Gone with the Wind (film)

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Clark Gable as Rhett Butler and Vivien Leigh as Scarlett O'Hara.
With enough courage, you can do without a reputation.

Gone with the Wind is a 1939 American film about a strong willed woman and a roguish man who carry on a turbulent love affair in the American south during the American Civil War and Reconstruction Era. It remains, allowing for inflation, the highest-grossing film in cinema history.

Directed by Victor Fleming. Written by Sidney Howard, based on the novel by Margaret Mitchell.
The greatest romance of all time!taglines
All we've got is cotton, and slaves and... arrogance.

Title card

  • There was a land of cavaliers and cotton fields called the old south. Here in this pretty world gallantry took its last bow. Here was the last ever to be seen of knights and their ladies fair. Of master and of slave. Look for it only in books, for it is no more than a dream remembered. A civilization gone with the wind.

Rhett Butler

  • What a woman.
  • With enough courage, you can do without a reputation.
  • I'm very drunk and I intend on getting still drunker before this evening is over.

Scarlett O'Hara

  • As God is my witness, as God is my witness they're not going to lick me. I'm going to live through this and when it's all over, I'll never be hungry again. No, nor any of my folk. If I have to lie, steal, cheat or kill. As God is my witness, I'll never be hungry again!
  • I can't let him go. I can't. There must be some way to bring him back. Oh, I can't think about this now! I'll go crazy if I do! I'll think about it tomorrow. But I must think about it. I must think about it. What is there to do? What is there that matters? Tara! Home. I'll go home. And I'll think of some way to get him back. After all...tomorrow...is another day!


[First lines]
Brent Tarleton: What do we care if we were expelled from college, Scarlett? The war is gonna start any day now, so we'd have left college anyhow.
Stuart Tarleton: War! Isn't it exciting, Scarlett? You know those fool Yankees actually want a war?
Brent Tarleton: We'll show 'em!
Scarlett: Fiddle-dee-dee. War, war, war; this war talk's spoiling all the fun at every party this spring. I get so bored I could scream. Besides, there isn't going to be any war.
Brent Tarleton: Not going to be any war?
Stuart Tarleton: Why, honey, of course there's gonna be a war.
Scarlett: If either of you boys says "war" just once again, I'll go in the house and slam the door.
Brent Tarleton: But Scarlett, honey...
Stuart Tarleton: Don't you want us to have a war?
[Scarlett gets up and walks to the door]
Brent Tarleton: [protesting] Scarlett, honey, please. We're sorry.
Stuart Tarleton: [also protesting] We'll talk about something else. I promise we will.
Scarlett: [relenting] Well... [walking back to the spot with the twins] but remember, I warned you.

Gerald: Have you made a spectacle of yourself running after a man who's not in love with you when you might have any man in the county?
Scarlett: I haven't been running after him. It's just a surprise, that's all.
Gerald: Now, don't be jerking your chin at me. If Ashley wanted to marry you, it would be with misgivings I'd say "yes". I want my girl to be happy. You'd not be happy with him.
Scarlett: I would, I would!
Gerald: What difference does it make who you marry so long as he's a Southerner and thinks like you? And when I'm gone, I'll leave Tara to you.
Scarlett: I don't want Tara. Plantations don't mean anything when...
Gerald: You mean to tell me, Katie Scarlett O'Hara, that land doesn't mean anything to you? Why, land is the only thing in the world worth working for, worth fighting for, worth dying for, because it's the only thing that lasts.
Scarlett: Oh, Pa, you talk like an Irishman.
Gerald: It's proud I am that I'm Irish. And don't you be forgetting, Missy, that you're half Irish too. And to anyone with a drop of Irish blood in them, why, the land they live on is like their mother. Oh, but you're just a child. It'll come to you, this love of the land. There's no getting away from it if you're Irish.

Scarlett: Cathleen, who's that?
Cathleen Calvert: Who?
Scarlett: That man looking at us and smiling. The nasty, dark one.
Cathleen Calvert: My dear, don't you know? That's Rhett Butler. He's from Charleston. He has the most terrible reputation.
Scarlett: He looks as if, as if he knows what I look like without my shimmy.
Cathleen Calvert: Scarlett! My dear, he isn't received. He's had to spend most of his time up North because his folks in Charleston won't even speak to him. He was expelled from West Point, he's so fast, and then there's that business about that girl he wouldn't marry.
Scarlett: Tell, tell!
Cathleen Calvert: Well, he took her out buggy riding in the late afternoon without a chaperone, and then ... And then he refused to marry her! [Cathleen whispers in Scarlett's ear. Scarlett gasps, and then whispers in her ear] No. But she was ruined just the same.

