Anna's Tribute To Gone With The Wind


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portrait of vivien leigh

By: Vivien Leigh...

"It was an awsome spectacle- whole blocks consumed by flames as Atlanta buildings burned. That was the night I met Mr. David O. Selznick, the man who was producing Gone With the Wind. In retrospect, it seems to me that the fantastic quality of that tremendous fire, the confusion I felt and the feeling of loneliness in the midst of hundreds of people was indicative of what was to come. The unexpected happened: It made me, for these months at least, into the character know as Scarlett O'Hara. I tried to make every move, every gesture true to Scarlett. Conceited, spoiled, arrogant- all those things, of course, are true of the character. But she had courage and determination, and that, I think, is why women most secretly admire her.

With so much painstaking effort going into filming, it was inevitable that I should feel sometimes that my work might not measure up. Yet Mr. Selznick seemed to sence these moments and was there to lead his encouragement. Mr. Fleming, faced with the task off keeping these thousand-and-one details coordinated, seemed to have an inexhaustible supply of patience and good humor. When the day came that meant the film was completed, I could not help feeling some little regret that our parts were done and the crew were breaking up. We should see each other again, but never again would we have the experience of playing in Gone With the Wind!"

portrait of clark gable

By: Clark Gable...

"I never asked to play Rhett. I was one of the last to read the book. The first times I heard the name Rhett Butler, it was with growing irritation. When it got to the point where Spencer Tracy was greeting me with "Hello Rhett", I read the book. In the interest of truth, I became a fan of Miss Mitchell's wit the rest of America. It was good, too good in fact. Rhett was everything a character should be and rarely is: clear, concise, and very real. He was flawless as a character study. That was the trouble. Miss Mitchell had etched Rhett into the minds of millions of people, each of whom knew exactly how Rhett would look and act.

The public interest in my doing Rhett puzzled me. Long before anyone had been asked for interviews. When I refused comment, the columnists did it for me. I even considered writing to Miss Mitchell to ask her to issue a statement "I think Clark Gable would be the worst possible selection for Rhett Butler." I learned that I was to play Rhett in the newspapers.

One thing stands out in those months of preperation for the picture. There was never any divergence of opinion. It was teamwork that counted. Gone With the Wind was different from any picture I have ever made. My attitude to making pictures is realistic. But I must admit that all of us, and I am speaking for everyone who had connection with the picture, had a definite feeling of living it."

These two interviews were excerpted from The World Premier Program.