'Gods Like Us': 6 stories of Hollywood from Ty Burr's new book

Here are 6 tales of Hollywood lore in 'Gods Like Us.'

4. 'Gone with the Wind' Scarlett search

New Line Cinema/AP

In the end, of course, actress Vivien Leigh was cast as spoiled Southern belle Scarlett O'Hara in the 1939 film version of "Gone with the Wind." But before that, the national casting call instituted by MGM reached insane proportions. When one of the film's directors (the movie would have three), George Cukor, traveled south to look for prospects during the search, one New Orleans newspaper devoted more space to that story than it did to the recent abdication of Edward VIII. Women's colleges allowed students to miss classes to go audition. One woman hid in the back of a truck which was crafted to resemble the cover of the "Gone with the Wind" novel and had the truck drive to producer David O. Selznick's house. When the back of the truck opened, she stepped out in full costume.

4 of 6

Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to CSMonitor.com.

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.