Selznick Addresses Gone With the Wind Premiere Rumors

A book to celebrate GWTW's 75th Anniversary!

A book to celebrate GWTW’s 75th Anniversary!

Rumors swirled around the city of Atlanta that Hollywood planned to debut Gone With the Wind in Los Angeles. Or maybe New York. But definitely not Atlanta.

These claims were so upsetting to local merchants, who had dreams of a business bonanza resulting from an Atlanta premiere, that they besieged the mayor’s office, demanding answers. The Honorable William B. Hartsfield fired off a telegram to producer David O. Selznick, seeking clarification about situation.

On July 17, 1939, Selznick sent a letter to Hartsfield, assuring him that “neither we, nor Loew’s, Incorporated (the distributors of the picture), have ever given any thought to opening [Gone With the Wind] in any place but Atlanta.”

Further, Selznick expressed his hope that the public remain patient as important aspects of post-production work on Gone With the Wind continued. Among the still-to-be-completed tasks were:

  • Filming montage and battle scenes
  • Editing at least one hour from the rough-cut version of the movie
  • Scoring and sound effects
  • Creating a main title worthy of Gone With the Wind
  • Matching and balancing the film’s color
  • Making the prints that would be shipped to theaters

“It is my hope,” Selznick wrote, “that all of these processes will be completed by the end of November, but even this is going to take backbreaking effort on the part of my entire organization.”

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) 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).

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