clark gable gone with the wind

From May 1937:

You wouldn’t think that Willie Powell’s walking out on a production called “The Emperor’s Candlesticks” would have an influence on Clark Gable’s playing the role of Rhett Butler in “Gone with the Wind” now, would you? But that’s Hollywood for you. It did have–for Willie has a mind of his own, and one of the very best in the acting profession it is too, and he realized that another not-so-hot to follow “Mrs. Cheyney” would endanger all that terrific advance his career has made since his lucky accident of being cast in the original “Thin Man.”

Hence he went on his own sit-down strike in the desert (a type of strike that appeals mightily to our Mr. Powell, he being no boy athlete). Desperate Metro discovered at Selznick just the story they wanted for him and for Jean Harlow. The story, tentatively titled “The World’s Our Oyster,” was all ready to shoot. Selznick terrifically obliging. Did MGM want the story? Why of course they could buy it. It was just a cup of movie sugar over the neighborly back fence of picturedom. They were of course getting their rival company out of a hole. What, they said, about Clark Gable being loaned to them for Rhett Butler. Not that they were asking for anything in return, you understand, but still…

And thus unless something goes more than ordinarily screwy, Clark–Rhett will be.

Meanwhile, the chatter about Hollywood’s most interesting production to be goes on apace and most of it is untrue. The freelance publicity agents have discovered a fine way to get their clients’ names in the papers. They say so-and-so have been tested for “Gone with the Wind.” Actually only one person for the entire cast yet faced the testing cameras. Not a soul has yet been decided upon except Gable. The boys in the Selznick publicity bureau sit back relaxed and let the eager outsiders get “Gone with the Wind” into print. When the time comes, about the middle of May, for authentic announcements they’ll step in and not before.

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