Talk:Gone with the Wind (film)

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Good article Gone with the Wind (film) has been listed as one of the Media and drama good articles under the good article criteria. If you can improve it further, please do so. If it no longer meets these criteria, you can reassess it.
March 20, 2013 Good article nominee Listed
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GA Review[edit]

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This review is transcluded from Talk:Gone with the Wind (film)/GA1. The edit link for this section can be used to add comments to the review.

Reviewer: Khazar2 (talk · contribs) 02:31, 16 March 2013 (UTC)

I'll be glad to take this review. Initial comments to follow in the next 1-5 days. Thanks in advance for your work on this one! -- Khazar2 (talk) 02:31, 16 March 2013 (UTC)

Initial comments[edit]

This an excellent and thorough article on the subject, particularly impressive in its summary of both what's amazing and what's reprehensible in this film. I've made some minor copyedits as I went for grammar and style; please feel free to revert anything you disagree with. Anything I couldn't immediately fix I noted below. And again, thanks for your hard work on this one! It's paid off well.

  • The nota bene re: Brent and Stuart could use a source, since it's contradicting the official credits. Also, you might consider moving this to the same section as the other NBs.
    • Put into note format. Source included in the note.
  • Cliff Edwards as voice of unseen reminiscent soldier
    • I can't recall if he's unseen or not, but the AFI credits him as the "reminiscent soldier" so have followed suit.
  • Yakima Canutt as renegade -- should these two entries each have a "the"? (Like "the amputation case" or "the Yankee deserter"?) Or is this language taken verbatim from the credits?
    • All credits from "Yankee deserter" onwards just credit the actor, not the part. The roles for these "unnamed" parts are sourced through the AFI catalog (source #1).
  • "Cukor knew of Clark Gable's early days in Hollywood working as a gigolo on Hollywood's gay circuit, so Gable used his influence to have him discharged" -- Is Gable's past as a gay gigolo absolutely factually established? This seems like a sentence that might benefit from an "According to Author X" in front of it.
    • As in he came out? Not likely, but it seems to be classic Hollywood's worst kept secret. As you can see from this Google search, lots of writers have covered it. We could attribute it to the writer, but in a sense it already is through the citation. This book claims that Joan Crawford supposedly discussed the affair between Gable and Billy Haines, while Barney Oldfield (pictured here with Gable) apparently confirmed the rumors to the writer. I don't really want to go into all this in the article because it is incidental to the topic, but it most likely played a part in why Cukor was fired so that's why it is included. That said I don't mind pulling it out if you are uncomfortable with it, readers can get a full account of his dismissal on the George Cukor article.
      • No, I think you've convinced me. This was news to me but you're right that it appears backed up by other sources, making a regular citation fine.
  • "was the greatest moment of his life, the greatest victory and redemption of all his failings" -- is the "his" here Thomson or Selznick? I assume Selznick is meant, but Thomson is the last male referred to in the text.
    • This claim predates my involvement with the article and the source isn't available to me, but since Thomson was born in 1941 I think it's safe to assume he wasn't at the preview in 1939. I've square bracketed Selznick's name to settle any confusion.
  • "As well as becoming the first color film to win Best Picture,[49] it also become the longest." -- slightly ambiguous -- the longest film or the longest color film?
    • It was the first color film, and the longest film to win Best Picture up to that point, or at least that's how I interpret the source anyway. It was the longest American sound film ever made at the time too, so that interpretation must be correct. I've reworded it as "As well as becoming the first color film to win Best Picture,[49] it also become the longest Best Picture winner too." If it's still not clear enough feel free to word it as you see fit.
  • "went on to sell an estimated sixty million tickets across the United States—sales equivalent to just under half the population at the time" -- this seems like a small bit of original research. First, the 60 million figure is from the film's initial release, and subsequent two re-releases. More importantly, though, this comparison to the US total population doesn't appear in any secondary source provided here. I'd suggest cutting the "sales equivalent to" part.
    • During this period, the big films had tiered releases: the roadshows, general release and then the discount theaters. The 1941 "release" was actually the film's general release as opposed to a "re-release" (as confirmed by Schatz). Some sources (quite a lot actually) refer to the 1941 release as a re-release, but it was not what we would consider a re-release today, where a film is actively withdrawn and then put back into theaters, such as with Titanic last year. It was really just a phase in its overall release schedule. GWTW played until the end of 1943 when it was finally withdrawn from distribution, so I have clarified the 60 million figure to be from that four year period to avoid the confusion. Obviously if the source presents the figure as the result of three releases we shouldn't misrepresent what it says, but I think the information should be presented in a way that is consistent with what we mean by a re-release today.
    • I added the census/population figure to provide some context for the ticket sales, otherwise we are just throwing a figure at readers. I understand the potential OR problem here, but I believe I have stayed on the right side of the line, or at least the sentence could be worded to make sure it remains on the right side. A typical synthesis problem I had to be careful to avoid was to take the 60 million figure and the 130 million population figure and infer that half the population watched GWTW. The OR problem there is the assumption that there were no repeat sales which is why I used the term "equivalent to". Another possible way of wording this would be to say "sold 60 million tickets when the population stood at 130 million" or words to that effect, because I do think it is important to provide a context for the figure, otherwise it may as well be 6 million or 600 million to a reader not familiar with US demographics.
  • "Despite being released twenty-five years later, inflation played a smaller part than it usually does in films breaking older box-office records: the top price of a ticket to see Gone with the Wind was $2.20,[59] whereas for The Birth of a Nation it was $2" -- I can't access the second source, but this seems like another small bit of original research. Are there any secondary sources that explicitly make this comparison and evaluation?
    • Yes, you are right, so I have removed this statement, and replaced it with an actual audience figure.
  • " MGM earned a rental of $41 million from the release,[65] almost as much as that year's James Bond film, You Only Live Twice ($44 million)" -- another comparison that could use a secondary source
    • Like with the population figure above, I was trying to create some context. However, re-reading that section I think the context is spelt out enough, and this statement doesn't really add much. Indeed, it depends on the reader being familiar with the James Bond films, so as context it is vague, so I have removed the statement.
  • "from Senator George of Georgia" -- is it possible to add the senator's first name? Looks like it's Walter F. George.
    • I've added his full name to the caption, on the assumption it is him.
  • "where the audience is left in no doubt that she will "get what's coming to her"" -- which of the three sources is this a quotation from?
    • I have spread out the sources in this section so you can see where each specific claim comes from.
Nominator comments

