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Gone with the Wind – Makeup and Wardrobe Tests

00:00 Introduction by Caroline Yeager, Assistant Curator, Moving Image Department, George Eastman Museum
04:23 Clark Gable’s test
09:39 Vivien Leigh’s test
12:21 Susan Hayward’s test
14:04 Hattie McDaniel’s test
16:14 Leslie Howard, Olivia de Havilland
16:59 Vivien Leigh, Evelyn Keyes and Leatrice Joy Gilbert’s test
17:47 Vivien Leigh, Magaret Tallichet and Georgiana Young’s test

Filmography

[Gone with the Wind – Clark Gable] (US 1939)
Director: George Cukor
Cinematographers: Lee Garmes, Wilfred M. Cline, William Howard Greene, Charles G. Clarke
Cast: Clark Gable (Rhett)
Production Company: Selznick International Pictures

Production date: 17 January 1939
Sound: silent
Color: Technicolor
Length (in feet): 475 ft.
Length (in reels): 1
Running time: 5 min.
Frame rate: 24 fps

[Gone with the Wind – Makeup and Hairdress Test – Miss Leigh] (US 1939)
Director: Lee Garmes
Cinematographers: Wilfred M. Cline, Charles G. Clarke
Cast: Vivien Leigh (Scarlett)
Production Company: Selznick International Pictures

Production date: 20 January 1939
Sound: silent
Color: Technicolor
Length (in feet): 241 ft.
Length (in reels): 1
Running time: 3 min.
Frame rate: 24 fps

[Gone with the Wind – Makeup Test – Edythe Marrener] (US 1939)
Director: James Wong Howe
Cinematographers: Wilfred M. Cline, Charles G. Clarke
Cast: Edythe Marrener [Susan Hayward] (Scarlett)
Production Company: Selznick International Pictures

Production date: 20 January 1939
Sound: silent
Color: Technicolor
Length (in feet): 150 ft.
Length (in reels): 1
Running time: 2 min.
Frame rate: 24 fps

[Gone with the Wind – Technicolor Test – Hattie McDaniel – Mammy] (US 1939)
Director: George Cukor
Cinematographer: Lee Garmes
Cast: Hattie McDaniel (Mammy)
Production Company: Selznick International Pictures

Production date: 17 January 1939
Sound: silent
Color: Technicolor
Length (in feet): 175 ft.
Length (in reels): 1
Running time: 2 min.
Frame rate: 24 fps

[Gone with the Wind – Makeup & Hairdress Test – Mr. Howard, Ms. de Havilland] (US 1939)
Director: Lee Garmes
Cinematographer: Wilfred M. Cline
Cast: Leslie Howard (Ashley), Olivia de Havilland (Melanie)
Production Company: Selznick International Pictures

Production date: 20 January 1939
Sound: silent
Color: Technicolor
Length (in feet): 75 ft.
Length (in reels): 1
Running time: 45 sec.
Frame rate: 24 fps

[Gone with the Wind – Technicolor Test] (US 1939)
Director: George Cukor
Cinematographer: Lee Garmes
Cast: Vivien Leigh (Scarlett), Evelyn Keyes (Suellen), Leatrice Joy Gilbert (Carreen)
Production Company: Selznick International Pictures

Production date: 17 January 1939
Sound: silent
Color: Technicolor
Length (in feet): 71 ft.
Length (in reels): 1
Running time: 47 sec.
Frame rate: 24 fps

[Gone with the Wind – Technicolor Test] (US 1939)*
Director: George Cukor
Cinematographer: Lee Garmes
Cast: Vivien Leigh (Scarlett), Margaret Tallichet (Suellen), Georgiana Young (Carreen) Production Company: Selznick International Pictures

Production date: 17 January 1939
Sound: silent
Color: Technicolor
Length (in feet): 75 ft.
Length (in reels): 1
Running time: 1 min. 29 sec.
Frame rate: 24 fps

*Also appears in Margaret Tallichet Screen Tests

Preserved by graduate student Donna Ellithorpe of the L. Jeffrey Selznick School of Film Preservation on the 2005 Technicolor / George Eastman Museum Fellowship
Funded by Technicolor Creative Services

It was said at the time that every actress in Hollywood tested for the role of Scarlett O’Hara in Gone with the Wind. The number of screen tests devoted to David O. Selznick’s magnum opus proves that observation to be not an exaggeration. The role is challenging—Scarlett must age from 16 to 26, from a spoiled, lovestruck southern belle of the nineteenth-century plantation society sustained by slavery to a mature wife, mother, and canny businesswoman building a new life in the Reconstruction era. Finding an actress who could embody this mercurial heroine became a mission in itself, and she was revealed to Selznick only at the very last minute after the cameras had started rolling. 

The screen tests presented here are some of the last ones made for the film, indicated by the early January 1939 date. Principal photography commenced in December 1938 with the burning of Atlanta, even though final casting was not complete. Most of these tests were shot in Technicolor, an expense reserved for the final cast to test hair styles, makeup, and costumes. Vivien Leigh, Clark Gable, Leslie Howard, Olivia de Havilland, Hattie McDaniel, and Evelyn Keyes all starred in the film. Four who did not make the final cast are sixteen-year-old Edythe Marrener (later known as Susan Hayward) who tested in late 1937; Margaret Tallichet, a young actress under contract to Selznick, who later married director William Wyler; Georgiana Young, half-sister to actresses Loretta Young, Sally Blane, and Polly Ann Young; and Leatrice Joy Gilbert, the daughter of two great stars of the silent era, John Gilbert and Leatrice Joy. 

Gone with the Wind won nine Academy Awards including Best Picture, Best Actress (Vivien Leigh), and Best Supporting Actress (Hattie McDaniel). McDaniel was the first person of color to be honored by the Academy, but her win was still tainted by institutional racism. She was not allowed to sit at the same table as the rest of the principal cast, and MGM publicity wrote her acceptance speech. 

Viewers are advised that Gone with the Wind includes racial stereotypes and disregards the atrocity of slavery.