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Gone With the Wind on TCM

Tomorrow night, Tuesday, September 14, as part of Vivien Leigh Month Turner Classic Movies airs the classic “Gone with the Wind” at 8 p.m. We’ll be watching, and live tweeting/Facebooking, and hope you’ll join us! We realize it’s an all-night commitment, as the four-hour movie won’t be over until midnight, but you know you want to at least catch a glimpse of Scarlett and Rhett on the big screen. (And if you’re really a night owl or just a die-hard Southerner, you may want to stay up or at least set the DVR for “Making of a Legend: Gone with the Wind” followed by “Streetcar Named Desire.”)

Premiering in 1939, “Gone with the Wind” won an unprecedented 10 Academy Awards and celebrates the 70th anniversary of that win this year. The book was published three years before by Margaret Mitchell, who wrote it from her apartment on Peachtree Street in Atlanta. Today, the Margaret Mitchell House is operated by the Atlanta History Center and open for guided tours daily. It also includes a museum, where visitors can see the front door of Tara from the movie set and the famous painting of Scarlett in her blue dress.

According to Wikipedia, Mitchell wanted Georgia native Miriam Hopkins to play the part of Scarlett, but the producer cast young English actress Vivien Leigh for the part. Clark Gable was an immediate favorite for Rhett. First shown in Atlanta after three days of festivities, including a parade with the stars and a costume ball, “Gone with the Wind” has been re-released throughout the years and is now owned by Turner Entertainment. It is said to be owner Ted Turner’s favorite movie.

““Gone with the Wind” has stood the test of time for many reasons, from the historic sweep of the movie to the timeless love story that lies at the center of the film,” says Charlie Tabesh, senior vice president of programming for TCM. “TCM has shown “Gone with the Wind” roughly 30 times. It is such an enduring classic that it was chosen to be the very first movie ever shown on TCM when the network launched in 1994.”

A recent event in the “Gone with the Wind” saga is the publication of “The Making of a Masterpiece: The True Story of Margaret Mitchell’s Classic Novel, Gone With the Wind” by Sally Tippett Rains. GWTW fans may also want to head to St. Louis, Missouri, November 5-7 for Gateway to the Wind, a celebration of the history of the book and movie and Margaret Mitchell’s birthday.

Until then, we hope you’ll be watching with us tomorrow night. We’re still finalizing our viewing menu, but Ambrosia Bakery in Baton Rouge has us inspired by their Scarlett O’hara cake. A double split layer with chocolate Devil’s Food cake and turtle, chocolate buttercream and raspberry fillings, the sweet concoction is covered with chocolate icing and what the bakery calls a “fudge pour,” then garnished with three chocolate buttercream roses. We think Scarlett would approve!

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