Archive for the ‘gone with the wind’ Category

In the spirit of the holidays, here’s my little Hallmark Gone with the Wind Christmas tree. I sincerely hope  everyone had a wonderful Christmas, Hanukkah, or whatever holiday you celebrate this time of year.

the tree

my fav ornament


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Below is my article I wrote for the Philadelphia Bulletin. A direct link to the article is: http://thebulletin.us/articles/2009/11/24/arts_culture/doc4b0c3509ac96d229312739.txt.

Fans Celebrate 70 Years Of Gone With The Wind

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

MARIETTA, Ga. — Five surviving castmates of the 1939 classic Gone With the Wind commemorated the 70th anniversary of the film with a “re-premiere” celebration, complete with a lavish ball and creation of the “Guinness World Record for the Largest Virginia Reel.”

Nearly 300 fans, commonly referred to as “Windies,” descended upon the Atlanta suburb Nov. 13 and 14 for Marietta’s “70 Years of GWTW : A Re-Premiere” celebration. The movie first premiered in Atlanta on Dec. 15, 1939.

“Everything in the world has changed. Everything. The way we think, our morals, our behavior, the way we judge things, the way we communicate. And yet that movie is frozen in time,” Turner Classic Movies host and master of ceremonies Robert Osborne told the audience before a special screening of the film Saturday night. “But we still react to it the way that people did 70 years ago which I think is an amazing tribute to Margaret Mitchell and David O. Selznick and Vivien Leigh and all the people involved in making this movie.”

The big-screen showing of Gone with the Wind at the newly restored Earl Smith Strand Theater was preceded by an audio introduction by 93-year-old Olivia de Havilland (Melanie Wilkes).  De Havilland, who resides in Paris, was unable to attend but sent her regrets to the fans. She  is amazed by enthusiasm the film generates 70 years after its premiere, “I never dreamed it would endure until the next century and millennium. And that people all around the globe would embrace it as their own.”

The Gone with the Wind castmates Ann Rutherford (Carreen O’Hara), Mickey Kuhn (Beau Wilkes), Patrick Curtis (baby Beau Wilkes), Greg Geise (infant Bonnie and infant Beau) and Geneva Miller Roberts (extra from the Barbecue scene) arrived at the theater by vintage car and the red carpet unfurled at their feet.

The group was on hand for the weekend’s festivities to sign autographs and answer fans’ questions.

During a Q&A on Friday, Kendra Bean, a fan from California, asked Rutherford how Gone with the Wind would have been different had George Cukor directed it instead of Victor Fleming. Rutherford stated that because Vivien Leigh and Olivia de Havilland secretly sought coaching from Cukor, his thumbprint is in evident in the film.

Another fan, Tennessee resident Angela Danovi, questioned Mickey Kuhn about his experience working with Vivien Leigh (‘Scarlett O’Hara’) again in the 1951 film A Streetcar Named Desire. When Miss Leigh discovered that the 18-year-old Kuhn performed in Gone with the Wind as 7-year-old Beau, she invited him into her dressing room to discuss his career. He revealed that “Every time I think or talk about that meeting I kind of get chills.”

Cammie King Conlon (Bonnie Blue Butler) and Mary Anderson (Maybelle Merriwether) were scheduled to attend, but canceled at the last minute due to illness.

As part of the weekend’s festivities, costumed Beaus and Belles gathered in the historic Marietta square on Friday to create the “Guinness World Record for the Largest Virginia Reel.” Women wearing Scarlett O’Hara and Belle Watling inspired gowns, Confederate soldiers, Rhett Butler look-a-likes, and even a Carol Burnett curtain rod copy lined up and danced in front of hundreds of spectators, including Marietta Mayor Bill Dunaway and Ann Rutherford.

Rutherford told the crowd that her role as Scarlett O’Hara’s little sister “was a nothing part. But that nothing part has turned my golden years into platinum.”

In the evening, a large, formal ball was held at the Marietta Hilton where fans had an opportunity wine and dine in the presence of the Gone with the Wind celebrities.

The weekend celebration was the brain-child of Connie Sutherland, the director of the Marietta Gone with the Wind Museum: Scarlett on the Square. The Museum opened in April 2003 and features the extensive Gone with the Wind collection of Dr. Christopher Sullivan. His collection includes thousands of items including the original Bengaline honeymoon gown Scarlett O’Hara wore in the film.

Warner Home Videos and TCM partnered with the museum to promote the event and the Gone with the Wind 70th anniversary limited edition DVD, which was released Nov. 17. Attendees of the Re-Premiere had the opportunity to be one of the first to purchase the standard or Blu-Ray version of the film.

