Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Top 100 Tuesday #6 - Gone With the Wind

Gone with the Wind (Two-Disc 70th Anniversary Edition)
Gone With the Wind (1939)

Vivien Leigh
Clark Gable
Hattie McDaniel
Butterfly McQueen
Leslie Howard
Olivia de Havilland

If you've watched this movie, post your thoughts in the comments, and link back to your blog and any review you may have written. If you chose not to watch, you can write about why.

Next Tuesday...Lawrence of Arabia


  1. I just rewatched GWTW a couple of weeks ago, and I'd forgotten how soapy it is.

    The special effects and sweeping epic saga are beautiful to watch, just as Scarlett and Rhett are so frustrating. "Communicate, dammit!" you want to shout at the screen. "Be honest with each other."

    But just like the South never wins the Civil War, Scarlett and Rhett are never honest with each other. No matter how many times I watch.

    Even so, it's an oddly compelling movie as you watch Scarlett's evolution over the course of the film. Interestingly, none of the other characters really evolves - just Scarlett.

  2. I am ambivalent about this movie because it's soooo racist and disingenuous about slavery. On the other hand, I think Scarlett rocked. She did what needed doing. She kept a roof over everyone's head, kept everyone's stomach full, and worked hard -- no victim, she. I loved Rhett, too. The first post-feminist hero, he was proud of her hard little mind. He admired it.

    As a movie, I think it's crippled by Leslie Howard as Ashley Wilkes. He was smart and beautiful but ultimately weak in the book (not unlike Hubbell in The Way We Were), but in the movie he was so pale and dull and not worth it. I think he throws the balance off. What's wrong with Scarlett that she doesn't prefer Rhett?

  3. I completely agree with you on both counts. The slavery issue was entirely disengenuous and the racism was thinly and unevenly varnished.

    Even Leslie Howard knew beforehand that he'd be the weak link in this film. He protested "I'm going to look like the gay doorman at the Ritz if you put me in those period clothes."

    He was right. So very right. I never read the book, but this Ashley was a weak, sniveling, passive dreamer in a world that needs men of action and drive.

    Scarlett was tough and business-savvy, but so emotionally immature. Both she and Rhett really let pride and miscommunication stand in the way of their happiness. Most of it was Scarlett. As Rhett told her, she was throwing away happiness with both hands, because really, Ashley was not suited to her.