An American classic

When I saw Lord of the Rings 3 at the cinema, the audience (me included) went to get up several times towards the end, thinking it had finally ended. Upon realising there was more to come, we sat our numb asses back down, sighing at the sheer length of the movie, but not wanting to miss the final scenes. I thought that was an epic film, but jeez, Gone With The Wind is right up there alongside it.

gone with the wind

My thoughts on the movie, in no particular order:

  • It bugged me just how noble and prestigious the war was made out to be (“But don’t you believe in the cause?”) and how the death of the “old south” was mourned (Rhett: “You’re witnessing a moment in history.”) For crying out loud, you guys were fighting for slavery! To keep your black servants – no matter how well you might have treated them, how can you justify this as a cause? OTOH, often war ceases to be about ideology and ends up just being about, well, winning… and destruction. Something  which I think also came across in the movie.
  • Corsets and pantalettes aside, I almost wish I could swan around in ridiculous gowns and wear frilly hats and gloves all day. There’s something so sassy, so graceful, so elegant about the fashions of the time. (Can’t say the same for the old ladies and their smelling salts). I bet all those layers got mighty hot and heavy in the southern summer, though.
  • I despise moustaches. But Clark Gable was actually kind of hot, he must be using fancy beard oils to get that result. Makes me want to run out and marry a rich Southern rogue. (Now I feel dirty for typing that.)  Also, I want Vivien Leigh’s cheekbones.
  • I simply could not believe Scarlett’s pining for the wimpy Ashley.  I couldn’t believe that stayed in love with him for so many years and treated Rhett so badly – it was painful to watch sometimes.
  • But I was so impressed by her grit and how she was prepared to do whatever it took to get what she wanted. It was sad that she had to marry not for love but to save her home, but women didn’t have much of a choice back then, did they? Normally, these kinds of stories bore me to death – but there was just something gripping about all these characters. Now I completely understand why it’s a classic.

8 thoughts on “An American classic

  • Reply Veronica April 15, 2010 at 22:50

    I’ve honestly never watched Gone With The Wind, but I’ve read enough about it, and heard enough to know that it is a fantastic movie. In a time when women were supposed to be seen and not heard, have no original thought, and be meek and mild she certainly broke that mold.

    I fee like her character can reach out to all generations, and says I can be who I am, even if it doesn’t fit with what the rest of the world around me thinks!

    We need more movies like that! Without the whole.. fighting for slavery thing!

  • Reply Jane April 16, 2010 at 05:59

    I’ve never watched Gone With The Wind, but now I sort of want to. I really have a hard time sitting and watching a movie for hours – I wish they’d bring back intermission in long movies!! Does GWTW have one?

  • Reply The Asian Pear April 16, 2010 at 08:50

    To be honest… I HATED Gone With the Wind when I first saw it. I had this idea that it was romantic, epic and beautiful. For me, it turned out to be long-winded, whiney, bratty, annoying and a bit indulgent.

    It may seem horrible but I’m so glad that Rhett left her in the end.

  • Reply SS4BC April 16, 2010 at 09:35

    I’m amused that you’re just now seeing this. =)

    Ever since I was a young girl this has been one of my favorite movies. I had it on VHS and bought the DVD when it came out. I watch it at least twice a year.

    I love the vivid scenes of the “old south” and would have LOVED to wear those beautiful clothes!!!

  • Reply SS4BC April 16, 2010 at 09:36

    @Jane – yes, GWTW has an intermission. And the DVD is TWO DVDs with the intermission separating the two.

  • Reply Sense April 17, 2010 at 20:53

    Yeah, I’ve never watched this movie on purpose, or in one sitting…and I come from the South! Those dirty Southern rogues are not as classy as they used to be. Or rich. 🙁

    It is my utter shame that I was born beneath the Mason-Dixon line. Southern pride is alive and well, unfortunately.

  • Reply Stephany April 19, 2010 at 07:08

    Gone With The Wind is one of the movies I want to watch and this post makes me anxious to watch it! I’m pretty sure I’m going to be annoyed by Scarlett, too. 😉

  • Reply Five on Friday « Musings of an Abstract Aucklander April 23, 2010 at 08:09

    […] on a bit of a DVD kick. There was Gone with the Wind, Boy in the Striped Pajamas, The Wrestler (just plain depressing) and now Inglourious Basterds, (oh […]

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