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Scene from "Gone with the Wind"

Then and Now 

Scene from "Gone with the Wind"

Sep 17 1936






ANNOUNCER: ... A more sober, more reflective America reads such historical novels as "Gone with the Wind" by Margaret Mitchell, a scene from which is dramatized for the first time on the air, with Miss Constance Bennett as Scarlett O'Hara and Mr. Robert Montgomery as Rhett Butler.


ANNOUNCER: "Gone with the Wind," the story of Scarlett O'Hara, daughter of a South whose traditions have been shattered by the Civil War.


ANNOUNCER: Scarlett O'Hara -- coquette, vixen; ready to recruit every feminine wile to achieve her personal pleasures and stability; who married a man she did not love, though fascinated by Rhett Butler, charming scoundrel and blockade runner. Then -- her husband is killed. On the evening of his burial, Scarlett sits alone in her room, alone with herself, rationalizing, as her brain insists on tormenting her.

SCARLETT: (TO HERSELF) For once, it's quiet in the house. Not even any quarreling with Peter or Mammy or Cookie. Nothing. And all because Frank is lying in his grave -- and I killed him. (INHALES SHARPLY) No, no -- I mustn't say that. But he did go out in the night for me. He was caught in that raid and shot. God'll punish me for that. God'll punish me for marrying Frank when he really loved Suellen. I made him very unhappy and he bore it like a gentleman. But I - I really didn't make him entirely unhappy. I gave him our child Ella. (EMOTIONAL) Oh, Frank, if you were only alive now, I - I could make up for it all. If I could only find someone who would let me put my head on his shoulder and cry, I wouldn't see Frank's face; that hurt look. I wouldn't see it any more!


RHETT: (OFF) Aunt Pitty? I want to talk with Scarlett!

PITTY: (OFF) But the child is lying down now, Captain Butler. She's right prostrated.

RHETT: (OFF) She'll see me. You tell her I'm goin' away tomorrow. Tell her it's terribly important.

SCARLETT: (CALLS, PLEASANTLY) Rhett, I'll be down directly! (BEAT, TO HERSELF) I must put some rouge on. No. No, I'd better not. Aunt Pitty would be shocked. (CALLS) I'm comin' down, Rhett!


RHETT: Forgive me for disturbin' you, Scarlett. I'm sorry I couldn't be at Frank's funeral.

SCARLETT: I understand.

RHETT: Will ya pardon us, Aunt Pitty?

PITTY: Oh, certainly, certainly. (MOVING OFF) I'll close the door as I go out.


SCARLETT: Why'd ya come, Rhett?

RHETT: I wanted to find out.

SCARLETT: Find out what?

RHETT: What the matter with you is.

SCARLETT: (STUNG) You're - you're a real callous person, Rhett. (EXHALES, AMUSED) You're like me.

RHETT: Come on, honey. What is it? Isn't it more than just old Frank dyin'?

SCARLETT: (SUDDENLY EMOTIONAL) Oh, Rhett, I'm so afraid. I - I'm afraid I'll die and go to hell.

RHETT: (AMUSED, DRY) You're pretty healthy, and maybe there isn't any hell.

SCARLETT: Oh, but there is, Rhett! You know there is!

RHETT: I know there is, but it's right here on earth.

SCARLETT: (SADLY) I oughtn't to have married Frank. It was wrong. He was Suellen's beau and he loved her, not me. But I lied to him: I told him she was gonna marry someone else. How could I have done it, Rhett?

RHETT: (AMUSED) So that's how you got Frank! I always wondered.

SCARLETT: I made him do all sorts of things he didn't want to do. I was so mean to him, but I'm not really mean. My mother always said that I - I--

RHETT: Your mother? I've often wondered what your mother was like. 

SCARLETT: Oh, Rhett, for the first time I - I'm glad she's dead, so she can't see me. She didn't raise me to be mean, Rhett. She'd rather I'd have starved than do this. And I so wanted to be like her in every way -- and I'm not like her a bit. Not a bit! Mother died, right after the Yankees went through. Rhett, you can't imagine. I - I get all cold when I think of it. I can see how everything is burned and so still and there's nothin' to eat. Oh, Rhett, in my dreams I'm hungry again.

RHETT: Go on.

SCARLETT: I'm hungry and my mind keeps saying, "If I ever get out of this, I'll never, never be hungry again," and then - and then the dream goes off into a gray mist and I'm - I'm running, running so hard my heart's about to burst and somethin' is chasin' me, and I can't breathe but I keep thinkin', "If I can just get there, I'll be safe." But - I don't know where I'm tryin' to get to.

RHETT: (SERIOUS) Honey, let's get to the bottom of this. You say if you had it to do over again, you'd do it differently. But would you? Think, now: would you?

