My Thoughts: This is such a classic. It’s not one of those movies that warms your heart; it’s one of those that makes you think. It’s long, but rich with content.
Recommendation: You have to watch this movie. Everyone in the world needs to see this movie at least once. It’s so worth the time commitment and then you can impress people by saying “like in Gone with The Wind.” Do yourself a favor . . . watch this amazing film ASAP!
Writing/Screenplay: This is a hard one because this movie is based on a novel by Margaret Mitchell. I have read the book, and obviously watched the movie. The movie did a good job of keeping true to the original story. However, there are a few important things that the movie excluded. One, in the book, Scarlett has one child with each of her 3 husbands. In the movie she only has a child with Rhett. However, in the book having children is an important part of why she doesn’t want to keep getting married after she has money; she doesn’t like children. Melanie is more of a mother to Scarlett’s’ children than Scarlett is, especially since Melanie only has one baby. Also the lumber mill is a much bigger part of the story in the book. Mitchell spends more time on Scarlett’s treatment of her employees etc. all of that has an effect on her relationship with Ashley. However, the movie really grasps the idea of the passing of the Old south which is the most important thing. Also the screen writing is wonderful and clear which is important in such am intricate story. All and all the story of Scarlett O’Hara is one of the most powerful, interesting stories that have ever been told. It is rich with civil war history and provokes thought about the serious issues of the time.
Acting: This movie has an incredible cast. Hattie McDaniel won a well-deserved Oscar for her portrayal of Scarlett’s Mammy. Vivien Leigh, who was in almost every scene of this 4-hour film, also won an Oscar for her portrayal of the cunning Scarlett. There was a lot of competition for this role, but I can’t imagine anyone pulling it of better than Leigh. As wonderful as McDaniel and Leigh were, my two favorite performances came from actors who did not win Oscars. Olivia de Havilland, who is one of my favorite actresses ever, did an excellent job as Melanie. Her character was gentle and sweet, but also incredibly strong and clever. However, the backbone of this film was absolutely Clark Gable in the role of Rhett Butler. I can’t believe he did not win an Oscar for this amazing performance. You’ve heard about how the creators of Iron Man wanted a hero that was loathsome, but that the audience loved and was rooting for. Well, Rhett Butler is the original Iron Man. I cannot say enough good things about Gable’s performance, it was absolutely phenomenal! The one performance that I was not thrilled with was Leslie Howards portrayal of Ashley. It was melodramatic and overdone. Every time I watch the scene where Scarlett tries to convince him to run away with her and he kisses her, I cringe at Howard’s dramatic performance. Still this movie had an excellent core group of actors and actresses who did a fantastic job.
Cinematography: Another well-deserved Oscar was one in this category. The colors of this film are breath-taking; especially for a movie made in 1939! There are also just some excellent shots that send shivers down your spine they are so powerful. The one that stood out to me the most was when Scarlett was helping at the hospital. She had just witnessed an amputation and run screaming out yelling about how she couldn’t take anymore and she wouldn’t watch anymore people die. She stopped in the doorway of the church, where the hospital is located and above her head on the door is written, “Peace Be Within Thy Walls.” What a powerful and clever shot! I appreciated the cinemograph choices made in this film.
Soundtrack: The music in the film did its job well. It moved the audience in the right way at the right time. Sometimes it made me feel happy and romantic at others it created tension and fear. The score was beautiful and well-chosen. However, there was nothing risky about the choice made. It was very typical at the time to use orchestra music for a film score. While the music was moving and beautifully played the technique itself was very cut and dried.
Overall Score: 36/40
“What do you think becomes of people when their civilization breaks up? Those who have brains and courage come through all right. Those that haven’t are winnowed out.”
“You’re like the thief who isn’t the least bit sorry he stole, but he’s terribly, terribly sorry he’s going to jail.”
Scarlett: “I only know that I love you.”
Rhett: “That’s your misfortune.”
Scarlett: “Rhett . . . Rhett where shall I go? What shall I do?
Rhett: “Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn.”