Everyone has one movie in their mind that is a classic, a movie that withstands the test of time and changing politics.
I suspect for many that movie might be Gone With The Wind. Made in 1939 by the great MGM producer David O. Selznick, it remains the biggest money maker by ticket sales ever. GWTW won ten Oscar awards in a year that saw competitors in The Wizard of Oz , Dark Victory, Stagecoach, Wuthering Heights, Goodbye, Mr. Chips and Mr. Smith Goes to Washington.
Last week, a new definitive Scarlett version has come out on Blue Ray with three DVD discs that feature music, historical background along with the nearly four-hour motion picture. Yes, it costs about $50 but look for the great deals to get a great discount.
Now for a few words of warning. Before you go grabbing this movie be aware that the politics of it are firmly set in a mid 1930s mindset. There are scenes and attitudes that are definitely racist. This movie has a G rating but it is the rating system of the 1930s that were looser and bendable more than they are now. There is violence and sexual situations that would make this film a PG-13 in our current rating situation.
Lastly, there is length. This is 238 minutes of viewing, two minutes shy of four hours. You are going to see one person’s interpretation of the South before, during and after the Civil War. And guess what, their sympathies lie with the South. The Yankees (that would be us) are the bad guys who did horrid things to the South during and after the Civil War.
But let me say this. You are going to see four glorious hours of Vivian Leigh being a selfish minx who will do anything to keep her family from starving, including marrying her sister’s beaux and Rhett Butler for their money. She will spend a lifetime trying to get Ashley Wilkes to love her, only to discover the greatest love of her life as it walks out the door.
Wait, there is more. Clark Gable puts in a performance as described by Tom Keogh as the most vital, masculine performance put to film. We love Rhett throughout because he understands life so much better than Scarlett, even as his heart breaks into tiny pieces.
Gone With The Wind is not really a family movie but one for girlfriends to share together. Gather at the house of that friend with Blue Ray, make sure you have your snacks and drinks at the ready.
Then prepare to find out why our grandmothers and great-grandmothers fell in love with this movie.
Until next week, see you in the rental aisle.
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