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"Frankly, My Dear, I Don't Give A Damn"

"Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn," is a line from the 1939 film Gone with the Wind.

It was spoken by Rhett Butler, in his last words to Scarlett O'Hara at the end of the film when Scarlett asks Rhett, "Where shall I go? What shall I do?" if he leaves her. The line is memorable because of the profane use of the word damn which was forbidden in films of the time.

In the novel Gone with the Wind, Rhett does not say "Frankly," but simply "My dear, I don't give a damn." The context is also different; he is speaking quietly to Scarlett in a room, not storming dramatically out of the house.

Prior to the film's release, censors objected to the use of the word damn in the film, a word that had been prohibited by the 1930 Motion Picture Association's Production Code that began to be enforced in July 1934. However, before 1930 the word damn had been relatively common in films.

Although legend persists that the Hays Office fined producer David O. Selznick $5,000 for using the word damn, in fact the MPA board passed an amendment to the Production Code on November 1, 1939, a month and a half before the film's release, that forbade use of the words hell or damn except when their use shall be essential and required for portrayal, in proper historical context, of any scene or dialogue based upon historical fact or folklore … or a quotation from a literary work, provided that no such use shall be permitted which is intrinsically objectionable or offends good taste. With that amendment, the Production Code Administration had no further objection to Rhett's closing line.

It is actually the second use of damn in the film. The term damn Yankees is heard in the parlor scene at Twelve Oaks.

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