Performance Art

Academy Awards 1939

Gone with the Wind is a 1939 U.S. literary film adaptation starring Vivien Leigh and Clark Gable. The film is based on the novel of the same name by Margaret Mitchell, which was published in 1936 and soon became one of the most successful novels in American literary history. Produced by David O. Selznick, the film is one of the best-known Hollywood movies and is one of the great film classics.

With a running time of almost four hours, it was the film with the longest running time at the time, and with production costs of around four million US dollars, it was also the most expensive film at the time. The American Film Institute ranked it No. 4 among the 100 greatest U.S. films of all time. Since its premiere, it has been re-released several times and is the most commercially successful work in film history, with inflation-adjusted box office receipts of approximately US$7.2 billion (2019).

The film is set during the War of Secession as well as the subsequent Reconstruction era. The main character is the feisty Southern belle Scarlett O’Hara (Vivien Leigh), who falls into a tempestuous romance with Rhett Butler (Clark Gable). Although she marries Rhett, she nevertheless continues to idolize her childhood friend Ashley Wilkes (Leslie Howard), but he is married to the good-natured Melanie Hamilton (Olivia de Havilland). The film was directed by Victor Fleming; the score was by Max Steiner.

Gone with the Wind went into the 1940 Academy Awards with a record of 13 nominations and won eight Oscars as well as two Honorary Oscars. Among them was the Best Supporting Actress Oscar for Hattie McDaniel, the first time an African-American artist won.

Vivien Leigh, real name Vivian Mary Hartley (Darjeeling, November 5, 1913 – London, July 8, 1967), was an English actress. She was born in British India, but her parents moved to England and she grew up there.

Vivien’s career began in theater with The Green Sash, but the play Mask of Virtue made her a star. In 1935, she began her film career with films such as The Village Squire, Things are Looking Up and Look Up and Laugh. However, she is best known for her role as Scarlett O’Hara in the film Gone with the Wind (1939), for which she received an Oscar for best female lead.

In 1944, she was diagnosed with tuberculosis in her left lung. Although she made several more successful plays, such as Thornton Wilder’s The Skin of Our Teeth and the 1946 film Caesar and Cleopatra, her health deteriorated sharply. Still, she won her second Oscar in 1951, this time for her role as Blanche DuBois in A Streetcar Named Desire.

By the early 1960s, she had suffered two miscarriages and tuberculosis made her very weak. Vivien Leigh died of chronic tuberculosis in her London home, not yet 54 years old. She was cremated and her ashes were scattered on the lake at Tickerage Mill, in Sussex, England.

She has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, at 6773 Hollywood Blvd.

Friedrich Robert Donath (Withington, March 18, 1905 – London, June 9, 1958) was a stage and film actor, of English, Polish and German descent. He was better known by the name Robert Donat.

Donat first appeared on stage in 1921. As a film actor, he made his debut in the 1932 film Men of Tomorrow. His performance in the 1933 film The Private Life of Henry VIII marked the breakthrough for Donat. This film became a huge success. Other famous films of his include The Ghost Goes West (1935), Hitchcock’s The 39 Steps (1935) and Goodbye, Mr. Chips (1939). For the latter, he won an Academy Award for Best Actor. In doing so, he beat Clark Gable who was nominated for his role as Rhett Butler in the film Gone With the Wind.

Donat had poor health. He suffered from asthma, limiting his acting career to nineteen films in all. His last role was as a mandarin in the film The Inn of the Sixth Happiness. This was a memorable role for Donat, as at that time he was already very weak and on the verge of death. On June 9, 1958, he died after an asthma attack at the age of 53.

Donat was married twice. As first to Ella Annesley Voysey (1929-1946), with whom he had three children, and later to British actress Renée Asherson, to whom he was married from 1953 until his death.

Victor Lonzo Fleming (born February 23, 1889 in Pasadena, California; † January 6, 1949 in Cottonwood, Arizona) was an American film director and cinematographer. In 1939 he made two Hollywood film classics, The Wizard of Oz and Gone with the Wind. He was awarded in the Best Director category for Gone with the Wind at the 1939 Academy Awards.

Hattie McDaniel (born June 10, 1893 in Wichita, Kansas; † October 26, 1952 in Woodland Hills, California) was a U.S. actress and singer. At the 1940 Academy Awards, McDaniel became the first person of African-American descent to win one of the coveted film awards when she was honored in the Best Supporting Actress category for her role as the loyal slave and later domestic servant “Mammy” in Gone with the Wind.

Thomas John Mitchell (Elizabeth (New Jersey), 11 juli 1892 – Beverly Hills, 17 december 1962) was een Amerikaans acteur die voornamelijk actief was in de Amerikaanse cinema in de jaren 30 en 40 en in de tv-industrie in de jaren 50. Mitchell vervulde voornamelijk bijrollen in films zoals Gone with the Wind (1939), It’s a Wonderful Life (1946) en High Noon (1952). Voor zijn filmwerk werd hij tweemaal genomineerd voor een Academy Award, waarvan een werd verzilverd; voor zijn rollen in televisie is hij drie keer in aanmerking gekomen voor een Emmy Award, waarvan hij er een in de wacht mocht slepen.

Mitchell volgde na zijn middelbareschooldiploma zijn familie in haar voettreden door voor de krant te werken. In de jaren 10 was hij voor het eerst werkzaam als acteur en niet veel later volgde zijn debuut op Broadway in New York. Bovendien schreef hij zelf theaterstukken, waarvan sommigen werden verfilmd. Hoewel hij in 1923 al een bijrol speelde in een stomme film, kwam zijn filmdoorbraak pas meer dan een decennium later. Hij boekte succes als slechterik in Frank Capra’s Lost Horizon (1937): na deze rol werd hij een veelgevraagde acteur in bijrollen in Hollywood. Voor zijn rol in The Hurricane (1937) werd hij genomineerd voor een Academy Award voor Beste Mannelijke Bijrol; het beeldje ging naar Joseph Schildkraut.

Hoewel hij waarschijnlijk het best wordt herinnerd als Vivien Leighs liefhebbende vader in Gone with the Wind (1939), won hij zijn enige Oscar voor zijn rol als dronkenlap in Stagecoach (1939). In de jaren 50 maakte hij een succesvolle overgang naar televisie, en in de jaren 60 vereeuwigde hij de rol van Columbo waarmee Peter Falk later bekend zou worden. In 1952 won hij een Emmy Award en een jaar later een Tony Award voor een rol in musical Hazel Flagg. Hij was de eerste acteur die zowel een Oscar, Emmy als Tony in ontvangst mocht nemen. Bovendien heeft hij een ster op de Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Mitchell trouwde tweemaal en overleed op 70-jarige leeftijd aan kanker.