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TPR Cinema: "Gone With The Wind" At 75


1939 is generally regarded by classic movie lovers as the Greatest Year In Movies. That year alone saw the release of “Stagecoach,” “Mr. Smith Goes To Washington,” “The Wizard of Oz,” and the one of the biggest box office smashes of all time, “Gone With The Wind.” 

Margaret Mitchell’s best-selling novel comes to life in blazing Technicolor; it’s an epic romance set against the backdrop of the Civil War and Reconstruction. Vivien Leigh stars as Scarlett O’Hara, torn between her love for Ashley Wilkes (Leslie Howard) and Rhett Butler (Clark Gable).

The movie won 10 Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Director (Victor Fleming). Hattie McDaniel became the first African-American woman to win an Oscar for her performance in the film. 

But 75 years later, though we admire the romance and historical sweep of the film, there are elements that date the picture as a product of its time, most notably the film’s depiction of its black characters. It’s partly for that reason that TPR will feature special pre-show introductions and an intermission Q&A with Steve Wilson from the Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas. The Ransom Center holds the largest archive of memorabilia from the production of “Gone With The Wind.” Their exhibition, "The Making of Gone With The Wind," runs through January 4. At our screening they’ll provide historical context, and share anecdotes from their research about the making of the film. Wilson will also be available to autograph copies of the accompanying exhibit catalogue from UT Press, which will be made available for purchase onsite by the Twig Book Shop.

For such a big picture, TPR has chosen an equally grand venue. The movie will be shown onscreen at the Empire Theatre (built 1913) in downtown San Antonio. Join us for a special event, celebrating one of the greatest movies of all time.

The screening takes place on Sunday, November 23, at 2 p.m., only a few weeks removed from the actual 75th anniversary of the film’s premiere in Atlanta, Georgia.

Admission to the event is by suggested donation. TPR recommends $15 for members, or $20 for non-members. Reservations have closed for this event. Seats will be available at the door, beginning at 1:30 p.m. on Sunday, November 23. Proceeds benefit Texas Public Radio!

Thank you to Americus Diamond and Stevens Lighting for their generous sponsorship of this event.




Nathan has been with TPR since 1995, when he began working on classical music station KPAC 88.3 FM, as host of “Tuesday Night at the Opera.” He soon learned the ropes on KSTX 89.1 FM, and volunteered to work practically any shift that came his way, on either station. He worked in nearly every capacity on the radio before moving into Community Engagement, Marketing, and Digital Media. His reporting and criticism has been honored by the Houston Press Club and Texas Associated Press.