Appreciating all that makes America special

Film: Gone with the Wind

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Did you know that Gary Cooper turned down the role of Rhett Butler? Oh, yeah. He even said, “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.”

Clearly, Gary was no psychic. Just how big was GWTW? In 2007 the American Film Institute voted it the #6 Greatest Movie of All Time. For the premiere in Atlanta, the Governor declared a state holiday. It won eight Academy Awards, including Best Picture. And if total box office receipts were adjusted for inflation, it would be the number one grossing movie of all time. The projected total: $3.78 billion.

Yes, this is the first movie added to the list of Great American Things. You may think another film should have had the honor.

Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn.

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  1. Seen so many times I can practically quote the entire movie and Clark Gable couldn’t have been more perfect for the part. My daughter, Leigh Erica, claims to be the namesake of Vivian Leigh, and she just might be right.

  2. How did this one get by me without a comment? The first time I saw it was on the big screen at one of those old theaters that used to be in downtown Winston-Salem, the Carolina or the Winston — I can’t remember which one — that was showing old movies (No, I didn’t see it with Margaret Mitchell). I do remember it made a huge impression on this adolescent girl, making it in my top five all time favorite movies, definitely better on the big screen. I once heard an obviously uninformed acquaintance comment that it was better before it was colorized. WHAT? ARE YOU KIDDING ME? Have you ever heard of Technicolor?

  3. You should go by the original AFI list from 1998 in which Gone with the Wind was #4. Its a much less pandering list than the 2007 list.
    I didn’t know that about Gary Cooper. I mean no disrespect to the man, but I just don’t believe he could have pulled off Rhett Butler like Gable did. Gable has just the right mix of swagger and substance. Gone With the Wind makes a strong case for being the biggest movie of all time.