GONE WITH THE WIND (1939) C 233m dir: Victor Fleming
w/Clark Gable, Vivien Leigh, Leslie Howard, Olivia de Havilland, Hattie McDaniel, Thomas Mitchell, Butterfly McQueen, Ona Munson, Ann Rutherford, Evelyn Keyes, George Reeves, Laura Hope Crews
This landmark film, based on Margaret Mitchell's mammoth Civil War novel, is part spectacle, part history, a dash of biography, and all smashing entertainment. The siege of Atlanta and the hardships of the South during the war are masterfully unfolded in this terrific spectacle. Leigh's performance as Scarlett O'Hara is truly brilliant, and Gable is the perfect incarnation of Rhett Butler. Although Victor Fleming is credited as director, many other cooks worked on this broth, including George Cukor, Sam Wood, and Selznick himself. This film was so anticipated by contemporary audiences that, it's said, during the preview screening a collective gasp arose from the audience as the title words swept across the screen; they certainly were not disappointed in what they saw --- and you won't be either. It's a tremendous story, beautifully brought to life.
The film won eight Academy Awards: Best Picture, Director, Actress (Leigh), Supporting Actress (McDaniel, in a politically significant win as a black person), Screenplay (Sidney Howard, with uncredited assist from Ben Hecht), Color Cinematography, Art Direction, Editing; plus a Special Award to William Cameron Menzies for his use of use of color design in the film.