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Vivien Leigh, Gone With the Wind (1939)

Gone With the Wind is my all-time favourite film. It is, as well, a favourite to many people around the world and its enduring popularity has never diminished. This year we are celebrating the 75th anniversary of this masterpiece and I expect to see, like everybody else, a trully special collector’s edition. I have always been very curious to see the deleted scenes. I am sure that each fan of GWTW would like to see the outtakes and at least a fragment of the cut footage. We only know that GWTW’s longest version was around 5 hours, when it was shown in a sneak preview in September 1939. Then it was cut again for the premiere (in December 1939), and the actual version is no more, no less than 212 minutes (which means 3 hours and 32 minutes). I don’t understand why different websites and film critics mention the 4-hour length, because this is not true. The film hardly reaches 230 minutes with intermission and exit music, so maybe that legendary and so-much-talked-about length was available in the previous re-releases.

Vivien Leigh, Clark Gable, Gone With the Wind (1939)

 

All in all, GWTW is pure history. It had the biggest budget of its time (almost $4,000,000), the greatest number of Oscar winnings (10) and the highest grossing among the movies of all time ($4401358554.94 in 2012, as it is mentioned on the imdb website). It has millions of fans all over the world, and so does Margaret Mitchell’s equally legendary novel, published in 1936 and winner of a Pulitzer Prize in 1937. In addition to this, GWTW has a spectacular cast, which includes three of my personal favourites: Vivien Leigh, Clark Gable, and Olivia de Havilland. But one cannot and should not forget to mention the producer David O. Selznick, who worked very hard to make this film come to life, with its characters, story, music, and all! As a matter of fact, I will always consider that GWTW was and will always be the greatest movie of all time because it reunited an extraordinary cast and crew that did their best to create a masterpiece equally classical and modern, that would impress the audiences, generation after generation, year after year. And even if Miss Olivia de Havilland is the only survivor of this monumental production from 1939, the film still remains as fresh and new as it used to be in the past, or now even more than ever, because it is digitally restored periodically, and the quality of the picture and sound is permanently improved, so that people who go to the cinema to watch it on the big screen will enjoy it immensely. 2014 is the year of GWTW and I can’t think of a better choice to start the New Year than this top film of a top year in cinema history.

Clark Gable, Vivien Leigh, Gone With the Wind (1939)

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