Why was Gone with the Wind so successful?.
The enduring popularity and success of Gone with the wind can be put down to various different factors, the superb performances, captivating story, and groundbreaking production to name a few, yet it is the amalgamation of all these factors and more which has made gone with the wind a timeless classic.
When David O Selznick purchased the rights to Margaret Mitchell's novel for $50 000.
He intended to make the greatest and grandest of motion pictures, and he succeeded.
At the time of selznicks purchase, Margaret Mitchell's novel Gone with the Wind was already a best-seller, at the time already having sold around 180 000 copies, now there have been 25 million copies sold world-wide in 185 editions.
Mitchell's novel had a widely popular response from critics and the public alike, yet it was not marketing or the publisher that made the novel such a success but the story and the characters, and selznick saw the massive potential that the novel had to be translated onto the silver screen despite scepticism from the public and his industry peers.
Selznick is still recognised today as perhaps 'the greatest producer in an era of great producers', the film was his personal triumph, in a time when the producer had the principle control over the making of a motion picture (much like the control of directors in modern moviemaking) Selznick broke all boundaries.
After recommendation from Margaret Mitchell, Selznick hired experts in southern history, speech and social customs to represent the films setting as vividly and authentically as possible, Mitchell herself did not want any personal involvement in the film at all, due to the books success she neither needed or wanted to work for Hollywood, and she also did not want to disappoint her fellow southerners with a possible mis-representation of their home.
The outcome of this choice was that Selznick was in almost complete control over the film and its wild romanticism, as such Selznick made thousands of decisions on gone with the wind from costume fabric to Bonnie's bedroom wallpaper.