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Vivien Leigh Discusses "Gone with the Wind"

Vivien Leigh, who played Scarlett O'Hara in the film version of "Gone with the Wind" - produced by David O. Selznick - talked about film making twenty years later with Edward R. Murrow. 

Joining them were Sam Goldwyn (the famous film producer) and Ken Tynan (a British film critic). 

This clip is from that December, 1958 interview.  Among other things, it reveals Vivien Leigh's willingness to express her own opinions on a range of topics. 

Because Americans greatly loved Mitchell's book - Gone with the Wind - people were very interested to learn who would play the role of Scarlett O'Hara in the film version.  (Margaret Mitchell - whose husband, John Marsh copy-edited the book - was very happy with the selection of Clark Gable as Rhett Butler.) 

One thing was for sure - Southerners did not want a "Yankee" actress to play the pivotal part.

The July 17, 1939 edition of LIFE Magazine reflects the reaction when a beautiful but little-known actress from England was given the part:

The most vital question of last year to millions of otherwise sensible Americans was who would play Scarlett O'Hara in the movie version of Gone With the Wind.  When that question was settled by the somewhat unaccountable selection of an obscure, green-eyed English actress named Vivien Leigh, it was succeeded by another equally exciting one:  would Miss Leigh do the part justice?

Audiences loved Leigh as Scarlett, as did the film industry.  LIFE includes a picture of Miss Leigh with her Oscar, after she won the award for best actress.

Decades later, LIFE referred to Leigh as "Britain's most glamorous stage queen."

NOTE:  Keep in mind that the language these four individuals used, during their discussions, was the type of pre-civil-rights-era language used at the time.

See, also:

Small World - Interview with Vivien Leigh - Part 2

Small World - Interview with Vivien Leigh - Part 3

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Author: Carole D. Bos, J.D. 5000stories and lessons created

Original Release: Oct 07, 2013

Updated Last Revision: Nov 28, 2016


Media Credits

Clip from Edward R. Murrow's "Small World" - December, 1958.  Online, courtesy YouTube.

 

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