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GONE WITH THE WIND actor salaries, in today''s dollars

Clark Gable: $1.8 million%0D %0D Vivien Leigh: $472,000%0D %0D Leslie Howard: $1.2 million%0D %0D Olivia de Havilland: $388,000%0D %0D Hattie McDaniel: $99,000%0D %0D (See 1:47 in link.)

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by Anonymousreply 36February 18, 2011 1:42 AM

Less than an episode of Seinfeld, and not much more than one episode of Two and a Half Men.


by Anonymousreply 1February 17, 2011 2:07 AM

Interesting that Vivien Leigh made less than half of Clark Gable's salary and yet was in pretty much every frame of the movie.

by Anonymousreply 2February 17, 2011 2:11 AM

Even more shocking is that Leigh made much less than Leslie Howard, who is so awful in the film.

by Anonymousreply 3February 17, 2011 2:17 AM

Gable was the bigger draw so I can understand his salary, but Howard? Who the fuck does he think he is? And poor Hattie McDaniel got screwed.

by Anonymousreply 4February 17, 2011 2:17 AM

That was a lot of money back then.

by Anonymousreply 5February 17, 2011 2:26 AM

Leslie Howard was a huge star going in to GWTW. Vivien Leigh was practically unknown.

P.S. as a teenager Leigh had a school-girl crush on the British stage star, Leslie Howard.

by Anonymousreply 6February 17, 2011 2:31 AM

The numbers are given in today's dollars, r5.%0D %0D Gable's actual salary in 1939 was $118,000, etc.

by Anonymousreply 7February 17, 2011 2:32 AM

Hattie once stated she'd rather play a maid, than be a maid.

by Anonymousreply 8February 17, 2011 2:32 AM

How quickly do you think Leigh's crush on Howard evaporated once she actually had to enact love scenes with him?

by Anonymousreply 9February 17, 2011 2:38 AM

It's worth pointing out that those people were also looking at a top Federal Income Tax rate of 78% in 1939, 2X what it is today.

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by Anonymousreply 10February 17, 2011 3:33 AM

"Interesting that Vivien Leigh made less than half of Clark Gable's salary and yet was in pretty much every frame of the movie."%0D %0D %0D %0D Well, duh, he was a bigger star when the movie started filming. So was Leslie Howard. That is why they received more money.%0D %0D

by Anonymousreply 11February 17, 2011 4:04 AM

In those days, you could but a mansion in Beverly Hills or Brentwood for about $100,000 so relatively speaking, those salaries were astronomical for 1939.

by Anonymousreply 12February 17, 2011 5:00 AM

R9, Vivien's schoolgirl crush didn't survive the shoot-- Leigh was extremely annoyed with Leslie Howard while making [italic]GWTW[/italic] because Howard refused to learn his lines and generally behaved in an unprofessional manner. Howard made it clear to everyone including Selznick that he loathed the part of Ashley Wilkes, hated the movie, and was only doing it for the paycheck. If I remember correctly Leslie Howard was the only cast member who couldn't be bothered to read the novel.

by Anonymousreply 13February 17, 2011 5:17 AM

That is definitely one classic role I would love to recast. Scarlett's obsession with Ashley made no sense whatsoever when you had sex-on-a-stick Clark Gable begging her for sex while she pined for ugly, old maid Leslie Howard.

by Anonymousreply 14February 17, 2011 6:12 AM

Leslie Howard also couldn't be bothered to try a Southern accent.

by Anonymousreply 15February 17, 2011 8:49 AM

Still way too high.

I don't get why actors make so much money. I never have.

Why can't they earn what the rest of us normal folks do?

by Anonymousreply 16February 17, 2011 9:54 AM

A comfortable, upper-middle class salary in 1939 was 7,000 a year. So Hattie did okay, earning 6,000 for about half a year's work, and the others did more than okay. But, considering the importance of the project, I'd say Selznick was a little stingy with everybody.

by Anonymousreply 17February 17, 2011 10:57 AM

r16, actors perform a sacred act in that they old mirror up to the rest of the world for all to see human nature. That is priceless actually.

by Anonymousreply 18February 17, 2011 11:28 AM

Don't forget, I earned my 10% of that.

by Anonymousreply 19February 17, 2011 12:42 PM

IMDB shows 6 credits for Hattie McDaniel in 1938 and 3 in 1939, and she was a regular on two radio shows during that time, so it's not like she was living exclusively off her GWTW check.

