Ashley Wilkes uniform from Gone With the Wind.

Llewellyn

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@Llewellyn Wasnt Leslie Howard engaged in some kind of spying against Nazi Germany at one time? Not sure how a famous actor becomes a spy but that's just me I guess.
There are theories about Howard being a spy, and that being the reason why the Luftwaffe targeted his flight over the Bay of Biscay, but they aren't really too convincing. There were other important people on the flight.

The most likely scenario is that the Luftwaffe pilots spotted the DC-3, identified it as an allied type, painted in standard RAF camouflage (despite bearing civilian registration markings) and decided to attack.

Oddly enough, there was another fatality in a DC-3 crash connected to the top billed cast of Gone with the Wind. In January 1942 the actress Carole Lombard who was the wife of Clark Gable (Rhett Butler) was returning to LA from a midwest War Bonds promotion tour when the plane on which she was travelling hit a mountainside in Nevada. The cause of the crash was simply a navigational error, but some theories were advanced that the plane had been sabotaged by Nazi agents.
 

Cavalier

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Jul 20, 2019
@Llewellyn Thank you for getting back to me. I never new exactly what was going on with that. And I never realized there were rumors of Nazi involvement with Carole Lombard's death, even though unfounded.

You know your old when adults tell you they don't know who Clark Gable is.

John
 

James N.

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I was going to say I didn't spy any MacArthur in the figures or the books.
I have a 29 Division soldier from Dragon figures that came as a radio operator. And I don't suppose that Forrest figure is the nice detailed one that sales for close to $200.

I can't make out that belt buckle to the right of the Luftwaffe, hidden by the bayonet.
All those are from a series called Brotherhood Of Arms by Sideshow Miniatures. I believe they all date from the 1990's and were each sold boxed for around $49.95, what I paid for the Stonewall Jackson in a gift shop in the early 2000's. However, like most "collectables" they now cost much more than that on the secondary market, though I bought the Lee for list price on eBay around the same time. All the rest were unboxed though complete and in good condition, so I paid less than list for them including Forrest. I'm not sure if he's the same as the one you're talking about or not.

I also have four German WWII figures by Dragon, three of them flea market-finds and another from eBay, all but one purchased in-the-box. (Though none are boxed any more!) The buckle is a genuine stamped-steel Waffen-SS example I also bought at the flea market from a young couple who were disposing of a collection (not theirs originally) and sold it far below its list price of up to $500!
 

Iowa Miss

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Location
NC Iowa
GWTW helped stir my interest in the war. I first saw it, as a kid, in a local theater during the centennial. Yes, there are
flaws in the film. However, if it creates interest in the war and causes youngsters or adults to read on their own, that's good.

Now that discussion was opened on the authenticity of Ashley's uniform, we could have several posts on the correctness of women's clothing in the movie, Scarlett's in particular. Are there any zippers on the backs of women's dresses? That's a pet peeve of mine.
 
Joined
Aug 2, 2019
Okay, here's the thing.

A woman (which I am) is not going to give you a gift that she does not want in her house. Clearly, she likes dolls and Gone with the Wind. I would say that the best thing you can do it to hunt down a Melanie doll to go with Ashley, wrap it up and give it to her for Christmas. She will then want to display her doll along with yours, solving the question of what do you do with it. You'll get good husband points, and your problem will be solved.

Hopefully.
 

A. Roy

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Okay, here's the thing.

A woman (which I am) is not going to give you a gift that she does not want in her house. Clearly, she likes dolls and Gone with the Wind. I would say that the best thing you can do it to hunt down a Melanie doll to go with Ashley, wrap it up and give it to her for Christmas. She will then want to display her doll along with yours, solving the question of what do you do with it. You'll get good husband points, and your problem will be solved.

Hopefully.

Oh, there's a lot to learn from that suggestion. You're quite the strategist!

BTW, I've been enjoying this thread about the Ashley doll and the uniform from the movie. Always liked Leslie Howard (although The Scarlet Pimpernel is my favorite LH movie.)

Roy B.
 

Georgia

Sergeant
Oh, there's a lot to learn from that suggestion. You're quite the strategist!

BTW, I've been enjoying this thread about the Ashley doll and the uniform from the movie. Always liked Leslie Howard (although The Scarlet Pimpernel is my favorite LH movie.)

Roy B.
Most women have back thoughts prior to any action we make- even if it’s subconscious. There’s a method to any of the madness. :wink:
 

Sam Katz

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Feb 23, 2010
Location
New York
My wife and I was at an antique mall today and she was sure she should by me this huge doll put out by the Franklin Mint.


View attachment 381893

My wife had no ideal that this huge "doll" was Ashley Wilkes and only saw a "doll" wearing a Civil War uniform. She is way too nice to me.

