User Reviews (741)

  • jotix10022 February 2005
    10/10
    Georgia on my mind
    This film shows the best of the American cinema. Whether we like the film, or not, one has to recognize the greatest achievement, perhaps, of the creative talent of the people working in the movie industry. "Gone with the Wind" represents a monumental leap, as well as a departure, for the movies, as they were done prior to this film.

    The vision of David O. Selznick, the power behind bringing Margaret Mitchell's massive account about the South, before and after the Civil War, pays handsomely with the film that Victor Fleming directed. This movie will live forever because it reminds us of how this great nation came into being, despite the different opinions from the two stubborn factions in the war.

    "Gone with the Wind" brought together the best people in Hollywood. The end result is the stunning film that for about four hours keep us interested in the story unfolding in the screen. Of course, credit must be due to the director, Victor Fleming, and his vision, as well as the adaptation by Sydney Howard, who gave the right tone to the film. The gorgeous cinematography created by Ernest Haller gives us a vision of the gentle South before the war, and the Phoenix raising from the ashes of a burned Atlanta. The music of Max Steiner puts the right touch behind all that is seen in the movie.

    One can't conceive another Scarlett O'Hara played by no one, but Vivien Leigh. Her beauty, her sense of timing, her intelligent approach to this role, makes this a hallmark performance. Ms. Leigh was at the best moment of her distinguished career and it shows. Scarlett goes from riches to rags, back to riches again and in the process finds an inner strength she didn't know she possessed. Her impossible love for Ashley will consume her and will keep her away from returning the love to the man that really loves her, Rhett.

    The same thing applies to the Rhett Butler of Clark Gable. No one else comes to mind for playing him with the passion he projects throughout the movie. This is a man's man. Captain Butler was torn between his loyalty to the cause of the South and his sense of decency. His love for Scarlett, the woman he knows is in love with a dream, speaks eloquently for itself.

    The other two principals, Olivia de Havilland and Leslie Howard, give performances that are amazing to watch. Ms. de Havilland's Melanie Hamilton is perfect. Melanie is loyal to the woman that does everything to undermine her marriage to Ashley. Mr. Howard's Ashley gives a perfect balance to the man in love with his wife, while Scarlett keeps tempting him.

    The rest of the cast is too numerous to make justice to all the actors one sees on the screen, but omitting the contribution of Hattie McDaniel to the film would be sinful. Ms. McDaniel was such a natural actress that she is excellent no matter in what movie she is playing. This huge talent is a joy to watch.

    Comments to this forum express their objections to the way the race relations play in the movie, but being realistic, this movie speaks about the not too distant past where all kinds of atrocities, such as the slavery, were the norm of the land. While those things are repugnant to acknowledge, in the film, they are kept at a minimum. After all, this film is based on a book by one of the daughters of that South, Margaret Mitchell, who is presenting the story as she saw it in her mind, no doubt told to her from relatives that lived in that period of a horrible page in the American history.

    Enjoy this monumental classic in all its splendor.
  • bkoganbing21 October 2006
    10/10
    Scarlett's So High Spirited And Vivacious
    Before I ever saw Gone With the Wind, I was well acquainted with Max Steiner's theme. It opened WOR TV's Million Dollar Movie before every broadcast in New York in the Fifties and Sixties. When my parents took me to see Gone With the Wind in one of MGM's re-releases as the film music started in my youthful eagerness to show off my knowledge I remarked to all who could hear that that was stolen from Million Dollar Movie.

    Million Dollar Movie is gone now, but Gone With the Wind, book and film, remain eternal. In these days Margaret Mitchell's southern point of view book might have trouble finding a publisher, let alone selling film rights to the story. But it is a tribute to her and the characters she created that they remain alive in everyone's mind who reads the novel or sees the film. And that's just about the same because I can't think of another film that remained so faithful to the text.

    It is said that Margaret Mitchell wrote the book with Clark Gable in mind as Rhett Butler. As the sober and ever realistic, but charming Rhett, Gable for most of the film is playing a character not to dissimilar from what he usually played on screen. However in the last half hour of the film when he's hit with unbelievable tragedy and he edges to the point of madness, Gable reached dimensions he never did before or subsequently.

