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.