Thanks for reviewing it. I don't have any complaints about the copy-editing, I always get to a point on these articles where I start to see what I think is there rather than what is, no matter how many times I read through. As for your concerns above, I will work my way through them and address each one directly. Betty Logan (talk) 09:20, 18 March 2013 (UTC)

Thanks for the quick responses. I'm happy with all the above and will start the final checklist.

Checklist[edit]

Rate Attribute Review Comment
1. Well-written:
1a. the prose is clear and concise, it respects copyright laws, and the spelling and grammar are correct. Prose is excellent; spotchecks show no copyright issues.
1b. it complies with the manual of style guidelines for lead sections, layout, words to watch, fiction, and list incorporation.
2. Verifiable with no original research:
2a. it contains a list of all references (sources of information), presented in accordance with the layout style guideline.
2b. it provides in-line citations from reliable sources for direct quotations, statistics, published opinion, counter-intuitive or controversial statements that are challenged or likely to be challenged, and contentious material relating to living persons—science-based articles should follow the scientific citation guidelines.
2c. it contains no original research.
3. Broad in its coverage:
3a. it addresses the main aspects of the topic.
3b. it stays focused on the topic without going into unnecessary detail (see summary style).
4. Neutral: it represents viewpoints fairly and without bias, giving due weight to each.
5. Stable: it does not change significantly from day to day because of an ongoing edit war or content dispute.
6. Illustrated, if possible, by images:
6a. images are tagged with their copyright status, and valid fair use rationales are provided for non-free content. File:Queen's Theatre 1941.jpg needs a tag for its US copyright status.
  • Temporarily removed from article. Won't be restored unless cleared at Commons.
  • It is a good image--hope we can clear permissions.
6b. images are relevant to the topic, and have suitable captions.
7. Overall assessment. Pass

Is Portal:Film in the United States tangential to this article or not? (RFC)[edit]

There is a clear consensus, than a link to Portal:Film in the United States shouldn't be included in this article. Armbrust The Homunculus 12:34, 16 February 2014 (UTC)

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

I want to propose the addition of the Portal:Film in the United States. I created this portal as an adaptation of the fr:Portail:Cinéma américain.

Some editors believe this portal (Portal:Film in the United States) is tangential to an article on an individual film and are only relevant to general/overall topics, and therefore this portal should not be included. I argue that this film has been perceived as one of the best examples of American film by reliable sources and therefore this portal is relevant and not tangential. Since there has only been a limited number of editors in this discussion, I am putting this forward as an RFC. Discussion may take place in the article talk page. WhisperToMe (talk) 04:15, 10 January 2014 (UTC)

Note to RFC responders

For better or worse the RFC discussion and survey is taking place at Wikipedia:Village pump (proposals)#Proposal to add Portal:Film in the United States to Gone with the Wind (film). It would be best to continue with the discussion there, since if the two discussions arrive at different conensuses then that just creates a bigger problem. Betty Logan (talk) 13:01, 10 January 2014 (UTC)

We should probably encourage the people over there to express their views here. Several of those comments are about the general case ("portals are a waste of time and add no value to the article") rather than about the specific proposed link. Actually, we should probably encourage only the people who haven't been involved in this discussion for weeks to comment here. Discussions like these work best when we can get views from completely uninvolved editors. WhatamIdoing (talk) 22:49, 10 January 2014 (UTC)
This is where it should have taken place and I would rather have the RFC in the archives here. The comments over there should probably be hatted and copied over here so it progresses like a normal RFC. Either way, I think one of the discussion needs to be shut down because parallel discussions are not a good way to build a consensus. Betty Logan (talk) 23:01, 10 January 2014 (UTC)

Discussion[edit]

Do you support or oppose the inclusion of a link to Portal:Film in the United States in this article?

