Sidney Howard initially produced a script that, at five and a half hours, was far too long. Ben Hecht and John Van Druten were hired to write a new script with Selznick. When Fleming took over the direction, however, he switched back to Howard's old version, which, after cuts by Selznick, resulted in the final version while filming. The writer F. Scott Fitzgerald tried his hand at the script, but was released after a short time. Most of the dialogues in the script were taken from the book.
Equipment and costumes
Gone with the Wind was one of the greatest film projects in film history at the time of its creation. Due to the elaborate design of the scenic and historical backdrops and the costumes as well as the careful consideration of the historical background, the production was a nerve-wracking challenge for both the producer and the 2,400 employees on the film set. In advance, William Cameron Menzies , Lyle Wheeler and the studio's art department made thousands of designs for scenes and their backdrops. For example, the reconstructed cityscape of Atlanta was the largest film set ever built. It comprised over 50 buildings and two kilometers of road and, like the Tara plantation, was built on the grounds of the studios of David O. Selznick in Culver City . A total of 90 of the 200 sets that were shortlisted were realized and built.
The elaborate historical costumes made a decisive contribution to the effect of the film, Walter Plunkett made designs for several thousand costumes. In doing so, he stuck to both the descriptions in the novel and his own research. The cost of cleaning the costumes alone, which had to be cleaned after each use, was around $ 10,000, and it took seven bales of cotton to make them. Plunkett's work was made more difficult by the fact that at the time of the story, especially women's fashion went through some extensive changes and he had to adapt the style to the respective period. The change ranged from the hoop skirt fashion before the war to the style born of necessity during the war years to the business fashion of the flourishing post-war period. The imposing hats, especially by Scarlett, had to be designed, for which John Frederics was responsible.
In addition to outfitters, production designers , set builders, costume designers and milliners , around 70 carpet and wallpaper designers were also employed. In addition, over 1000 horses and almost 400 other animals, 450 vehicles and a lot of "junk" were used for the war footage throughout the film. Hundreds of helpers, including members of the Los Angeles Fire Department and police officers, stood by at the scene of the Atlanta fire to keep the fire under control and to stand by in the event of a mishap. Three water tanks, each holding 5000 gallons , were used to extinguish the fire. In order to be able to capture the large location with a camera, a new camera crane had to be specially developed. It was the largest ever built and weighed around 120 tons.
During the entire production, around 140 km of film material was recorded, only 50 km of it was developed and the final film was cut to 6000 meters. It was reported that in the case of a completely faithful film adaptation of the book, 300 km of film would have been necessary. The duration of such a long film would have taken an entire week with 24 hours of running time. The accountants of the Selznick studio also estimated the entire workload of the entire workforce at 750,000 working hours.
For the film music, Selznick chose the native Austrian Max Steiner , with whom he had already worked at RKO Pictures in the early 1930s . Steiner was actually under contract with Warner Brothers , but they agreed to loan Steiner to Selznick. Steiner worked on the film music for a total of twelve weeks, the longest time he had ever needed in his career. At over two and a half hours in length, this is also the longest music for a movie. Five orchestras played the music, each under the direction of Hugo Friedhofer , Maurice de Packh , Bernhard Kaun , Adolph Deutsch and Reginald Bassett . Because of the lack of time Steiner received support for his compositions from Friedhofer, Deutsch and Heinz Roemheld . It also used two short pieces from previous MGM films by Franz Waxman and William Axt .
