Gone with the Wind – 75th Anniversary Ultimate Collector’s EditionCategory: Blu-ray's and DVD's
The 75th Anniversary Ultimate Collector’s Edition of the 1939 epic movie Gone with the Wind contains hours – if not days worth – of amazing additional features as well as some extra goodies.
When you open the box, which is limited to 62700 numbered units in the edition, the first item is a companion book Forever Scarlett: The Immortal Style of Gone with the Wind, Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow by Austin Scarlett that focuses on the clothing of Scarlett O’Hara. Fashion designer Austin Scarlett describes the style of the iconic character and how he desires to bring her beauty, class, and strength to his own designs.
Two other collectible mementos come in the box. There is a replica of Rhett Butler’s handkerchief. The bright white cloth is embroidered with the blue initials RB. And the final goodie in the box is a musical paperweight. This little music box plays the iconic theme, with a photo of Rhett and Scarlett on the top.
The Blu-ray Box
This new Blu-ray (along with the Ultraviolet Digital HD download) is the focal point of the edition. Four discs give fans of the film and Hollywood buffs a lot more than the epic movie. Yes, Gone with the Wind looks spectacular in High Def. This Blu-ray disc shows the film in all its splendor and beauty.
The bonus features are worthy of an entire day or two of viewing. There are hours upon hours of bonus material. One feature focuses on the year 1939, which turned out to be an epic year for Hollywood. The studio system was in its glory. Babes in Arms, Beau Geste, Captain Fury, The cat and the Canary, Dark Victory, Gone with the Wind, Gunga Din, Gulliver’s Travels, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, The Hound of the Baskervilles, Intermezzo, Love Affair, The Man in the Iron Mask, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, Ninotchka, Of Mice and Men, Stagecoach, The Story of Vernon and Irene Castle, Stanley and Livingstone, They Shall Have Music, The Wizard of Oz, Wuthering Heights, The Women, and Young Mr. Lincoln were only some of the popular films released that year. 1939 was the “peak of Hollywood.”
Another feature celebrates the 70-year history of Gone with the Wind. This film was released theatrically six times, and every time it was as popular as when it premiered.
Gable: The King Remembered is an interesting documentary hosted by Peter Lawford. This 1975 TV movie describes Clark Gable as “the kind of man that any man would like to be.” He made 90 films and had many loves and losses during his lifetime. Carole Lombard was, however, the love of his life. When she died in a plane crash, Gable was devastated. He enlisted in the Air Force and became an aerial gunman during World War II. There are many personal tidbits that come out in this documentary, including the fact that Clark Gable loved children. Who would have thought?
The list of bonus features includes featurettes about Vivian Leigh, Olivia de Havilland, and one about the restoration of the film.
Two all-new features in this edition are Old South/New South, a documentary about the South during and since the Civil War. Southerners think of Gone with the Wind as “a national epic.” It conjures up a time of leisure and class. 150 years after the Civil War, remnants are everywhere in the South. This is indeed a region trying to reconcile its past with its future.
Another all-new feature looks at how Atlanta was transformed and transfixed by the premier of Gone with the Wind in December 1939.
The complete 6-hour film MGM: When the Lion Roars is also in this box. This film is brought to you on a double-sided DVD. The 1992 TV mini-series won the Emmy for Outstanding Informational Series.
Perhaps the two most impressive bonus features are The Making of a Legend: Gone with the Wind, a 1988 two-hour documentary, and the 1980 TV movie The Scarlett O’Hara War. Personally, I think these should be viewed one after the other. They really put together a detailed and entertaining, as well as interesting, look at how this film came to be.
Christopher Plummer narrates The Making of a Legend: Gone with the Wind. This documentary describes how David O. Selznick purchased the rights from Margaret Mitchell for her book and how not only he but others on the picture were personally invested in the movie each and every day, to the point of exhaustion. It’s amazing to hear about all the rewrites, the directors who came and went, and came back again, the fact that there was never a full and complete script, and how Clark Gable was apprehensive about taking on the role of Rhett Butler. The search for Scarlett is well known, and this film looks at many screen tests of amazing actresses who vied for the part.
Another interesting little tidbit many fans might not know is that to make room for their sets, the filmmakers had to burn down the existing sets on the studio’s backlot. These sets included one from King Kong. They decided to use this to their advantage and filmed the burning of the sets, with the help of film crews with firefighters standing by, to depict the burning of Atlanta. Since no Scarlett had yet been cast, there was a stand in riding next to a stand-in Rhett. There are so many details about the making of this movie that viewers will have to watch this documentary several times to get the full impact of everything that went into it.
And if you notice in the scene where the ground is covered with wounded Confederate soldiers, well, some of them were dummies, which were manipulated by extras on the ground who were next to them. There are many fascinating details in this documentary that most people don’t know about.
The Scarlett O’Hara War stars Tony Curtis as David O. Selznick and Harold Gould as Louis B. Mayer. This is a fun look at how the filmmakers schemed and plotted to find the perfect actress to play the coveted role. They pitted actress against actress. Everyone wanted to be Scarlett, but only one would get the lead in this epic movie. Sharon Gless plays Carole Lombard, Edward Winter plays Clark Gable, Barrie Youngfellow plays Joan Crawford, and the list goes on. This is a fun little companion film to the rest of the goodies included in this amazing collector’s edition.
Gone with the Wind 75th Anniversary Ultimate Collector’s Edition on Blu-ray™ and Digital HD with UltraViolet is not only a brilliant high-definition version of the film, but is also filled with plenty of bonus features and collectible goodies. Fiddle dee-dee. Just to get through all the bonus features, viewers will need a complete day or two. This is an amazing collection of collectible items and movie history.
About the Author
Francine Brokaw has been covering all aspects of the entertainment business for 20 years. She also writes about technology and has been a travel writer for the past 12 years. She has been published in national and international newspapers and magazines as well as internet websites. She has written her own book, Beyond the Red Carpet The World of Entertainment Journalists, from Sourced Media Books.
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