Gone With The Wind
Background: After Margaret Mitchell’s novel sold a boatload of copies and won the Pulitzer, David O Selznick and MGM decided to adapt it as quickly as possible. Or at least that was the plan initially, but O Selznick became obsessed with getting Clark Gable to play the lead. Because of a large number of prior commitments, that required waiting two years, which is about how long it took to get a serviceable screenplay and to find the right female lead since over 1,400 were auditioned. The first draft of the screenplay was written by Sidney Howard, but it was reworked at least four times by four different writers. Once production actually began, original director George Cukor was replaced by Victor Fleming who up and quit for two weeks before coming back to replace Sam Wood who was cast in the interim.

The End Result: Gone With The Wind crushed at the box office. It won ten Academy Awards and is still widely considered one of the greatest films ever made. Fans tend to fondly remember the 1,400 actresses examined prior to selecting Vivien Leigh, but the complete and utter fiasco with the directors, the screenplay, the cinematography and the long delays have largely been forgotten.

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