Gone With the Wind (1939), the highest-grossing film of all time, is sometimes dismissed as a reactionary popular romance. Interrogating such dismissals and hailing the film’s vast ambition and astonishing production values, Helen Taylor explores its influence on film-makers, popularity with generations of audiences, and impact on everyday language. Arguing that the film, with its disturbing racial politics, set the agenda for more than a century’s film representations of slavery and the Civil War, Taylor shows how it has been engaged with and challenged since – from the mini-series Roots (1977) to 12 Years a Slave (2014). Drawing on new archival material about Vivien Leigh and seventy-five years of scholarship and popular culture references, Taylor makes the case for the film’s classic status. This special edition features original cover artwork by HelloVon.