On Wednesday, May 10, 1939, Sam Wood directed Vivien Leigh and Paul Hurst in the scene of “Scarlett Killing the Yankee Deserter.”
Scarlett spots the Yankee cavalryman trespassing at Tara and then dashes upstairs to retrieve the pistol Rhett had given her on the McDonough Road. Her confrontation with the deserter takes place moments later on the staircase.
“What’ve you got hidden in your hand?” he asks and then starts up the stairs toward her.
Scarlett raises her hand, points the pistol at his face and fires.
The artificial blood painted on Paul Hurst’s face for this scene was a mixture of water, corn syrup, red coloring and a thickener. Hurst took the stickiness of the concoction in stride. As a character actor in hundreds of silent and sound films since 1912, he was a pro at being the recipient of the business end of a persuader. The only off-putting element for Hurst was the “blood’s” raspberry flavor.
I think it’s safe to say that, while the filming of this sequence took place, Mr. Hurst didn’t order raspberry shortcake in the studio’s commissary.
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).