Casting Scarlett O’Hara

gone with the wind

After the novel Gone with the Wind was published in 1936, the search for the right actress to play Scarlett in the MGM film adaptation had begun. 1,400 actresses were interviewed for the part and 400 were asked to do readings. In contrast, the public and the studio were unanimous about who should play the leading man, Rhett Butler. That was Clark Gable.

scarlett ohara gone with the wind

Just a few of the actresses considered: First colomn to last: Paulette Goddard, Tallulah Bankhead, Lana Turner, Lucille Ball, Joan Bennett, Katherine Hepburn, Olivia de Hallivand, Norma Shearer, Bette Davis, Barbara Stanwyck, Claudette Colbert, Joan Crawford

In Katharine Hepburn’s autobiography Me: Stories of my Life, she says that she was considered a back up option for Scarlett if they couldn’t find a better fit. George Cukor was hired as the director (and later fired) and he had worked with Katharine on A Bill of Divorcement and Little Women (later they would make The Philadelphia Story together). He thought she wasn’t the right type of girl and so they kept searching. Of course, in the end the two serious contenders are said to have been Paulette Goddard and Vivien Leigh.

Vivien Leigh was unknown in America but David Selznick, the producer, was impressed with what he had seen of her. Yet he considered her “too British” for the role. Vivien got a second chance to impress when she met Selznick through Laurence Olivier. He discovered that just like Scarlett, Vivien was half Irish and half French. They had found their Scarlett. Vivien Leigh went on to win an Oscar for her performance.

vivien leigh scarlett o'hara

Silent Summary

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I’ve been getting into silent films lately. I decided to sit through The Birth of a Nation to start with. Would not recommend. It’s three hours long and not very exciting. Of course, it’s also racist. They use white people to play black characters which confused the heck out of me. You have to remind yourself that that obviously white guy is playing a black political leader. Sigh…

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Next up was The Sheik which I also didn’t love but it was ok. It seems a lot more commercial than other films I’ve watched from the 20s and 30s but now I understand why girls wept at the death of Rudolph Valentino. What a handsome fellow! I would say he’s the best reason to watch the film. I watched the sequel The Son of the Sheik which was much the same.

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A film that I did love was Flesh and the Devil. Here comes my Garbo crush again. She was captivating in this film, divine! Just watch this scene…It makes me want to get a matchstick tattoed on my body (Ok maybe not. Maybe just a tiny portrait of Greta Garbo ;-) )

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Another great film that I watched was 7th Heaven. It’s a lovely romantic film set in France at the time of the First World War.

Henna: Part II

The deets

Natural hair colour: dark blonde/light brown

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Henna used: Caca Rouge from Lush
Hair length: bra strap length
Number of squares used: 4 of the 6
Time left on head: 4 .5 hours
Extra info: I shampooed my hair the morning before dyeing it but did not condition it. (Not sure if that makes a difference but it’s a possible variable.)

My method was as such: get in the shower, pat mud on head, have bf shower away the mud that falls on skin or the floor while I transformed myself into a swamp monster. That’s the huge downside to this compared to normal dye, it doesn’t come in a bottle with a precision nozzle so you have to throw it on. You also have to guess the right consistency which is not easy. Too thick and it doesn’t spread, too thin and you can’t pick it up with your fingers.

When you’re done putting it on you have to cover your head in clingfilm and leave it on for four hours (or more if you wish). Although Lush kindly supplies a pair of gloves to keep your hands stain free, unfortunately the stuff will drip out of your clingfilmed head anyway and leave you with an orange neck.

Rinsing took quite a while. The dye came out quite quickly but I was left with ‘bits’ in my hair as if I’d been to the beach and got covered in sand. I added a bit of conditioner and kept scrubbing to help the process along and eventually it all came out but my hair still felt sticky from the cocoa butter in the Caca Rouge.

The morning after

Eww, my hair looked and felt so greasy from the cocoa butter. I had to wash it again and did so with shampoo and conditioner which didn’t cause any dye to wash out, yay! Afterwards it was clean, sparkling and glowing in its full ginger glory! I love it xD

You wanna see? (Even though the ends aren’t dry yet. I couldn’t wait to take pics!)

Drumroll please………….

Ta da!

lush caca rougelush caca rouge

Henna: Part I

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Today I am henna-ing my hair! I’m currently covered in poo or Lush Caca Rouge to be precise which is wrapped in clingfilm and covered with a pink hat. It has been quite an experience so far. At first I made the mixture too thick so it was literally like mud. After wrestling with the mud on a quarter of my hair I realised if I kept going, I’d run out of mixture so I had to dilute the rest with more water. Because of that I’m a little concerned that the colour won’t be even (Aghhh). Before I started I thought I’d do everything nice and neat and section my hair off so everything was evenly spread. Pffff…after 5 minutes I looked like I was in one of those sexy mud fights. I just slopped it on the best I could.

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Anyway, I hoping my hair will turn out like Ygritte from Game of Thrones. I know it’s going to be ginger because I did a strand test. I was actually hoping for a deeper red but it’s not going to happen with my natural dark blond hair colour. I’ll do another blog post with the results (unless it’s absolutely horrendous O_O) but that will probably be tomorrow because I can’t wash it off until after 8pm tonight!

It Happened One Night (1934)

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Another wonderful thirties film yay! While I was watching I was wondering if this was a pre- or post-code movie because it was a little bit spicy. Claudette Colbert shows a whole thigh! It was indeed pre-code.

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It’s not a laugh out loud comedy but it’s pretty darn fun. Clark Gable and Claudette Colbert had great chemistry. I’m ready more more Colbert and screwball comedies after this.

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Katharine Hepburn and the monkey

katharine hepburn monkey

I love the stories of strange publicity stunts in early Hollywood. Greta Garbo was shoved into a lion’s cage and Katharine Hepburn was handed a monkey to carry around for a few days. In the early 1930s, the studio RKO was planning on having Ms. Hepburn star in a film adaptation of the novel Three Came Unarmed. The book was about three people who had grown up in the jungle of Borneo who are transported to the English seaside. Naturally, Katharine had to show the press she was a friend of all exotic creatures and born to play the part. The film never went into production but at least the strange moment was captured on camera. According to the caption in the image below, the “charming little gibbon” was a “notorious woman-hater”. Oh dear…

katharine hepburn monkey

The daughter of a suffragette and a misogynist monkey were never going to be a match made in heaven.

Hollywood actresses on….other Hollywood actresses

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Joan Crawford and Bette Davis on the set of Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?

The best time I ever had with Joan Crawford was when I pushed her down the stairs in Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?
Bette Davis

I never did pal around with actresses. Their talk usually bored me to tears.
Bette Davis

If only Vivien Leigh had stayed in England, that part would have been mine.
Joan Bennett (on Vivien Leigh getting the part of Scarlett O’Hara)

We all wanted to copy Vivien Leigh.
Natalie Wood

The face of Garbo is an Idea, that of Hepburn an Event.
Ethel Barrymore

All quotes from brainyquote.com