Garbo heard Hepburn was making a test and wasn't too thrilled about it. Garbo really wanted to play Joan of Arc. So I guess RKO was planning to star Kate in a movie about her, but somehow it fell through. Doesn't the Technicolor look amazing? I didn't know it was that advanced in 1934!
That first set reminds me of what Kate said in All About Me--that that screentest was awful and that George Cukor saw the other one, "the good one." What if Cukor hadn't saw the good one, but only the one shown in AAM? We wouldn't have Katharine Hepburn would we? Perish the thought!
This is as I recall not really a screen test but shows a scene from Little Women - if I'm not wrong I believe Judy solved the big question back then. But I might be wrong and I am dreaming as usual
Well, dreamer...and Kama...though they appear to me to be actual scenes, they're not necessarily the exact ones that wound up in the film...In other words, they are takes of scenes and you can see them a split second before the scene begins and know that they are about to begin - you can see the ...it's not a clapboard but just a board placed in camera range with the scene number and such - if there was sound, you'd likely hear the word "action." You can see when the director has yelled cut in the dancing scene because they all just stop. But I especially love to catch just that split second before they start a scene, where you can see the real expressions on their faces. For instance before the scene where they all approach the table with ice cream and cake, you can see Joan Bennett is laughing about something looking at Kate.
Does anyone else really really wish she had done a screentest for GWTW? It would have been interesting to see her play Scarlett even only for a few minutes.
I for one am very glad she didn't get to play Scarlett O'Hara. I think she would have been completely wrong for it. I know that her involvement in a film of the magnitude of GWTW would have been a boon to her career, but I think she was very, very savvy and knew that Selznick could hire her and then let her go the minute he found the right person - and, as she said to him, "you're not going to tell me you're going to be stupid enough not to find her" after all the hoopla about the search. And then she knew he would have dropped her and THAT could have ruined her confidence and her standing in the business to have that blow at a time when her career was in the toilet.
And then, of course, had she done Scarlett - we might not have gotten Tracy Lord - so I think everything happens for a reason.
Having said all this, I also have to admit that I am not one who would put GWTW on my list of favorite movies. I just don't see what the fuss is all about. I mean, I KNOW what it was about then - the success of the book, the suspense over how that success would be translated to the screen, the spectacle, the huge production, stars, etc. - but I just don't FEEL anything watching it. Mostly I think it's because I see/feel ZERO chemistry between ANY of the actors. Between Scarlett and Rhett there should be some heat and I find Leigh and Gable thoroughly unsuited to playing with each other. I think she's GREAT and he is, too, in the role. But they may as well be acting in different movies as far as chemistry is concerned. And Leslie Howard? 'Nuf said.
All this is IMO - so I apologize if I've offended anyone who loves the movie. To each his own.
But it wouldn't even make my top 50. I'd take The Philadelphia Story over it in a heartbeat.
I prefer Tracy Lord 10 times over Scarlett O'Hara - so am with Judy on this.
What really would interest me would be - why Kate wanted the part? Was it her way to beat the box office poison and stay in business or was it the part?
I think it's, maybe, hard for us to imagine now - or, rather, to understand - the wild success of the book when it was published and then the legendary hoopla surrounding the making of the movie. At least in reputation - and it was probably actually so - it was THE movie that everybody was talking about. So it was THE part any actress of that time seemed to want. I can't figure out why, frankly. I think there were SO many more interesting women's roles at the time. For instance, Bette Davis's Jezebel - in my opinion - is a hundred times deeper and more complex a character than Scarlett O'Hara. I just never saw Scarlett as an interesting character. To me, she's a petulant shrew throughout and any hardship that she endures and faces up to - like the loss of her father or the downfall of Tara when they are starving and scrambling to survive, or the shooting of the soldier or delivery of Melanie's baby - NONE of it changes her. Even when Rhett walks out on her and she's in tears and talks about "tammarah," there's still not the slightest inkling that she's been transformed. Perhaps that was the point. But if so, that's why I've never been able to warm to the character - even though Leigh played the hell out of it and she's really the only saving grace for me - what I mean is, she gave Scarlett dimension that I really think would have been missing without her (though I have always been intrigued by what I've seen of Paulette Goddard's test; I thought she could have been wonderful in it, too). So it's really the character of Scarlett that has always been off-putting to me. And though Leigh was absolutely the right choice, even she couldn't save it - for me.
But, getting back to your original question, dreamer - about why Kate might have wanted the part: I think she thought it was a role and a movie that would have elevated her out of the industry perception of failure. Perhaps she also thought it was a great role - everyone seemed to - and maybe she even connected to the Southern part of it because of her papa being a Virginian. And the fact that it was Selznick. And Cukor directing. Perhaps she thought she would naturally be thought of for the role.
Anyway, I know I am in the minority and that most people find it a wildly romantic saga. It just leaves me cold and always has.
What I really never have understood is the trabba buh around Scarlett O'Hara - she was probably as much an ass as Mary of Scotland - and that part was not one of Kate's faves.
I have understood the popularity of Mitchell's book - I guess it was as popular as Harry Potter is today. Although I must admit - haven't read either of them. The figure Scarlett hasn't enough dept - to say it with your words Judy "she leaves me cold" - (where as the other characters don't ). As does those modern fairytales. I know it is theeee books to read - friends of mine stand up in the night to be there when the bookstore opens. It is crazy - and I guess something that is created by the industry. Just like ET etc. So my last guess for today is that the Selznick Studio already back then created a hysteria around the film.
There is no doubt about Leigh's portrayal is fantastic - I don't blame it on her - but the character is where I have my trouble.
And having thought of what Kate said about Mary of Scotland - I just had a hard time to figure why Kate would want to portray a character like Scarlett O'Hara other than maybe get back in business - ahh she didn't really leave but you know what I mean.
