February 29

Gone With the Wind Wins 8 Oscars

February 29, 1940 - Atlanta

It was one of the most popular movies ever made and is forever linked to the state of Georgia.

Gone With the Wind producer David O. Selznick had worried that Civil War movies usually bombed at the box office, and making the movie itself had been a mammoth undertaking. Selznick interviewed 1400 actors and conducted 90 screen tests before casting Vivien Leigh. To get Clark Gable, Selznick had to sell MGM partial interest in the movie, and Gable didn’t even want the part. Selznick changed directors early in the filming.

But all the chaos and hard work paid off: in the end, the film won Best Picture; other Oscars went to Victor Fleming as Best Director, Vivien Leigh for Best Actress, Sidney Howard for Best Screenplay, and Hattie Mcdaniel for Best Supporting Actress, the first African-American to win an Oscar.

Gone With the Wind, nominated for 13 Academy Awards, won eight, more than any film up to that time, when the Oscars were awarded on February 29, 1940, Today in Georgia History.