Synopsis by Hal Erickson
This made-for-cable documentary traces the filming of the imperishable classic Gone With the Wind, from its inception to its triumphant Atlanta premiere in December of 1939. Filmmaker David Hinton interviews as many survivors of the experience as he's able to round up, but the main attraction of this film is its precious "test" clips. We watch a montage of screen tests of the many actresses considered for the role of Scarlett O'Hara, ranging from such front-runners as Paulette Goddard to such not-a-chancers as Lana Turner. The Goddard footage is particularly enjoyable as we watch her eagerly reciting the lines of all the characters as she auditions for Scarlett. The documentary also turns up several tantalizing bits of trivia, notably the fact that the film was shown to a preview audience with an entirely different musical score (portions of which are played on the soundtrack). There is, of course, very little suspense involved in Making of a Legend, but even those who've heard all the Gone With the Wind factoids from other sources will watch in fascination as the saga unfolds. This documentary was produced by David Selznick's sons, and written by iconoclastic movie historian David Thomson.
behind-the-scenes, film, film-director, filmmaker, making-of, production [showbiz], trivia