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'Gone with the Wind' to Screen at UW-Eau Claire March 31-April 3

RELEASED: March 16, 2005

EAU CLAIRE — "Gone With the Wind" (1939), the most publicized film of Hollywood's golden era, will screen March 31-April 3 at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. The restored 238-minute version of the sweeping Technicolor epic will be presented at 6 p.m. Thursday through Sunday in Davies Theatre. Matinee screenings also will be presented Saturday and Sunday at noon.

"Gone With the Wind" is the supreme achievement of independent producer David O. Selznick. In 1936 Selznick purchased the rights to Margaret Mitchell's debut novel four weeks after it was published, for the then-record sum of $50,000 (and felt guilty enough about it that he eventually gave her another $50,000). To secure the services of Clark Gable in the key role of Rhett Butler, Selznick formed an alliance with his father-in-law Louis B. Mayer at MGM. To find his Scarlett O'Hara, he tested 1,400 unknown actresses and half of Hollywood before he cast Vivien Leigh.

The film explores a passionate love-hate romance, the adventure and spectacle of the Civil War, and a great deal of the legendary American South. The indomitable heroine, Scarlett O'Hara, struggles to find love during the chaotic Civil War years and afterwards and ultimately must seek refuge for herself and her family back at the beloved plantation Tara. There, she takes charge, defends it against Union soldiers, carpetbaggers and starvation itself, but she cannot seem to take control in the world of love.

Leslie Howard and Olivia de Havilland also head the star-studded cast.

The film set records for length (nearly four hours); Academy Awards (ten, including Best Picture); and length of theatrical run (four years at one London cinema, for example, where lines formed outside during air raids).

Admission is $2 for International Film Society members and UW-Eau Claire faculty and staff and $1 for UW-Eau Claire students. Tickets are available at the University Service Center, (715) 836-3727, in Davies Center's east lobby. The film is sponsored by the University Activities Commission of the UW-Eau Claire Student Senate.

-30-

JS/NW

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