Set on the American civil war backdrop and its aftermath, Gone with the Wind remains one of the greatest classics of all time. Based on a novel of the same name by Margaret Mitchell, the film won eight Academy Awards. Categories the classic film won include Best Picture, Best Actress (Vivien Leigh), Supporting Actress ((Hattie McDaniel)), Best Art Direction, and more. The movie was filmed under the leadership of Victor Fleming and David Selznick.
When Scarlett O’Hara (Vivien Leigh) learns that her secret crush, Ashley Wilkes (Leslie Howard), is engaged to Melanie Hamilton, she makes her feelings known to him. He rebuffs her. A party at Twelve Oaks is disrupted by news of the coming civil war. Most of the men enlist in the army.
Scarlett marries Melanie’s younger brother, Charles, before he goes off to war. Her motivations are entirely based on making Ashley jealous. After Charles is killed in the conflict, Scarlett moves to Atlanta.
Scarlett, now a new mother, returns to Tara. Scenes of devastation meet her there as she finds most people, including her mother, are dead. She marries the much wealthier Frank Kennedy to afford reconstruction taxes being imposed on Tara. Scarlett is attacked while driving through a shantytown. This prompts her male associates to raid the shanty town in revenge. Frank doesn’t survive the attack, making Scarlett a widow for the second time.
Rhett Butler (Clark Gable) marries Scarlett, even though the latter still pines for Ashley. When Rhett becomes suspicious Scarlett might be having an affair, he becomes enraged and forces himself on her.
After Scarlett falls pregnant, an argument with her husband results in her falling down the stairs and miscarrying. Their young daughter’s subsequent death shatters the couple’s fragile marriage. As Rhett prepares to leave her, Scarlett realizes she truly loves him and not Ashley. Yet, she still fails to convince him to stay. Gone with the Wind ends with Scarlett vowing to win Rhett back.
The film takes us through various locations in Georgia, despite the fact not a single scene was shot in that state. Gone with the Wind’s film locations are all in California.
Lasky Mesa Golden Classics Film Location
Formally known as Ahmanson Ranch, Lasky Mesa is a premise used as the film location for many movies during the 20th century. It was named for a mesa located on the property. Starting with the 1914 production of Rose of the Rancho, several films have been filmed at this location. They include The Thundering Herd, The Throwback, and Silver Spurs.
Scenes shot here include Gerald O’Hara’s last ride and most of the Tara plantation scenes. Gone with the Wind’s most iconic statement was filmed at this location. The words, “As God is my witness, as God is my witness, they’re not going to lick me. I’m going to live through this, and when it’s all over, I’ll never be hungry again. No, nor any of my folk. If I have to lie, steal, cheat or kill. As God is my witness, I’ll never be hungry again” are one of Scarlett’s turning points.
Today, Lasky Mesa is no longer a film location. After a drawn-out legal battle between activists, businesses, actors, and government departments, the old Gone with the Wind film location became a natural preserve open to the public.
Filming at Big Bear Lake
The small California town of approximately 5000 inhabitants is surrounded by the San Bernardino National Forest. The scenery surrounding Big Bear Lake makes it quite the ideal film location.
The significant scene where Scarlett is attacked in a shantytown was filmed in Big Bear Lake. This attack motivates her male friends and husband to seek revenge against the shanty town. As a result, Frank dies, paving the way for Scarlett’s third and final marriage.
Other productions that have been filmed at this location including John o’ the Mountains, Daniel Boone, and Paint Your Wagon.
Ruess Ranch – Another Golden Classics Film Location
Ruess Ranch is a farm near San Fernando Valley. The land’s natural beauty and proximity to Paramount Studios Ranch made it an ideal film location. Geographical locations the farm represented include the Midwest, the East Coast, and Europe. Dozens of movies were filmed on the farm from 1934 to the early 1950s.
The opening sequence to Gone with the Wind was filmed at this location. The scene shows Scarlett and Gerald talking about events in the neighborhood.
Other productions filmed at this location include Kings Row starring former President Ronald Reagan, Home In Indiana, Typhoon, Lost Horizon, and Monsieur Beaucaire.
Filming at TR Pugh Memorial Park
T. R. Pugh Memorial Park is a replica of an 1880s water-powered grist mill in Arkansas. The park was built in the early 1930s by Justin Matthews, who named it after his friend and sponsor, Thomas R. Pugh. The old Gone with the Wind film location is still used for weddings and portrait photography to this day.
Some of the openings to the movie were filmed here. It is possibly one of the few Gone with the Wind film location structures still standing.
Culver Studios – Film Location of Legends
Culver Studios is located in Culver City, California. It was first built in 1918. It has undergone several name changes. For example, the location was known as Selznick International Pictures when Gone with the Wind was filmed.
Culver Studios’ 9336 Washington Boulevard was the film location for Scarlett’s house after her marriage. Most of Gone with the Wind was filmed at this iconic studio.
Gone with the Wind is by no means the only classic production filmed at Culver. Other works filmed at this location include A Star is Born, Batman, and I Am Legend.
Filming in Style at the Pasadena Busch Gardens
The Pasadena Bush Gardens were opened in 1906. Adolphus Busch developed the park near his Orange Grove property. The gardens were subdivided, and other homes were built in their place twenty-four years after Bush’s 1913 death.
The famous barbeque scenes at Twelve Oaks were filmed at the Bush Gardens. It is during this scene news of the impending civil war is announced. Even as all the men rush to enlist, this scene serves as the movie’s catalyst.
Gone with the Wind was not the only film shot at this picturesque location. Other Hollywood productions with film locations featured at the park include Stella Maris, Beau Geste, The Adventures of Robin Hood, and Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. While the park no longer exists, remnants of the Gone with the Wind film location can still be seen in ponds and fountains decorating yards in the neighborhood.
Despite taking place in Georgia, Gone with the Wind’s film locations are all around the Los Angeles area. Some notable ones include the Bush Gardens, Big Bear Lake, and Culver Studios / Selznick International Pictures.