    If Mitchell knew who she wanted as Rhett, nobody knew who would be Scarlett. The search for Scarlett O'Hara is one of those Hollywood legends as every actress with the possible exception of Edna May Oliver read for the part. Gone With the Wind started filming without a Scarlett as the famous burning of Atlanta sequence was done first. While it was being down, David O. Selznick settled on a fairly unknown British actress, at least in the USA, Vivien Leigh.

    It was a stroke of casting genius. Vivien Leigh's screen output is pretty small, she was primarily a stage actress. Gone With the Wind is more her film than Rhett Butler's. The story is her story, how she evolved from a flighty young southern belle to a hardbitten woman who is determined to survive in the style of living she's become accustomed to from the pre-Civil War era. In the process she helps all those around her economically, but loses all their previous affection.

    I've always felt the key scene in the film is after Leslie Howard tells Leigh, he'll be marrying Olivia DeHavilland and Leigh makes a fool of herself with him, she finds out that Clark Gable has overheard the whole thing. He's fascinated by her, but because of that he's on to all her ploys.

    Leslie Howard usually comes in for the smallest amount of analysis among the four leads. His Ashley Wilkes is not all that different from Alan Squire in The Petrified Forest. Imagine Squire as a wealthy plantation owner and you've Ashley. He's stronger than he realizes though, he's the one that reluctantly enlists in the Confederate Army while the cynical Rhett Butler makes some big bucks as a blockade runner.

    I've always felt however that the most difficult acting job in Gone With the Wind was the role of Melanie Hamilton. Olivia DeHavilland after initially considering trying out for Scarlett, decided to go after Melanie.

    It's a deceptive part, superficially it's a lot like the crinoline heroines DeHavilland was doing at Warner Brothers. Melanie is the counterpoint to Scarlett, an incredibly kind and decent soul who can't see bad in anyone. One of her best scenes is with Ona Munson who is Belle Watling, the most prominent madam in Atlanta. The other women of society snub her, but DeHavilland accepts her help for the Confederate cause. It's not about politics or slavery for Melanie, her husband is at war and his cause is her's.

    And DeHavilland's death scene would move the Medusa to tears. It's a great tribute to the playing skill of Olivia DeHavilland in that Melanie NEVER becomes a maudlin character. She got her first Oscar nomination for Melanie in the Supporting Actress category, but lost it to fellow cast member Hattie McDaniel as Scarlett's mammy.

    Hattie's a shrewd judge of character, she's a slave, but she's also a family confidante of the O'Haras. As Gable says, she's one of the few people he knows whose respect he wants.

    Of course Gone With the Wind is from the southern point of view. Growing up in Atlanta, Margaret Mitchell heard reminisces from many Confederate veterans and the stories they told found their way into Gone With the Wind. It's about what the white civilian population endured during the war and Reconstruction.

    David O. Selznick got a bit of irony in there though. Please note during the burning of Atlanta the slaves who are being marched out to dig trenches are singing 'Let My People Go.' And that's just what the Union Army was coming to Atlanta to do.

    Gone With the Wind copped so many Oscars for 1939 that Bob Hope quipped at the Academy Awards ceremony that it was a benefit for David O. Selznick. Of course it was the Best Picture of 1939 and Vivien Leigh won the first of her two Best Actress Awards.

    Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer kept itself in the black for years by simply re-releasing Gone With the Wind. Unlike any other classic film, it won new generations of fans with theatrical re-release. Somewhere on this planet there are people seeing this 67 year old classic and it is winning new fans as I write this.

