Gone With the Wind
The year is 1939 and the world is on the brink of war. Germany has invaded Poland and the world waits to see what will happen. But in December of the same year, David O. Selznick releases a film that would take minds off the war and become the American Film Institute’s 6th best film of all time.
Based on Margaret Mitchell’s bestselling novel of the same title, “Gone with the Wind,” follows the story of Scarlett O’ Hara (Vivien Leigh) as she pursues the one man she can never have: Ashley Wilkes. Scarlett, a southern belle who knows how to get what she wants, is not the type to let things get in the way. Whether it’s Sherman invading Atlanta or Ashley’s well-spoken wife Melanie (Olivia de Havilland) Scarlett is determined to win Ashley’s love.
Along the way, Scarlett meets the roguish blockade runner Rhett Butler (Clark Gable) who is immediately taken with the woman who would lock the front door against Sherman’s army. Over the course of the film, Rhett’s love is revealed as the true thing that Scarlett desires.
Although the principle characters are played strongly, the supporting characters sometimes steal the show.
Hattie McDaniel’s portrayal of Mammy, Scarlett’s disapproving chaperone, won her an Oscar for best supporting actress. It was the first time an African American had won the award. Mammy’s disapproving lines and characteristic ways of speaking draw laughs from the audience and points out how catty Scarlett really is in her quest to get whatever she wants.
Other characters, like Aunt Pittypat (Laura Hope Crews) and any number of Scarlett’s suitors draw easy laughs from the audience as they balk at Scarlett’s unconventional attitude.
The film is an epic romance with a run time of 233 minutes. The sweeping pre-war plantation scenes with women in hoopskirts and men in old-fashioned suits remind the viewer that in Scarlett’s “pretty world, Gallantry took its last bow.”
The scale of war’s destruction is all too familiar as well. Selznick’s production didn’t shy away from portraying the gruesomeness of war. Instead, scenes of destruction and death are a stark contrast to the genteel face that the gentry put on the war. The scenes are arguably similar to the confined portrayal of modern day conflicts.
“Gone with the Wind” is a film that is a must see at some point in life. It’s simple to get drawn into Scarlett’s world where the viewer can get a glimpse of “the last ever to be seen of Knights and their Ladies Fair.”
Contact CU Independent Staff Writer Ana Faria at Ana.firstname.lastname@example.org.
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