[The men are discussing the prospect of going to war with the North]
Gerald: And what does the captain of our troops say?
Ashley: Well, gentlemen, if Georgia fights, I go with her. But like my father, I hope that the Yankees let us leave the Union in peace.
Man: But Ashley, Ashley, they've insulted us!
Charles: You can't mean you don't want war!
Ashley: Most of the miseries of the world were caused by wars. And when the wars were over, no one ever knew what they were about.
[The other men protest]
Gerald: Now gentlemen, Mr. Butler has been up North I hear. Don't you agree with us, Mr. Butler?
Rhett: I think it's hard winning a war with words, gentlemen.
Charles: What do you mean, sir?
Rhett: I mean, Mr. Hamilton, there's not a cannon factory in the whole South.
Man: What difference does that make, sir, to a gentleman?
Rhett: I'm afraid it's going to make a great deal of difference to a great many gentlemen, sir.
Charles: Are you hinting, Mr. Butler, that the Yankees can lick us?
Rhett: No, I'm not hinting. I'm saying very plainly that the Yankees are better equipped than we. They've got factories, shipyards, coalmines...and a fleet to bottle up our harbors and starve us to death. All we've got is cotton, and slaves and...arrogance.
Man: That's treacherous!
Charles: I refuse to listen to any renegade talk!
Rhett: Well, I'm sorry if the truth offends you.
Charles: Apologies aren't enough sir. I hear you were turned out of West Point, Mr. Rhett Butler. And that you aren't received in a decent family in Charleston. Not even your own.
Rhett: I apologize again for all my shortcomings. Mr. Wilkes, perhaps you won't mind if I walk about and look over your place. I seem to be spoiling everybody's brandy and cigars and...dreams of victory.

Ashley: Isn't it enough that you've gathered every other man's heart today? You've always had mine. You cut your teeth on it.
Scarlett: Don't tease me now. Have I your heart, my darling? I love you. I love you.
Ashley: You mustn't say such things. You'll hate me for hearing them.
Scarlett: I could never hate you. And I know you must care about me. Oh, you do care, don't you?
Ashley: Yes, I do care. Oh, can't we go away and forget we ever said these things?
Scarlett: But how can we do that? Don't you...don't you want to marry me?
Ashley: I'm going to marry Melanie.
Scarlett: But you can't. Not if you care for me!
Ashley: Oh my dear, why must you make me say things that will hurt you? How can I make you understand? You're so young and unthinking. You don't know what marriage means.
Scarlett: All I know is that I love you! And you don't love Melanie!
Ashley: She's like me, Scarlett. She's part of my blood and we understand each other.
Scarlett: But you love me!
Ashley: How could I help loving you - you who have all the passion for life that I lack? But that kind of love isn't enough to make a successful marriage for two people who are as different as we are.
Scarlett: Why don't you say it, you coward? You're afraid to marry me. You'd rather live with that silly old fool who can't open her mouth except to say yes, no, and raise a passel of mealy-mouthed brats just like her!
Ashley: You mustn't say things about Melanie.
Scarlett: Who are you to tell me I mustn't? You lead me on, you made me believe you wanted to marry me!
Ashley: Now Scarlett, be fair. I never at any time-
Scarlett: You did! It's true! You did! I'll hate you till I die! I can't think of anything bad enough to call you! [slaps him]
[Ashley stares at her, and calmly. exits. In her fury, Scarlett throws a vase across the room. Rhett rises from behind the sofa with a whistle, and she gasps]
Rhett: Has the war started?
Scarlett: Sir, you...you should have made your presence known.
Rhett: In the middle of that beautiful love scene? That wouldn't be very tactful, would it? But don't worry, your secret is safe with me.
Scarlett: Sir, you are no gentleman! [turns to leave]
Rhett: And you, miss, are no lady.
Scarlett: [feeling hurt] Oh!
Rhett: Don't think that I hold that against you. Ladies have never held any charm for me.

Scarlett: But you are a blockade runner.
Rhett: For profit, and profit only.
Scarlett: Are you tryin' to tell me you don't believe in the cause?
Rhett: I believe in Rhett Butler. He's the only cause I know. The rest doesn't mean much to me.

Rhett: Don't start flirting with me. I'm not one of your plantation beaux. I want more than flirting from you.
Scarlett: What do you want?
Rhett: I'll tell you, Scarlett O'Hara, if you'll take that Southern-belle simper off your face. Someday I want you to say to me the words I heard you say to Ashley Wilkes: "I love you!"
Scarlett: That's something you'll never hear from me, Captain Butler, as long as you live.

