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Classic Lines: Gone With The Wind

By Edited Aug 20, 2016 4 7

Classic Lines in Film: A Look At 'Gone With The Wind'

"Frankly my dear, I don't give a damn."

Arguably one of the greatest catchphrases of all time, Clark Gable's line 'Frankly me dear, I don't give a damn', in the  film 'Gone With The Wind', nearly didn't make it to the big screen due to Production codes and censures in films during the 1930s.

Gone With the Wind, released in 1939,  is an adaptation of the Pulitzer-winning novel by  Margaret Mitchell. This American historical film is set in the 19th century American South and portrays the story of the American Civil War and Reconstruction Era. Starring Clark Gable and Vivien Leigh, it also follows the stormy love affair and relationship between the conniving and manipulative woman and a roguish man.

Awards for Gone With The Wind

Rising to critical, classical and financial success, 'Gone with the Wind' has won multiple awards including:

  • It was the first colour film to win the Pest Picture Oscar
  • It was ranked the 6th Greatest Movie of All Time by the American Film Institute in 2007.
  • It was ranked 4th on the list of the 10 Greatest Films in the Genre 'Epic' by the American Film Institute in 2008.
  • It was the first film to get more than five Academy Awards. It won Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actress (Leigh), Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Supporting Actress (Hattie McDaniel), Best Cinematography (Colour), Best Film Editing and Best Art Direction. The film was also nominated for Best Actor (Gable), Best Supporting Actress (Olivia de Havilland, it when to co-star Hattie McDaniel), Best Visual Effects, Best Music, Original Score and Best Sound Recording.

That Classic Line

This line was voted as the number one movie quote by the American Film Institute (out of 100). But in 1939, 'Frankly me dear, I don't give a damn' caused problems due to the Hollywood Production Code, who decided what could and couldn't be shown or said in films. Due to the negative connection to the word 'damn', the writers cam up with alternative versions that included:

'Frankly my dear, I just don't care.'

'Frankly my dear, it makes my gorge rise.'

'Frankly my dear, my indifference is boundless.'

'Frankly my dear, I don't give a hoot.'

'Frankly my dear, nothing could interest me less.'

Thankfully, the Motion Picture Association board passed an amendment to the Production Code on the 1st of November 1939, six weeks before the release of the film, which allowed for the original line with 'damn' in it to remain. The amendment dictated that the words 'damn' and 'hell' could be banned except when their use "shall be essential and required for portrayal, in proper historical context, of any scene or dialogue based upon historical fact or folklore ... or a quotation from a literary work, provided that no such use shall be permitted which is intrinsically objectionable or offends good taste." With this amendment, the film, along with the classic final line, was allowed to be shown.



Mar 29, 2012 6:23pm
Gone With The Wind is on my top 5 list of movies, I just love it! I remember reading the book when I was in high school and it was just as captivating as the movie. Clark Gable is also my all-time favorite movie star! Nice article; interesting how the most famous line of the movie was almost changed, I'm so happy it wasn't! "Thumbs-Up!"
Mar 29, 2012 10:22pm
It is such a great film, I too am glad they didn't change the line, the others are no where near as good!
Apr 2, 2012 6:56pm
I love the book and have read it many times. The scene in the film with the thousands of Confederate soldiers injured and dying, is also haunting and moving. And funny how many sayings evolve and change from the original.
Apr 2, 2012 9:58pm
The first time I saw Gone with the Wind was in the dubbed German version "Vom Winde Verweht" many years ago. I'm wondering how "Frankly my dear, I don't give a damn." has been translated. Unfortunately I don't remember that anymore.

Apr 3, 2012 12:13pm
No one could forget those lines - ever.
Apr 3, 2012 7:48pm
Thanks for the article. It was informative and makes me want to watch it again! It has been a long time....

Although Scarlett was a bit manipulative she also was a survivor. Strong and true to herself, she depicted the fairer sex, with such strength and resilient, she remains a source of inspiration.
For anyone who has gone through as a tough time as she (and they) did and emerged intact is heroic. For me there is no question that the best known line is Clark Gable's, by far greatest line in the movie is " after all, tomorrow is another day" .
Apr 9, 2012 11:27pm
It's kind of funny that lines like that prevent sequels :)
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