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  • USA
  • 1996-12-15
About the object
Clark Gable's personal script for Gone With The Wind, 1939. The cover of the maroon leather bound script is embossed GONE WITH THE WIND SCREEN PLAY and CLARK GABLE, on the inside cover, the actor's personal bookplate; the text pages bound with eight black and white stills from the film featuring the actor as "Rhett Butler" with Vivien Leigh as "Scarlett O'Hara". Inscribed and signed by producer David Selznick on the first page of the script:
For Clark,
Who made the dream of fifty million Americans (who couldn't be - and weren't - wrong!), and one producer come true!
With gratitude for a superb performance and a happy association,
Xmas, 1939
By the late 1930s millions had read a sensational book by Atlanta author Margaret Mitchell. "Gone With The Wind" was an overnight success, selling millions of copies and immortalizing it's characters. Selznick International Pictures was overwhelmed from the start with letters from the public suggesting casting possiblities for it's beloved Scarlett and Rhett. While everyone wanted Clark Gable as the dashing leading man, there was only one problem; Gable did not want to play Rhett Butler. He was quoted as saying, "It wasn't that I didn't appreciate the compliment the public was paying me, it was simply that Rhett was too big an order. I didn't want any part of him, Rhett was too much for any actor to tackle in his right mind." Since he was signed to Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios, who did not want its' star making money for anyone else, Gable felt safe that he could avoid taking on the role. Fate had a different idea when David Selznick and M.G.M. Studio head Louis B. Mayer made one of the most infamous deals in Hollywood history. For the services of Clark Gable and a cash investment of over one million dollars, M.G.M. would receive the distribution rights and one half of the profits for Gone With The Wind. In August 1938 Gable signed on; "I could have put up a fight," the actor said, "I didn't." As they say, the rest is history.

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