Today I watched GONE WITH THE WIND (1939) for the first time since reading Margaret Mitchell’s 1936 novel. Thus, I understand more about the Confederate South than I did before. I don’t agree with them, but I understand their naivety and their, pardon me, business sense. Most wars are fought over the economy, just look at financial records and how they correspond with wars and conflicts.
Scarlet O’Hara is that girl we all grew up hating. She is the snotty rich girl with the pretty face to which every boy flocked. I hate the Scarlet O’Haras of the world, but deep in my core I love and envy her character. She’s got some pretty screwy morals, but she’s got gumption. When the women, and the men for that matter, cower under the stress and strain of the changed South, she strides through like a tornado shying away from no hardship.
And we love Rhett Butler for his bad-boy ways, his smooth sophistication and his most quotable quotes. From the moment he’s leaning over the banister, holding a mint julep and staring up at Scarlet, he’s in love with her. He has two goals in the film, a. make money and 2. get Scarlet. We appreciate this kind of love because he loves Scarlet for real reasons. He wants her body, of course, but he wants her passion, too. Not her quaint southern-girl smiles and manners, but her ruthless, scheming passion. He loved her, not despite her short comings, but because of them. What an honorable scoundrel!
Speaking of honors, GONE WITH THE WIND won 10 Academy Awards including Best Picture, Best Director Victor Felming (also known for THE WIZARD OF OZ) Best Actress Vivien Leigh and Best Supporting Actress Hattie McDaniel. McDaniel, dear Mammy, was the first black actor to win an Academy Award. It also won Best Art Director and Best Color Cinematography, as it should. An idiot cannot watch this film without noticing and, thus, appreciating the Tara horizon and the silhouette shots.