  • Oppose any addition of content, portals, categories, etc. that are not pertinent to the article. In fact, I see little advantage in having portals AND categories in articles as they can pretty much cover the same territory and give the same information on connected articles. Many articles, IMO, have for the last few years been getting clogged with major info-boxes, minor-info-boxes, templates, portals, categories, long lists of "See Also's"; external links, and more. Anybody who has edited here for a while knows this to be true. Call me an exclusionist, but sometimes enough is just enough. GenQuest "Talk to Me" 06:12, 10 January 2014 (UTC) — Preceding text originally posted on Wikipedia:Village pump (proposals)#Proposal to add Portal:Film in the United States to Gone with the Wind (film)
Comment. To refine my answer, with the above said, I do not think GWTW needs the portal Film in the United States. If it gets it, does every film playing in the United States get one? If not, which ones do? Which ones do not? Who decides? Better yet, how much editor time will we spend deciding these case-by-case? There's a lot more here at WP that really needs doing, instead of spending countless hours debating inclusion criteria for esoteric additions to multiple articles, or even just one, such as GWTW. Regards, GenQuest "Talk to Me" 00:53, 11 January 2014 (UTC)
in addition/clarify: Although this is an American film, it is not about American film, so the portal is not pertinent to the article in itself. As such it becomes generic and adds no value to the article. Adding the "Film in the United States" portal to this article stretches the point of the portal beyond what one would normally consider a natural connection, being unconnected to the development of US film industry itself. - SchroCat (talk) 23:38, 10 January 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose The portal is not "topic relevant". WhisperToMe seems to want to treat portals like categories but I disagree with this approach since categories do this job just fine. Yes, Gone with the Wind is a great American film but the article itself is not actually on the subject of American film. I believe portals should follow the principle of all internal wikilinks in that they should inform the reader on the subject of the article. For example, it would be ok to include something like the Star Trek portal on the Star Trek articles because other Star Trek content informs the subject matter of the article. In the case of Gone with the Wind I don't see how other articles about the American film industry would be particularly relevant to a reader; other Gone with the Wind articles would be relevant and we do have {{Gone with the Wind}} for that purpose. I accept that portals have their place but they should be used judiciously. Linking to other material on Wikipedia should be focused and relevant, since over-facing a reader with too many links can be counter-productive in assisting them in finding the information they want. Betty Logan (talk) 12:54, 10 January 2014 (UTC) — Preceding text originally posted on Wikipedia:Village pump (proposals)#Proposal to add Portal:Film in the United States to Gone with the Wind (film)
  • Support adding Portal:Film At the very least, a link to Portal:Film should be included in this article (and all other film-related articles). This can be done with a link in the "See also" section or in the infobox itself. However, I do question the utility of more specialized portals, such as "Portal:Film in <country>", as entry points for their respective topics that isn't a duplication with the parent portal. This and the decade portals are indicative that Wikipedia does need a process for users to propose new portals before creating them, similar to WP:WPPRO, so that portals can be reviewed for their usefulness and have wider support from the community instead of a single user create a large number of mostly frivolous portals. 24.149.119.20 (talk) 15:33, 12 January 2014 (UTC)
What's the point of that? I can view the portal from the talkpage. Lugnuts Dick Laurent is dead 09:14, 13 January 2014 (UTC)
Because most people who may be interested in a portal will not go looking at a talk page. Links on a talk page is no a replacement for links on the article itself. 24.149.119.20 (talk) 21:38, 13 January 2014 (UTC)
Yes! That makes sense... Let's just link everything to every-thing. ~GenQuest "Talk to Me" 03:43, 20 January 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Unnecessary details are not helpful and may cause information overload. NinjaRobotPirate (talk) 01:36, 27 January 2014 (UTC)

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.


The marital "rape" in the plot summary[edit]

I see an anonymous IP has attempted to remove the reference to rape and refer to the incident as a consensual encounter (see [1]) and User:Flyer22 considers it open to debate (see [2]). I would like to get further input on this and see what other editors think. For the record I wrote the plot summary so I will come to my reasons in a moment, but here are the facts:

  1. No sexual encounter is actually seen in the film, although this is largely due to the restrictions of the Hollywood Production Code in place at the time. No-one really disputes the fact that a sexual encounter occurred.
  2. It is explicitly clear in the book that Rhett rapes Scarlett, and the film depicts the incident fully to the extent that it is permitted by the censorship laws of the time.
  3. In the film we see a drunken Rhett clearly indicate his intent to Scarlett (something along the lines of "Nothing will keep me out of your bed tonight"). We see Rhett overcome the struggling Scarlett and cart her off to the bedroom. We next cut to Scarlett in the morning, although admittedly she doesn't exactly look like she needs to visit a rape crisis center. Rhett arrives and apologizes for his behavior and blames it on being drunk.

