Harry Ransom CenterThe University of Texas at Austin

Search Collections

Vivien Leigh
Series of publicity photos of Vivien Leigh
The Atlanta Bazaar

The Atlanta Bazaar was one of the first scenes to be shot. George Cukor directed, but later, Victor Fleming, who took over as director, reshot much of the scene. Selznick wanted, among other things, a more lively pace and it turned out to be a challenge to intercut the new faster paced shots of the dance with the previously shot slower paced footage. Furthermore, Selznick was disappointed with the sets and costumes.

Below is a memo from Selznick to production manager Ray Klune followed by Klune's reply. See also Selznick's memo of March 13, 1939 to Klune and Victor Fleming.

Vivien Leigh and Clark Gable
Costume design by Walter Plunkett
Costume design by Walter Plunkett

Mr. R.A. Klune cc: Mr. Lambert



I was very disappointed by the costumes in the bazaar sequence during the dance.
Much of the loveliness that this sequence could have had has been lost through
the very ordinary costumes worn by the dancers. I am aware that we do not
want to spend money building costumes for extras, but I think that we might
have done much better if we had used a little more effort to get costumes worn
by stars in other pictures, notably at M.G.M. Certainly costumes worn by Miss
Shearer and Miss Rainer and Miss Crawford and all the other woman stars in
various costume pictures could have given us a much more beautiful effect in
this scene that the cheap looking extra costumes that we have utilized.

I am particularly concerned lest this be repeated in the interior of Twelve
Oaks, in the barbecue scene, etc. I wish you would give your personal attention
to the attempt to round up stars' former costumes from other studios, especially
M.G.M. You must bear in mind that M.G.M. is our partner in this enterprise
and if you ever have any trouble in securing their cooperation on such matters,
you have only to ask help from Mr. Ginsberg - or in the final analysis from

Plunkett feels that if we built ten or twelve costumes for the extras we could
use them to advantage through the picture and estimates that these could be
made at about an average cost of $80 or $90. In the first place, I dislike
going into this expense unless it is necessary and in the second place, such
costumes certainly could not be the equal of star costumes on which a great
deal of money has been spent. But in any event, I think something should be
done so that we do not repeat the lack of beauty that is in the bazaar.

Incidentally, I think the men look awfully sloppy and I cannot understand why
we cannot do a better job on uniform fitting throughout. Late in the picture
we want the contrast of the seedy looking men against the brilliantly uniformed
officers when the war begins. But with the men looking as they do in the bazaar
sequence, there is no contrast possible. Also it seems to me that there should
be a greater variety in the uniforms of the men.

In short, I think that the whole flavor and color of the bazaar sequence, which
should have been filled with brilliantly and smartly dressed officers and
charmingly and beautifully gowned women, has been largely if not entirely lost
because of a very cheap, ordinary and thoughtless costuming job on our super-




Inter-Office Communication

TO: Mr. Selznick

FROM: R.A. Klune

DATE: February 6, 1939


Your memorandum concerning costumes in the Bazaar Sequence brings up
a number of important points that should be given consideration
immediately, the principal one concerning authenticity, and another,
to what extent Mr. Cukor's approvals may be considered final by Mr.
Lambert and Mr. Plunkett. 105 of the dresses on women in the Bazaar
were manufactured by Western Costume Company from scratch in accordance
with sketches and specifications as to color and material as submitted
by us. Samples of the dresses were in each case shown to Mr. Cukor
for his approval. In all cases Miss Myrick felt that we were dressing
the women much too nicely for Atlanta of that day. However, both
Lambert and Plunkett went very much further that she said was
permissible in attempting to make the gowns lovely. It would have been
just as easy and not much more expensive to have gone to more pictures-
que dresses because of having completely manufactured so large a
number. While on a production rental basis we are paying much less,
some of the manufactured dresses have cost as much as $75.00 to make.
It seems a shame now that they are not what you wanted. Lambert and
Plunkett both took your instructions literally when you suggested
that they accept Mr. Cukor's approval on the wardrobe for bits and
extras, and of course feel very badly now that they have missed giving
you what you wanted in the sequence.

The uniforms worn by the men in most cases were made to measure. The
sloppiness of which you complain does not result from ill-fitting
as much as from the fact that in all but a very few cases they were
worn by men not accustomed to carrying themselves as army officers.
Van Opel's men would have carried themselves like officers and gentlemen
for $16.50 a day, as against the $8.25 a day we paid most of the men
extras on that set. Here again, we were advised by our technical
people that after two years of war the officers of the South would not
have possessed the immaculateness and trimness that West Point men
might display.

I believe that you should immediately clarify to Mr. Cukor and Mr.
Plunkett and Mr. Lambert to what extent authenticity is to be disregarded,
and license with respect to the general beauty of the picture is to be


| Costumes and Makeup Table of Contents |

| "Gone With The Wind" Table of Contents |

| Film Collection |

Exhibit design by Steve L. Wilson

Learn how you can save the Green Curtain Dress and other costumes from Gone With The Wind.