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...Great Balls of Fire...it's gone, gone with the wind



As you know, if you follow my blogging to some extent, both Bud and I love books. And I'm always searching for special books to add to my collections. Especially anything that has to do with the subject Gone With the Wind. We have a large used book store in town. Filled with everything and anything pertaining to just about any subject you could dream of wanting. Since the mall where we usually walk after Sunday Brunch was closed completely for Easter this past Sunday, we ended up walking along the huge strip mall across the freeway. While there, the bookstore was open. Of course, we always go in to peruse the shelves when possible. And, I thought to myself: "Anni, check out the movie books today.". I did...and I found one of the most fantastic coffee table books on the movie GWTW!!! It's loaded with information on the making of the film, that I've not read in all my years. And I have probably twenty books on the film by now, from biographies of the actors and Margaret Mitchell to pictorial histories. I thought I'd share some of what's inside the cover----

As I understand what I've read so far, everything that was questionable was discussed and settled for accuracy with the directors, the artists, and Ms. Mitchell. And back then in the 30's there were no computer programs to do the art work...here the art work, the sketches, and the scripts, all were done by hand from the writers, to the artists' works... and then approved. To the left is a pencil graph of the plantation, Twelve Oaks, from cornices, door jams, sills and more! According to the photo captions included in the book, the Wilkes mansion was $6,403 to construct...and that was over the budget by some $5k. I read these stats and always stop to try and figure out what the cost of this would be in today's economy. Without the use of computers, it was all hand labor! The following two pages of art from the book shows that there were details right down to how the soil will tilled as it was in the South. It mentions in the captions that the soil for planting was readied for crops with the same technique done in North Carolina plantations, in curved rows; done to keep the rich, dark soil from eroding off the fields to the river bottoms---the 2nd image shows in the opening segments of the film...Margaret Mitchell's Story of the Old South. "And to anyone with a drop of Irish blood in them, why the land they live on is like their mother"....Gerald O'Hara quote. It also states that with Mr. Selznick's determination to be faithful to the novel, rewriting scripts...stating at one time "I've written the last half of the script without anybody's help." Meaning, again, he continually made changes...drastic at times. But of course Ms. Mitchell always thought her book would be impossible to make into a movie....quoting: "If one thread were broken or pulled, an ugly ravel would show clear through to the other side...." So many wonderful images and interesting facts in the making of this epic movie. Here I show you the watercolor artwork of the Burning of Atlanta. One of over 200 Menzies works, sixty-six that deal alone with this segment of the movie; the fire. When the day came for the Atlanta Burning sequence of events and filming, kerosene was filtered through pipes around the massive set...and then, with lighted matches, the scene was set. And continuing through the book's pages, several printed stills of the original script found in Mr. Selznick's archives....the script. It is reported here in this publication that the script was rewritten almost daily. Daily between May and June of 1939. Some revisions of several scenes were written nearly 5 months AFTER Gone With the Wind started production. Some writing was even said to take place at least three weeks before the filming ended. The director even toyed with the idea of making a 'happy ever after' ending with GWTW...."Rhett, Rhett....You'll come back. You'll come back....I know you will." The final cut had "Frankly my dear, I don't give a damn."....a fine ending I think. Ms. Scarlet was such a cad with the man who really loved her, having an ending that he'll return to her would be just too much if you want my opinion.

- - -

More artists' sketches [mouseover captions]

- - -

And last but not least...one I've never ever seen before and this of Vivien Leigh being awake, filming, since 2 a.m. the day of the infamous scene where she's on an incline of land on the plantation..."As God as my witness, I'll never be hungry again!" She plumps down in her dressing room...exhausted.

- - -<><><>- - -

FLASH FICTION GWTW 'tie-in'JOKE with above Show n Tell -in 55 words

Two mice, living in a movie studio warehouse,
looking for food, as one hears the other chewing,
he asks:
"Whaddya find?"
Comes the answer:
"Not sure,
looks like a piece of celluloid
from an old movie. Let me see...
It must be from Gone with the Wind."
"It's Good?"
"Nothing much...book was better."

This is an old joke, revised to comply with 55 word challenge, which was more difficult to condense to fifty five words than to make a story up from scratch.

POSTED: Friday, April 9th, 2010
12:30 A.M.