    And I think Gone With the Wind, the telling of the interwoven lives of Rhett, Scarlett, Ashley, and Melanie and the world they knew, will be something viewed and read hundreds of years from now.
  • Murtaza Ali8 July 2011
    10/10
    A Potpourri of Vestiges Review: An American magnum opus which must be watched and often, and by those who understand cinema
    Margaret Mitchell's Gone with the Wind, in its true essence, is a case study on the Old American way of living where pride and honor were the very essence of human existence. Victor Fleming's rendition of the classic novel, a classic within its own right, does full justice to the themes propagated by Mitchell's evocative masterpiece. In the words of Mitchell herself, Gone with the Wind is the story of the people whose gift of gumption gave them a definitive edge to endure the tribulation and throes of the American Civil War vis-à-vis those who lacked an inner resolve and determination needed for survival.

    Scarlet O'Hara, the well bred, haughty, tempestuous and opportunistic protagonist of the saga, is an ostensibly flawed individual whose inexorable urge to placate her ego and realize her fancies appears far stronger than her adherence to any credence pious to her people and relevant to her time. Her scintillating charm and unrestrained zeal not only make her an object of desire for her male counterparts but also an object of envy for the girls around her.

    Vivian Leigh perfectly fits into the caricature of Scarlet O'Hara. She makes full use of her talent, courage and guile to portray a part that requires subtlety, brusqueness and poise in equal parts. It may sound like a hyperbole, but no other actress seemed better equipped to play the part a southern belle than Leigh herself, who won not one but two Oscars while playing one: first for her portrayal of Scarlet O'Hara and second for portraying Blanche DuBois in A Streetcar Named Desire opposite Marlon Brando. In fact, her portrayal of Scarlet O'Hara, in which she perfectly blends panache, poignancy and peremptoriness, is arguably the greatest portrayal by a female lead in cinematic history. Leigh uses her on-stage experience to improvise in order to add new dimensions and complexities to Scarlet's caricature, which according to the novel was mostly one dimensional: out-and-out bad. Scarlet's stubbornness and her impish obsession for a conformist like Ashley, who is not only indifferent to her feelings but also incapable of reciprocating the passion and zeal with which she pursues him, represent just one dimension of her multifaceted self, which is revealed layer by layer with the progression of the narrative. The viewer is gifted to see Scarlet in various avatars: a usurper, an egomaniac, a damsel, a nemesis, a menace, a guardian, a savior, a patriot, a fighter and most importantly as a quintessence of womanhood.

    Clark Gable as Rhett Butler perfectly complements Vivian Leigh's larger than life portrayal. He is an outright reprobate, an unscrupulous opportunist whose life revolves around making money and pursuing carnal pleasures. However, behind this facade, just like Scarlet, there is a human capable of love, and worthy of being loved. These unobtrusive yet obvious similarities make Scarlet and Rhett a perfect match for each other. The subtle chemistry and tension between the two protagonists give the story its impetus and resonant charm. The rest of the cast has given exemplary performances with a special mention of Olivia de Havilland, who as Melanie is a paragon of love, humility and forgiveness. She provides a striking contrast to Scarlet's caricature and represents a more traditional picture of womanhood.

    The movie's direction, cinematography, editing and music are all top notch and it is the great synergy of all these elements that makes the movie an extravaganza and an undisputed master piece, one to be savored till eternity. The movie is an amalgam of scenes, high on emotion and drama, which keeps the viewer absorbed throughout. The scene in which Scarlet's father tells her the importance of mother land, deeming it as the only thing worth fighting for, is pure gold. Other scenes that come close to matching its brilliance include the one in which Scarlet performs the duties of an obstetrician to help Melanie give birth to her child, and the one in which Scarlet pledges to protect Tara till her last breath. The movie also has an amazing repertoire of dialogs that are delivered with a nice mix of finesse and accuracy. Butler's famous dialog in which he says to Scarlet, "You should be kissed and often, and by someone who knows how," also happens to be one of all time favorite.

    The movie, especially its anti-climatic ending, brings tears to eyes and leaves the viewer overwhelmed as he experiences a rainbow of different emotions, being awestruck by the tremendous impact of the journey that he is vicariously made to undergo.