[Rhett has brought Scarlett a new green hat from Paris]
Scarlett: [puts on her hat, then puts it on backwards to make a joke] How do I look?
Rhett: [surprised] Awful! [gets up] I thought it was about time to get you out of that fake mourning. [shows her how to wear it after she places it on backward] The war stopped being a joke when a girl like you doesn't know how to wear the latest fashion. And those pantalettes: I don't know a woman in Paris who wears pantalettes any more.
Scarlett: Oh Rhett, what do they - you shouldn't talk about such things.
Rhett: You little hypocrite. You don't mind my knowing about them, just my talking about them.
Scarlett: But really Rhett, I can't go on accepting these gifts although you are awfully kind.
Rhett: I'm not kind. I'm just tempting you. I never give anything without expecting something in return. Now, I always get paid.
Scarlett: If you think I'll marry you just to pay for the bonnet, I won't.
Rhett: Don't flatter yourself. I'm not a marrying man.
Scarlett: Well, I won't kiss you for it, either.
[They're were getting ready for a steaming kiss, but Rhett stops himself]
Rhett: Open your eyes and look at me. No, I don't think I will kiss you, although you need kissing badly. That's what's wrong with you. You should be kissed, and often, and by someone who knows how.
Scarlett: And I suppose you think you're the proper person.
Rhett: I might be...if the right moment ever came.
Scarlett: You're a conceited, blackhearted varmint Rhett Butler. I don't know why I let come and see me.
Rhett: I'll tell you why, Scarlett. Because I'm the only man over sixteen and under sixty who's around to show you a good time.

[Rhett rescues Scarlett from the panicked streets of Atlanta as war approaches]
Rhett: Panic's a pretty sight, isn't it? We belong together, Scarlett. Let's get out of here together. No use staying here, letting the South come down around your ears. Too many nice places to go and visit. Mexico, London, Paris-
Scarlett: With you?
Rhett: Yes, ma'am. A man who understands you and admires you for just what you are. I figure we belong together, being the same sort. I've been waiting for you to grow up and get that sad-eyed Ashley Wilkes out of your heart... Are you going with me or are you getting out?
Scarlett: I hate and despise you, Rhett Butler. I'll hate and despise you till I die. [the edge of her hoop skirt gets caught]
Rhett: [amused] Oh no, you won't, Scarlett. Not that long. [releases the edge of the hoop skirt]

Scarlett: [as he is about to leave to join the Confederate Army] Oh, Rhett! Please, don't go! You can't leave me! Please! I'll never forgive you!
Rhett: I'm not asking you to forgive me. I'll never understand or forgive myself. And if a bullet gets me, so help me, I'll laugh at myself for being an idiot. There's one thing I do know...and that is that I love you, Scarlett. In spite of you and me and the whole silly world going to pieces around us, I love you. Because we're alike. Bad lots, both of us. Selfish and shrewd. But able to look things in the eyes as we call them by their right names.
Scarlett: Don't hold me like that!
Rhett: Scarlett! Look at me! I've loved you more than I've ever loved any woman and I've waited for you longer than I've ever waited for any woman. [kisses her forehead]
Scarlett: Let me alone!
Rhett: [forces her to look him in the eyes] Here's a soldier of the South who loves you, Scarlett. Wants to feel your arms around him, wants to carry the memory of your kisses into battle with him. Never mind about loving me, you're a woman sending a soldier to his death with a beautiful memory. Scarlett! Kiss me! Kiss me...once... [kisses her]

Rhett: What collateral are you offering?
Scarlett: My ear bobs.
Rhett: Not interested.
Scarlett: Mortgage on Tara.
Rhett: What would I do with a farm?
Scarlett: Oh, you wouldn't lose. I'd pay you back on next year's cotton.
Rhett: Not good enough. Have you nothing better?
Scarlett: You once said you loved me. If you still love me, Rhett...
Rhett: You haven't forgotten. I'm not a marrying man.
Scarlett: No, I haven't forgotten.
Rhett: You're not worth $300. You'll never mean anything but misery to any man.

Rhett: You know, Scarlett, I think you're on the verge of a crying jag. So I'll change the subject and say what I came to say.
Scarlett: Say it, then, and get out! What is it?
Rhett: That I can't go on any longer without you.
Scarlett: You are the most ill-bred man to come here at a time like this with your filthy...
Rhett: I made up my mind that you were the only woman for me...the first day I saw you at Twelve Oaks. Now that you've got the lumber mill and Frank's money, you won't come to me as you did to the jail. So I see I shall have to marry you.
Scarlett: I never heard of such bad taste.

Rhett: Did you ever think of marrying just for fun?
Scarlett: Marriage, fun? Fiddle-dee-dee. Fun for men, you mean.

Scarlett: Rhett, don't. I shall faint.
Rhett: I want you to faint. This is what you were meant for. None of the fools you've ever known have kissed you like this, have they? Your Charles, or your Frank, or your stupid Ashley.

Scarlett: [after agreeing to marry Rhett] Money does help and of course I am fond of you...If I said I was madly in love with you, you'd know I was lying. You always said we had a lot in common...
Rhett: You're right, my dear. I'm not in love with you any more than you are with me. Heaven help the man who ever really loves you.