  1. Anonymous4/09/2010

    Frankly Anni I don't give a damn ROFLMAO!!! Just kidding. What a great find. I'll say she looks exhausted. Maybe it's from helping birthing that baby as well :) LOL. Great 55 to tie into all of that. Well done my friend. Have a wonderful Friday :)

  2. What a great find Anni... Very interesting!

  3. Good post sweetie. Could you please take the header off of shortybears place? Thank you.

  4. haha. book was better. love it. almost as much as the new header....very nice!

    my 55 is up!

  5. LOL! thanks for the invite to stop on by! Funny!

  6. Wow! I'll have to look for that. Did you know that in the scene by the railroad after the fire most of those bodies were dummies? The real people wiggled them once in a while. When I was a child and my mom worked at Strawbridge and Clothiers in Philly, there was an old book "store" out in the alley. Huge amounts of books. This thing was just wood, kind of built on the sidewalk against a building and when they closed, they just pulled down what I guess was a piece of plywood and locked it. Something that would never fly nowadays! What fun that was. It was called Leary's. Thanks for another great post.

  7. An intriguing 55 today. Nicely done.

  8. Now think of the punchline that gone with the wind could have given you! Thanks for popping by. My 55 is here ps thanks re the tip for buttons. It gave the clue I needed to find hyper-link buttons, which I have.

  9. As a fellow lover of books I cannot tell you how happy I am to have found your blog…you have an amazing twist on books and your Flash 55 was adorable…will come back soon…Have a great weekend

  10. The old ones are always the best - jokes and movies.

  11. I haven't seen or heard any of them, so they are all new to me.

  12. Very cute 55 Anni! And what an interesting collection. I haven't seen that film in a really long time but you've inspired me to go and find a copy.

  13. Ha. The book was better! I'll think about this tomorrow.

  14. wow, i love books... thanks for sharing Anni! and nice blog you got here! see you around!

  15. Thanks for inviting me over. I think the artist sketches are very beautiful in those books.

  16. Oh my gosh, Anni!! What an awsome find at the book store! I have a book about the making of the movie, but this one is new to me! ~tina

  17. What a find! I had no idea that all these sketches for the sets were done. It was quite a movie for its time and still a classic today. Can you imagine the gift that was given to the author to be able to write such a book?
    Did you think it was Christmas already when you found this?
    Mama Bear

  18. That book looks really fascinating. Vivien Leigh was so beautiful.

    Liked your 55 but I liked the movie better than the book.

  19. that was my mothers favorite movie it was sad how the writer of the book died in a car accident after the movie came out. your 55 is very clever i loved it too

  20. Good Morning Sweet Annie...
    Ohh I love this post, and what a find you did discover. What a beautiful book. It will take you forever to go through it, and even then each time you go back you see something else you missed the first time. What a treasure.

    I just love all the artist sketches. The colors are so vivid. Can you imagine a mansion for $6,400.00? What a deal. I know that was a lot of money back then, but today it won't even buy you a new car. Did you figure out what that house would cost today?

    Have a beautiful weekend sweetie. It has been in the upper 80's here. I have a baby shower I am co-hosting tomorrow for our DIL. I am finishing baby shoes.

    Have a great day sweetie. See ya tomorrow. Country hugs and much love...Sherry

  21. Annie...
    I loved this.
    Great Job My Dear!
    You are getting to be a 55 ICON!!
    Thanks for the smile, thanks for visiting, and have a Kick Ass Week-End...G

  22. Brilliant Anni! Love your 55!
    I have not read the book yet though.

    Happy Friday!


  23. You have a very interesting blog. Thank you for visiting BellaCasa and for the comment you provided.

    Jan @ BellaCasa

    P.S. Be sure to come for tea today.

  24. Good book, good movie, good 55! That was some interesing stuff about GWTW. Thanks!

  25. What a find Anni! I hope you keep that book on your coffee table so you can peak at it time and again. Can't believe how little it cost to build the mansion! It is amazing to think they didn't have computers then and still make such a wonderful movie all by hand....

  26. Books always seem to better than the movie in MHO. Having said that my favorite Gone with the Wind moment, was the parody done by Carol Burnett and the gang, where she wore the green drapes with the drapery rod.

  27. Hi Anni! I love Gone With The Wind, it's one of my all time favorite movies. What a great book, Have a wonderful weekend! Mary :O)

  28. Even exhausted, Vivian was gorgeous.

    Drat those mice! Their taste is too good.

  29. Wow ! that's something ! Now I am jalous, yes, all green in my face. You found a treasure ! I so much love this story and also the movie ! I don't know how many times I have seen the film and read the book. But what you show here is so interesting and I have never seen that before of course.

