Wednesday, June 11, 2014

They Don't Get Any Bigger (or Better) Than The One and Only Gone With The Wind

Movie titles, that's what we at the Roses of Prose are writing about. One of the titles assigned this month, as if you haven't already heard, is GONE WITH THE WIND.

What to write, what to write?

Any and all ideas I might have for this post are GONE WITH THE WIND.

GONE fishing WITH my brother-in-law Joe THE proverbial bag of WIND.

Have you GONE out WITH him to see THE WIND mills being built?

He was GONE WITH THE speed of a brisk WIND.

Okay, I won't subject you to any more of my plays on words to sneak in the title. Can you tell I'm procrastinating? Time to get to work.

Hear the title GONE WITH THE WIND and most people think Clark Gable and Vivian Leigh in the lavish four hour cinematic extravaganza. We tend to forget this epic started out as a book. A coming of age historical romance. The first, and only, written by Margaret Mitchell.

Here are a few facts I've discovered.

As books go, GONE WITH THE WIND is the most popular of all time with twenty eight million sales and counting.

Published in 1936, GONE WITH THE WIND earned a Pulitzer Prize in 1937.

The movie rights sold for $50,000.

Various working titles for GONE WITH THE WIND included; Tomorrow Is Another Day; Not In Our Stars; Bugles Sang True; Tote The Weary Load; and Baa, Baa Black Sheep.

Some work in progress names were Pansy which was changed to Scarlett and Fountenoy Hall which became Tara.

The author wrote the first chapter last and reportedly liked it the least. She also started the book by writing the end of the story and knew all along **SPOILER ALERT** Rhett and Scarlett weren't going to make it.

Since our current subject is movies, here are some bits of trivia about GONE WITH THE WIND, the movie.

Remember Silver from The Lone Ranger circa 1949? He got his start as a bit player in the famous movie. Also, heads up ladies, it is reported that Clark Gable worked 71 days and was paid $120,000. Vivian Leigh worked 125 days and earned $25,000.

That's all I have for now.


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Jannine Gallant said...

Ooh, Vivian should have put on her "Scarlett" face and kicked some butt! I guess no one had heard of equal pay back then. I wonder if a man would have made more money writing the book too?

Margo Hoornstra said...

The pay parity was interesting, wasn't it? Typical. My favorite tidbit was Silver's step to stardom.

Alicia Dean said...

Interesting tidbits on my favorite all time move. :) Yes, the pay parity is interesting, but not all that surprising for that era. And, Clark was a bigger star at the time. But mostly I'm sure it was about the gender.

MJ Schiller said...

Fun post! I found it interesting the names that were replaced. Pansy for Scarlett? Definitely doesn't have the same ring. And the maid is Prissy, too close. And then not calling it Tara just seems so wrong. Funny how we authors create a name and it becomes something! Thanks for sharing, Margo!

Rohn Federbush said...

Mary Vee of ACFW Great Lakes Chapter gave a marketing presentation on June 7th linking "Gone With the Wind" and the different covers which drew in changing groups of readers.

Rohn Federbush

Annette said...

Thanks Margo,
GONE With the Wind is certainly the best title of the bunch. And the name "Scarlet" has gone down in history.

Names are important. Never could figure out why the name of Scarlet's heart's desire was "Ashley." Go figure.

All the best, Annette

Alison Henderson said...

Thanks for such an interesting post! I love learning new things about an old-time favorite.

Margo Hoornstra said...

Alicia. I am going to HAVE to watch GWTW again. You're right. The pay parity was no surprise.

Margo Hoornstra said...

MJ. Names are important, aren't they? I was surprised at some of the name changes too. Glad you enjoyed the info.

Margo Hoornstra said...

Rohn. Interesting. Names and covers. They are both very important and do make a difference to readers.

Margo Hoornstra said...

Annette. The name Ashley always sort of bothered me too. Isn't that a girl's name?

Margo Hoornstra said...

Alison. There is always something new to learn, isn't there?

Melissa Keir said...

What a fun post. I loved the book and movie because of the character of Belle. Her last name was Watling and I'd love to know why.... after all, it was my family name. :)

So many fun facts. Scarlett is certainly an award winning name!

Leah St. James said...

Great post! This is one of my all-time favorite movies. I saw it in a movie theater when I was a kid, some special anniversary showing or something. When Cable appeared on the screen, bigger than life in more ways than one, the women in the audience let out a collective "ohhhhhhh." It was funny. I remember being shocked to learn that both Vivien Leigh and Lawrence Olivier were British! (Hey, I said I was a kid!

Susan Coryell said...

Thanks, Margo. Dynamite blog and boy, did it stir up some memories. I first read GWTW when I was in 8th grade and I thought the greatest tragedy of the age was that Margaret Mitchell did not live to write a sequel. That said, when SCARLET came out years later as a "sequel," I could not finish it without puking. GAH! It was awful. But, when I saw the movie, I had to admit it was one of 2 movies better than the book--the other being BEN HUR.
As I said, thanks for he memories.

Diane Burton said...

Great fun facts, Margo.

Jana Richards said...

I'm guessing Clark Gable was a bigger star than Vivian Leigh in 1939 and that's why he was paid so much more. It couldn't be because women were paid less in those days, could it? Thanks for the blog post Margo.

Donna Michaels said...

Thanks for all the trivia, Margo! I am so glad Pansy was changed to Scarlet. Wow. And I'm not at all surprised by the salary difference back then. Thank goodness that has changed now. Doesn't matter if you're male or female, just what kind of box office draw you can bring to the movie.

Thanks for the post!

Lynn Crain said...

Love hearing about the story that made me want to be a writer. Great facts on Gone With The Wind. I have more than one movie book exclusively about it.

Thanks for sharing.