In July 1939, producer David O. Selznick and film editor Hal Kern undertook a staggering task: Review all of the footage filmed for Gone With the Wind and assemble a rough cut of the movie. The various units had shot approximately 449,512 feet of Technicolor film, which translated into 81 hours of action.
Selznick screened the existing footage and, with Kern’s assistance, selected takes of the scenes that told Scarlett and Rhett’s story. When the selected scenes were compiled, Selznick realized that Gone With the Wind had a running time of almost six hours.
Then came the process of eliminating this scene and cutting that entrance to shorten the film to manageable length. The work was intense. Selznick and Kern spent interminable hours in the cutting room. One session lasted almost 48 hours. To be continued…
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).