  30. Hi Sweet Anni..GWTW is my all-time favorite and there has never been anyone born before or since that comes close to Vivian Leigh's beauty. When I was little, I used to dream of turning into her. :)
    It was a sad thing that she struggled with mental illness...\Thanks for reminding me of this glorious movie...
    hugs, bj

  31. Thank you for your visit!Have a wonderful week end!

  32. Hi Anni,
    Thanks for visiting my Show and Tell at my blog. I haven't visited your blog in quite awhile. I'm just amazed that you design your own blog from graphics to background to layout. It always looks great! Do you have a background in computers (i.e., graphic design)? Your S n' T post was very interesting. It doesn't make any sense, at least to me, that things cost so much more today than back when "Gone With The Wind" was made - when everything was manual labor. I guess it's "labor" of a different sort now. Anyway GWTW is a great book and a fantastic movie. Have a good day.

    Teacup Lane (Sandy)

  33. two mice,
    very nice...
    I like you 55.

  34. http://jingleyanqiu.wordpress.com/2010/04/09/55-her-name-is-kate-pg-13/

    mine is here,
    thank you for the attention!

    take good care.

  35. Thanks for checking out my blog Anni...and for the info about this book, my 14 year-old daughter is crazy for GWTW, this might be one she'd love to read as well. The rose is called "Eden", very easy to find (I got a couple plants at Target once), it's a climber, so needs a good strong support, but will reward you with an amazing show of blooms in spring and then intermitent throughout spring and summer.

  36. Terrific post full of so much background information and great photos. Love the tie-in joke too!

    Fun stopping by to visit!

  37. I found your lovely blog thru Cindy's Romantic Home Friday party. I'm a huge GWTW fan and collector, so I just HAD to check out your post! What a wonderful book and new tidbits you've shared!!

    Big TX Hugs,
    Angelic Accents

  38. LOL I loved your 55. It may be an old joke but your rework was masterful!

  39. Ah Anni! Your 55 is smashing and is beyond superb! Book was better too, but I think Scarlet outdid herself there. It was a hot enough day to show your pantalooms, she's must have been an interesting person. I liked her nanny or the younger slave, I can't remember her name, jeez, but she was fabulous! TGIF, and tootles! :)

  40. Fun post; I'm envious of your bookshelves! we both love 'em too,but now we can give them temporary space in our little houses. Jeez, that picture of Vivien at the end is as bad as any that the paparazzi could catch of today's stars. Man -- she was probably so tired that frankly she didn't give a damn!

  41. And how true that is...books are usually better!
    Award winning 55!! :)

  42. Well I hadn't heard it.. its funny. thanks

    my 55 is up

  43. Loved your 55, that was great! And what a wonderful find at the bookstore. I *love* my local used bookstore - probably my favorite place in the whole town. You never know what treasure you might find...magic!

    Thanks for stopping by my blog and commenting on my 55 today as well! :)

  44. What a great find you found at that bookstore! I can just picture you poring over that book:-) That's something I've always loved doing, reading about the "behind the scenes". Even when watching a movie on dvd I always make sure to go to the main menu and see if they have "the making of" the movie. I still remember going to see Gone With The Wind back in 1971 when it was re-released in the theaters, I feel in love with Rhett right there and then:-) xoxo

  45. What a fantastic find, Anni! I adore GWTW...and so does my daughter. I brought her the video of the movie for her 15 birthday...she now has it on DVD.

    I loved your post on all the "things you ever wanted to know" about the movie, and that last photo of Vivien Leigh...she looks totally drained. Poor thing, but she did a wonderful job of Scarlett, didn't she?

    Thank you so much for that. I'd devour the book if I ever found it!

  46. Gone with the Wind. I usually watch it at least once a year, my dear. Funny what people related to from my Round Top visit. You picked one of my favorites the little stool and blue bottles. One liked the marbles, one liked the antler chandelier.

  47. Wow. That was so well done. How transient are our treasures.

  48. Anonymous4/09/2010

    That looks like a fun book to read!!

  49. Love it! Thanks for the invite. Have a great weekend

  50. I thought gone with the wind was something that happened after eating!

  51. Your blog title is cute and made me smile! Love the purple oh so pretty! If you have a minute stop by I am giving away a teapot for the month of April~ http://shabbychictreasures.blogspot.com/


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