To replace director Victor Fleming, producer David O. Selznick chose Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer director Sam Wood, who had just finished filming Goodbye, Mr. Chips.
On Monday, May 1, 1939, Wood started his directorial duties with scenes of Scarlett and Ashley embracing at the lumber mill and Belle Watling approaching Melanie on the hospital steps. The latter became another of Gone With the Wind‘s jinxed scenes.
Actress Ona Munson’s costume was heavily padded to make her look like the well-endowed Belle. But the costume department outdid themselves, and Wood decided that the prominence of Belle’s bosom would not be approved by the Hays Office’s censors. Wood reshot the scene the following week, but this attempt was equally unsatisfactory.
After Fleming returned, he took a crack at directing this scene on June 2. Munson’s bosom was rendered more discreetly, and the scene was successful.
Happy 75th Anniversary, Gone With the Wind!
Blog Bio: Pauline Bartel is the author of The Complete GONE WITH THE WIND Trivia Book (2nd edition), which will be published in spring 2014, and an expert on the film and its history. Visit the website (www.paulinebartel.com/resources/books/books-available) for further information. Follow her on Twitter @PaulineBartel and “like” her on Facebook (www.facebook.com/TheCompleteGWTWTriviaBook).