Gone With The Wind is a classic Hollywood film if ever there was one. But no matter how many times you’ve seen it, there’s likely plenty you don’t know about the 1939 adaptation of Margaret Mitchell’s epic novel. So read on to discover some remarkable tales from behind the scenes. You’ll be stunned by what the likes of Clark Gable, Vivien Leigh, and Olivia de Havilland got up to on set!
1. Gone with the hours
Ever wondered what the longest film to win Best Picture at the Oscars is? Well, wonder no more, as we can tell you that it is none other than Gone with the Wind. Yes, the Civil War-era epic runs just two minutes short of four hours.
The film has the longest run-time of any Best Picture Oscar winner in cinema history. Its length was later bested by 1963's Cleopatra, which runs for 4 hours and 8 minutes, but Cleopatra never won Best Picture.
2. Technicolor dream
Not content with merely being the longest-running movie to win Best Picture, Gone with the Wind also holds another notable distinction in that category: it was the first color film to win Best Picture at the Oscars.
Using new technological advancements that were emerging by the late 1930s, Victor Fleming was able to shoot his movie in glorious Technicolor. And the outcome is a groundbreaking deployment of color and shade.
3. Script shenanigans
As you might imagine, penning the screenplay for an epic like Gone with the Wind wasn’t straightforward. The task of adapting Mitchell’s novel was given to Ben Hecht in the end, but it almost went to The Great Gatsby author F. Scott Fitzgerald.
Amusingly, the writer and his team had to live on bananas and peanuts in a race to get it written in a week. We're not sure why bananas and peanuts were their preferred sustenance, but it clearly paid off.
4. Money, money, money
Clearly, Gone with the Wind has racked up a number of impressive records and firsts. One that might surprise you is that it is the highest-grossing film of all time. Yes, film fans have worked out that if inflation was taken into account, its box-office earnings would beat any other movie’s.
On the same list, Gone with the Wind is followed by Star Wars, The Sound of Music, E.T., and Titanic. People obviously love romantic epic films!