UNCG Campus Weekly

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Kay Brown, David O. Selznick and ‘Gone with the Wind’

Photo of Kay BrownIn 1936, Kay Brown convinced Hollywood producer David O. Selznick to snap up the film rights to “Gone with the Wind.” Brown had read Margaret Mitchell’s not-yet-published manuscript and set to work on her boss, Selznick.

And there were other coups ahead for Brown, a storied talent agent and representative for Selznick International. She snagged director Alfred Hitchcock for Selznick as well as Swedish actress Ingrid Bergman, who became a close, lifelong friend.

“Gone with the Wind,” starring Vivien Leigh and Clark Gable, premiered with much fanfare in Atlanta in 1939. Seventy-five years later, Brown’s daughter, Dr. Kate Barrett, professor emerita in Kinesiology, has loaned some of her mother’s memorabilia to UNCG’s Jackson Library.

On display in the Hodges Reading Room on the second floor of the library, film buffs will find:

  • Several of Walter Plunkett’s color costume sketches for “Gone with the Wind.” These include Scarlett O’Hara’s green velvet dress made from the drapes of Tara.
  • A Western Union telegram to Brown from Selznick, telling her he had replaced George Cukor with Victor Fleming as the film’s director, a major turning point in the movie’s production. In the same telegram, Selznick congratulates Brown on signing Bergman.
  • A silver case given to Brown by Mitchell and Mitchell’s husband, John Marsh.
  • A bound script of Hitchcock’s “Rebecca,” which won the Academy Award for Best Picture of 1941.

The exhibition, organized by Special Collections & University Archives, runs through Jan. 7, 2015. The Reading Room is open Monday through Friday, 9 a.m – 5 p.m.

Additional story and pictures are at http://uncgspecial.blogspot.com/2014/10/a-new-exhibit-in-hodges-reading-room.html

By Michelle Hines