Classic Old Movies – Gone with the Wind movie (1939)

The crowning jewel of classic old movies, Gone With the Wind film is one of the best American classic movies ever produced. 

It is certainly the most beloved American movie classic. The film is frequently placed among 100 best movies ever made and currently holds 6th spot on AFI top 100 movies list (American Film Insitute).

It swept the Academy Awards with 13 nominations and 8 Oscar wins. According to Guinness World Records, Gone with the Wind is the top-grossing movie ever made, adjusted for inflation.

Classic Old Movies - Gone with the Wind movie (1939)

Classic Old Movies – Plot Teaser

The movie shows experiences of a spoilt and hard-headed daughter of a plantation owner in Georgia around the time of American Civil War. 

Classic Old Movies – Gone with the Wind story

Movie Ratings


Rotten Tomatoes


Love it!

96% by critics

91% by viewers


Gone with the Wind movie was a vision of one man – David O. Selznick, one of the most successful Hollywood movie producers of all time.

When the Gone with the Wind book was published in 1936 and David Selznick purchased the movie rights, he knew he had to make a great film or… be damned by the American public forever.

Nowadays, it is difficult to imagine the effect the Gone with the Wind book had on readers around the world. It was huge!

Almost 80 years later, it is still second most loved book in America, behind the Bible, according to a 2008 Harris Poll. It is on TIME magazine’s 100 best English-Language novels from 1923 to 2005 and it is the UK’s “best-loved novel” based on a poll conducted by BBC.

Bit of Trivia

Apart from producing Gone with the Wind movie and introducing Vivien Leigh to the world, David O. Selznick brought Ingrid Bergman, one of the greatest classic movie actresses, to America.

He also invited Alfred Hitchcock to Hollywood and produced 3 of his movies, including Rebecca (1940) – the only Hitchcock film to receive a Best Movie Oscar.

It required and unprecedented amount of time, money and effort to condense over 1000 pages of an iconic novel into this masterpiece of classic old movies.

David O Selznick, one of the most prominent American film producers, was the man for the job.

He was a pioneer in his way of “producing a movie”. At the time, a production studio assigned production supervisors to a picture. These supervisors had very superficial roles and ultimately did not feel responsible for the final product. 

David Selznick, on the other hand, had a creative control of every part of production. Some people called him a perfectionist, others - a control freak. 

He had a vision, and everything had to adhere to it. He co-wrote the screenplay, although he was never credited for it. He hand-picked the Gone with the Wind cast and brought an unknown British actress Vivien Leigh to play a much coveted part of Scarlett O’Hara, the most important of all Gone with the Wind characters.

David Selznick, the film producer, created a new job title in the movie industry – production designer – specifically for William Cameron Menzies who for the first time in movie history re-created the whole script in visual boards. 

Classic Movie Scenes and Storyboards

Storyboard of Tara

Classic Old Movies - Storyboard of Tara

Tara in the movie

Classic Old Movies - Tara

Storyboard of the library scene

Classic Old Movies - Storyboard of the Library Scene

Library scene in the classic movie

Classic Old Movies - Gone with the Wind Library Scene

Storyboard of the fire sequence

Classic Old Movies - Storyboard of the Fire Scene

Fire scene in the classic movie

Classic Old Movies - Gone with the Wind Fire Scene

Thanks to these storyboards, the classic film is consistent despite the fact that 4 different movie directors were employed for the production.

The footage was shot during the day, reviewed by Selznick at night and by morning time, the cast and crew were bombarded with his famous memos:

  • A memo regarding the costumes of Clark Gable (in character as Rhett Butler): The clothes that I have been complaining about in the past are masterpieces of tailoring compared to the horrible outfits that I saw tried on him Saturday. A more ill-fitting and unbecoming group of suits I have never seen on a laboring, much less on a star ....
  • A memo regarding hiring F.Scott Fitzgerald: Fitzgerald starts with us today, 1/6/39, at $1250 week, on loan from MGM.  He will work on GWTW dialogue
  • Selznick was not allowed to use iconic line “Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn.” The word “damn” was considered blasphemous by censors. Memo in which he complains to the censors: We have been commended by preview audiences for our extremely faithful job on Gone With the Wind, and practically the only point that has been commented on as being missing is the curious (to audiences) omission of this line. It spoils the punch at the end of the picture.

In the end, the line was kept in the classic movie. It was voted the "most memorable line" in movie history.

By the time the movie was completed, the cast and crew were completely exhausted. The official production documents stated that the “damned thing” was finally finished.

It was worth the blood and sweat - the public loved it and instantly named it one of the best movies of all time. In the US, Gone with the Wind movie had 283 thousand admissions, compared with 130 thousand for Titanic in 1997. Two-thirds of the UK’s population went to see the film. 

Classic Old Movies – Movie Recommendation

Gone with the Wind film, one of the best classic movies, is an absolute delight – a true Hollywood masterpiece. It is visually stunning, and keeps you glued to the screen. The classic movie is 4 hours long, divided into 2 parts. However, chances are you will want to see it all in one sitting. 

You might also enjoy...

Classic Old Movies - War and Peace movie (1968)

Best Epic Movies – War and Peace movie (1968)

War and Peace movie is undoubtedly one of the best epic movies and among the best classic war movies ever made. It is considered the definitive version of the epic War and Peace book. 

The classic Soviet film received best movie Oscar and a Golden Globe for best foreign language film in 1968.

Classic Old Movies - The Children of Paradise (1945)

Classic Old Movies – The Children of Paradise (1945)

One of the best French language films, Children of Paradise movie, is among the most loved classic old movies from France. Often compared to Gone with the Wind, this film employed an ensemble cast of classic movie actors and actresses.

The romantic drama movie was filmed during Second World War under difficult circumstances.

Classic Old Movies - Metropolis film (1927)

Best Classic Films – Metropolis film (1927)

Metropolis is undoubtedly one of the best classic sci-fi movies and the original science fiction mega blockbuster. Epic in scale, magnitude and importance, it is often placed among 100 best movies ever created.

One of the best classic films produced in Germany. 

Go from Classic Old Movies – Gone with the Wind to FILMiconic: Movie Reviews homepage

FILMiconic: Movie Reviews > Best Epic Movies > Gone with the Wind movie