Margaret Mitchell: American Rebel

When I lived in Atlanta I volunteered as a costumed interpreter for the Atlanta History Center giving tours of the Tullie Smith House.  The farmhouse is an 1840′s plantation-plain style home originally located east of Atlanta just outside the city limits.  It managed to survive the Civil War and was moved to its current location on history center property in the 1970′s.  It’s a very modest farmhouse and I dare say a big disappointment to those tourist looking for Tara from “Gone With The Wind” and believe me there was always someone is each tour group looking.

The Margaret Mitchell house in Atlanta may be a little closer in size to Tara but that’s because it was an apartment house.  The reality is, “Gone With The Wind”, like Tara and it’s author epic in every way, was created in a tiny room.

Most everyone knows Scarlett O’Hara and her dashing Rhett Butler but few people really know the story of their creator.  “American Masters: Margaret Mitchell: American Rebel”  reveals the layers of Margaret Mitchell’s life.   Born into Atlanta’s upper crust in 1900,  Mitchell challenged stifling social restrictions at every turn. A charismatic force to be reckoned with, she had a great sense of humor, suffered from lifelong bouts of depression, was one of Georgia’s first newspaper women and was extremely generous with the money she made from “Gone with the Wind.”  People who knew her use to say she was Scarlett O’Hara, watch the film and decide for yourself.

“American Masters: Margaret Mitchell: American Rebel airs Monday, April 2 at 9pm on WOSU TV with an encore presentation Tuesday, April 3 at 9pm on WOSU PLUS.