In 1939, “Gone with the Wind” swept the Oscars. The year of its release, it saw unprecedented success. Most people believed that the film would fail. It had too many things going against it. Vivien Leigh was almost completely unknown and she was playing the role of Scarlett with a major star like Clark Gable. Many doubted whether she could hold up her side of the narrative. Also, the cost of production on the film seemed like more than could ever be made back in the box office.
This description from the 1939 Oscars gives a portrayal of the success of “Gone with the Wind.” The film was nominated for ten Academy awards, more than any movie before it. It ended up winning eight of those ten. One of the Oscars given out that night was Best Supporting Actress, given to Hattie McDaniel for her portrayal of Mammy. It was the first Oscar ever given to a Black woman.
“Gone with the Wind” had record setting success. This chapter in the book demonstrates that success. It lists the various award nominations as well as the winner. It also gives some details about that year and the events surrounding it. This information leads to an understanding of the impact of the film.