The idea of Kate thought romantic about the part - meaning because of her father being from the south has never crossed my mind.
Anyway, I know I am in the minority and that most people find it a wildly romantic saga. It just leaves me cold and always has.
well we're a minority of two then, judy. and what distinguishes the 'romance' of GONE WITH THE WIND for many americans (and makes it very different than the Harry Potter imaginary adventures dreamer has mentioned) is that GWTW draws upon a messy and complicated and for some of us embarrassing part of american history. yes, slavery. so for me its hard to romanticize the world of the rich folk who benefited from that system. ya ya ya its only a movie. but that's part of the complicated response to this movie for americans and how i find it differs from how the rest of the world sees it. just my two bits.
back to kate!
"What would you have me do? Give out, give up, give in?"
Slavery - Martha didn't only happened in America - it happened all over the world. The South might have made it more obvious - but we have to remember also that the North - the Yankees - were the ones who liberated and fought for freedom. Which didn't happen much else where as much in history. So I think that despite the "messy" part of history - it is not there the problem of the viewer of today finds their in GWTW - why else do so many love North and South with Patrick Swayze. No I really do believe that it is the character Scarlett who is the issue - the snobbery - her ignorance - her cold heart. As it is difficult to warm up to a person who can't learn from her faults and the kind of ego the character has.
Sorry about my rambling - but I felt you misunderstood what I meant Martha. Giggles we are at least three here And that I mentioned HP was only to pin point how popular the book was back then - and that I believe that the S Studios already back then had the publicity drums playing at full speed - producing a hysteria (or call it a need) as we see with some films today.
Last Edit: Oct 28, 2009 14:21:06 GMT -5 by dreamer
"The time to make up your mind about people is never." ~ Tracy Lord
Judy: All has changed on the Proboard....Not sure my reply got posted. Anyway, thanks for the notice, Evelien. I'm unable to access it. I can watch the clip of the woman flipping through the Kate books and talking about fashion - one of which is Rebel Chic :-)
Feb 4, 2014 20:29:21 GMT -5
dreamer: Ok peeps have tried to figure this new board - with not much success In order to login - click at the upper right corner - use your name from the board and your password and it should be all right. If not - please let me know and I will try to help!
Jul 29, 2014 7:30:03 GMT -5
Judy: I can enter. But not sure how to post now....Although I have nothing exciting to say, except hello to everyone!
Jul 29, 2014 20:34:38 GMT -5
Sherry: Hello in return.
Jul 31, 2014 10:40:25 GMT -5
HollywoodHepcat: Awww, hiiii!! I'm randomly here in hope of sourcing a quote of Kate's about Joel Mccrea-- coming up short, though. Ah well, hope everyone is well!! FINALLY A RED AND WHITE BANNER. TOOK 8 YEARS, BUT... WE MADE IT.
Aug 5, 2014 20:43:01 GMT -5
Tracy Lord: Just wanted to say a big HEY to everyone! I would love it if this board was active like it once was. I've missed it!
Aug 6, 2014 17:23:36 GMT -5
evelien: Hi everyone, hope you're all fine. I'm still alive and kicking and still as big a KH fan.
Aug 12, 2014 12:09:24 GMT -5
evelien: Judy: to reply to an existing thread, you can post a message in the 'quick reply' box under the last post on the page. To create a new thread: click on the folder you wish to post a new thread in and on the top right side you can choose 'New thread'.
Aug 12, 2014 12:11:39 GMT -5
CFK: So we all heard about Betty Bacall, I guess? Pretty rotten news, especially following so closely on Robin Williams. What a lousy week. Watched To Have and Have Not as tribute tonight.
Aug 13, 2014 0:25:58 GMT -5
HollywoodHepcat: Oh my God. Betty. My heart's in my throat.
Aug 13, 2014 5:45:59 GMT -5
lomola : hello fellow KH fans Just stumbled upon this interesting board.. Does anyone have any video interviews with KH?? Or maybe transcripts of them? I´ve been especially looking for the full version of the famous Cavett one forever and ever...
Sept 15, 2014 16:06:41 GMT -5
lomola : the bits of it i found on youtube were just amazing..
Sept 15, 2014 16:07:35 GMT -5
Laura: Is there anybody here? My registration has been pending approval forever... Maybe this board has been abandonned by the owner..
Dec 15, 2014 3:40:49 GMT -5
Fran: I think the problem with actresses such as Bette Davis and Joan Crawford was that they played SEX SYMBOLS and did woman movies. They were sexy in their day and were the main love interests in the movie. When they got older those woman type movies were dead
Jun 26, 2017 16:56:41 GMT -5
Fran: Bette Davis made very different movies from Katherine Hepburn Hepburn. Bette was sexy. So was Crawford. They made woman type movies. Hepburn was the masculine feminist. When their looks went, so did their careers. Hepburn was never that type.
Jun 26, 2017 16:57:53 GMT -5
Angela: Personally, I like Bette Davis best she was "a woman for all season" she didn't mince words she did the role without having to apologize for creativity she musters to do the work. Also, she could look different without worrying about her appearance.
Mar 14, 2019 19:54:07 GMT -5
Angela: Personally, I felt Bette Davis was the "woman for all seasons" since she used all her creativity to make her artwork. As for Katherine she seems to sound the same - her voice didn't change. Granted she was good in Shakespeare which I give credit.
Mar 14, 2019 19:56:35 GMT -5
SJS: Bette had a mostly latent tendency to ham, and she admitted it. She really appreciated a director who could get her to tone it down. She lost respect for a director who would let her get away with it. But she took chances that most actresses wouldn't.
Apr 15, 2020 14:12:32 GMT -5