Countless book have been written about Gone with the Wind and many authors attended the event including Kathy Witt, author of “The Secret of the Belles.” When asked what Gone with the Wind meant to her, she replied, “To have museums dedicated to this single book and the movie is incredible and to be able to visit these museums and see the costume pieces, scripts, handwritten notes, etc. – it’s like touching history. To get to meet the people, like Chris Sullivan, who have amassed these wonderful and important collections and hear their stories and meet and talk to the stars of the movie – for me it is a dream come true. Gone With the Wind has truly enriched my life.”

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If you live in or around the Atlanta area, but sure to check out the Atlanta Botanical Gardens sometime during the month of October if you’d like to take a glimpse of Scarlett O’Scara! Between October 1 & October 31, “Scarecrows in the Garden returns to the woodlands of the Southern Seasons Garden. The annual tradition features wild and wacky creations by individuals, designers, local organizations and businesses throughout Atlanta.” (check out their website for more details on ticket price, directions, etc). Scarlett O’Scara was created by the Margaret Mitchell House and looks absolutely stunning! If you visit her, please snap a photo for me!

meet Scarlett OScara

meet Scarlett O'Scara

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Connie Sutherland, director of the beautiful Marietta Gone with the Wind Museum, has organized a wonderful weekend full of Gone with the Wind events in honor of the 70th anniversary of the film.  This November I hope to meet and see many fellow Vivien Leigh fans (and Windies)! As we get closer to the Re-Premiere weekend, I’ll plan an opportunity for some of us to get together to discuss the festivities, film, book, and of course, our beloved Vivien. In the meantime, be sure to book your ticket and hotel!! They will go fast!

November 13-14, 2009


Package Price: $325 pp          On Sale Now by calling  770-794-5145 or emailing csutherland@mariettaga.gov


10:00-11:00 a.m.

Gone With the Wind Authors Q&A (Strand Theatre)

  • Herb Bridges – Gone With the Wind (The definitive illustrated history of the book, the movie, and the legend), “Frankly, My Dear…Gone With the Wind Memorabilia, Filming of Gone With the Wind
  • Cammie King Conlon – Bonnie Blue Butler: A Gone With the Wind Memoir
  • Mollie Haskell – Frankly, My Dear: Gone With the Wind Revisited
  • Robert Osborne – 80 Years of the Oscar
  • Sally Rains – The Making of a Classic – The True Story Behind Margaret Mitchell and Gone With the Wind
  • Kathy Witt – The Secret of the Belles
  • Michael Sragow – Victor Fleming: An American Movie Master (tentative)

11:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.

Gone With the Wind Cast Q&A (Strand Theatre)

  • Ann Rutherford  (“Carreen O’Hara”)
  • Mary Anderson  (“Maybelle Merriweather”)
  • Mickey Kuhn  (“Beau Wilkes” age 7)
  • Cammie King Conlon  (“Bonnie Blue Butler”)
  • Patrick Curtis  (“Baby Beau Wilkes”)
  • Greg Geise  (Infant “Bonnie” & Infant “Beau”)

Note:  All books of visiting authors available for purchase at Gone With the Wind Museum gift shop.  No autograph requests please…autograph session at museum on Saturday morning.

12:15-2:00 p.m. – Celebrities leave for private lunch and rest period

1:00-3:00 p.m. – Meet Disney artist Joseph Yakovetic who will answer questions about his work with Disney and commissioned art for Gone With the Wind and Wizard of Oz 70th anniversary.  You may also watch as he paints live GWTW piece for museum auction.

“Belles and Beaus” Costume Ball

  • 5:30 p.m. Cocktail Reception
  • 6:30 p.m. Dinner
  • 7:30 p.m. Introduction of Special Guests
  • 8:00 p.m. Parade of Belles and Beaus
  • 8:30 p.m. Virginia Reel Dance Instruction
  • 9:00 p.m. – until:  Dancing and Photo Opportunities with Celebrities


10:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.

Gone With the Wind Celebrity Autograph Signing (Marietta Gone With the Wind Museum)


  • Robert Osborne – 80 Years of the Oscar
  • Cammie King Conlon – Bonnie Blue Butler: A Gone With the Wind Memoir
  • Herb Bridges – Gone With the Wind (The definitive illustrated history of the book, the movie, and the legend), “Frankly, My Dear…Gone With the Wind Memorabilia, Filming of Gone With the Wind
  • Mollie Haskell – Frankly, My Dear: Gone With the Wind Revisited
  • Sally Rains – The Making of a Classic – The Real Story of Margaret Mitchell and Gone With the Wind
  • Kathy Witt – The Secret of the Belles
  • Michael Sragow – Victor Fleming: An American Movie Master (tentative)


