‘Gone With The Wind’: 12 Surprising Facts Even Fans Probably Don’t Know

February 23, 2017

In 1939, the film industry was rocked by the epic romantic drama, Gone with the Wind, and its equally massive success. As one of the longest films in American history, and one of the first to use color rather than black and white, it has remained a beloved staple for audiences across the globe.

That said, there were still plenty of surprising facts that most fans haven’t uncovered. Obviously, a film as grandiose as this is bound to have a lot going on behind the scenes, but I had no idea just how much tension there was between the cast and crew.

For instance, I can’t believe how much less money Vivien Leigh earned compared to Clark Gable, especially considering she worked much longer on the film.

Take a look below to find out more facts about this incredible and historic movie that continues to delight audiences over the decades.

Let us know in the comments if we missed your favorite thing about the flick and be sure to SHARE with your friends!

[H/T: IMDb]

1. Thousands Of Actresses Auditioned For Scarlett

YouTube / Movieclips

However, out of the 1,400 hopeful young ladies, producers only asked 400 to actually read any lines, ultimately choosing Vivien.

2. Clark Almost Boycotted The Premiere

Wikimedia Commons / Movie studio

Hattie McDaniel, who later became the first African American to win an Academy Award, was not allowed to attend the 1939 premiere in Atlanta, Georgia, because of lingering segregation laws. Clark was so upset on her behalf that he threatened to abstain from attending as well, but Hattie herself convinced him to go.

3. Vivien Hated Kissing Clark

YouTube / Movieclips

She revealed later in life that the romantic scenes were unpleasant for her because of the actor’s breath odor, likely caused by his false teeth and smoking habit.

4. It Is The Longest Film To Win Best Picture

Wikimedia Commons / Selznick International Pictures

It was also the first film in color to win, but at nearly four hours, it remains the longest movie to ever earn the title from the Academy.

Vivien’s total onscreen time, 2 hours, 23 minutes and 32 seconds, is also the longest appearance in film history to win Best Actress.

5. Gary Cooper Thought It Would Be A Flop

Wikimedia Commons / Paramount Pictures

When he was offered the role of Rhett Butler, Gary refused it by saying, “Gone with the Wind is going to be the biggest flop in Hollywood history. I’m just glad it’ll be Clark Gable who’s falling on his face and not Gary Cooper.”

6. Gerald O’Hara’s Horse Went Onto TV Stardom

Wikimedia Commons / ABC Television

If you thought the horse playing Silver on The Lone Ranger TV series looked familiar, you were right — it’s the very same one Thomas Mitchell rode as the O’Hara family patriarch in this epic film.

7. Vivien Was Paid Significantly Less Than Clark

Wikimedia Commons / MGM

Even though Vivien worked on the film for 125 days versus Clark’s 71 days, her paycheck was only $25,000 while his was a whopping $120,000.

8. Clark Only Took The Role So He Could Get A Divorce

Wikimedia Commons / Studio publicity photo

The actor wasn’t a huge fan of the now iconic role, but was convinced to accept it for the lofty salary that finally allowed him to reach a divorce settlement with his second wife, Rhea Langham, and marry Carole Lombard.

9. Vivien Never Danced In The Movie

YouTube / Movieclips

She unfortunately lacked a talent for toe-tapping, so dancer Sally De Marco was used as her double for the scenes at the Confederate Ball in distant shots.

10. Leslie Howard Left The Country Before The Premiere

Wikimedia Commons / Photofest

The London native was one of the few cast members to not be in attendance for the premiere after he returned to England to serve in the British Intelligence at the outbreak of World War II.

11. There Were 3 Different Directors Throughout Filming

Wikimedia Commons / MGM

George Cukor, who had worked with Vivien in the past, was originally hired to helm the massive movie, but was fired shortly after filming began and replaced with Victor Fleming.

Sam Wood also briefly stepped in when Victor took a break to recover from exhaustion.

12. It Wasn’t The First Film To Include A Curse Word

YouTube / Movieclips

Rumors persist that Clark’s famous line, “Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn,” was the first instance of the word being used in a film.

However, the expletive had previously appeared in several silent picture intertitles, such as Cavalcade in 1933. It was still a struggle for producer David O. Selznick to get the term approved with the newly instated Hays Code.

Did we miss any of your favorite facts about the classic film? Let us know below and be sure to SHARE with your friends!