Gone With The Wind is a 1939 American historical romance movie based on the novel of the same name by Margaret Mitchell. This long epic tale of a broken romance follows the story of spoiled Scarlett O’ Hara played by Viven Leigh who is madly in love with Ashley Wilkes, who marries someone else.
Scorned that she was not the first choice, she strives to pursue him even as handsome Rhett Butler, played by Clark Gable makes his feelings towards her known and intends to marry her.
Her portrayal of the strong willed female determined to get what she wants has become iconic. Although vain, self centered and self obsessed, she is the intelligent heroine of the tale, learning her lesson in the end.
Gone With The Wind is most often referred to as one of the greatest examples of the Golden Age of Hollywood. With a huge budget, glorious, exquisite costumes, star-studded cast and extensively detailed filming sets, it comes as no surprise that this film is considered a Hollywood classic, and one of the most famous films of all time.
You would be hard pressed to find someone who could not tell you a single line from the movie. The film is still widely regarded as one of the greatest films of all time.
Gone With The Wind was hugely popular when it was first released, and quickly became one of the highest earning films made. Even when adjusted to inflation, the movie is still one of the highest grossing films throughout history!
Gone With The Wind has become a cultural phenomenon, with adoring fans hoping to visit filming locations, walk in the footsteps of the stars, and recite the most famous quotes. This leads people to wonder where was Gone With The Wind filmed?
Where was Gone With The Wind filmed?
You may be surprised to find that almost the whole of Gone With The Wind was filmed in a film studio, and not on location in the Deep South location of Tara, that the main character, Scarlett O’ Hara loves so much.
Whilst the vast majority of indoor and outdoor shooting locations were held in the studios that produced the movie, there were a few real life locations used in the film.
Some adorning fans are surprised to find that Tara is a fictional location created by the novel’s author, Margaret Mitchell. Tara however, is the title of the fictional plantation located in the state of Georgia.
However, the inspiration for the idyllic, antebellum, historical plantation home of the main character, Scarlett is actually a real place that you can visit.
The columned mansion used in the 1939 movie is actually based off The Twelve Oaks, located in Covington, Georgia. This distinctively Southern property makes for the perfect setting for this iconic, historical tale of Southern romance.
The house has since been used in the popular TV series The Vampire Diaries as the Lockwood Mansion.
As mentioned, the majority of Gone With The Wind was actually filmed in the Selznick International Studios, which is now called the Culver Studios.
The movie was filmed here in 1939 on stages 11 and 12, with many outdoor scenes shot right on the backlot. The front of the studio was even used for an exterior shot of the Butler family’s grand mansion.
It may look different to the mansion used in the movie, as Hollywood used to use watercolor paintings to disguise backgrounds and overlap scenes instead of building the actual sets.
The gardens of the Butler mansion can be seen exactly as the studio gardens, but the upper facade of the house is blended into a painting.
Almost the entire film was shot right there in California, not in the deep South. It may sadden you to find that the exquisite shooting locations and sets for Gone With The Wind were simply constructed to look like plush mansions, and are not actually real places.
These sets would most likely be removed, used in other films or deconstructed to create new sets for newer movies.
In the opening scenes of the movie, you can see a small, quaint watermill.
This is actually in TR Pugh Memorial Park on Lakeshore Drive, in North Little Rock, Arkansas.
As the sun rises in one of the most memorable scenes of the film, Scarlett O’ Hara rises too and vows never to go hungry again.
This scene shows her drive for survival in a barren land, which was actually filmed in the grassland of Lasky Mesa, in Calabasas, northwest of Los Angeles.
Attack on Scarlett in Shantytown
Later in the film, Scarlett O’ Hara is attacked whilst riding in her carriage near shantytown. The scene was shot near Big Bear Lake, in San Bernardino.
This area has been known to host many Hollywood classic film sets, and has been used in western movies a multitude of times. For Gone With The Wind, set dressers had to use distinctive red dirt in order to replicate the soil of Georgia in this Californian location.
Although you may not be able to see the real sets in which Gone With The Wind was filmed, you can still visit Georgia to really feel like you are part of the movie.
It just goes to show how amazing a little Hollywood movie magic is, and how easy it is to trick us into thinking we were in the deep South, and not a studio in California.
Why not visit Culver Studios for a taste of stardom? Even though the gorgeous Rhett Butler may not be there, frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn.