Friday, 15 May 2015

Film Friday: Gone With The Wind (1939)

Next on the shelf for Film Friday, is 1939's Gone With The Wind.
This is the film that made me sit up and take notice of Clark Gable. For years, despite being an admirer of classic film actors, I just didn't 'get' the big deal about him. I had seen films with Errol Flynn, Humphrey Bogart, James Cagney, just oodles of classic actors from watching Saturday afternoon black and white films with my nan, but never a Clark Gable film. One day I was watching one of C4's epic '100 Greatest ...' programmes where they showed a clip of GWTW and suddenly I got it. He really is quite something. I was quick to purchase the film on DVD and thoroughly enjoyed it. Yes, it's long and one part with a horse made me avert my eyes, but it's a classic for a reason. 


A manipulative Southern belle carries on a turbulent affair with a blockade runner during the American Civil War.

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Gone With The Wind is an epic historical romance film adapted from Margaret Mitchell's Pulitzer-winning 1936 novel. Set in the 19th-century American South, the film tells the story of Scarlett O'Hara, the strong-willed daughter of a Georgia plantation owner, from her romantic pursuit of Ashley Wilkes, who is married to his cousin, Melanie Hamilton, to her marriage to Rhett Butler. Set against the backdrop of the American Civil War and Reconstruction era, the story is told from the perspective of white Southerners. 


Troubles plagued the production of the film from the start and filming was delayed for two years due to producer David O. Selznick's determination to secure Clark Gable for the role of Rhett Butler, and the "search for Scarlett" led to 1,400 women being interviewed for the part.


The film received positive reviews upon its release in December 1939, although some reviewers found it dramatically lacking and bloated. 


At the 12th Academy Awards held in 1940, it received ten Academy Awards (eight competitive, two honorary) from thirteen nominations.


The film has been criticized as historical revisionism glorifying slavery, but nevertheless it has been credited for triggering changes to the way African Americans are depicted on film.


It has placed in the top ten of the American Film Institute's list of top 100 American films since the list's inception in 1998.

 
Did you know, that the fact that Hattie McDaniel who played house servant Mammy was unable to attend the premiere in racially segregated Atlanta annoyed Clark Gable so much that he threatened to boycott the premiere unless she could attend. He later relented when she convinced him to go.


If you've seen it, is this a film you enjoyed?

5 comments:

  1. Though watching GWTW can make any tolerant modern day person cringe at times, there's no denying the superb acting and breathtaking costuming at work in it. It's not my favourite movie ever, but I do certainly like and appreciate it - and will never, ever tie of seeing Scarlett's beautiful wardrobe!

    ♥ Jessica

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    1. Like you it isn't a favourite of mine but it's hard not to appreciate it and she does have a glorious wardrobe ❤

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  2. This is one of my all time favourite movies! There are defiantly parts that make you cringe, and yes that horse bit always gets me too! Scarlet just leaps from the wagon like nothing is wrong, but she's been through Hell and she doesn't have much of a conscience anyway!

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  3. At first I had to toughen up and bit to get over the way the slaves talk and act in the movie and even worse so in the books as they are portrayed as complete morons but this is one of my favorite movies ever. I've read the book and read the sequel "Scarlett" and loved them.

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  4. I haven't seen it for years, and of course struggle with the politics and the rather breathy, mannered acting, but it's undoubtedly a spectacle and a landmark in cinema. And there's no denying the beauty of the lead actors! xxx

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