Harry Ransom CenterThe University of Texas at Austin

Search Collections

Walter Plunkett with extras
Gone With The Wind
Other Costumes

Walter Plunkett made hundreds of sketches for the costumes in "Gone With The Wind." He created more than 5,000 separate items of clothing for 59 major characters and hundreds of extras. Costumes from other period films were rented from Western Costume and had to be fitted. And hundreds of other items from shoes to parasols had to be rented or created for the film.

Selznick insisted on authenticity down to pantaloons and petticoats feeling it would help the actor's characterizations. He went so far as to bring in red dust from a tile kiln to rub on the actor's shoes and clothes to reproduce Georgia's red dirt.


Ransom Center costumes are not on permanent exhibition because of the delicate nature of these items.

The memo below points out a special problem Plunkett and others had to deal with: the monitoring of the proportion of men to women in various scenes and the number of women in mourning. See also Selznick's memo of March 13,1939 to Ray Klune, production manager, regarding costumes and color, and Edward Lambert's Note to Accompany Preliminary Wardrobe Breakdown.

Inter Office Communication

Selznick International Pictures, Inc.

TO: Messrs. Lambert, Plunkett, Richards
cc: Messrs. Fleming, Klune, Stacey, Kurtz

SUBJECT: GONE WITH THE WIND

DATE: 3/13/39

copy

In deciding the proportion of men to women in ordering our extras for the
sequences in Atlanta, care should be taken that we clearly have many more
women than men and a decreasing number of men as the picture progresses
and as we get deeper and deeper into the war in our Atlanta sequences.

Thus, for instance, the scene of the news of Gettysburg being received should
have infinitely more women than men. Also, such males as there are, should
for the most part be old men and adolescents. There should, of course, also
be the usual proportion of children.

Probably, too, such men as there are, particularly any men of fighting age,
would be in uniform as being either soldiers on leave or Home Guard. Probably,
also, there would be wounded or convalescent soldiers.

Similarly, there should be an increasing percentage of mourning costumes as
the picture progresses, with a great deal more black being worn by the women
and such mourning as would be worn by the men.

I think that Mr. Kurtz should supply to the casting and costume departments,
details on the above matters on each sequence of the script that calls for
mobs or even for a comparatively small number of extras.

DOS

bk

DICTATED BUT NOT READ BY
DAVID O. SELZNICK


Extra putting on hoop skirt Walter Plunkett with Ona Munsen
A dresser helps an extra with one of the hundreds of hoops made for the film. Ona Munsen as Belle Watling with Walter Plunkett

Costume design by Walter Plunkett Costume design by Walter Plunkett Costume design by Walter Plunkett
original costume designs by Walter Plunkett; left to right: Bonnie, Mammy, Melanie


| 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.