The purpose of the plot summary in film articles is not self-serving, it is supposed to support the analysis i.e. the article discusses the marital rape in those terms, so it should be clear from the plot summary at which point in the film this incident occurs and the narrative context of that incident. I disagree with Flyer22 that the nature of the scene is open to "debate". I checked several sources while writing the Depiction of marital rape section and I didn't come across any account that regarded the event to be consensual. I would say that the incident is "much discussed" rather than "much debated", since there seems to be very little debate about the nature of the scene. If there was another valid interpretation of the scene then that should also be covered in our analysis section and the plot summary would be altered to reflect the open nature of the analysis. As it stands, I believe the scene should be readily identifiable in the plot summary to anyone who reads the analysis section, otherwise the plot summary would not be doing its job. In view of that I would be against using the IP's language that Rhett "make passionate love to her" for a number of reasons: it doesn't adequately identify the marital rape scene to the readers, it doesn't adequately describe the broadly accepted interpretation of what occurs, and I'm not ok with describing forced sex as "passionate love". At the same time I accept there is a slight problem with the wording since we don't actually see a rape/sex scene no matter how much it is implied, so if anyone has any suggestions for wording that can reconcile these conflicting concerns then I would be more than happy to consider them. Betty Logan (talk) 20:54, 2 February 2014 (UTC)

Betty, the scene is highly debated, as is even clear by this section you created in the article. I mean that aspects of it are what you call "much discussed," and there is a lot of disagreement in such discussions. I think that many people see the incident as rape; but there clearly are a significant portion of people, especially women, who don't or refuse to see it as rape; that section you created notes this. So I stand by my WP:Dummy edit summary comment that relays: "I've been thinking that we probably should not include the term 'marital rape' in the Plot section, though, since the film doesn't consistently portray it as that, doesn't call it that, and it is quite a debated matter." And as seen with this editor whose text you disputed and here where I told an editor (before a followup note), "There is no 'alleged.' It's rape, as most reliable sources say. And your wording of 'Here's an example' is unencyclopedic.", it's clear that the recent IP dispute over calling the aforementioned matter "rape" is not limited to that IP.
I'll alert WP:FILM to this discussion. Flyer22 (talk) 21:14, 2 February 2014 (UTC)
When I say it is "not debated" I do not mean by editors; I mean by legitimate academic or informed sources, since editorial opinion does not matter a jot. All of the sources I consulted regard it as a rape, or if they did not refer to it in those terms they did not consider it to be a consensual sexual encounter ("marital rape" is anachonistic). Margaret Mitchell wrote a rape scene. The producers filmed it as a rape scene (Rhett clearly states his intent and that Scarlett doesn't have a say in the matter). Academic writing on the scene regards it as a rape scene. There seems to be no serious debate about whether a rape occurs. We simply don't see it due to the restictions of the Production Code, which is where the problem lies: what the scene implies is not under dispute but it falls short of what we actually see. Betty Logan (talk) 21:27, 2 February 2014 (UTC)
It is doubtful that a term such as "marital rape" is appropriate in being used here. I do not think that concept even existed at the time depicted in the movie. A mention of what one sees in the movie is OK (Rhett carrying a struggling Scarlett up the stairs, etc.) Even though it is pretty clear what the sequence is about, anything more alluded to in the plot summary, in this particular article, would be Wikipedia:Synthesis. Thanks. GenQuest "Talk to Me" 23:09, 2 February 2014 (UTC)
I think SYNTH is a bit if a red herring in this instance, because we can easily source a plot description that refers to the incident as "rape". The AMC Filmsite refers to the incident as "conjugal rape" in their recap, so any SYNTH issues are easily resolved. I think the issue is a bit more double edged: the events that obviously occur are not actually seen on screen, so do we simply relay what we see and make the summary less clear, or do we describe an event in the film that occurs but is not shown? Can the summary be worded in such a way that somehow does both? Betty Logan (talk) 23:32, 2 February 2014 (UTC)
It probably could be done. However, to simplify this situation, without injecting bias, it's probably best that the scene be described as what is actually seen on the screen, and then the reader can (and, in the case of an encyclopedia, should) make up their own mind. GenQuest "Talk to Me" 04:56, 3 February 2014 (UTC)
The problem is it's pivotal to the plot: Scarlett gets pregnant again and suffers a miscarriage, so we'd be ommitting a major plot detail if we obsfucate the fact there is a sexual encounter. So however we describe the scene, regardless of whether we use the term "marital rape" or not, I think we need to be clear that i) a sexual encounter occurs (otherwise how does the pregnancy come about?) and ii) it is not a fully consensual encounter (at least in terms of what we see). Betty Logan (talk) 05:14, 3 February 2014 (UTC)
Betty, notice that I stated "I mean that aspects of it are what you call 'much discussed,' and there is a lot of disagreement in such discussions." Whether or not a rape occurred is not the only way that the scene is debated, including among scholars. I was not only referring to the "whether it was rape or not" aspect when I mentioned "debated." And I was not only referring to Wikipedia editors; if I were, the two encounters noted above would hardly qualify as "highly debated." I made sure to mention "there clearly are a significant portion of people, especially women, who don't or refuse to see it as rape; that section you created notes this." To me, that is a debate as well because these women don't view it as "Yeah, that's rape." Flyer22 (talk) 06:42, 3 February 2014 (UTC)
How exactly would you word it then? Presumably you don't agree that it should say they "made passionate love" (that much we both agree on) since you reverted the IP who changed the wording to that. Betty Logan (talk) 06:57, 3 February 2014 (UTC)
What has been suggested by you and GenQuest above -- to make it clear that he carries her upstairs against her will to "punish her" with sex. Perhaps also inject his quote that implies this. I don't think that making it explicitly clear that a sexual encounter occurs between them on this matter is WP:Original research/Wikipedia:Synthesis. Flyer22 (talk) 07:08, 3 February 2014 (UTC)
I have altered the wording and tried to account for your concerns. I've tried to make it clear that i) what we see is only the beginning of a sexual encounter, ii) that we do not see Scarlett consent to it from the part we see, and iii) that Rhett is physically violent towards her. Hopefully it better captures what we do actually see without losing clarity. Betty Logan (talk) 15:20, 3 February 2014 (UTC)
Yeah, that gets the point across well. Beware of anyone trying to add in the fact that Scarlett was glowing afterward, however. Flyer22 (talk) 18:34, 3 February 2014 (UTC)
One thing: Is the "sexually assaulting her" part "forcing a kiss on her"? I can't remember the scene well (will have to rewatch it again), but I think forcing a kiss on her is the only sexual assault that was allowed onscreen back then. If it's a forced kiss, I think it's best that we state that, especially since people usually think of something more sexually explicit when they think of sexual assault; at the Sexual assault article, whether forced kissing counts as sexual assault, was even addressed. And as you can see, it's now sourced in the lead of that article. Flyer22 (talk) 18:43, 3 February 2014 (UTC)
Okay, I have clarified the exact nature of the assault so hopefully everything is clear now. Betty Logan (talk) 23:48, 3 February 2014 (UTC)
Yes, that's better. I would have simply worded it as "by forcing a kiss on her," but your way is fine. Flyer22 (talk) 00:09, 4 February 2014 (UTC)
What you have done seems fine. GenQuest "Talk to Me" 05:13, 4 February 2014 (UTC)