From the film music, the two love themes stand out in particular; one theme represents the love between Melanie and Ashley and another one represents Scarlett's love for Ashley. For Rhett and Scarlett, however, there is no love theme. Steiner used many popular songs from the Civil War era in his composition, especially from folk music by composers such as Stephen Foster . Patriotic songs like Dixie or The Bonnie Blue Flag also appear in the film. The most famous part of Steiner's film music is probably the so-called Tara's Theme , which accompanies the Tara plantation. A total of 99 pieces of music were used for the film music, including:
- Overture - MGM Studio Orchestra
- Tara's Theme
- (I Wish I Was in) Dixie's Land (1860) - composer / lyricist Daniel Decatur Emmett
- Katie Belle - composer / lyricist Stephen Foster
- Under the Willow She's Sleeping (1860) - composer / lyricist Stephen Foster
- Lou'siana Belle (1847) - composer / lyricist Stephen Foster
- Dolly Day (1850) - composer / lyricist Stephen Foster
- Ring de Banjo (1851) - composer / lyricist Stephen Foster
- Sweet and Low (1865) - composer Joseph Barnby
- Ye Cavaliers of Dixie - composer unknown
- Taps (1862) - composer / lyricist General Daniel Butterfield
- Massa's in de Cold Ground (1852) - composer / lyricist Stephen Foster
- Maryland, My Maryland (1861) - Based on O Tannenbaum
- Irish Washerwoman - Traditional Irish Jig
- Garryowen - Traditional
- When Johnny Comes Marching Home (1863) - composer / lyricist Louis Lambert
- Weeping, Sad and Lonely (When This Cruel War Is Over) (1862) - composer Henry Tucker
- The Bonnie Blue Flag (1861) - composer Harry McCarthy
- Hark! The Herald Angels Sing (pub. 1856) - composer Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy (1840)
- Tramp! Tramp! Tramp! (The Boys Are Marching) (1864) - composer / lyricist George Frederick Root
- The Old Folks at Home (Swanee River) (1851) - composer / lyricist Stephen Foster
- Go Down Moses (Let My People Go) - Traditional Spiritual
- My Old Kentucky Home (1853) - composer / lyricist Stephen Foster, sung a capella by Butterfly McQueen
- Marching Through Georgia (1865) - composer / lyricist Henry Clay Work
- Battle Hymn of the Republic (circa 1856) - composer William Steffe
- Beautiful Dreamer (1862) - composer Stephen Foster
- Jeanie with the Light Brown Hair (1854) - composer Stephen Foster
- Yankee Doodle (ca.1755) - Traditional
- Stars of the Summer Night (1856) - composer Isaac Baker Woodbury
- Bridal Chorus (Here Comes the Bride) (1850) - From Lohengrin , composer / lyricist Richard Wagner
- Deep River - Traditional
- For He's a Jolly Good Fellow - Traditional
- London Bridge Is Falling Down - Traditional
- Ben Bolt (Oh Don't You Remember) (1848) - composer Nelson Kneass
- Poem by Thomas Dunn English (1842) - sung a cappella by Vivien Leigh
The film went to the 1940 Academy Awards with a record 13 nominations and won eight of the coveted awards and two honorary Oscars. This record was only set in 1954 by Damn in All Eternity and 1955 by The Fist in the Neck with eight awards each and lasted until the 1959 Academy Awards , when Gigi received nine Oscars (with nine nominations).
- Best movie
- Best director - Victor Fleming
- Best Actress - Vivien Leigh
- Best Supporting Actress - Hattie McDaniel
- Best Editing - Hal C. Kern, James E. Newcom
- Best Cinematography (Color Film) - Ernest Haller, Ray Rennahan
- Best Adapted Screenplay - Sidney Howard
- Best Production Design - Lyle R. Wheeler
- Best Actor - Clark Gable
- Best Supporting Actress - Olivia de Havilland
- Best note - Thomas T. Moulton
- Best Score - Max Steiner
- Best Special Effects - Jack Cosgrove , Fred Albin , Arthur Johns
- Special award for William Cameron Menzies for the use of colors
- Special Prize for Technical Merit - Don Musgrave and Selznick International Pictures
- In 1939 Vivien Leigh received the award for Best Actress at the New York Film Critics Circle Awards .
- In 1989 the film was entered into the National Film Registry . He also received the People's Choice Award that year .
- The film is featured several times in the top lists published by the American Film Institute : it was in fourth place on the 1998 list of the 100 best films of all time and second in the 100 best love films of all time. In addition, the quote “Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn.” (In the German version “Frankly speaking, I don't care.”) Ranks first in the list of the 100 most famous film quotes of all time, and the Film music by Max Steiner occupies second place in the list of the 25 greatest film scores from 100 years.
