On the road to Tara: the making of Gone with the wind
H.N. Abrams, 1996 - 224 pages
Gone with the wind is one of the most popular and oft-discussed movies of all time, but never has the story of the making of this Academy Award-winning classic been reconstructed in such rich visual detail as in this fascinating new book. In a lively and absorbing chronicle, Harmetz makes the immensity of Selznick's task come alive: How should Tara look? How should Scarlett O'Hara wear her hair? How could the dramatic burning of a city as large as Atlanta be captured on film? And how was Rhett Butler going to say, "Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn", when the Production Code of the day forbade the use of expletives? The answers are found here, in photographs of Vivien Leigh in various wigs, in sketches for many different versions of Tara, in letters showing how Selznick threatened and cajoled the authorities for months over Rhett's famous line, and much, much more. On the Road to Tara brings to light prospective casting lists; actual pages from original scripts and rewrites with the producer's and writers' notations; miniature sets; costume sketches with fabric swatches; finished costumes that were never worn; makeup tests; storyboards; matte paintings; architectural, technical, and construction drawings for false fronts that were as carefully planned as any actual building; personal snapshots - not just familiar publicity stills - taken by the studio's staff photographer, Fred Parrish, of both cast and crew; and many of Selznick's famous memos that record the indecision and inspiration behind the thousands of choices he made - and remade - up to and through the release of this epic film.