Frankly, my dear, it’s the least of my worries

Frankly, my dear, I do not give a damn ” (in original : Frankly, my dear, I do not give a damn ) is the final reply of Rhett Butler ( Clark Gable ) to Scarlett O’Hara ( Vivien Leigh ) in the film Gone with the wind from 1939 .

This replica was voted biggest replica of the American cinema in 2005 , whereas it could have been censored during the filming by the code Hays . A cult favorite , this quote has been pastiched and parodied into a number of popular entertainments, including the animated series The Simpsons or the shows That ’70s Show and The Muppet Show .

The sentence of the book to film

In the novel by Margaret Mitchell , Gone with the Wind , Rhett Butler’s character uses the phrase: ” My dear, I do not give a damn.  ” , Which was therefore slightly modified in the film’s script , to become ” Frankly, my dear, I do not give a damn. ”  ”

However, we note a different context:

  • In the book, Rhett speaks calmly to Scarlett in a room;
  • In the movie, Rhett and Scarlett are on the doorstep. She asks what she’s going to do, what she’s going to become, and Rhett answers dryly, “Frankly, my dear, it’s the least of my worries! ” , Before disappearing into the mist.

Happy end obliges, Scarlett will collapse on the stairs crying, before recovering to the last line of the film (ranked 31 th largest replica of all time): “After all, tomorrow is another day! ” .

Conflict with censorship

When creating the film Gone With the Wind , the censorship code Hays , in place in Hollywood at that time, was responsible for checking the dialogues to remove the obscenity and vulgarity . Now, if ” Frankly, my dear, I do not give a damn.  ” Does not appear as an excessively coarse words to the ears of xxi th century, the use of the word ” damn ” was a much stronger weight in 1939.

Despite common use before the introduction of the code, the term was frowned upon by the censorship that proposed the replacement sentence ” Frankly, my dear, I do not care.  ” Frankly, my dear, I do not care.” This alternative obviously displeases the producer, David O. Selznick , who, after the argument of “essential element of the scenario” and concessions on other points of the film, obtains a derogation allowing him to keep the sentence. A legend wants Selznick has paid a fine for this replica but it appears rather that the Hays Code was amended shortly before the film’s release and the replica would have received in extremis 1 .

Today, if the French formula seems somewhat outdated or close to the level of language supported , ” damn ” remains in English a frequent and popular oath. Thus, a possible translation as early as 1939, more literal and more accurate, considering the oath, would have given: “Frankly, my dear, I do not care! ”

Tributes and diversions

Non-exhaustive list.

On television

  • The Simpsons , season 10 – episode 20: The old fell on the head ;
  • That ’70s Show , Season (3) – Episode (10): Fez’s reply to Jackie, who just told her she’s cold;
  • Veronica Mars , season 2 – episode 7: the character Logan parodies the famous reply by addressing his mistress at the time of leaving. When she asks him what will happen to her, he says, ” Frankly, my dear … you know the rest.  ” (” Frankly, my dear … you know the rest. “);
  • Robot Chicken , season 4 – episode 12: episode 12 features a parody, kung-fu version, of Gone with the Wind , with Jean-Claude Van Damme as Reth Butler and Cynthia Rothrock as Scarlett O’Hara, in a film named Frankly my dear, I do not give a Van Damme!

In the cinema

  • 1979 : The Muppets, the film : replica of Kermit the frog to Piggy the slut ;
  • 1994 : The Mask : replica of Jim Carrey , imitating the voice of Clark Gable;
  • 2005 : The Wedding Anniversary ;
  • 2007 : Om Shanti Om ;
  • 2014 : A wonderful story of time .

In music

  • 1983 : The song You Are Beautiful , from the group Chic , contains in sample form the quote from Clark Gable.

Notes and references

  1. ↑ According to page Gone with the wind [ archive ] on the site Sciencespo.fr .
  • In ) This article is partially or entirely from the Wikipedia article in English entitled ” Frankly, my dear, I do not give a damn ” ( see the list of authors ) .

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