Recent infobox edits[edit]

An editor has been persisting with adding a clarifying sentence to the box office gross in the infobox.

There are several reasons why this is undesirable:

  1. It is not standard practice to add contextual sentences to film infoboxes. The purpose of the box is to summarise the key facts of the article and then provide the context for those facts in the prose. We could do this to a whole variety of fields and the infobox would soon become very cluttered. If anyone wants to find out what exactly these figures relate to they can read the box office section in the article which provides this background in some detail.
  2. There is also the issue of standardisation across film articles in general: if some articles have such notes then there is also the danger that readers will conclude the opposite on articles that do not provide such notes, which would be bad practise if we are inconsistent (which we usually are given the nature of Wikipedia).
  3. The majority of successful films released prior to 1980 accumulated their gross across multiple releases, and this parameter has always indicated the total, as is common on the box office tracking sites we use for sourcing. If editors genuinely do feel that the nature of this field is not clear then it's a problem that pertains to many articles, not just this one, and the issue would be better raised at {{Infobox film}} where a more intuitive label can be discussed and applied to all articles if thought to be necessary. Working through all the film articles adding notes is not an efficient solution, and it's messy too.

Betty Logan (talk) 13:03, 14 February 2014 (UTC)

Note: For others, see more extensive backstory on this matter at my talk page. Flyer22 (talk) 22:35, 14 February 2014 (UTC)