So let use get back to the Uniform Forum. What do uniform experts think about the uniform worn by Ashley Wilkes as seen in Gone With the Wind? In 1939 there was not the high level of information about Civil War uniforms that we enjoy today. That said, I am not sure the uniform for Wilkes was any worse than the Civil War uniforms seen in modern movies. My next question is what do uniform experts think about the uniform worn by this Ashley "doll"? My next question is what do I do with an almost two foot tall Ashley "doll"? Because my wife purchased it for me I do not have the option of putting it out with the trash.
Just a sad note about Leslie Howard for those who love this film, and I do: the film was released in January 1941, and Howard had been back in England since 1939. While he continued to work on films, he was supposedly also involved in intelligence operations for his native England during WWII. He was on a civilian flight when the plane was shot down by the Germans in 1943, and he was killed. I don't believe he ever actually got to see GWTW. I cannot imagine what he would think about this doll bearing his face. The thought that someone might make a doll with your face decades after your death is scary ... don't you think?
 

JD Mayo

First Sergeant
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Jun 12, 2020
Location
Greensboro NC
I always thought that Ashely looks like my Great great grandfather William H Gaines specially with his hair.

William H Gaines.jpeg
 

JD Mayo

First Sergeant
Joined
Jun 12, 2020
Location
Greensboro NC
View attachment 382057

No doubt much like the fellows I have all over the place "guarding" my books; above, two Confederate infantrymen flank Forrest, Lee, and Stonewall Jackson.

View attachment 382056

Meanwhile, in the back former bedroom, now my library, a Band of Brothers waits beside the WWII bookshelf, and below, their opponents stand atop a glass-front bookcase containing older books and all sorts of other oddities!

View attachment 382058
Where did you get those Civil War Figures at?
 

R. Porter

Cadet
Joined
Oct 6, 2020
I had a few thoughts on your Ashley doll and where you could go with it. The doll’s uniform doesn’t seem to exactly match the costumes on screen. Perhaps this is a function of ease of production and cost. Maybe making a uniform for the doll that matches one on screen would be more difficult or more expensive and there is a budget that a doll has to meet in order to be cost effective to produce for a certain price. (I don’t know myself, it is something that could be researched and represents another angle that could be investigated affecting present day perceptions of the Civil War.)

The uniforms that Ashley wears during the film could be researched for accuracy. I have seen, posted on the Web, a discussion of Confederate uniforms available at the end of the war based on photographs of Confederate dead after the fall of the defenses of Petersburg. There are some very knowledgeable people when it comes to origin, condition and availability of specific uniforms and equipment possessed by the troops of both sides during the conflict and the information they can glean from a photograph is nothing short of amazing. Gone With the Wind is a movie and it was produced on a budget. There were probably advisors who could have assisted with accuracy but the producers were probably not as interested in technical fidelity as in telling a story and staying under budget. Consider that if you tried to sword-fight in real life the way they do on stage and in most movies you’d end up bleeding or dead very quickly. Stage and film represent an act in a way that is exciting and drives the plot forward. There is less interest in accuracy than telling a story. Staying under budget may imply obtaining costumes at low cost and within a time constraint so the actors may wear something that looks close enough and is already being made, like uniforms for Confederate veterans or cadets that can be quickly modified to look like a range of military branches and ranks. Or dresses with zippers in the back. (The zipper was apparently invented by Elias Howe in 1851. I'm sure it didn't look like what we think of as a zipper today.) Or, perhaps, borrow costumes from a costume house that includes original uniform parts, like the Berdan Sharpshooter uniform jacket my cousin found in the 1990’s or early 2000’s. The belt buckle form of a rectangle with a curved part on the top center of the buckle seems to have been very popular with fraternal organizations in the late 19th​ and early 20th​ centuries. (I have a neat one with the Ark of the Covenant. I recognized the Ark of the Covenant from having seen the one in Raiders of the Lost Ark.) Since costumes were re-used, the Gone With the Wind buckle showed up in other movies. You can still get one today if you order it from Hanover Brass. See the url:


The page may take a while to load, there’s a lot going on with it. This opens up an avenue of research involving uniforms and their accuracy in film and on stage. In addition, the accuracy of weapons and equipment could be investigated. Movie props could be collected and compared with the real thing. This might have the benefit of educating collectors about what is “real” and what is not. Some of those movie props have authentic age and might be hard to distinguish from actual equipment used in the war. Depending on which production used them and screen time, they may be more valuable than the real thing. (I am no expert on anything Civil War, but the low dome of the Phrygian hat pommel on Ashley’s sword looks like it could be Confederate made, an accident?, intentional? I don’t know what I’m talking about?)

In any case, the Ashley doll is just one in a long line of images and artifacts that shape our view of the Civil War and its times. We are where we are today because of a lot of people’s decisions about how to communicate what it was like to live in a time and a place during our country’s history. You can use the doll as a pivot to spin off into hundreds of different directions for further research and perhaps your wife could find her own niche that would complement your interests too.
 

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