Gone With The Wind (1939)

 

 

 

 

Director:    Victor Fleming.

Starring:     Clark Gable (Rhett Butler), Vivien Leigh (Scarlett O'Hara), Hattie McDaniel (Mammy), Leslie Howard (Ashley Wilkes), Olivia de Havilland (Melanie Hamilton), Butterfly McQueen (Prissy), Everett Brown (Big Sam),  Thomas Mitchell (Gerald O'Hara), Fred Crane (Brent Tarleton), George Reeves (Stuart Tarleton), Barbara O'Neil (Ellen O'Hara), Victor Jory (overseer Jonas Wilkerson), Evelyn Keyes (Suellen O'Hara), Ann Rutherford (Careen O'Hara), Howard Hickman (John Wilkes), Alicia Rhett (India Wilkes), Rand Brooks (Charles Hamilton), Carroll Nye (Frank Kennedy), Laura Hope Crews (Aunt Pittypat Hamilton), Harry Davenport (Dr. Meade), Leona Roberts (Mrs. Caroline Meade), Jane Darwell (Dolly Merriwether), Mary Anderson (Maybelle Merriwether), Eddie "Rochester" Anderson (Uncle Peter), Ona Munson (Bell Watling), Ward Bond (Yankee Captain Tom), Cammie King (Bonnie Blue Butler).

Academy Awards: Best Picture, Best Actress (Vivien Leigh), Best Supporting Actress (Hattie McDaniel), Best Director (Victor Fleming), Best Color Cinematography, Best Film Editing, Best Interior Decoration, Best Screenplay.

 

 

 

 

Gone With The Wind shares a lot in common with "A Birth of a Nation."  Both films believe in the old Southern version of Reconstruction.  The bad northern administrators were maliciously forcing blacks and carpetbaggers on the region.  The end result was corruption and ineffective governance.  (Phrases such as these are still being used today.)

The white Southerners are depicted as noble and long-suffering.  The white Southerners were now poor and had to use their wits and wiles (Scarlet uses the curtain in Tara to make a dress so she can flirt with the Northern officers to get what she needs.)  The old plantation overseer is now just as mean and corrupt but now he has become affluent since he joined forces with the carpetbaggers.  Rhett and the others have to become vigilantes and make an attack on the near-to-wells hanging out on Old Decatur Road.  Ol' Sam, the former head black at Tara, saved Scarlett from an attack by one of the outlaws there, and now the white Southerners have to take matters in their own hands in order to bring law and order in a land ruled by corrupt and near-sighted northern administrators and their black allies.  

The truth is that neither the North or the South were committed in the long run to the equality of the races and thus it was inevitable that the whites would reassert themselves.

But because it is a great movie (saved by its feminism in its strong female lead), we will always love this movie, even if it is extremely misleading in a racist vein.  

 

 

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