Monday 4 April 2011

"Gone with the Wind" (1939)

On my other blog, I continue with a look at some of my favourite movies - and how could I leave out Gone with the Wind?

"Manipulative, brazen, deceitful and often spiteful, Scarlett O'Hara is also flirtatious, ruthless and monumentally self-absorbed. Yet, somehow, she is undoubtedly the heroine everyone is cheering for throughout Gone with the Wind's four hour extravaganza. As romance after romance fails and the lavish lifestyle of the Southern upper-classes is swept away when the South loses the Civil War in 1865, Scarlett proves that whilst she is a woman likely to hurl herself onto her bed weeping for days when she doesn't get her own way about what dress to wear to a party, when it comes to the major catastrophes of life, she is definitely the ultimate survivor. Surveying the ruin of her homeland in the aftermath of the Civil War, Scarlett vows that if she has "to lie, steal, cheat or kill" she will overcome the poverty and chaos which has swallowed up the life of wealth and privilege she once enjoyed."
You can read the full reflection, here.


  1. i think vivien leigh would have made an excellent Anne Boleyn in any movie.

  2. I so agree that GWTW--book and movie--is the gold standard of popular entertainment from the "American Century." Unfortunately, the fly (racism) spoils the soup. Margaret Mitchell crossed the line many times as when she described Mammy's arms as "gorilla" like.

    There is also Big Sam, drafted into a marching chain gang, promising Scarlett in the film that he will "stop them Yankees" before they could enter Atlanta. You have to have, as Oscar Wilde once said, a heart of stone not to laugh at that one.

    The only thing that could beat it is an Auchwitz inmate booby-trapping the camp to keep the Allied forces out.

    Interestingly, the U.S> civil rights movement never made a big fuss over GWTW. It's almost as if in that particular family squabble one party to the divorce told the other (Southern whites) that "you can keep that thing as long as you pass voting rights laws". So, it is still (almost) politically correct to enjoy GWTW, although a brown paper bag is advisable to hide outdoor consumption.

    An African-American writer, about 15 years ago, wrote a spoof titled "The Wind Done Gone." She was sued by the Mitchell estate, but the court upheld her right to use the GWTW characters as long as she didn't name them. The premise of the book is that the Mr. O'Hara and Mammy characters have a love child who grows up to be mighty jealous of her mother's affection for Scarlett. The Ashley and Melanie equivalents are presented as being secretly gay. They also are involved in inter-racial romances.

    But Vivien Leigh will never be bested in a leading female role.

    And it's a good thing for Ms. Mitchell that Thackery could not sue for stealing so much of his Becky.


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