I don't think there is anything wrong in adding a note that the box office gross is collective gross of all releases. Just because it hasn't been done before doesn't mean it can't be done here. Maybe we can add the note in a different manner. You might know that technique of adding a note where a small number, letter or word is marked in blue along with a text and once a person clicks on that blue number, letter or word he is redirected that is usually at the end of the article or a section of the article where the text is. KahnJohn27 (talk) 17:21, 16 February 2014 (UTC)
We don't need a note to explain what is already explained in the box office section. It is redundant. If the box office section didn't cover this you may have a point, but my response then would be to create a box office section and clarify the figures rather than adding a note. If you think the field itself is misleading or not clear in what it presents then that is a problem with the infobox itself, and you need to take that up at the infobox page. Betty Logan (talk) 22:07, 16 February 2014 (UTC)
I don't see any reason why I should take it up on infobox page. It's not misleading but rather incomplete information. We know that $390 million is the collective gross of all releases however users who will just read a line or two or just simply take a look at the article will think that $390 million is it's real (original) gross. When I first saw this article Iyself mistaked the $390 million gross as it's original gross. i didn't know it was gross of all releases. KahnJohn27 (talk) 21:42, 20 February 2014 (UTC)
How many times do I need to explain this to you? We don't add clarifying notes to the infobox. We don't add notes to film articles stipulating it is the total across all releases. We don't add notes explaining it is a global figure. We don't add notes saying it is only the theatrical exhibition figure. The box office figure on all articles can be read in many different ways with the default being it is the worldwide theatrical total, and that is why we include a box office section to provide context for the basic figure. The purpose of the infobox is to provide a standardised summary across all film articles, not to provide crib notes for lazy readers who don't want to read the 3/4 paragraphs that actually explain this stuff. Betty Logan (talk) 23:04, 20 February 2014 (UTC)
Hmm, what about using the [nb] note system and have the explanation in the "Notes" section? I don't think it's the worst idea to make a mention since the default assumption is not that a film has been released several times. Erik (talk | contrib) (ping me) 23:13, 20 February 2014 (UTC)
And where does that leave us with films like Star Wars, Jaws, The Sound of Music, The Godfather, Disney, James Bond, The Sting, Butch Cassidy, The Graduate, Top Gun etc? The list is endless. Most films prior to 1980 have been re-released, so I would argue that the default assumption here is that this is the total figure across all releases. The notion of a film only having a single release has only been common since the early 80s. It's not a practical solution to add notes to all these figures. If it needs to be clarified then the infobox field should just be changed to "Box office total" or "Lifetime box-office" or something. Betty Logan (talk) 00:34, 21 February 2014 (UTC)
It was just a suggestion. :) But a simple "(lifetime)" note would actually work well. Erik (talk | contrib) (ping me) 01:02, 21 February 2014 (UTC)
Erik is speaking right. We can use the [nb] note system. This will not create any mess in the infobox and the article will remain organized. If there are no such notes in other films with re-releases we can still add it. I don't think it is correct to not include something just because it hasn't been before. That is a very archaic mindset similar to as a factory owner saying that we won't adapt new techniques because we haven't used the new techniques before and the old techniques are conventional and cheaper and we are more comfortable with them. This "not adapting new" just as you're displaying is a very archaic mindset and not a product of rational thinking. Those who don't take any risks in life always remain stuck at one place. I'm not giving any lecture to anybody here. I'm only explaining that we shouldn't discard a suggestion just because it is new and hasn't been used before. New suggestions should always be welcomed. KahnJohn27 (talk) 18:25, 22 February 2014 (UTC)

I did as Erik suggested. That note does not create any clutter and we can mention about the total gross in a convenient way. As I have already said this will help persons who just take a glance over the article otherwise they might think it's the original gross. I don't think it is negatively effecting the quality of the article. Actually it is improving it. I don't see any merit in removing edits that improve the overall quality of the article. KahnJohn27 (talk) 09:42, 4 March 2014 (UTC)

Since this is an issue of clarity that affects most films articles, and not just this one, I have started a discussion at Wikipedia_talk:WikiProject_Film#How_should_we_deal_with_the_box_office_gross_of_re-released_films.3F so a project wide solution can be determined. You are welcome to participate in the discussion at the project. Betty Logan (talk) 09:46, 4 March 2014 (UTC)

The uncredited people in the infobox[edit]

Hello there, just saw this article for the first time recently. I noticed a recent revert of an IP by Betty Logan, and while I didn't restore the IPs edits, I somewhat agree with them. I'm sure there's a reason for their inclusion, but I'm not getting it. Why are so many uncredited people (seven in total) listed in the infobox? As far as I've ever seen, uncredited people are completely exempted. For instance, the article for Godzilla (2014 film) (admittedly not even nearly as high profile) only lists Max Borenstein as a screenwriter, but David S. Goyer, Drew Pearce, and Frank Darabont all did uncredited rewrites of it, and none of them appear in the infobox. I'm not going to restore these edits, but I am curious as to what inspired the infobox's inclusion. In my opinion, uncredited people are noteworthy in prose, but if they aren't mentioned on-screen or on the poster, they don't belong in the infobox. Corvoe (speak to me) 02:43, 7 April 2014 (UTC)