  • Ann Rutherford  (“Carreen O’Hara”)
  • Mary Anderson  (“Maybelle Merriweather”)
  • Mickey Kuhn  (“Beau Wilkes” age 7)
  • Cammie King Conlon  (“Bonnie Blue Butler”)
  • Patrick Curtis  (“Baby Beau Wilkes”)
  • Greg Geise  (Infant “Bonnie” & Infant “Beau”)

Note:  All books of visiting authors available for purchase in museum gift shop

Other activities at Gone With the Wind Museum

  • 10:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m. – exhibit of 70th Anniversary GWTW artwork by Joseph Yakovetic at museum & DK Gallery (artist will alternate time between the two locations)
  • 10:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. – Guided tours provided by collection owner, Chris Sullivan

Saturday activities at the Stand Theatre

  • 12:30-2:00 – Celebrities leave for private lunch and rest period
  • 4:30 – 4:55 – Gone With the Wind vintage car parade From Hilton to Strand Theatre with cast members and special guests
  • 5:00-6:00 p.m. – VIP reception with celebrities
  • 6:15-6:30 p.m. – Connie Sutherland, Earl Reece, Chris Sullivan offer acknowledgments
  • 6:30 p.m. – Introduction of Robert Osborne by Connie Sutherland
  • 6:30-7:30 p.m. – Salute to TCM and WB with introduction of cast members by Robert Osborne followed by program to introduce movie
  • 7:45 p.m. – Showing of world’s most beloved film:  GONE WITH THE WIND
  • 8:00 p.m. – Celebrity guests leave for private dinner and retire for evening

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MARIETTA – JULY 13, 2009 – Carreen O’Hara, Bonnie Blue Butler, Beau Wilkes and Maybelle Merriweather will be returning to Scarlett O’Hara country on November 13 and 14, when the Marietta Gone With the Wind Museum-Scarlett on the Square, hosts “70 Years of Gone With the Wind: A Re-Premiere.” This two-day gala will include autograph sessions with the stars, author book signings, a lavish costume ball and a Big Screen showing of the 1939 classic movie, with pre-show activities hosted by Robert Osborne, film historian and host of Turner Classic Movies. Supporting partners include Earl Smith Strand Theatre, Turner Classic Movies and Warner Home Video. Book your Re-Premiere package by calling the museum at 770-794-5145 or emailing csutherland@mariettaga.gov. See what the package includes at www.gwtwmariettaga.com.

Not there in 1939? Then 2009 is your time

The Re-Premiere package has all the glamour, fun and excitement of the original 1939 premiere, including autograph and Q&A sessions with GWTW cast members Ann Rutherford (“Carreen O’Hara”), Mary Anderson (“Maybelle Merriweather”), Mickey Kuhn (“Young Beau Wilkes”), Cammie King (“Bonnie Blue Butler”), Greg Geise (“Bonnie Blue” and “Beau” at infancy) and Patrick Curtis (“Baby Beau”). In fact, Curtis notes that the 2009 event will emphasize interaction between the stars and fans.

“This will be much more hands-on than the 1939 premiere when everyone was kept at a distance,” he says.

Also part of the Re-Premiere package are book signings and Q&A sessions with authors Herb Bridges—preeminent GWTW authority whose books include Gone With the Wind: The Definitive Illustrated History of the Book, the Movie and the Legend; Molly Haskell, Frankly, My Dear: Gone With the Wind Revisited; Sally Tippett Rains, The Making of a Classic: The True Story Behind Margaret Mitchell and Gone With the Wind; and Kathy Witt, who just wrote the historical novel, The Secret of the Belles. Cammie King Conlon will also join the authors, signing her recently released memoir, Bonnie Blue Butler: a Gone With the Wind Memoir, as will Robert Osborne, signing his book, 80 Years of the Oscar.

Rounding out the package are a “Belles and Beaus” costume ball; VIP and cocktail receptions; dinner and dancing; a showing of Gone With the Wind—still one of the most beloved movies of all time; and a Parade of Stars. Chris Sullivan, the owner of the extraordinary collection housed at the Marietta Gone With the Wind Museum-Scarlett on the Square, will provide guided tours.

Established in 2003 in a circa 1875 building that was formerly a cotton warehouse, the collection includes costumes and jewelry, signed first editions and contracts, movie props and scripts, scene drawings, posters, photographs and nearly 100 dolls, among its treasures—a veritable time capsule of the life and times of Margaret Mitchell, her seminal novel and the filming of the movie. Of special note is the famous Bengaline gown worn by Vivien Leigh as Scarlett O’Hara in the movie’s honeymoon scene. On special exhibit, at both the museum and at Marietta’s dk Gallery, will be 70th Anniversary GWTW artwork by famed Disney artist Joseph Yakovetic.