Cinema performances and popular success
The world premiere of the film took place after three and a half years of preparation and production on December 15, 1939 in Atlanta; the film had only been completed a month earlier. Some civil war veterans and all the stars of the film took part in the premiere and the subsequent celebration; a total of one million people are said to have been there and the governor of Georgia set the day as a holiday. Hattie McDaniel , who was to receive an Oscar the following year for her role as Mammy , and all other colored actors were banned from participating in the state of Georgia due to racial segregation. On the occasion of the film premiere, the cocktail Scarlett O'Hara, which is still known today, was created .
According to the Guinness Book of Records , the film grossed $ 393.4 million worldwide in its first run, compared to an inflation-adjusted figure of $ 3.44 billion in 2014 . This makes Gone with the Wind the most commercially successful work in film history. At that time, 202 million tickets were sold in the USA; to date, the film has had 504 million viewers worldwide, 283 of them in the USA. The popularity of the film continues to this day: In a survey (The Harris Poll) by the opinion research institute Harris Interactive among 2,279 Americans, Gone with the Wind was voted “Most Popular Film” in 2008, with Star Wars and Casablanca in second and third place . To this day, Atlanta has benefited from tourism through the film.
The film premiered in the Federal Republic of Germany on January 15, 1953. For the re-performance in 1967, the film format was copied from normal format to 70 mm wide-screen format. Stereo sound has also been added. In a mask, part of the upper or lower image section was individually cropped depending on the scene. He was first seen on German television on the evening of Christmas Day 1984 on ZDF .
To this day, Gone with the Wind has mostly received very good reviews, at Rotten Tomatoes it has a rating of 94% - based on 81 reviews. The Rotten Tomatoes consensus is: "Filmed and presented on a scale that can no longer be seen in today's productions, has gone with the wind , if not the definitive and absolute Hollywood film, then it is certainly close". The lexicon of international film is also impressed and writes: “The broad-based epic was one of the greatest box office successes in cinema history. The film is still fascinating because of its excellent acting and the captivating portrayal of fates against the background of the turmoil of the civil war. "
Frank S. Nugent wrote in his December 20, 1939 review that Gone with the Wind is probably not the “greatest film of all time”, but “the most ambitious film-making venture in Hollywood's more spectacular history”. Selznick had taken the risk of filming Mitchell's book with unprecedented literary fidelity. Production design, costumes and cast are "breathtaking". Vivien Leigh is perfectly cast as "the expressed embodiment of the selfish, boisterous, sleazy-eyed Miss", and the rest of the cast - especially Hattie McDaniel - is convincing. Surprisingly, after a long wait for the film, one was “not disappointed”. Like other contemporary critics, Nugent was bothered by the long running time, which makes the film “exhausting for the eyes”.
For Lexicon Films on TV it is “one of the most successful and famous films in world cinema.” (Rating: 3 stars = very good) Kino.de writes: “The brilliant southern epic by Victor Fleming was based on the novel of the same name by Margaret Mitchell. The great classic was awarded 10 Oscars. (...) Victor Fleming's lavishly furnished, overwhelming screen epic was already celebrated as a milestone in film history when it premiered: Never before have such poignant mass scenes been filmed and such luxurious backdrops built while top-class actors like Vivien Leigh, Clark Gable and Leslie Howard have her Give the best. ”Up until the 2010s, there were many explicitly positive reviews: in 1998, for example, the renowned US film critic Roger Ebert put the work on his list of the best films of all time and described Gone With the Wind as a“ towering monument “Of the film because it would tell a good story so wonderfully. Like so many others, Ebert also highlighted the achievements of Clark Gable and Vivien Leigh in the lead roles and their interesting film characters.
The volume 6000 Films , published in 1963, is less praiseworthy: “In terms of presentation, recording technology and effort, it is still remarkable today, although the monumental sometimes becomes monstrously empty. Everything that can pack and stir has been fetched; It seems overloaded and the content is very dodgy. ” The Manchester Guardian said that attempting a true-to-original film had proven to be a disadvantage: the story lacks the epic quality that could justify such wasteful expenditure of time, talent and production values. The collapse and destruction of the "old south" is abandoned in the second part in favor of overflowing, repetitive descriptions of marriages, births, deaths and domestic quarrels.