    PS. Gone with the Wind is undoubtedly one of cinema's greatest marvels and is a living testament to cinema's timelessness, and its limitless potential. A must watch for everyone. 10/10

    http://www.apotpourriofvestiges.com/
  • Alexis_Ray15 November 2003
    10/10
    Astounding Film - GWTW is the Definition of a Classic!
    The setting is a Georgia plantation. The year is 1861, and sixteen-year-old Scarlett O'Hara is infatuated with the blond, drowsy-eyed Ashley Wilkes - the problem is, Ashley plans to marry another woman. Little matter that every other man in the county is courting Scarlett and that a charming scoundrel named Rhett Butler is staring at her with questionable intent - she cares only for Ashley.

    Suddenly, the Civil War brakes out, changing the fates and fortunes of all. Scarlett, clever, manipulative, and charming, proves an adept survivor - but what will she have to do to survive? And will she ever learn whom it is that she really loves?

    GWTW is one of the most meticulously cast films ever; with the possible exception of Leslie Howard as Ashley (in his forties, rather old to be playing a man half that age), every role was perfectly assigned. After you watch Vivien Leigh you will be unable to imagine anyone else playing Scarlett, and Hattie McDaniel's strong, unforgettable performance as "Mammy" netted her an academy award (the first for an African-American actor).

    GWTW's backdrop is the gruesome Civil War, and in the end this film is the story a woman and a civilization (the Old South) going through a war that will not leave either of them unchanged.

    The cinematography is beautiful, memorable. Gone With the Wind was shot entirely in gorgeous technicolor; the scene of the fire in Atlanta required the use of all eight technicolor cameras in existence at the time.

    The pragmatic may think Gone with the Wind overly dramatic; the restless may find it too long; the action-stimulated, too subtle. None of this, however, detracts from the fact that GWTW retains a lasting appeal as one of the crowning cinematic achievements of the 20th century. Those who see its ending as depressing - tragic, even - perhaps miss the point - which Scarlett O'Hara makes in her very last instant with us, tear-stained eyes uplifted in a sudden, curious burst of hope beneath all the turmoil; that .. . "After all, tomorrow is another day." 10/10
  • angel_de_tourvel7 January 2005
    8/10
    An immortal and towering achievement
    It is always in people's nature to put down great things and to nit-pick or sometimes just be plain mean. No matter what anyone says, this is utterly fantastic: in story, in special effects, in casting (with perhaps the sad exception of Leslie Howard as "Ashley") and in captivation. Vivien Leigh is so powerful, passionate, magnificent and beautiful that you could watch it 1000 times on that ground alone. She brings something so convincing and human to the role of the selfish, spoilt Scarlett; the character is larger than life.

    Leaving Vivien's astounding performance aside, this remains a sweeping unrivalled epic. Watch it. Esther's rating: 20/10
  • mikazuki13 December 2000
    10/10
    A Classic in the History of Movie-making.
    Every time I watch this film, and I've seen it more times than I can remember, I'm always astonished by the freshness of the story, the power of the emotions it conveys and the beautiful, detailed images of a time long gone. That this film was made in the 1930's is almost incomprehensible to me. The challenges that had to be overcome in order to bring it to life must have been monumental. But come to life it did, and still does! A triumph of film-making ingenuity and genius, that will live on for many generations to come.
  • dhable27 September 2006
    10/10
    The Greatest Film of its Time, and All Time
    I believe that when one views a film, one should consider the context in which it was made.

    Barely 10 years after talking pictures were first created; less than that after the first full-length color feature film was created; near the end of the greatest depression this country ever experienced, and in which pretty much the only entertainment available to most was radio or the movies; David O Selznik decided to turn the biggest pot-boiler blockbuster novel into a movie.