I will take your points one by one:
  1. There are three "uncredited" people in the infobox: George Cukor, Sam Wood and Lee Garmes. The four "offscreen" screenwriters were awarded credits after the film was released. I've changed my mind over the uncredited directors and cinematographer and removed them since Fleming and Haller did the majority of the work. However, the writers should be retained since they do have actually have credits (the Screen Writers Guild appended them to the official credit list) but did not receive them in time to be listed in the film.
  2. I am aware {{Infobox film}} advises using the poster billing block because generally as a rule it is reliable for the correct billing order i.e. we use it because we want the correct billing order, not because we want the names in the infobox to match the poster; however, in this case the poster does not match the correct billing order as you can verify at here. This is probably due to the fact it was Leigh's first American film and audiences were unfamiliar with her. Indeed, the later posters correct the order of the names (such as File:Gone_With_The_Wind_1967_re-release.jpg).
  3. The date is also confusing me. I am aware that IMDB lists January 17, 1940 as the release date but this is incorrect. After its Atlanta premiere the film had an extended "roadshow" from December 1939 up until April 1941, when it finally went on general release (see the "initial release" section of the article). I have no idea what the January 1940 date relates to, but it wasn't the premiere, roadshow release or general release.
Betty Logan (talk) 04:05, 7 April 2014 (UTC)
Thank you for taking the time to explain. I won't revert any further, as everything you said actually makes a lot of sense to me. Happy editing! Corvoe (speak to me) 09:55, 7 April 2014 (UTC)
Another good reason to always ignore IMDB! - SchroCat (talk) 12:05, 7 April 2014 (UTC)
Two thoughts: First, I'm puzzled by this term "off screen" credit. I've not seen that before. Is that an official term? Generally people who do not have screen credit are noted as "uncredited". I'm no expert by any stretch. Second, is there any primary source for the additional credit awarded to Hecht, et al, by the Screen Writers Guild? An official book of credits or a database? Thanks, Markhh (talk) 03:21, 16 April 2014 (UTC)
An offscreen credit is simply an "official" credit that does not appear onscreen, as opposed to someone being "uncredited" as the case with George Cukor who partially directed the film. In this particular case the SWG appended the four writers to the official credit list, but since this occurred after the film was released then only Howard's name appears onscreen. This is covered in the screenplay section and is sourced to a biography about Ben Hecht. It's unusual but not unprecedented; in fact it has become commonplace in recent years with many blacklisted writers from thge McCarthy period being awarded official credits. Betty Logan (talk) 04:05, 16 April 2014 (UTC)

Thanks! I did see the Hecht biography ref. But I wondered where that author got her information. Where can one find the WGA's officially sanctioned credits? I looked at their website, but it didn't seem to have a searchable database, at least not one that is available to the general reader. Just curious. Best, Markhh (talk) 21:21, 18 April 2014 (UTC)

They don't seem to have publicly searchable database. Maybe the SWG co-operated with the author, or MGM provided the information. I am assuming that the author is correct in this instance since they are pretty specific about who was added. If you would like I am happy to email the writers guild and ask them for verification of the claim, but obviously personal communication can't be added to the article, it can only be used to corroborate the claim in the book. Betty Logan (talk) 00:28, 19 April 2014 (UTC)
That's up to you. It would be interesting. It just seems that if the WGA confers official film credits that are in addition to the published screen credits, then there should be a way to look them up. A question for a good librarian! Thanks for all of the interesting info. Markhh (talk) 04:17, 19 April 2014 (UTC)

"Off-screen" vs "uncredited"[edit]

Betty, what's your source for the term "off-screen"? Did the Ben Hecht bio use it, and more importantly, does any other RS? I know what you mean by it, but I think most readers would find it confusing. It's certainly not common, and whatever the Writers Guild ruled after the release, those names are still uncredited on the film itself and the poster. Most sources use "uncredited", and I would vote for consistently using that clearly understood term in the infobox for names deemed worthy of including (and that's another subject), and as always readers can look at the proper section in the article for details. - Gothicfilm (talk) 01:59, 12 June 2014 (UTC)

This is what the MacAdams states in his Ben Hecht biography: "In the official credits filed with the Screen Writers Guild, Sidney Howard was of course awarded the sole screen credit, but four other writers were appended ... Jo Swerling for contributing to the treatment, Oliver H. P. Garrett and Barbara Keon to screenplay construction, and Hecht, to dialogue ...". The problem with "uncredited" is that it is not actually correct in this instance, if we take MacAdams at his literal word i.e. the names were appended to the official credit list. George Cukor, for instance, is "uncredited" in that he received no formal credit for his work but this doesn't seem to be the same for the writers. The situation with the four writers is closer to that of the McCarthy blacklisted writers who have been awarded official credits in recent years. I think being awarded an official credit following the film's release is distinct from simply being uncredited. I am open to suggestions on this but I do think some type of distinction needs to be retained. If the problem is that you think the book is incorrect then that is a different matter altogether. Betty Logan (talk) 05:32, 12 June 2014 (UTC)

Having looked into this a bit further (rather difficult - a Google search brought up nothing beyond what I already knew), I don't think the quoted passage means what we first took it to mean. We cannot take it at its literal word because it is casually worded. When was it appended? By whom? For what purpose? I don't think MacAdams meant his text to be taken as an official change in the credits. I now think this was not even retroactive, but instead was filed with the guild in 1939. It doesn't say otherwise, we were just led to assume that because of what happened decades later with the blacklisted writers. That would mean the intention at the time of filing was that the four additional writers be uncredited, but were being acknowledged as uncredited for whatever media wanted to make note of it. And over the years, many sources have listed writers other than Sidney Howard, but always as "uncredited". We should be consistent with that.

