On Thursday, May 25, 1939, Victor Fleming, Vivien Leigh and Leslie Howard regrouped for a reshoot of the paddock scene.
Howard muddled his way through the dialogue, and Leigh stumbled through hers. She cursed herself this time. Howard yielded to discretion and uttered not a word to his co-star.
The paddock scene do over didn’t do it for Fleming or for Selznick. Subsequently, the producer sent Howard a pointed memo: “I send you herewith a copy of that book you ought to get around to reading some time, called Gone With the Wind. I think the book has a great future and might make a very good picture.”
Selznick reminded the actor that Howard had promised to memorize the lines of the paddock scene and to read pages 525 to 535 of the Mitchell novel in order to gain an understanding of the character of Ashley Wilkes and the importance of the scene. While Leslie Howard did the former, he ignored the latter suggestion.
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).