Arthur M. Schlesinger saw this in a similar way in 1973: It is true that it does not make sense to condemn the film for reproducing the stereotypes of its time - for its attitude towards blacks and women, for its idealization of slavery and its caricature of the rebuilding of the nation. The decisive factor, however, is that the attempt at a great narrative about the downfall of a brave, haughty and dull ruling class against the backdrop of war and social upheaval is lost in a morass of unconvincing sentimentality. The result was not the intended opera, but a soap opera. Richard Schickel missed unforgettable images, dialogues that will be remembered forever, and that make you want to see the film again. Because the image of a South that once founded a new age of chivalry and grace is hardly credible. Worse still, the film as such is strangely lifeless. Most of the time people talk, and they are very gay.
The film music by Max Steiner received special praise from the Filmharmonische Blätter : “What many reviewers have already written about the classical composition of Max Steiner still applies: Steiner's composition is unprecedented timeless in the history of film music! Just as you can watch Selznick's epic drama Gone with the Wind again and again because it is still one of the best novel adaptations in film history, Steiner's epic film music has also become immortal. "
The most controversial aspect of the film is a nostalgic staging of the “antebellum” southern states and thus a trivializing representation of slavery. Herbert Heinzelmann, for example, wrote in an article about the role of African-American women in film: “Otherwise, in the 1930s, they were allowed to appear in front of the American cameras with their own skin, especially in southern romances, where they continue to be strictly typed, for example as caring clumsy ones Slave nanny, as embodied by Hattie McDaniel in Gone With the Wind and in many other films. ”On the occasion of the 75th anniversary of the premiere, Marc Pitzke condemned the film as a racist “ gay opera ”, in keeping with the mood of the thirties: The Confederate soul is exaggerated , demonized the Yankees, seeing the war defeat only as the tragic destruction of the "Southern Way of Life" with its plantations and crinolines. The blacks only appear as caricatures: good-natured naive people like Big Sam. Infantile annoyances like the slave Prissy: “The horrors of slavery, almost a matter of course here, are just a backdrop, the black extras. [...] Not only the script was tinged with racist tones, also the turbulent production itself. There were separate toilets for whites and blacks. "
The film has been criticized by black commentators for believing it belittles slavery. Carlton Moss , an African American playwright, accused the film of being in the same anti-black category as The Birth of a Nation . He criticized the black characters, the "stupid pork" ("pork" = pork), the "indolent and completely irresponsible Prissy" ("prissy" = shaky, adapted), Big Sam's "acceptance of slavery" and Mammy (" mammy " : Black woman / slave who takes care of white children) with her "submission to Scarlett". After Hattie McDaniel's Oscar award, Walter Francis White , chairman of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People , accused her of being an Uncle Tom , someone who submissively accepts the role of slave.
Malcolm X later wrote, "When Butterfly McQueen went into her act, I felt like crawling under the rug" ( When Butterfly McQueen showed up, I wanted to crawl under the rug ).
In 2015 Lou Lumenick , film critic of the " New York Post " suggested that the "undoubtedly racist" film no longer be offered. This sometimes led to violent backlashes. As early as 2014, Warner Brothers , rights holders since 1996, provided the Blu-Ray version with a 26-minute documentary in which historians discussed the extent to which the work fueled an opinion that played down slavery. The streaming service HBO Max , part of Warner Media , announced on June 10, 2020 after the death of George Floyd and the subsequent nationwide protests, that the film, along with other film and series productions, would be withdrawn from its offer for the time being. He should only be included again in the program with an explanation of his racist prejudices and his trivialization of slavery as well as with a distancing of the provider from this content. Since the end of June 2020, the film has been offered again on HBO Max with an introduction.
Gone with the Wind was first released on DVD in 2000. Various re-editions followed, including a special edition with four DVDs which, in addition to reprints of production images, also contained various documentaries. In 2009, on the occasion of its 70th anniversary, the film was re-released on both DVD and Blu-ray Disc . The Ultimate Collector's Edition on Blu-ray, published at the same time, contains additional extras as well as an illustrated book with photographs of the film production. In the DVD version, the original 4: 3 format was used again. This results in black stripes on the side of the image. The widescreen format of 1967 was no longer sought.
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- Ders .: Max Steiner's Classic Film Score Gone With the Wind . RCA / BMG no year, sound carrier no. GD80452 - New recording of the film music by the National Philharmonic Orchestra under the direction of Charles Gerhardt from 1973
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