The blacklist re-crediting situation was different in other ways as well. The names of the blacklist-era writers were actually added to subsequent prints and posters for the relevant films. For example, the "Screenplay by Robert Bolt" credit on Lawrence of Arabia became "Screenplay by Robert Bolt and Michael Wilson". So clearly secondary sources and WP don't list Wilson as "uncredited" anymore.

If this one MacAdams book is the only source for these "official" credits, then yes, that is a problem. All indications look to me like these are not official credits. If they were we would have known about it, and we would see them listed as such, because the media would have reported it, like they did when the blacklist re-crediting occurred. That was widely reported and is easily researched.

This is not how the Writers Guild gives out credit determinations. It only uses "Written by", "Screenplay by", "Story by", and on very rare once-a-decade occasions "Adaptation by". You never see Writers Guild-designated onscreen credits like contributing to the treatment or screenplay construction.

But again, I don't even think MacAdams meant for this to be taken as an official change in the credits.

Finally, these four names are not even the same as what are often listed. Secondary sources often give John Van Druten instead of Barbara Keon, who actually is credited as "scenario assistant" (this does not belong in the infobox).

Unless a RS can be found that spells out that this is an official Writers Guild determination - and if it was there should be well more than one - the four writers should be listed as "uncredited" or perhaps removed from the infobox. - Gothicfilm (talk) 01:27, 14 June 2014 (UTC)

OK, to get a clear cut view of what is a "official" or not I emailed the WGA to ask what their official credit is. I realize their email is not RS but it would at least clear up the confusion about the source. This is what they replied verbatim:
The WGA writing credit for “Gone With the Wind” is as follows:
Screenplay by: Sidney Howard
Source Material: Based on the Novel by Margaret Mitchell
The WGA's stance is that Howard is the sole credited writer. I am inclined to remove the other four names fully since we only tend to record the "principal" or credited writers, and we have removed everyone else without an official credit. I'll go ahead with that since I figure you'll be ok with it. Betty Logan (talk) 00:31, 17 June 2014 (UTC)
That's what I expected they would say if asked. The WGA doesn't list "uncredited". Since there's some inconsistency with which four uncredited writers should be listed, perhaps it's best not to list any. But given that many sources do include them, it's possible someone will try to add them in later. Many sources also list cinematographer Lee Garmes as uncredited.
Let me say you're done great work with this article. My only remaining issue is that the director is usually included in the opening sentence. Here it's a bit complicated, but "directed by Victor Fleming" should be slipped into at least the lead paragraph. Then The original director, George Cukor, was fired shortly after filming had begun and was replaced by Victor Fleming, who in turn was briefly replaced by Sam Wood in the second paragraph should be amended to make it clear Fleming was not also fired, as in turn implies. If it's too verbose to add a couple of words like "due to exhaustion", Sam Wood could be dropped from the lead section, as he did not influence the screenplay (while Fleming did, and Cukor was very important in pre-production). I'd rather keep Wood in it. I'll take a shot at implementing this in a few days, unless you want to. - Gothicfilm (talk) 01:40, 17 June 2014 (UTC)
I have clarified that Fleming left voluntarily. Garmes probably made the greatest contribution out of those not credited having shot one third of the picture but I am reluctant to include uncredited contributors unless they are proven to be the principal author/contributor i.e. its mainly their work. The problem with this film is that there are more uncredited contributors than credited ones since Selznick kept firing everyone! I think it's best to just cover these people in the prose where we can provide the context for their contribution. Betty Logan (talk) 03:50, 18 June 2014 (UTC)
It's sort of refreshing that the WP infobox here is one of the few pages on this film that doesn't list any of the uncredited names, but sticks to the film's onscreen credits. I have now made the changes I mentioned in the lead. I do think "due to exhaustion" is important, and makes it a more dramatic read as well. One minor point - the lead says Filming was delayed for two years due to David O. Selznick's determination to secure Clark Gable for the role of Rhett Butler, and the "search for Scarlett" led to 1,400 women being interviewed for the part. But we know the film was not ready to shoot two years before it did. Production began before the script was finished. The excellent Turner documentary on the Making of GWTW makes it appear that pre-production almost never stopped while production was underway. I'll leave it to you whether to address this. - Gothicfilm (talk) 23:42, 19 June 2014 (UTC)

Home video[edit]

An editor is repeatedly changing the release date from 1985 to 1980. Now, I don't know if this is correct or not but the source being used in the article states "The GWTW video that Windies hungered for hit the market in March 1985" (see [3]). If this incorrect then fair enough, but we need a WP:Reliable source for the 1980 date. Without one the edits will be reverted so they are consistent with the current source. Betty Logan (talk) 22:14, 10 June 2014 (UTC)