That said, her bio notes that her estate was valued at less than $10,000.

by Anonymousreply 20February 17, 2011 2:50 PM

"Leslie Howard: $1.2 million%0D %0D "Olivia de Havilland: $388,000"%0D %0D Actually, this is the surprise - that Howard got so much more than De Havilland. De Havilland had been doing leading roles in Hollywood for some years, and had hits like "Robin Hood" to her credit. And they were both doing supporting roles, second leads.%0D %0D Maybe she jumped at the first offer, and Howard didn't.%0D %0D

by Anonymousreply 21February 17, 2011 4:33 PM

It's galling to think that Leslie Howard got paid so much (relatively speaking) for being so grievously miscast and giving such an awful performance. If only Errol Flynn had been cast as Ashley!

by Anonymousreply 22February 17, 2011 4:49 PM

Bette Davis said they wanted Errol Flynn for Rhett Butler but he knew he couldn't do that role. But I'm intriqued by Flynn as Ashley Wilkes. That whole subplot would have made much more sense.

by Anonymousreply 23February 17, 2011 6:11 PM

I'm ashamed to admit it, but I've never read the book. Was Ashley a real contender to Rhett in the book?

If you had cast Flynn in that role half the women in the audience would have been rooting for her to go with him instead of Gable--was that what was supposed to happen? I always assumed her attraction to Ashley was something every except her was supposed to see was wrong on every level.

by Anonymousreply 24February 17, 2011 8:29 PM

Neither Rhett or Ashley appealed to me.

I'd of fucked the twins, though.

by Anonymousreply 25February 17, 2011 8:36 PM

Was Bette Davis ever seriously considered for Scarlett? Davis in her later years claimed that Selznick wanted her and Errol Flynn as a package deal, but Davis felt Flynn was all wrong for the part of Rhett and that's why she didn't take the role. Was this true or was Davis just making it up? As much as I love Bette Davis, I just can't see her as Scarlett.

by Anonymousreply 26February 17, 2011 8:37 PM

I assume you're joking, R18

by Anonymousreply 27February 17, 2011 8:43 PM

"If you had cast Flynn in that role half the women in the audience would have been rooting for her to go with him instead of Gable--was that what was supposed to happen? I always assumed her attraction to Ashley was something every except her was supposed to see was wrong on every level."

I agree that everyone except Scarlett is supposed to see that Ashley is wrong for her; I think the point is that she wants him because he can't have him, but also because he's considered a great catch because of his family position, etc.

For these reasons, I think it would be a MUCH better movie if Ashley were actually attractive. As it is with Leslie Howard in the role, Scarlett's constant pursuit of him makes her look borderline insane. It's a tribute to the overall excellence of the movie that Howard's horrendous miscasting doesn't destroy it.

P.S. I know that Flynn was considered for Rhett. I think the idea of casting him as Ashley is mine alone!

by Anonymousreply 28February 17, 2011 8:47 PM

Flynn was nothing like the Ashley of the book, in fact he was his polar opposite. In the book, Ashley was the brightest and best-read man in his part of the country, intelligent enough to know the South couldn't win the war, but courageous enough to join a hopeless fight. He was bookish, poetic, unambitious, weak in some ways, and seemingly lacking in passion. After the war he lost his inherited estate, and had no idea how to cope with the real world. %0D %0D Personally, I think Tyrone Power should have played him, he could have been appealing yet obviously the wrong man for Scarlett. Flynn would have been a completely different person.

by Anonymousreply 29February 17, 2011 9:27 PM

I think r29 has hit on a key component of Ashley with the adjective "poetic".

by Anonymousreply 30February 17, 2011 9:50 PM

[quote]But, considering the importance of the project, I'd say Selznick was a little stingy with everybody.

You can be stingy with money when tremendous prestige accompanies the offer to appear in a project. Woody Allen pays his actors a pittance. Lucy and Desi were notorious tight-wads with actors' wages.

BTW, a standard of male attractiveness quite different from today had prevailed in the 20s and 30s. Gable was the guy who defined the shift in public taste away from the suave and elegant leading man as personified by John Gilbert, Melvyn Douglas and, of course, Leslie Howard.

by Anonymousreply 31February 17, 2011 9:56 PM

How about Randy Scott for Ashley? At least he was a natural blonde.

by Anonymousreply 32February 17, 2011 10:19 PM

It's funny that in his day Leslie Howard was considered the epitome of the upper-class English gentleman. In reality he was a Hungarian Jew.

by Anonymousreply 33February 17, 2011 10:53 PM

Bette Davis and others were instrumental in ending those slavery contracts. Unfortunately, I think it got her blackballed in Hollywood for many years.

by Anonymousreply 34February 17, 2011 11:29 PM

Bette Davis, Katharine Hepburn, Tallulah Bankhead and Jean Arthur all brought way too much of their own personalities to their performances for audiences to ever be able to accept them as Scarlett O'Hara, who was as vivid a personality in her own right.%0D %0D Whereas Margaret Mitchell supposedly based Rhett Butler on Clark Gable, Scarlett was entirely her own creation and as such, deserved an unknown actress to portray her.

by Anonymousreply 35February 18, 2011 1:04 AM

I've always thought Leslie Howard gave an amazing performance playing a deeply closeted and conflicted homosexual with an agressive hag he couldn't beat off with a stick.

But maybe that's just me.

by Anonymousreply 36February 18, 2011 1:42 AM
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