    And what a movie. Stunning color, the most popular mail actor of his time, perfect music score, incredible action scenes, story line only 70 years removed from when it happened, and on, and on. Can you imagine what a store-clerk or a farmer, or a teacher experienced in that world, seeing Gone With the Wind? What was there to compare with? 1939 was a watershed year for great movies, and this one was the greatest produced. Try watching this movie as if there were no TV, no DVD's, only a few radio stations, spending maybe the second to the last quarter you owned, never having seen such a movie before, and you get what I mean. Masterful for its time, and still timeless today.
  • Nazi_Fighter_David26 April 2008
    9/10
    A rich romantic film...
    Gerard O'Hara (Thomas Mitchell), an Irish immigrant, settles in North Georgia and becomes a prosperous plantation owner… By great luck he marries young Ellen Robillard (Barbara O'Neill) of Savannah, the daughter of one of the noblest Georgian families and becomes accepted by his aristocratic neighbors… They are blessed with three daughters, Scarlett (Vivien Leigh), Suellen (Evelyn Keyes), and Carreen (Ann Rutherford).

    Scarlett, the eldest, worships her mother… Yet, under her beauty and Southern coquetry, she is charming, but proud, willful and vain… She believes she is in love with Ashley Wilkes (Leslie Howard), a good-hearted young army captain… But Ashley loves his cousin, Melanie Hamilton (Olivia de Havilland), a delicate, selfless woman… He is frightened by Scarlett's energy and animation… And although he admits his feelings for her, he is afraid to marry her and decides to take Melanie for his bride…

    When Scarlett loses Ashley she is more certain than ever that she must have him… On their wedding day, she meets Rhett Butler (Clark Gable), a wealthy adventurer from an old Charleston family… Rhett, a gambler—who believes that self-interest is the motive of all human conduct—is attracted by Scarlett's beauty and realizes that they are equally merciless and conscienceless…

    Vivien Leigh is magnificent as the spoiled, selfish southern belle... She carries the picture, and controls it... She reproduces the spirited character of Scarlett in all its fluent complexity...

    Clark Gable—with a smile and great light in his eyes—is fascinating as the elegant, heroic gentleman ... He is perfect as the ladies man... His dramatic high point is his scene crying in Melanie's presence... His love scenes with Scarlett give the picture a vibrancy that is one of its great attractions... The film begins with their first stormy meeting in the library at Twelve Oaks and intensifies at the Atlanta bazaar, when he shocks the confederacy by bidding $l00 "in gold," to dance with the newly widowed Mrs. Hamilton who cares for nothing but herself…

    Hattie McDaniel gives a rich characterization as Mammy, Scarlett's shrewd black servant who was never fooled by Scarlett's airs and tears...

    With a memorable music score by Max Steiner, the film was an instant classic, winner of eight Academy Awards...
  • Dave (davergod)26 June 2004
    A few flaws, but undeniably a massive achievement in film
    Warning: Spoilers
    One of the greatest achievements in film history. This is not only an eye-popping cinematic treat, but one of the greatest stories ever put on celluloid. The movie lasts nearly four hours--- it's longer than any other mainstream commercially successful film ever made. But the time goes by so quickly that you'll miss it when it's over.

    Of course, we all know that this movie is set in the days of the Civil War in the 1860s. It's the story of Scarlett O'Hara, a plantation owner's daughter who is very beautiful and who seemingly MUST have her own way at all times. She's willing to scheme and manipulate everyone in her path until she gets it. When the movie opens, the country is on the verge of civil war--- North against South--- but Scarlett barely notices, and doesn't care in the least. Her biggest obsession is that she's in love with dreamy/poetic Ashley Wilkes, and she stays in love with him throughout 98 percent of the movie.

    The only problem is....Ashley doesn't have any particular interest in her at all. In fact, he spends most of the movie being married to gentle Melanie Hamilton--- a fact that frustrates Scarlett to no end. Ashley remains the one object of her desire that she is never to obtain.

    She would have been better off pining after Rhett Butler, a much more solid, rather dangerous man with a reputation as a no-good scoundrel. He is openly attracted to Scarlett, grows to love her (although he dare not let her know, or she'll use it against him), and it's obvious that he would make a lot better match for her than the drab Ashley. Very late in the movie, he finally does marry Scarlett. But it's probably too late for them to be happy by then, ironically--- and they never really are happy together.