Rhett: Of course, the comic figure in all this is the long-suffering Mr. Wilkes! Mr. Wilkes, who can't be mentally faithful to his wife — and won't be unfaithful to her technically. Why doesn't he make up his mind?
Scarlett: Rhett, you-
[Rhett places his hands on either side of Scarlett's face]
Rhett: Observe my hands, my dear. I could tear you to pieces with them, and I'd do it if it'd take Ashley out of your mind forever. But it wouldn't. So I'll remove him from your mind forever this way. I'll put my hands so — one on each side of your head — and I'll smash your skull between them like a walnut, and that'll block him out.

Scarlett: I'm not cornered. You'll never corner me, Rhett Butler, or frighten me. You've lived in dirt so long you can't understand anything else and you're jealous of something you can't understand.
Rhett: Jealous, am I? Yes, I suppose I am — even though I know you've been faithful to me all along. How do I know? Because I know Ashley Wilkes and his honorable breed. They're gentlemen! That's more than I can say for you or for me. We're not gentlemen, and we have no honor, have we? It's not that easy, Scarlett. You've turned me out while you chased Ashley Wilkes, while you dreamed of Ashley Wilkes. This is one night you're not turning me out. [suddenly, fiercely kisses her and then carries her protesting up a long flight of stairs to the bedroom, two steps at a time]

[Scarlett is pregnant again]
Rhett: Indeed. And who is the happy father?"
Scarlett: You know it's yours. I don't want it any more than you do. No woman would want a child of a cad like you...I wish for anybody's child but yours!
Rhett: Cheer up, maybe you'll have an accident.
[Scarlett tries to strike him, but misses and falls down the stairs]

Scarlett: What are you doing?
Rhett: I'm leaving you, my dear. All you need now is a divorce and your dreams of Ashley can come true.
Scarlett: Oh, no! No, you're wrong, terribly wrong! I don't want a divorce. Oh, Rhett, but I knew tonight, when I...when I knew I loved you, I ran home to tell you, oh, darling, darling!
Rhett: Please don't go on with this. Leave us some dignity to remember out of our marriage. Spare us this last.
Scarlett: This last? Oh, Rhett, do listen to me, I must have loved you for years, only I was such a stupid fool, I didn't know it. Please believe me, you must care! Melly said you did.
Rhett: I believe you. What about Ashley Wilkes?
Scarlett: I...I never really loved Ashley.
Rhett: You certainly gave a good imitation of it, up till this morning. No, Scarlett, I tried everything. If you'd only met me half way, even when I came back from London.
Scarlett: I was so glad to see you. I was, Rhett, but you were so nasty.
Rhett: And then when you were sick, it was all my fault... I hoped against hope that you'd call for me, but you didn't.
Scarlett: I wanted you. I wanted you desperately but I didn't think you wanted me.
Rhett: It seems we've been at cross-purposes, doesn't it? But it's no use now. As long as there was Bonnie, there was a chance that we might be happy. I liked to think that Bonnie was you, a little girl again, before the war, and poverty had done things to you. She was so like you, and I could pet her and spoil her, as I wanted to spoil you. But when she went, she took everything.
Scarlett: Oh, Rhett, Rhett, please don't say that. I'm so sorry, I'm so sorry for everything.
Rhett: My darling, you're such a child. You think that by saying "I'm sorry," all the past can be corrected. Here, take my handkerchief. Never, at any crisis of your life, have I known you to have a handkerchief.
Scarlett: Rhett! Rhett, where are you going?
Rhett: I'm going to Charleston, back where I belong.
Scarlett: Please, please take me with you!
Rhett: No, I'm through with everything here. I want peace. I want to see if somewhere there isn't something left in life of charm and grace. Do you know what I'm talking about?
Scarlett: No! I only know that I love you.
Rhett: That's your misfortune. [turns to walk down the stairs]
Scarlett: Oh, Rhett! [watches Rhett walk to the door] Rhett! [runs down the stairs after him] Rhett, Rhett! Rhett, if you go, where shall I go? What shall I do?
Rhett: Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn. [walks off in the fog]


  • The greatest romance of all time!
  • The most magnificent picture ever!



Quotes about Gone with the Wind

  • The myth of the Hispanic menial has been sustained by the same media phenomenon that made "Mammy" from Gone with the Wind America's idea of the black woman for generations: Maria, the housemaid or counter girl, is now indelibly etched into the national psyche. The big and the little screens have presented us with the picture of the funny Hispanic maid, mispronouncing words and cooking up a spicy storm in a shiny California kitchen.
  • Can we get like Gone with the Wind back please? Sunset Boulevard, so many great movies.

See also

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