Classic show in classic surroundings

The screening of Gone With the Wind will take place at the recently (and sumptuously) renovated Earl Smith Strand Theatre. Formerly a major motion picture house that originally opened in 1935, this Art Deco masterpiece has been trimmed with classic theatre detailing, from its khaki, black and gold lobby to its burgundy interior with curving balcony to its rooftop terrace from which Kennesaw Mountain, site of a Civil War battle, may be seen.

On Saturday, a 1930s vintage car parade will circle the Marietta Square and deliver the stars and special guests to the front doors of the Earl Smith Strand Theatre. The celebrities will be greeted by white-gloved attendants who will open their doors and escort them to the red carpet.

“We will be embellishing the façade of the Strand the same way the theatre in 1939 was decorated,” notes Connie Sutherland, executive director of the museum. “We’ll have bunting on the windows and a large oval photograph of Rhett and Scarlett dominating the façade.”

Inside, guests will enjoy a VIP reception and have an opportunity to mingle with the cast members and authors. Once guests are seated in the theatre, they will witness the magic of Robert Osborne as he leads a salute to Turner Classic Movies and Warner Bros. for their roles in keeping Gone With the Wind alive for millions of viewers through the years. Special film clips will precede the movie.

Get ‘em before they’re Gone

To purchase your “70 Years of Gone With the Wind: A Re-Premiere” package before they’re all gone with the . . . well, you know what we mean, contact the Marietta Gone With the Wind Museum-Scarlett on the Square at 770-794-5145 or csutherland@mariettaga.gov. Visit the museum online at www.gwtwmariettaga.com, click on “Events,” and see all the glam goodies included in the package. Visit the Marietta Welcome Center and Visitors Bureau at www.mariettasquare.com to learn about hotels offering special rates for this event and to see all the dining and sightseeing options located on the charming town square, just steps from the museum and the theatre, in this gracious Southern town.

Marietta is graced with an historic town square, five National Register Historic Districts, a dramatic mountain backdrop, a beautiful Hilton Atlanta/Marietta Hotel & Conference Center, the charming Stanley House B&B and Whitlock Inn B&B—and just enough mileage between it and Atlanta to give it the élan of a cosseted and well-heeled small town with the vibrancy of an urban environment. A pocket-sized parcel 18 miles northwest of Atlanta, this county seat of Cobb County is rich in arts and culture, Civil War history and heritage. The Marietta Trolley offers one-hour, fully-narrated tours, Thursday-Sunday, from Antebellum Square, past grand Antebellum homes, to the battlefields at Kennesaw Mountain. Purchase a Marietta Heritage Passport for savings on admission to the Marietta Museum of History, The Root House Museum and the Marietta Gone With the Wind Museum-Scarlett on the Square. For information about accommodations, theatre, shopping and dining, contact the Marietta Welcome Center and Visitors Bureau at 1.800.835.0445 or www.mariettasquare.com.

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WCLV interview with Ann Rutherford on April 20, 2009. She discusses everything from David Selznick, Gone with the Wind, and Laurence Olivier.

click this link: http://cuesheets.wclv.com/Public_Specials/Interviews/arutherford.mp3

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By Colin McEwen

May 1, 2009

Record-Courier staff writer

Legendary film star Ann Rutherford shared memories, thoughts and stories about the “Golden Age” of Hollywood with an eager crowd at Kent State University on Thursday.

The 88-year-old actress starred in many films in the 1930s and the 1940s, but perhaps her most famous role was as Careen O’Hara in the silver screen classic, “Gone with the Wind.”

“I fell in love with the book, but I never imagined I’d be in the film,” she said. “I think I got the job by a hair.”

The more than 150 people in attendance in the packed Murphy Auditorium in Rockwell Hall watched a 15-minute video of her many roles — right alongside one of Hollywood’s legends.

Christopher Sullivan, of the Gone with the Wind Museum in Georgia, moderated the discussion with Rutherford, asking her questions about roles and the people she starred with.

“It’s been an interesting life and I’ve enjoyed every moment of it,” she said.

Rutherford said Clark Gable was “gorgeous,” well liked by the crew, and was known to play cards on the set; John Wayne was a giant gentleman, who was “all-guy;” and Judy Garland was one of the most talented singers and actresses Rutherford said she has ever known.

And, with her credentials, she has known quite a few.

The Canadian-born Rutherford appeared as Polly Benedict in the Andy Hardy film series as well as in numerous Westerns.

But her favorite role — with the most success — was almost certainly “Gone with the Wind,” a film that was also a crowd favorite, Rutherford said.

“Show business has been kind to me,” she said. “If someone told me in 1939 that people would prop me up to talk about ‘Gone with the Wind,’ I wouldn’t have been the least bit surprised.”

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