One month after her novel long past With the Wind used to be released, Margaret Mitchell offered the motion picture rights for 50 thousand funds. frightened of what the studio may do to her story—“I wouldn’t placed it past Hollywood to have . . . Scarlett seduce basic Sherman,” she joked—the writer washed her fingers of involvement with the movie. although, pushed via a maternal curiosity in her literary firstborn and forced through her Southern manners to reply to each fan letter she obtained, Mitchell was once not able to stick aloof for long.
In this number of her letters concerning the 1939 movie vintage, readers have a front-row seat because the writer watches the Dream manufacturing unit at paintings, studying the bits and bobs of filmmaking and learning the peculiarities of a movie-crazed public. Her skill to weave a narrative, so obvious in long gone With the Wind, makes for pleasant examining in her correspondence with a who’s who of Hollywood, from manufacturer David O. Selznick, director George Cukor, and screenwriter Sidney Howard, to solid participants Clark Gable, Vivien Leigh, Leslie Howard, Olivia de Havilland and Hattie McDaniel.
Mitchell additionally wrote to hundreds of thousands of others—aspiring actresses desirous to play Scarlett O’Hara; fellow Southerners hopeful of seeing their houses or their grandmother’s gown utilized in the movie; rabid motion picture fanatics decided that their favourite big name be solid; and creators of songs, dolls and Scarlett panties who have been confident the writer used to be their price ticket to popularity and fortune. throughout the film’s creation, she corrected erring reporters and the producer’s over-the-top publicist who fed the gossip turbines, accuracy be damned. as soon as the motion picture comprehensive, she struggled to house neighbors and strangers alike who “fought and trampled little kids and connived and broke the binds of lifelong friendship” to get tickets to the premiere.
But via all of it, she retained her humorousness. Recounting an acquaintance’s denial of the rumor that the writer herself was once going to play Scarlett, Mitchell famous he “ungallantly said that i used to be anything like fifty years too previous for the part.” After receiving various letters and call calls from the studio approximately Belle Watling’s accessory, the writer comparable her father was once “convulsed on the proposal of somebody telephoning from big apple to find how the madam of a accomplice bordello talked.” And in a chatty letter to Gable after the most desirable, Mitchell coyly admitted being “feminine sufficient to be rather charmed” via his assertion to the clicking that she was once “fascinating,” yet extra: “Even my most sensible buddies examine me in a speculative way—probably pondering what they neglected that your sharp eyes saw!”
As long gone With the Wind marks its seventy-fifth anniversary at the silver reveal, those letters, edited by way of Mitchell historian John Wiley, Jr., provide a clean examine the preferred movie of all time during the eyes of the lady who gave delivery to Scarlett.