Gone With the Wind (MGM) (1952)

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bi a Paar! a i The conflict between North and South in the days of the American Civil War ' formed the basis of Margaret Mitchell’s best selling novel, ‘‘Gone With The Wind.’’ This conflict was no less prominent in the David O. Selznick Technicolor screen version which M-G-M is_ representing. Here it is personified by Rhett Butler (Clark Gable) and Ashley Wilkes (the late Leslie Howard). No. 305. Coarse screen block for newspaper use. 55 screen. Hire fee 6/6. STAIRS! (Production Feature) Balconies have been recognised as the classic setting for a love scene ever since Romeo and Juliet, but the fact that stairways make an important contribution to the drama of a motion picture remained to be discovered by William Cameron Menzies, Hollywood’s sole “ production designer.” Some of the most thrilling scenes in “Gone With The Wind,” David O. Selznick’s famous Technicolor production starring Clark Gable, Vivien Leigh, Leslie Howard and Olivia de Havilland, are filmed on stairways, according to Menzies, who designed the production of the picture which is currently being re-presented by M-G-M at the ......... Theatre. “Action on a level floor tends toward monotony,” he declared, ‘“‘while ascent—or descent—of a stairway is a simple but powerfully effective way to symbolize rise or fall of the picture’s mood, or the development of a character. “For instance, the action of the picture opens on the oustide steps of the O’Hara plantation. Scarlett, at the head of the stairway, hears of her beloved Ashley’s attachment for Melanie. Her progress down the steps and along a descending path shows a gradual depression of her mood at the unwelcome news. “At the barbecue at Twelve Oaks, when Scarlett first sees Rhett Butler, who is to play such an important part in her life, her walk upstairs serves to emphasize her heightening interest in the man. ‘““When Scarlett shoots the Yankee intruder, at the foot of the stairs in Tara, the slow progress of herself and Melanie downstairs marks the ebbing of the wild flight of action which culminated in the shooting.” Perfect in Every Detail David O. Selznick’s ‘Technicolor production of “‘ Gone With The Wind,”’ which was re-presented yesterday at thes iene Theatre, by M-G-M, is still undoubtedly one of the most faithful versions of a novel in Hollywood history. It is Margaret Mitchell’s great story of the Old South, without deviation and practically without elim ination. After this has been recorded, little more need be said as an unqualified recommendation for the picture. Millions of readers considered the novel one of the greatest stories of all time; a faithful filming of that story, of necessity, made the picture one of the greatest of movie history. Clark Gable is, of course, the perfect Rhett Butler. Technicolor enhances his personality. His work could not be bettered. Equally brilliant is the work of Vivien Leigh. How any living girl can so closely resemble Scarlett and duplicate that fictional character in temperament and action is astounding. Miss Leigh does all this and more. She gives one of the screen’s greatest performances in a role that won her the Academy Award for 1939. The late Leslie Howard and Olivia de Havilland, and indeed the whole cast, are perfect. Kovicw Truly Great Every motion picture critic has a vision of some day encountering a screen epic which is a picture so perfect that it beggars all superlatives, so outstanding that it defies description. Such a picture arrived in David O. Selznick’s Technicolor ‘‘ Gone With The Wind,’ which M-G-M represented yesterday at the ............ Theatre. Most films have highlights on which to concentrate. “Gone With The Wind ”’ has one every few minutes of its lengthy running time. It is one supreme composite highlight—the entire picture, from the impressive presentation of the title, to the last pictorially inspiring fade-out. It is still one of the greatest pictures ever made and it follows so faithfully Margaret Mitchell’s story of the Old South that one is left wondering how it was ever achieved. In preparation three years, “‘ Gone With The Wind” was produced by David O. Selznick, with Clark Gable, Vivien Leigh, the late Leslie Howard and Olivia de Havilland in the starring roles, and an outstanding cast of featured supporting players. Victor Fleming, one of Hollywood’s outstanding directors, was assigned to the directorial helm of “‘ Gone With The Wind.” (More editorial matter on page 11) Sy Jeature WHAT TT FELT LIKE: FO PLAY SCARLETT O’?HARA 3 By.VIVIEN LEIGH (Who won the 1939 Academy Award for her performance as Scarlett O’Hara in David O. Selznick’s Technicolor praente ‘““Gone With The Wind,” now re-presented by M-G-M at the. . Years have gone by since the night we stood watching the first scenes being made for “Gone With The Wind.”’ It was an awesome spectacle —whole blocks of sets being consumed by flames as buildings in old Atlanta burned, and I was a little confused by the grandeur of it and by what seemed to be a frightening confusion. That was the night I met Mr. David O. Selznick, the man who was producing ‘“ Gone With The Wind,” and who had yet to select a Scarlett O’Hara for the film. The unexpected happened ; it made me, for those months at least, and whether I wished it so or not, into the character known as_ Scarlett O’Hara. Now the difficulty is to view that character objectively. That it was a great role for any actress was obvious, yet I can truthfully say that I looked on Mr. Selznick’s request that I take a test for Scarlett as something of a joke. There were dozens of girls testing, and I did not seriously consider the likelihood of actually playing the part. Yet once it was decided upon I discovered that there was no joking about playing Scarlett. From then on, I was swept along as though by a powerful wave—it was Scarlett, Scarlett, Scarlett, night and day, month after month. Perhaps the hardest days I spent, hard that is from the point of actual physical exertion, were during the time we made the scene where Scarlett struggles through the populace as it evacuates Atlanta. In one of the most exacting roles in screen history, that of Scarlett O’Hara in David O. Selznick’s Technicolor production of ‘‘ Gone With The Wind,’’ which M-G-M is re-presenting. Vivien Leigh scored a personal triumph in a part that called for her to run almost the entire gamut of human emotion. Here she is in vixenish mood with the late Leslie Howard. No. 306. Coarse screen block for newspaper use. 55 screen. Hire fee 6/6. t . Theatre.) Vivien Leigh will always be remembered as the screen’s Scarlett O’Hara. Chosen from hundreds of candidates when she was comparatively unknown, Miss Leigh gave a histrionic tour-de-force which won her world-wide fame and the Academy Award. She is seen here with some admirers in David O. Selznick’s Technicolor production of ‘‘ Gone With The Wind,’’ which M-G-M is now re-presenting. No. 307. Fine screen block for programme use. 120 screen. Hire fee 6 Oddly enough, the scenes of physical strain were not so wearing as_ the emotional ones. One night we worked ~ at the studio until about eleven o’clock, then went out to the country for a shot against the sunrise, when Scarlett falls to her knees in the ruined fields of ‘Tara and vows she’ll never be hungry again. We made the shot and [ arrived home about 4.30 a.m., yet I ‘do not recall that I was so terribly tired. Instead, I think of the day that Scarlett shoots the deserter, and I recall that after that nerve-wracking episode, both Olivia de Havilland, the wonderful Melanie of the film, and myself were on the verge of hysterics —not alone from the tenseness of the scene, but from the too realistic fall as the “dead’”’ man went down the stairs before us. Yet when the day came that meant the film was completed, I could not help feeling some little regret that our parts’ were done and that the cast and the crew—who were all so thoughtful and kind throughout—were breaking up. We should see each other again, of course—but never again would we have the experience of playing in “Gone With The Wind.”’