Cinema: Selznick Surprise

When in 1936 Producer David Oliver Selznick bought the screen rights to Margaret Mitchell's 1,520,000-copy Gone With the Wind, cinemaddicts jumped to the conclusion that, since his father-in-law is Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer's Vice President Louis Burt Mayer, Producer Selznick would promptly cast two M-G-M stars—probably Clark Gable and Norma Shearer—as Rhett Butler and Scarlett O'Hara. Instead, Producer Selznick shrewdly announced that he had no idea who would play Rhett Butler and Scarlett O'Hara, said he hoped to discover unknown actors for the parts.

For two years, the vital question of who would play Scarlett...

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