SCARLETT: (EXHALES) Oh, I don't know. It's all too mixed up.

RHETT: (ANNOYED) Why don't you tell me the truth? Hasn't your conscience bothered you before this?

SCARLETT: Well, I didn't think much about conscience before. I - I guess I just reckoned God would understand.

RHETT: (DRY) But you don't credit God with understandin' why you married Frank.

SCARLETT: Rhett! How can you talk about God so, when you don't even believe there is one?

RHETT: But you believe in a God of Wrath and that's what's important at the moment. I'm surprised at you, Scarlett, for sproutin' a conscience this late in life. Opportunists like you shouldn't have them.

SCARLETT: What's an opportunist?

RHETT: Person who takes advantage of opportunities.

SCARLETT: Is that wrong?

RHETT: It's always been held in bad taste by those who had the same opportunities and didn't take them. Now I'll tell you why I came here this evening.


RHETT: I'm goin' away.


RHETT: To England. And I've got news.

SCARLETT: What news?

RHETT: My news is this: I still want you more than any woman I've ever seen and now that Frank is gone, I thought you'd be interested to know it.

SCARLETT: (INDIGNANT) Rhett Butler, you're the most ill-bred man in the world, comin' here at a time like this with - with Frank hardly cold in his grave. If you had any decency--

RHETT: I'm afraid you miss my point.

SCARLETT: I don't miss anything. Let go of me and get out of here. 

RHETT: Listen, I am askin' you to marry me. Would you be convinced if I knelt down?


RHETT: (MATTER-OF-FACT) I've always intended havin' you, Scarlett, since the first day I saw you at Twelve Oaks -- when you threw a vase and swore, just to prove to me you weren't a lady. 

SCARLETT: (ASTONISHED, SUSPICIOUS) You look so calm. Just as-- Just as if you were discussin' the weather.

RHETT: (AMUSED) I bare my soul and you're suspicious. (MATTER-OF-FACT) I'm goin' away for a long time and if I wait till I return I'm afraid you'll have married someone else with money. So I thought, why not me and my money? Really, Scarlett, I can't go on all my life, waitin' to catch you between husbands.

SCARLETT: (QUIETLY) I don't think I'll ever marry again.

RHETT: Oh, yes, you will. You were born to be married.

SCARLETT: But, Rhett, I don't love you.

RHETT: That's no drawback. You never loved Frank. Did you ever think of marrying just for the fun of it?

SCARLETT: Fun! Don't talk like a fool. There's no fun bein' married.

RHETT: (CHUCKLES) I don't know. Why not try marryin' a fine young man who has a bad reputation and a way with women?

SCARLETT: (PRIM) You're coarse. And conceited, and-- This conversation's gone quite far enough. 

RHETT: Come, Scarlett -- say you'll marry me or I'll stay around here and play a guitar under your window every night and sing at the top of my voice, so you'll marry me to save your reputation.

SCARLETT: But I don't want to marry anybody.

RHETT: (HUNGRILY) Scarlett O'Hara, you're a fool. (KISSES HER)


RHETT: Scarlett--


RHETT: Scarlett--

SCARLETT: Let me go.

RHETT: You're in my arms now. Your clingin' to me is the only solid thing in a dizzy swayin' world. You've never felt like this before in your whole life.

SCARLETT: Rhett, please--

RHETT: You've had this comin' to you for years. None of the fools you've known have kissed you like this, have they?


RHETT: Gentlemen all, but what do they know about women? What do they know about you? I know you. Say yes, Scarlett. Say yes.


RHETT: (SURPRISED, SUSPICIOUS) You mean it? You don't want to take it back? Just why did you say yes? Look at me! Is it my money?

SCARLETT: (QUIETLY EVASIVE) Why, Rhett. What a question.

RHETT: Look up and don't try to sweet talk me!

SCARLETT: You aren't in love with me, are you? Why should I be in love with you?

RHETT: No. No, my dear, I'm not in love with you. No more than you are with me. And if I were, you'd be the last person I'd ever tell. God help the man who ever really loves you. You'd break his heart, my darling.


RHETT: (SATISFIED, STARTS OFF) All right. Let me know if you change your mind.

SCARLETT: (SURPRISED) Oh-- Well, aren't - aren't you gonna kiss me goodbye?

RHETT: Don't you think you've had enough kissing for one evening? (DRY) To think of a modest, well-brought-up young woman-- (SLY) Well, I told you it would be fun, didn't I?

SCARLETT: (ANNOYED) Oh, you're just impossible! And I don't care if you never come back!

RHETT: (GENIAL, MOVING OFF) But I will come back. I will. And you'll wait until I do.