Wednesday, June 14, 1939 proved to be another long work day for Vivien Leigh, as Gone With the Wind’s filming continued:
- She was on the set at 8 a.m. for director Victor Fleming’s retake of the “Scarlett Curses Melanie and Her Baby” scene. After Dr. Meade tells her that Ashley – in the field fighting for the Cause – is owed “a well-born child,” Scarlett remembers her promise to look after Melanie and agrees to remain in Atlanta. Once Aunt Pittypat and Uncle Peter drive away in the buggy, leaving her stranded, Scarlett blames her predicament on Melanie and her baby and regrets having ever given her promise to Ashley.
- Leigh’s next scene was “Scarlett Stops a Dispatch Rider.” Fleming had the cameras rolling as a Confederate horseman, played by actor and Fleming friend William Bakewell, gallops down Peachtree Street. Scarlett begs the rider to stop. He tells her that the Confederate Army is evacuating and that she had “better refugee South – right quick, ma’am.”
- Leigh’s next scene was “Gerald’s Walk with Scarlett” in which he declares that “land’s the only thing that lasts.” While preparing for this scene, Leigh learned that Selznick had decided she would wear the white, high-necked, ruffled dress from the Evening Prayers sequence. White, Selznick believed, would make Scarlett look more virginal. That meant, of course, that all the previously filmed porch scenes in which she had worn the barbecue gown had to be scrapped.
- Leigh’s last scene was a retake of “The Road Outside Atlanta” scene with Clark Gable. On the McDonough Road, Rhett announces he is leaving Scarlett to join the Confederate Army. He declares his love for her and pleads “Scarlett, kiss me…kiss me once.”
Kissing Clark Gable – the perfect way to end a long day at work.
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).