Gone with the Wind

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From the novel of the same name by Margaret Mitchell

Our New Year’s Day tradition is to have a videofest, with a theme, a lot of food, and sometimes friends; this time, the theme was 1939, and by 8:30 pm we had seen five movies, and our friends left to get some sleep…but Mr. Otter and I were just having too darn much fun to stop! so we put this monster on, and stayed up til nearly 1 am…

I’m really conflicted about this movie, a total love/hate kind of thing.

  • Love: it’s beautiful. Beautiful costumes, gorgeous scenery, lovely shots, wonderful sets.
  • Hate: Unfortunately, what it’s idolizing is a really hideous chapter in American history that is well over, and the way of life that seems so wonderful is not something that bears close examination
  • Love: Many good actors. Leslie Howard is a fav. And Thomas Mitchell, that was the third movie we saw him in that day…he made six that year…
  • Hate: Olivia De Havilland, need I say more? Not to mention the awful parts for the African American cast, oh my.
  • Love: Sweeping romantic saga
  • Hate: Unfortunately, it’s hard to get romantic about a spoiled brat, which is basically what Scarlett is. By the end I just want to slap her and tell her to get a life. What an idiot. And much as I like to watch Clark Gable, he just isn’t a honey. Good for the part, though.
  • Love: Just like the book, historical epic-battles-real life social history-danger-survival against odds-the horrors of war
  • Hate: Just like the book, as soon as Scarlett gets on her feet again, it degenerates into a family saga money-and-power sort of thing instead of a historical epic and gets REAL BORING.

And yet, like The Ten Commandments, Mr. Otter and I feel compelled to watch it every year or so…I guess we forget what it was like last time.

This movie is so famous and so completely rooted in our pop culture that everyone should see it once, just to know the references. But you don’t have to see it more than that unless you want to.

Interesting sidelight: when Atlanta is burning, the scene with the collapsing three-story buildings and their carriage crossing in front of it? that’s the set for King Kong, you can just see the pillars where the giant doors were if you look closely. Thanks to my friend Gatadd for the great pic of Atlanta burning!

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