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  • The Making of a Legend: Gone with the Wind
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The Making of a Legend: Gone with the Wind

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The Making of a Legend: Gone with the Wind + Gone with the Wind (Two-Disc 70th Anniversary Edition)
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Product Details

  • Actors: Christopher Plummer, L. Jeffrey Selznick, David O. Selznick, Irene Mayer Selznick, William A. Wellman
  • Directors: David Hinton
  • Writers: David Thomson
  • Producers: L. Jeffrey Selznick, Daniel Selznick, Jonathan Wickham
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, Dolby, Full Screen, NTSC, Subtitled
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: April 13, 2010
  • Run Time: 124 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B002OID530
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #63,609 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Making of a Legend: Gone with the Wind" on IMDb

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

Traces the filming of the imperishable classic Gone with the Wind, from its inception to its triumphant Atlanta premiere in December of 1939. Filmmaker David Hinton interviews as many survivors of the experience as he's able to round up, but the main attraction of this film is its precious "test" clips. We watch a montage of screen tests of the many actresses considered for the role of Scarlett O'Hara, ranging from such front-runners as Paulette Goddard to such not-a-chancers as Lana Turner. The Goddard footage is particularly enjoyable as we watch her eagerly reciting the lines of all the characters as she auditions for Scarlett. The documentary also turns up several tantalizing bits of trivia, notably the fact that the film was shown to a preview audience with an entirely different musical score (portions of which are played on the soundtrack). There is, of course, very little suspense involved in Making of a Legend, but even those who've heard all the Gone With the Wind factoids from other sources will watch in fascination as the saga unfolds. This documentary was produced by David Selznick's sons, and written by iconoclastic movie historian David Thomson.

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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I am very pleased with the service.
The voice re-enactments helped give the documentary details that I heard in only one other documentary but these details were far more interesting.
Marianne Jellock
I thought it was interesting and well done.
C. Tanaka

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

49 of 50 people found the following review helpful By Stephen M. Moser on February 4, 2001
Format: VHS Tape
Everything you ever wanted to know about *GWTW* -- from Margaret Mitchell recalling her mother driving her out to see the ruined plantations around Atlanta, and telling her that she'd better learn to survive, to its historic status as being one of the most beloved movies of all time - even when it's not politically correct to love the movie. It is a documentary combining spoken word, letters, memos, newsclips, diaries and recreations - in a comprehensive style that predates Ken Burns by quite a bit. It is a dizzying montage of information and images that tells the story of the film - a monumental achievement that is one of the few films to not disappoint the lovers of the book. Selznick purchased the rights to the story for $50,000 - a fortune at the time, for a story so sprawling that it was impossible to visualize on the screen. As a superb craftsman, even Selznick was intimidated - not just by the scope of the story, but by the public's obsession with it. So it is with tender care that he began preproduction and scriptwriting on this sacred monster. The footage that we see in the finished version of *GWTW* shows only a small part of the passion, heartache and bloodletting that went on behind the scenes. Most impressive is the existing array of screen tests that were done for the movie - evidence that the much-ballyhooed Search for Scarlett O'Hara was far more than hype from a hotheaded publicist. Showing dozens of would-be Scarletts, Melanies, Ashleys and Belles, the most stunning footage is the multiple and lengthy tests that Paulette Goddard did for the role of Scarlett. She exhibits a cunning and slyness that is perfect for Scarlett, and the newsreports go crazy announcing her unconfirmed appointment.Read more ›
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35 of 37 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 29, 1999
Format: VHS Tape
The most fascinating aspect of this beautifully created documentary is how close we came to having Paulette Goddard--of all people--and not the mythical Vivien Leigh as our treasured Scarlett O'Hara. The screen tests were fascinating, as we watched everyone from Goddard to Lana Turner trying out for the greatest female role in movie history. Goddard was an all-American beauty, with a flat, nasal voice, which wasn't all that apparent in the movie comedies she played in. In real life, she had no other ambition than to be a party-girl and collecting fortunes from her many lovers and husbands. Only the fact that she was the mistress of Charlie Chaplin--and with David Selznick fearful of the puritanical reaction--did he reject her and wait around and then the miracle occurred. Vivien Leigh decided on the spur of the moment to fly to HOllywood to join her lover, Laurence Olvier. The whole making of GWTW sounds like a typical Selznick movie. Mistresses, battling film divas, the GWTW set being shut down on several occasions (the money ran out one time, Victor Fleming had a breakdown, George Cukor was fired as director, etc.) This is a "magic" movie. It could never be made again. And looked at that abominable mess of a TV mini-series, "Scarlett" which came and went and I don't know of anyone who can even remember who played Scarlett or any of the rest of those legendary figures. Equally fascinating is how the special effects transformed a Hollywood backlot to plantations and ballrooms and battlefields. Bravo to Vivien, David and GWTW.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Kimberley Wilson on November 26, 2004
Format: VHS Tape
This documentary is both cleverly done and very entertaining. We all know how GWTW turned out but the story of how it was made is fascinating. David O. Selznick was nuts--- mad scientist nuts mixed with Motzart nuts and he just about drove everyone involved mad as well but he made a great movie. Can you imagine Erol Flynn as Rhett or Paulette Godard as Scarlet? Although Flynn was only in the running for the role for the blink of an eye Paulette almost got the role but luckily she lacked ambition and something in Selznick just made him keep on looking for a Scarlet until Vivian Leigh came to America.

This is an exciting story and can be enjoyed either before watching GWTW again or on its own.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Byron Kolln HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on November 12, 2009
Format: DVD
Produced by Turner Entertainment in 1988, GONE WITH THE WIND: THE MAKING OF A LEGEND remains the definitive documentary on the production of the greatest epic movie in Hollywood's history. Narrated by Christopher Plummer and featuring valuable interviews with surviving cast and crew members, this generously-packed two-hour doco provides a rare insight into the genesis of the project and it's backstage intrigues.

Film buffs will especially enjoy seeing the screen-tests for several Scarlett O'Hara contenders - including Jean Arthur, Susan Hayward and Paulette Goddard (the latter coming the closest to nabbing the role until Vivien Leigh arrived--Goddard subsequently played her own version of Scarlett in the gorgeous Technicolor romp "Reap the Wild Wind" several years later). Here too, you'll experience first-hand the often chaotic atmosphere on the set, which caused George Cukor to be fired from his post and replaced by gruff "men's director" Victor Fleming, much to the distress of Ms Leigh.

This disc will mark the first time that the documentary has been available for purchase on DVD outside of the complete "Gone with the Wind" DVD extras package.
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