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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Listing of Cast[edit]

Contrary to what is written in the section entitled, "Cast," the four principal actors in the film are listed in traditional within the first two minutes after the opening credits come on screen. See https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pL2yPFxBQQ4 John Paul Parks (talk) 00:26, 1 September 2014 (UTC)

GA Review[edit]

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. all in-line citations are from reliable sources, including those 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

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)

Trailer[edit]

My addition of the trailer was reverted as having 'no encyclopedic value' by Betty Logan. My point of view is it has a great historic value. And a great educational value, as the film itself is not PD. Other opinions ? Cheers, — Racconish 📥 18:11, 27 December 2014 (UTC)

Adding a link to the trailer, under "External links", may be a better option. Cheers, Markhh (talk) 21:02, 27 December 2014 (UTC)
I should first point out that isn't the 1939 trailer anyway, but the trailer for the restored BFI release last year to celebrate Vivien Leigh's centenary (the voiceover man even mentions the ten oscar wins). I concede various parts of the trailer are educational which is why various aspects of it are already used as supporting materials: we include the "burning of Atlanta" segment in the Filming section where that sequence is discussed in detail, and we also lift some of the music for the Music section where the main theme is discussed, so the two main things the trailer can offer the reader some insight into are already used. There are many items (i.e. the trailer, posters, publicity stills, photographs) connected to the film that a reader may enjoy looking at which are not intrinsically linked to educating us about the film, and as Markhh indicates that is what the "External links" section is there for. In fact, we already have a link to the Commons where the trailer can be found among other items. Betty Logan (talk) 09:38, 28 December 2014 (UTC)
I have corrected the trailer's version at Commons. — Racconish 📥 10:20, 28 December 2014 (UTC)
The timestamped version you added doesn't work in my browser, it simply plays the whole trailer. If it is meant to just play the Atlanta sequence the aleration is pointless anyway because the current video does this regardless. I don't mean to be rude but it seems your only goal in regards to this article is to dump in the trailer you uploaded to Commons rather than basing the validity of the edit on the actual merits of the article. If every editor did this with something they uploaded to Commons the article would be swamped by videos and images. The files on Commons are available to use should it be deemed in the interests in the article, but in the case of this article we already have what we need from the trailer. Betty Logan (talk) 12:01, 28 December 2014 (UTC)
Webm is the preferred format and the syntax I used, with the start and end parameters, is appropriate for fragments. Your comment lacks of AGF. Cheers nevertheless, — Racconish 📥 12:26, 28 December 2014 (UTC)

Cast credits[edit]

An editor has made three changes to the credit listing:

  • Irving Bacon changed from as the Corporal to as the Corporal at jail
  • Cliff Edwards changed from as the reminiscent soldier to as the reminiscent soldier (only voice)
  • Olin Howland changed from as the carpetbagger businessman to as the carpetbagger businessman in Atlanta
  • Robert Elliott changed from as the Yankee major to as the Yankee major at jail

The original descriptions are directly sourced from the American Film Institute but the editor making the alterations argues that the film itself is a more appropriate source. The problem though is that the film just credits the actors, and does not provide the role (you can see this at Youtube [2.52 in]), which is why the cast is sourced to the AFI in the article.

In addition to the AFI, this is how the British Film Institute credit the four actors:

This is how Turner Classic Movies (who own the film) credit them:

And the New York Times:

As you can see these authoritative sources have a standardised set of credits for these actors, and the only real discrepency is Olin Rowland's credit, but none of them match up to the changed credit. It's not the place of Wikipedia editors to construct cast credits and doing so constitutes WP:Original research. We should either list the actors without specifying their roles (as per the film) or defer to descriptions provided by a WP:Reliable source. Betty Logan (talk) 14:56, 11 January 2015 (UTC)

I reverted these changes once again. They also included an error: that Cliff Edwards is only heard off screen. This an old mistake. Edwards is seen fully in the lower third of the screen as he talks to Melanie in the hospital. However sometimes he is mistakenly listed as voice only because his image did in fact disappear from the 70mm widescreen edit where he was cropped out of the picture. This version is rarely, if ever, seen today. Cheers, Markhh (talk) 18:20, 11 January 2015 (UTC)
I use the film's credits as the most reliable source (with the poster being second), but when the film does not list the character roles (as many from the 1930s do not) I would agree with using RS like the AFI. In this case I support the position of Betty and Markhh, particularly in regard to the (only voice) designation. - Gothicfilm (talk) 01:03, 12 January 2015 (UTC)

I have seen this discussion only just. I don't think that you find much detailed descriptions of the roles but I now gave some pictures of the actors in the film which I would call a proof for identification. The websites may not be completely reliable but the film pictures and their descriptions. My target was that the reader can remember to those roles, otherwise the listing of those actors wpuld be nearly useless from my point of view. I have a passion for identifying bit part actors and it took a while until I could identify all of them. Please trust my word and the pictures. --Clibenfoart (talk) 15:42, 15 March 2015 (UTC)

I support keeping the credits simply as they are listed in the film. I understand the impulse to include more information, but these additions can, and have in the past, get out of control, making the whole list overlong, unwieldy and unhelpful to the reader. All of the actors have a link to an article specifically about them for readers who would like more information. Best to stick to the current format duplicating the onscreen credits. That can't be faulted. (Except for the error regarding the Tarleton brothers, which is clarifed.) Cheers, Markhh (talk) 19:29, 15 March 2015 (UTC)
Linking to screencaps and stills on websites and formulating your own credits violates both WP:RS and WP:Original research since it boils down to the editor analysing visual information and making claims about it. Ideally the cast should be sourceable to the film itself (and handily it does provide descriptions for the main roles) but in cases where it does not descriptions should be taken from authoritative sources. The consensus does not seem to have changed since we last had this discussion. Some of your corrections were legitimate though, so while I did temporarily revert them to retrieve the old cast list I have have since reinstated them. Betty Logan (talk) 22:36, 15 March 2015 (UTC)

Critical re-evaluation[edit]

It's certainly true that there are critics who don't like the film after the re-evaluation, but when I look at Rotten Tomatoes - where the film holds 95% with a high score of 8.7. (http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/gone_with_the_wind/) - those critics are in the minority. Stanley Kauffman is one of only four critics "against" the film, while there a 71 critics "pro". Although the article here is great, I think the section leads to a wrong conclusion for the reader that most critics today think mixed or negative about the film. --Clibenfoart (talk) 15:34, 15 March 2015 (UTC)