Frank McLynn

Southern Comfort

Frankly, My Dear: Gone with the Wind Revisited

By

Yale University Press 244pp £16.99 order from our bookshop

While not being a great film like, say, Vertigo, The Searchers or Casablanca, the movie made from Margaret Mitchell’s Gone with the Wind is a motion-picture phenomenon. When all adjustments have been made for inflation, it remains the most profitable Hollywood production ever. A single statistic makes the point: when the population of the USA was only 130 million, it sold 202 million tickets. Everything about the movie was gargantuan: five directors and fifteen screenwriters worked on it, and there was a nationwide search to find the actress best suited to play the heroine, Scarlett O’Hara. Paulette Goddard had the inside track, but MGM was worried that her affair with Charlie Chaplin might seep out and damage profits. As is well known, the role became Vivien Leigh’s finest screen achievement. 

Follow Literary Review on Twitter