2011–The 75th Anniversary of GWTW, the book, based in part on writings from the Mitchell family scrapbook, shown above.
Margaret Mitchell’s novel, Gone With The Wind was becoming a huge hit when it came out in 1936. The author immediately signed the movie rights to Selznick International Studios and production began on what would become one of the most enduring films in movie history.
Why did she refuse to go to Hollywood to work on the film? There have been several reasons given, but since none of us were there we really don’t know Margaret Mitchell’s exact feelings on the situation. Marcella Rabwin, the executive assistant to David Selznick tried to get the author’s input on what she thought Tara should look like, the costumes, anything she could get; but Mitchell would not comply.
Though she did not go to Hollywood, she did things along the way which ended up having a great impact on the picture like suggesting historian and artist Wilbur Kurtz to work on the film as well as her good friend Susan Myrick. Can you imagine what it was like for Susan Myrick, who was a writer for the newspaper in Macon, Georgia to get to go to Hollywood and work with actors like Clark Gable? She spent time with those who were willing to work on their Southern accents including Leslie Howard.
Howard was known to have been aloof about the production, but according to Myrick in her book “White Columns In Hollywod” he spent a good deal of time working with her and trying to have just the right accent that Ashley Wilkes would have had. She thoroughly enjoyed working with him.
Myrick spent her time on the production and when she went home for Thanksgiving she told her family all about it. One of those at the dinner table was Susan Lindsley, Myrick’s niece. Lindsley’s mother was Myrick’s sister and the two were very close. She even got to meet Margaret Mitchell.
Those who attend “Gateway To The Wind” will get a chance to meet Susan Lindsley who is an accomplished author and photographer. Lindsley will be bringing some of her books which include an essay of Myrick’s which has never been published before. She is also nearing completion of her book about her famous aunt and her experiences in Hollywood.
By Sally Tippett Rains, author of The Making Of A Masterpiece, The True Story of Margaret Mitchell’s Classic Novel, Gone With The Wind (www.GWTWbook.com) For more information on Gateway To The Wind, the Gone With The Wind festival to be held Nov. 5-7 in St. Louis, Missouri check out the website.
For Cubs Fans or Baseball fans in general, check out my husband, Rob Rains’ book, “The Curse: Cubs Win! Cubs Win!…Or Do They?” There is an article in today’s USA Today about the book. It’s a great read and a good gift. You can order it on Amazon.com.