Harry Ransom CenterThe University of Texas at Austin

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Monty Westmore, Hazel Rogers, Olivia de Haviland
Monty Westmore and his assistant, hair styling department head Hazel Rogers, prepare Olivia de Haviland for Scarlett's wedding
Gone With The Wind

Monty Westmore, makeup designer on "Gone With The Wind" was the eldest of George Westmore's six sons. Together, they established a movie makeup dynasty in Hollywood that lasted more than thirty years.

Monty was the first to leave home. He landed a job at the Famous Players Lasky studio during the shooting of "The Sheik." Shortly thereafter he talked Rudolf Valentino into letting him do his makeup which Valentino had been doing himself. The studio bosses were thrilled with the results and Westmore remained Valentino's makeup artist until the actor's death in 1926. By that time, Westmore had begun freelancing. His work on "Mutiny on the Bounty" caught the attention of David O. Selznick who hired him as head of the makeup department at Selznick International Pictures.

Monte Westmore and Ona Munsen
Westmore with Ona Munsen
Like all the designers on "Gone With The Wind," Westmore did intensive research long before the cameras rolled. The task he faced was daunting. Some scenes of the film had scores of extras all of whom had to have makeup. He had to make the major characters look like stars but at the same time look as if they were wearing no makeup at all. He had to age dozens of major characters of different races gradually through the twelve year span of the picture. This was no mean feat since there were times when as many as four scenes were being shot simultaneously. Westmore also had to worry about the relatively new Technicolor process which was so sensitive it could pick up the color of an actor's costume reflected in another actor's face. And somehow, in cooperation with Walter Plunkett, the costume designer, and Ernest Haller, the cinematographer, he managed to keep Vivien Leigh's naturally blue eyes looking green.

Monte Westmore and Carrol Nye
Monte Westmore and Carrol Nye

Westmore and his staff were also doing the makeup for "Rebecca" and "Intermezzo" at about the same time as "Gone With The Wind." He personally did the makeup for all the Scarlett O'Hara screen tests. And he had to deal with the mountain of paperwork Selznick demanded of all his department heads. It all caught up with him. Less than a year after "Gone With The Wind" was released, Westmore suffered a heart attack and died. He did not receive screen credit for "Gone With The Wind" as makeup artists did not regularly receive such recognition until the 1940's. Nor did Westmore receive an Academy Award nomination as there was no makeup category at the time.

Hundreds of makeup stills were taken during the production of "Gone With The Wind." The Makeup Stills page presents a small sample of these photographs.

FILE: GWTWmakeup


Westmore experiment with makeup
and make photos showing transitions

Time lapse is 2 or 3 years to
hospital - but he should look
horribly tired as if he's been
through hell.

Time lapse of 3 or 4 yrs to later
scene in Atlanta, but take the
liberty of making him 10 years
older between first and last
appearance. There should be not
simply a difference in years -- but
he should show signs of suffering
and hardship.

discussed with Westmore

| The Makeup Stills Page |

| 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.