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Gone With The Wind Screen Tests

When David O. Selznick decided to go all out in producing Gone With the Wind, (directed by Victor Fleming, George Cukor, B. Reeves “Breezy” Eason and numerous other hands before it was finally completed in 1939, including Selznick himself), Selznick launched a massive publicity campaign to find the “perfect” actress for the part of Scarlett O’Hara — of course, Vivien Leigh won the role. It was great publicity for the film, for Leigh, and for Selznick himself.

Vivien Leigh was perfect for the role. You can hardly imagine anyone else delivering this, among many other signature lines from the film: “As God is my witness, as God is my witness they’re not going to lick me. I’m going to live through this and when it’s all over, I’ll never be hungry again. No, nor any of my folk. If I have to lie, steal, cheat or kill. As God is my witness, I’ll never be hungry again.”

Here are the screen tests for the other aspirants for the part, as well as color silent test footage of Leslie Howard and Clark Gable at the end of the clip; interesting viewing.

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About the Author

Wheeler Winston Dixon

Wheeler Winston Dixon, Ryan Professor of Film Studies at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, is an internationally recognized scholar and writer of film history, theory and criticism. He is the author of thirty books and more than 100 articles on film, and appears regularly in national media outlets discussing film and culture trends. Frame by Frame is a collection of his thoughts on a number of those topics. To contact Prof. Dixon for an interview, reach him at 402.472.6064 or wdixon1@unl.edu. Visit him at his website wheelerwinstondixon.com.

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