    The complicated and utterly fascinating relationship between Scarlett, Rhett, Ashley, and Melanie is the fuel that keeps the movie going. But there are dozens, if not hundreds, of little extra twists and turns that fill out the movie. The Civil War backdrop for one, the colorful supporting roles for another.

    A great many reviewers here have seen Scarlett as purely a selfish, one-dimensional manipulative shrew. But she's far more than that! This is a complex, multi-dimensional young woman with lots of conflicting motives. Yes, she's selfish and manipulative. But she's also selfless: the extreme sacrifices that she makes on behalf of her family, and Melanie (keeping in mind that, other than her father, she doesn't even particularly like any of them) are nothing short of heroic. She is overwhelmingly protective of her loved ones. She's a ball of fire when work needs to be done, and she's fiercely courageous.

    Despite her hardness, she does also grow as a person. To her great credit, she slowly comes to value Melanie's friendship and support. She genuinely loves and is proud of her daughter. And at the very end of the movie, she does finally realize how ill-suited she and Ashley have always been for each other, and how little passion ever actually existed there.

    Some quick high points, and a few flaws: the supporting roles are superb in every way. Even the rather bland Ashley is given as much life as could be expected by actor Leslie Howard, and the other parts are vivid and fill out the movie. Two female parts in particular--- wise, funny, respected Mammy (Hattie McDaniel) and wistful, decent-at-heart prostitute Belle Watling (Ona Munson) are standouts.

    The scenery and photography is possibly the most superb ever done in the history of film. Many scenes are just sumptuously lit and filmed. The gripping nighttime escape from Atlanta (the whole city seemingly in flames) is one of the most spectacular action sequences ever done. The sunsets are jaw-droppingly beautiful.

    Much has been said about the supposed racism of this film. It's true that it does portray black slaves as being HAPPY to be slaves. But much more important, it's also true that the wisest person in the whole movie is Mammy. This black lady may be a slave--- later an employee--- but she is smart, funny, observant, and she's treated as an equal, if not a superior, throughout the movie. And it's made clear she deserves it. With no irony or rebuke whatever, she scornfully refers to certain low-lifes as "poor white trash", and we know (Mammy knows too) that if they get called that, they deserve it. She may be black, but she isn't inferior to them or anybody. And we root for her all the way.

    A few minor flaws, and I do mean minor: 1) Most of the acting looks pretty modern, but there are a very few scenes where it seems a little old-style. Hey enjoy the movie and don't worry 'bout it. People didn't do today's "method" acting in the 1930s. 2) Some of the "raw" scenes still have a Hollywood gloss to them. Even when Scarlett is on the brink of starvation and probably hasn't had a good bath in weeks, she looks perfectly made up with only a few hairs out of place. Oh well. It *was* big-time Hollywood after all. 3) The second half of the movie is more "talky" and less action-oriented than the first. I would not say it's more boring, just less movement. I don't find it draggy, but some people do.

    Still a heck of a good story, and a great film, so enjoy the ride!
  • ElMaruecan8219 March 2012
    10/10
    A universal masterpiece and one of the few privileged films where every scene is a classic on its own ...
    Warning: Spoilers
    For some nostalgic dreamers, "Gone With the Wind" is a glorious swan song depicting the fall of the South during a devastating Civil War, and its reconstruction on the ashes of the Old Order, a Civilization forever "gone with the wind". It's the adaptation of Margaret Mitchell's epic tale written in bold letters with this peculiar ability to portray the Yankees as the 'bad guys', so common in the stories related by Southerners, as they invite us to understand their idealism if not to root for it: a vision of Gallantry and Old European Nobility where women were courted, wives were submissive to their husbands and slaves treated with paternalism.

    But for some idealistic spirits, "Gone With the Wind" resonates as one of the most heart-breaking pages of American History, when the North fought the South in the name of Liberty, Freedom and Justice, and when History, written by the victorious side, ultimately showed the Confederate as the 'ones who were wrong'. "Gone With the Wind" chronicles what the South used to be, a world where coexisted two cultures, the Whites and the Colored. And the depiction of the slaves oscillates between the high pitched voice of the simple-minded Prissy (Butterfly McQueen) who knew nothing about "birthin' babies" and the wisdom and authority of Mammy, Hattie McDaniel in her Oscar-winning role: two figures, two extremes, so rooted in our hearts it's impossible to dislike them, despite the obvious stereotypes.

