GONE WITH THE WIND
To say that this movie is a ‘classic’ is, much like the end of this sentence, a bit of an understatement. This is a sweeping epic of unbelievable magnitude. It is an opus of a love story to a South that will never again be. It is masterfully shot, extraordinarily acted and, even with a hefty 3 hour and 43 minute run time, tightly written. You may be asking yourself why I blew my entire review load in the opening paragraph. My answer, of course, is because I have more than a little to say about this movie but I feel one particular character may sidetrack me. If that happens, I want you to know how I feel about GWTW. It’s great. It’s super. You know what, it’s fucking super duper.
Now, Scarlett O’Hara, the classic southern belle is[i] a fucking cunt. And no, I do not mean a cunt made for fucking. She is the living embodiment of disgusting self-involvement and shrill indifference towards human emotions. In short, she may be the movie world’s first sociopath. I feel better just typing about her. I just wanted you, dear reader, to be prepared for the unimaginable shithead that is the heroine of this story. Ahh…now back to the review.
Whenever anybody talks about “Gone with the Wind”, they always mention how incredibly long it is. And while I do recognize it as one of cinemas more lengthy efforts, I must also admit that there are[ii] lengthy credits, an overture, intermission and exit music. This means that if you watch it on DVD, it shaves roughly 40 minutes off the run time. Again, I realize that this is long but if you know anything about the plot, it is at LEAST a three-hour story. And the most amazing quality that this film possesses is the ability to make that three hours fly by.
Speaking of the plot, there is considerably too much ground to cover in a review. Suffice it to say that the main players are as follows:
Scarlett O’Hara[iii], a prissy cuntbag.
Rhett Butler[iv], stone cold pimp.
Ashley Wilkes[v], an honorable pussy.
Mellie Wilkes, Ashley’s wife[vi] (and cousin…)
Mammy, Scarlett’s[vii] slave and housemother.
There are, of course, an innumerable amount of other characters that I will not be writing about so they are unimportant. These are the fab five that make this shit run.
With all of that out of the way, this film is impeccably executed. Produced by David O. Selznick and directed by Victor Flemming, the film perfectly encapsulates an era long gone and, optimistically, one that will never return. The set pieces, the wardrobe and even the facial hair are all flawlessly and faithfully recreated to transport you to another world. The aesthetic set up by the actors, directors (yes, there were three) and producers is one that is unrivaled in almost all current cinema. Very few movies make you feel like you are witnessing history unfold in such an absolutely convincing way.
The acting performances in this film were[viii] amazing. Vivian Leigh as Scarlett and Clark Gable as Rhett are a perfect vision of two absolute[ix] scoundrels attempting to pull through a civilization that is completely collapsing around them. Scarlett’s love for Ashley Wilkes drives her to ruin[x] four marriages by my count, including her own. Rhett Butler on the other hand likes whores and money. Like I said earlier, he is a stone cold pimp. Okay, now I am worried you might actually think that he is a real pimp. He is not. He is a bit of a war profiteer AND a colloquial pimp.
The societal parallels of war and men tearing each other apart is always prevalent in movies that look back in time but this one is particularly poignant, serving almost as a warning before WWII. With all of the southern gentlemen in this film so eager to put the Yankees in their place, you would have thought each one of them was[xi] a Red Sox fan. All “kidding” aside, the fever pitch that these gentlemen work themselves into is almost laughable knowing the outcome of the war, but the hubris of man is not a theme that will wither with time, and for good reason. It is as indelible as man’s love for doughnuts.
My only issue with this film is actually not with this film at all. I will stand by everything I have said but the people that believe this to be a classic love story must be[xii] sad, bitter, cynical husks of human beings. To call what Scarlett and Rhett share ‘love’, is to call the stuff that falls out of your butt, sunshine. Their relationship has more problems than a depressed 17-year-old “Twilight” fan that’s full of angst. Sure, both characters love money and themselves equally, and more than anything else, but that’s barely enough to build a relationship on. They are more star-crossed than Romeo and Juliet, more volatile than Bonny and Clyde and bitterer than the vagina of a woman on an all-grapefruit diet. There is nothing romantic about this film other than the love shown to, and the subsequent portrayal of, the setting.
I do not know exactly what else to say of this film other than if you have never seen it, I hope that all of my spoilers don’t turn you off. I have barely scratched the surface of what can only be called an all-time classic film. Whether you watch it all at once, over two days or over a year, you will not be disappointed. Oh, and they call black people darkies[xiii]. Shit, spoiler alert!
Jason R. Noble
[i] Spoiler Alert
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[iii] Spoiler Alert
[iv] Spoiler Alert
[v] Spoiler Alert
[vi] Spoiler Alert
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[viii] Spoiler Alert
[ix] Spoiler Alert
[x] Spoiler Alert
[xi] Bad Joke Alert, Motherfucker!
[xii] Spoiler Alert
[xiii] That seems offensive.