Arts & Culture

Celebrating Eighty Years of Gone with the Wind

How Georgia will mark the film’s anniversary


On December 15, 1939, Gone with the Wind premiered in Atlanta. Eight decades later, it remains the top-grossing film of all time (adjusted for inflation), and it has prompted countless spoofs and discussions about perceptions of the old and new South. Here are a few ways fans will remember the film in Georgia this winter. 

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Clark Gable and Vivien Leigh in Gone with the Wind.

On-Screen 

Hattie McDaniel became the first African American actor to win an Oscar for her role as Mammy, but segregation barred her from the premiere. In an exhibition, Marietta’s Gone with the Wind Museum honors the film’s black cast members and displays an original script and costumes. Down the street, the Strand Theatre invites all to a screening of the film on December 14. Get there early for a prelude of the score played on the Mighty Allen Theatre Organ. 

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Vivian Leigh and Hattie McDaniel in Gone with the Wind.


By the Book 

The Margaret Mitchell House hosts Stars Fall on Atlanta, an exhibit about the premiere with movie posters, black-and-white photos, and historic context, in the same home where Mitchell wrote the novel on which the film is based. 


Surrounding Views 

In Atlanta for the premiere, Clark Gable visited the Cyclorama, a 360-degree painting depicting the Battle of Atlanta, a climactic event in the book and film. Over time, artists altered the Cyclorama to depict fictitious details—including a Confederate victory and a soldier bearing Gable’s face. Last February, the Atlanta History Center unveiled a restored, historically accurate mural. 

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Clark Gable and Leigh in Gone with the Wind.

MORE:
>>PHOTOS: The Making of Gone with the Wind 
>>The Other Leading Lady: An Interview with Olivia de Havilland