    For literate minds, History is only the setting while the film is an incredible achievement in storytelling, inviting us to follow a gallery of magnificent and appealing characters during a slice of life, where the passing of time can be felt, when History affects story with mercy or ruthlessness... sometimes tragic, sometimes ironic. It's a narrative whose emotional core is the heroine Scarlett O'Hara (Vivien Leigh), whose heart belongs to the charming blonde Ashley Wilkes (Leslie Howard), married to the gentle and extremely good-hearted cousin Melanie Hamilton (Olivia de Havilland). A triangular love that sets the personality of Scarlett as a remarkable anti-heroine: selfish, greedy, jealous, but so brave, courageous and generous when the circumstances of War forever changed the face of the South. A great soul that could only be revealed by a great opportunity, a pivotal metamorphosis incarnated by the iconic "As God is my witness, I'll never be hungry again".

    The fascinating aspect of Scarlett's personality is that her flaws elevated her above all the other characters: she doesn't care for etiquette, for traditions, her spirit is free, her ego is big and her heart so vulnerable. While the South is definitely turned to the past, Scarlett thinks of the future, as she says: "after all, tomorrow is another day". Scarlett is a modern figure and that's what makes her so appealing both in the film and to the audience. And Rhett Butler, Clark Gable in his most defining role as 'the visitor from Charleston', is Scarlet's perfect match. Both don't belong to that era, they think of money, greed, prosperity, and passion. They embody all the values that America would stand for, transcending the old-fashioned setting of the South. But like the South's enthusiasm for War, the same pride that drives their passion would ruin their relationships.

    For many passionate hearts, this is one of the most intense romances ever adapted to the big screen, a frustrating and seemingly impossible love between two strong-minded egos, two faces staring at each other as if they were at the verge of an irresistible passion or about to fight each other. As Scarlett was visibly jealous of Melanie when she went to bed with Ashley, the movie makes you penetrate the soul of these characters with such intensity you could feel she wished that Melanie could die. A childish and immature attitude, probably shared with Butler who wouldn't have minded if Ashley could die in the War, too. The love between Rhett and Scarlett is made of the same idealism that built the South myth, a lost but so endearing cause, a fire that burnt inside, and made pretty fitting that the most intimate and sensual moment they had was under the orange sky, during Atlanta's big fire.

    Love has never been as passionate as a love-and-hate relationship and never seemed a romance so comparable to a lost cause, mirroring the Southerners' very faith in victory. Rhett's last stand when he takes Scarlett up the stairs in the 'one night she wouldn't turn him out' is the perfect illustration of a love that pumped its energy from hate and anger. As Scarlett, lost in her love for Ashley, will never realize that her man is Rhett... and when she does, Rhett is already fed up and finally delivers the most unforgettable come-uppance ever: "Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn" before disappearing in a foggy mist. Scarlett gets a magnificent lesson about life, and wouldn't have been as likable without this last slap in the face. This "I don't give a damn" voted #1 in the American Film Institute's Top 100 Movie quotes was Rhett's revenge, and he sure deserved it... and many wannabe-Scarlett would admit that too.

    But while "Gone With the Wind" deals with lost causes, it's more than anything the triumph of Cinema as the most defining Art of the last century. Echoing the novel's status as a best- seller, it's one of the greatest films of all time, the greatest casting ever, the greatest score and the greatest challenge for superlatives. Victor Fleming's super-production that would become a landmark in film-making, with its unique visual style and beautiful cinematography in colors, forever incarnated by Scarlett's shadowy silhouette standing beside a tree, during a beautiful sunset. Along with "The Wizard of Oz", and "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington", "Gone With the Wind" is probably Hollywood's Golden Age reaching its pinnacle before the War would come in 1939 .
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