Gone With The Wind
For a start it is not a simple story line. Suffice it to say that this is the film of the Pulitzer Prize winning novel of Margaret Mitchell wrote during the 1920s. The core strand of the story involves the love affairs of the beautiful southern belle Scarlett O’Hara (Vivien Leigh) before during and after the Civil War. Of course the climax to those affairs involves Rhett Butler (Clark Gable) a popular scoundrel with more genuine honor than he might care to generally admit. The entire cast is magnificent and it is the characters their complex personalities and their relationships that make the film what it is. This is ably borne by the remarkable plot which never wavers from its path.
Story between Scarlett O’Hara and Rhett Butler is to America what Romeo and Juliet is to England. A hopelessly tragic couple. Scarlett and Rhett are very much in love with each other. The only problem is that it doesn’t occur at the same time. Rhett finds himself immediately attracted to Scarlett first for lust then for spirit and finally for love. Scarlett finds herself repulsed by Rhett at first then attracted to him out of boredom then attracted to him out of convenience then attracted to him for money and then finally for love. However by the time Scarlett realizes her love and emotional need for Rhett it is too late. Hence the famous line “Frankly my dear I don’t give a damn.”
Scarlett O’Hara ignorantly flirts with every man in sight trying in vain to get the attention of Ashley. A man who does not fall for her flirting and does not love her. After surviving the fall of Atlanta and making the “As god as my witness” speech she turns cold and manipulative. You can actually watch Scarlett grow and change as the film progresses. By the end of the movie she finally gains clarity into her life and where love can actually be found. Right where it has been through most of the movie. In the arms of Rhett.
Rhett Butler is an independent confident man with a questionable past. When all the “southern gentlemen” want to go to war Rhett is not afraid to disagree even though he’s in the minority. He drinks smokes and gambles. He is a war hero and gets sent to prison. A real mans man if ever there was one. However he has a weakness. Of course it’s the young naive Scarlett. No it’s not just lust. He shows this in the scene where Melanie attempts to console a crying Rhett who thinks Scarlett blames him for a miscarriage.
I like this movie a great deal. It grabs you during the Overture and opening credits and dose not let go. It is easy to see why it is considered the best movie of all time and ranked fourth on the AFI all time movie list. It won eight of thirteen Oscars nominations bucking heads with the sixth ranked AFI movie The Wizard of OZ. This was the first time I have seen Gone With The Wind but I know it wont be the last. It is a endless classic.
“It will be around for years to come a superb example of Hollywood’s art and a time capsule of weathering sentimentality for a Civilization gone with the wind all right–gone but not forgotten.” Roger Ebert Copyright Chicago Sun-Times Inc.