April 16, 2014

Movie Night: Gone with the Wind.

Review #569: Gone with the Wind.

Clark Gable (Rhett Butler), Vivien Leigh (Scarlett O'Hara), Leslie Howard (Ashley Wilkes), Olivia de Havilland (Melanie Hamilton), Hattie McDaniel (Mammy), Thomas Mitchell (Gerald O'Hara), Howard C. Hickman (John Wilkes), Alicia Rhett (India Wilkes), Barbara O'Neil (Ellen O'Hara), Rand Brooks (Charles Hamilton), and Cammie King Conlon (Bonnie Blue Butler) Directed by Victor Fleming (The Wizard of Oz)

When asked what is the greatest movie of all time, some answer Citizen Kane, others answer Vertigo, some answer The Empire Strikes Back (Or A New Hope, take your pick), or Battleship Potemkin. But some answer the question with this movie in mind. How is the movie? The best word I can use to describe this movie is enduring. It's an endurance to sit through a movie that runs nearly 4 hours long, but if you make it through, you realize that this an epic that is stylish in design, and a movie with some resounding performances. But would I call it one of the greatest? That depends on what we're going on here, but I'll get to that later. Gone with the Wind is great to look at, the camera practically serves as a character around the movie. Gable (A charming performance all in all) and Leigh (who does exceptional at acting to this character perfectly unlikable) do extremely well together, the cast is all well and interesting to watch, though sometimes they seem like set pieces than actors.

There may be at least one person wondering what I think of the movie's portrayal of slavery. While McDaniel does a fine job (even winning an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress), it doesn't excuse the fact the movie mosly sweeps it under the rug, never really touching on the issue, which is a drawback for anybody wanting to look up on history. This is a movie of its time, and while we aren't as willing to cover the rug (If you want to watch a movie about slavery, go watch 12 Years A Slave), we should remember the movie, not just forget about it, the good and the bad.

The movie has some memorable moments such as the burning of Atlanta, which is a spectacle to watch, and the last scene is certainly poignant to end a movie on, with the most memorable line in a motion picture. It is an endurance to watch and takes time to gain steam, but it certainly pays off. Is it overrated? It could be argued that people hype this movie a bit too much, but I do understand the hype. Gone with the Wind may be regarded as either a classic, a slightly overrated but good movie, or both, but this movie certainly has a place in movie history.

Overall, I give it 10 out of 10 stars.

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