Here’s a movie I’ve been DYING to talk about:
Gone with the wind
Even for a couch-potato-movie-buff like myself, it’s no easy feat to set aside the nearly FOUR HOURS it takes to watch this; but really, it is worth it every time. Also, when you finally set out to watch it, please recruit people. Far too few have seen this incredible adaptation of Margaret Mitchell’s masterpiece.
Why is it great? Scarlett O’Hara and Rhett Butler embody these two characters who are so far ahead of their time, that it often feels that the rest of the world is behind them. The rest of the world is weaker, more naive, less ruthless and therefore, less capable. In many ways, they are anti-heroes* that we should not necessarily cheer for, but by god, we do.
These characters are so on point, it would be a gross understatement to say that the acting was “out of this world”. Clark Gable and Vivian Leigh are out of this world, but their part in this film goes well beyond that. Not only are they “out” of the 1865 world their characters live in, they are also out of the 1939 world this movie was filmed in. They completely transcend the definition of modern, progressive, and bold.
I’m sure I’ve made it clear through these posts that I love classic film and old Hollywood actors. However, there are few that are timeless in this same sense: Vivian Leigh and Clark Gable play these characters in 1939 the same way I should like to see them played today and 100 years from now. There is simply nothing outdated or cheesy offered in these performances. They are perfect. And that’s just the acting; I haven’t even gotten into the story yet!
There are not enough movies that depict the civil war, and while this movie is no documentary, the historical context is very interesting, especially being set in the Old South. As patriots, we should want the south to fall, but somehow the idea of this fantastic kingdom falling apart becomes so dreadful, and as an audience, we cannot help but feel that its loss is a pity that ought not be withstood.
Last but not least, there is the most frustrating love triangle, which will become the bane of your existence for the duration of the film, while the passion, the stubbornness, the war, and the drama take on an almost operatic essence as we are watching the lines cross and we grapple to understand the type of pride that drives these two away from the things that would make them most happy and whole.
I could go on forever, but then you wouldn’t have time to watch the movie!
*and don’t I love me a good anti-hero!! (Breaking Bad, hello?!)