How should I feel about Gone With the Wind? On the one hand it is one of Hollywood’s greatest movies. On the other, the very making of the movie highlights racial and gender stereotypes, and turns a blind eye to marital rape.
All of that and my parents said that the movie was banned in Memphis for years for using the word “damn.” I haven’t been able to substantiate that.
My favorite movie critic, the late Roger Ebert said that Scarlett O’Hara (Vivien Leigh) was not a produce of the Civil War, but a product of post flapper America, the precursor to Rosie the Riveter of World War II.
I understand his point.
The most attractive quality of a, sometimes, unsavory character is her indomitable will and determination. Others may give into fear and apathy, but oh, no! Not Scarlett.
I love that the most rational, clear-thinking character in the whole movie was Mammy beautifully portrayed by Hattie McDaniel. My father had a special place in his heart for both Hattie McDaniel and Mammy. He often said that Mammy was "the only character in the whole damn movie with a lick of sense."
As Mammy, Ms. McDaniel became the first African American to win an Academy Award. It took another twenty-four years before Sidney Poitier became the second, winning for Lilies of the Field.
My parents risked taking me to Gone With the Wind in 1961 when I was four. All I remember from that viewing was the music, which can still move me to emotion, and the burning of Atlanta.
A spectacular sequence, even to this day.
A saying you still hear in the American South from time to time is "Through hell and half of Georgia."
I wonder if . . . never mind.
Vivien Leigh? Clark Gable? WOW!
I’ve seen the movie a number of times since 1961, and through several periods of US history. The farther we move into the future, the more Gone With the Wind is gone with the wind.
It is definitely one of the greatest movies Hollywood ever made. I think I will remember it that way, chalk it up to an unsavory part of our past, both the Civil War and the era that made the movie and keep looking forward.
I still give it 10 out of 10!
What do you think, Jodie?
Read Jodie's review here!