Harry Ransom CenterThe University of Texas at Austin

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Producing Gone With The Wind

COSTUMES

Green wrapper dress. Click to enlarge.

The conserved green curtain dress and hat worn by Vivien Leigh as Scarlett O'Hara in Gone With The Wind.

Curtain dress. Click to enlarge.

Film still of Mammy and Scarlett at curtain.

Makeup still. Click to enlarge.

Makeup still of Scarlett in curtain dress.

Makeup still. Click to enlarge.

Makeup still of Scarlett in curtain dress.

Scarlett O'Hara Costumes

The Curtain Dress

The Curtain Dress, a symbol of Scarlett's will to survive, was worn in three scenes: the jail scene in which Scarlett asks Rhett for financial assistance, the scene in which Scarlett walks through the Atlanta streets with Mammy, and the scene in which Scarlett meets Frank Kennedy.

The color of the dress presented Plunkett with several challenges. It had to suit the color of Vivien Leigh's eyes, and it had to conform to Technicolor specifications. Furthermore, the dress had to look as though it were made from the draperies at Tara. It is believed that Plunkett deliberately treated or exposed the fabric to sunlight to achieve a faded appearance. However, the fading is not apparent onscreen through the vibrant green of the Technicolor process, and the fading and discoloration present on the fabric today is likely not what Plunkett may have attempted in 1939.

Also known as the Drapery Dress and the Portieres dress, the curtain dress is comprised of two separate garments. The green velvet skirt parts in the front to reveal a chartreuse velvet underskirt and is attached to a sleeveless cotton under bodice. The separate green velvet bodice has long fitted sleeves and a capelet on the left shoulder. The final piece in the ensemble is the distinctive drapery cord belt with two tassels at each end.


486. INT. DRAWING ROOM - DAY

Scarlett
(she enters to Mammy) Oh, Mammy! Mammy! (she goes to the window and stands looking out)

Mammy
(she goes to her, lays a consoling hand upon her shoulder) You been brave so long, Miss Scarlett. You jes' gotter go on bein' brave. Think 'bout yo' Pa like he useter be.

Scarlett
I can't think about Pa. I can't think about anything but that three hundred dollars! (she moves away from the window and, wretchedly, across the room.)

Mammy
(mumbling) Ain's no good thinkin' 'bout dat, Miss Scarlett. Ain' nobody got dat much money

Scarlett (to herself)
Three hundred dollars ... three hundred dollars ...

Mammy
Nobody but Yankees and Scalawags got dat much money now.

Scarlett stops still in her tracks. She frowns. Then, low, but quite matter-of-fact:

Scarlett
Rhett.

Mammy
Who dat? A Yankee?

Scarlett
(frightened by her own idea) Be quiet.

Scarlett goes to the mirror, stares at herself. She runs her hands over her thin figure, pinches her cheeks.

Scarlett
I'm so thin and so pale, Mammy. And I haven't got any clothes!

Suddenly she straightens up as she catches a glimpse of the green portieres hanging at the windows. She swings around abruptly and with sudden brisk decision, walks to them.

Scarlett
(fingering the material and looking up) Scoot up to the attic and get Ma's old box of dress patterns, Mammy.

Mammy
Whut you up ter wid Miss Ellen's po'teers?

Scarlett
You're going to make me a new dress.

Mammy
Not outta Miss Ellen's po'teers! Not while Ah got bref in mah body!

Scarlett
(still staring at the portieres) Great balls of fire! They're my portieres now!

(she jerks down the portieres, pole and all; drapes the material over her shoulder; turns back to Mammy)

I'm going to Atlanta for that three hundred dollars, and I've got to go looking like a queen.


NEXT: The Ball Gown