Caught this on TV last week. (Spoilers - do you need spoler alerts on 60 year old movies?)I'm a bit confused. I seem to remember Scarlett being the hero of the film, the ideal Southern belle and she is...but...She's REALLY quite the beyatch, isn't she?I mean, she marries three times - once for spite, twice for money. Doesn't shed a tear at the death of either of her first two husbands, even though the second one dies defending her honor. You have to admire her strength in the face of adversity, and yet she doesn't hesitate to hire an overseer to beat and starve her mill employees, if that brings in more profit. Her "moral" but weak husband allows this, and married her even though he "loved" her sister-in-law more. SIL becomes an old maid as a result.She spends half her life trying to sleep with her best friends' husband. The men, with exception of Rhett, are stupid and short-sighted. Gung-ho for a war Rhett points out they can't possibly win ("The north has factories for cannons") they almost lynch him for telling the truth. When she says "If I have to lie, cheat, steal or kill, as God is my witness I'll never be hungry again" she then does exactly that - in about that order. I thought the blacks of the film were portrayed amazingly well, for the era. Every time Scarlett got attacked, it was a white who attacked her, and a black who came to her rescue (if anyone did). Mammy has more common sense and honor than anyone else in the house. Exceept for Prissy, the blacks were all intelligent and strong and honorable - in a 1940's film! Most don't fare so well even in current films. And the town Prostitute was more moral than most of the town matrons.It was very different than I remembered it. I wonder if that's because I'm watching it more critically as I get older.Any commentary on this classic? What do the scholars tell us we're to take away from this story??I found myself admiring, but not liking Scarlett as the movie progressed. I used to think Melony was weak and foolish, but this time I found myself admiring her quiet strength.And I didn't really blame Rhett for giving her the heave-ho at the end. Long overdue, really. Has anyone read the book? SG
And the town Prostitute was more moral than most of the town matrons.I find that quite common in movies. Wouldn't surprise me if it were often true in real life, but my sampling is rather small.As for GWTW, I have to admit that I've never made it through. Too long, and too slow, and in the amount that I've watched, no characters who make me want to care.And this from someone who LOVES "Citizen Kane".David
Any commentary on this classic?Frankly my dear, I don't give a damn.Agent
"Any commentary on this classic?"The BEST commentary was The Carol Burnett Show take off: "I saw it in the window and I just had to have it."Ken
Has anyone read the book?Well, fiddle dee dee!GWTW was the first "grownup" book I ever read. I think I was about 14 and I had to sneak it off my parents' bookshelf, because mom didn't think it was suitable for my age.It had a huge impact on me and I could never go back to reading all those age-appropriate books after that. I went directly from GWTW to "The Sun Also Rises" and "Of Human Bond___*" and other potboilers of their time. *the profanity filter rejected my use of the last word of Somerset Maugham's masterpiece!I think that Scarlett was the original spunky heroine. Her beauty and glamor combined with the dramatic trials she endured, really resonated with the 1930's Depression-era audience that it was written for.Seeing the movie all these decades later, Scarlett's personality is no longer unique. The calculating, manipulative and self-absorbed beyatch has been done a hundred times over. The character doesn't hold up today.But the movie does. IMO, the burning of Atlanta and that scene at the railroad yard of the thousands of wounded Confederate soldiers can still take my breath away. It's a wonderful piece of film making.Jeanie
Hate the movie, can't watch it. Book's not bad at all, but I haven't read it since college. She's a bitch in the book, too, one of the classic bitch plurals in literature.Scarlett's personality is no longer unique. The calculating, manipulative and self-absorbed beyatch has been done a hundred times over. The character doesn't hold up today.Except Scarlett's the hero. Most of the modern day bitch plurals are antagonists (and predictable, and boring). Scarlett has a great character arc, and she gets smacked down by her man, and she resolves to win his heart again. That's certainly 1930's, and it may be another hundred years before we see another romantic drama, or comedy, like it. In our current PC era, the women are usually harmless and likable, and the men suck. Saw The Holiday the other day (awful). Like GWTW, written by a woman, but of course it's modern and feminist and boring. I wasn't at all surprised to see a scene where a woman punches a man in the face. It's played for laughs. Nothing wrong with that--anything goes in film as far as I'm concerned--it's just that I know how the feminist narrative goes and I find it completely boring. Not to go all Camille Paglia on ya, but The Holiday is a neutered romance. No sparks, no aggression, no conflict, no sizzle. The men in that movie are sensitive girly men. "You mind if I sleep on your couch? I'm not going to hit on you. I have no sex drive whatsoever." GWTW, on the other hand, gets criticism today for being a rape fantasy. It may be, it's so G-rated it's hard to tell. Previous thread talked about remakes, a remake of GWTW might actually be excellent! But boy would that make people howl. I say remake it cause I don't like the damn thing. I should like it--pre-feminist women are fascinating and dangerous--but it just doesn't work for me. Regardless of how important and helpful feminism has been for humanity, I personally just have a big boooooooo for politics in the bedroom. And I guess my same feelings apply to sex in cinema. GWTW should be sexy, and in a G-rated era I guess it was, but today it's just tame and lame. Modern day romances have the opposite problem. They're more open about sex but PC thought police have rushed in to fill the vacuum. Ack. Taylor fyi, profanity filter likes bitch in the singular, but plural is too many. Profanity filter doesn't want to be outnumbered I guess. You can be a bitch, just don't bring your bitchy friends.
"a remake of GWTW might actually be excellent!"And who would they cast?Jessica Alba for Vivien Leigh?Matthew McConaughey for Clark Gable?Cameron Diaz for Olivia de Havilland?Whoopi Goldberg for Butterfly McQueen?And what exactly wouldn't Rhett give at the end in the remake as "shocking" as in the original?Leave it alone!Ken
The actors in a remake wouldn't be playing Clark Gable and Vivian Leigh, they'd be playing the characters in the story. I don't care much for GWTW and I'm not interested in a remake, but there are certainly plenty of fine actors who could play those roles. Russell Crowe maybe as Rhett, Naomi Watts can do anything, she'd make an excellent Scarlett, or maybe Natalie Portman. There's no shortage of great actors out there.Harold
Enjoyed reading your analysis, Taylor. Had not thought of Scarlett as a pre-feminist hero, although I bet many modern feminists think of her as such. The whole starting-over-from-scratch, learning to do man's work on the farm and then in the lumber business, etc. She advances by trampling on weak men but then goes too far with the only strong man who understands her. Rhett's transformation once he realizes that he must dump her in order to save himself is fascinating.fyi, profanity filter likes bitch in the singular, but plural is too many.Well, well! That means I don't have to type "beyatch" anymore? But really, to have to type "Of Human Bandage" is a bit much ;-)Jeanie
"The actors in a remake wouldn't be playing Clark Gable and Vivian Leigh, they'd be playing the characters in the story."Gee. How silly of me not to have figured that out! "I don't care much for GWTW and I'm not interested in a remake, but there are certainly plenty of fine actors who could play those roles."And if you cared for the movie or its place in cinema history, there aren't."Russell Crowe maybe as Rhett, Naomi Watts can do anything, she'd make an excellent Scarlett, or maybe Natalie Portman. There's no shortage of great actors out there."I make that three swings and three misses. And frankly my dear, I don't give a hoot (watching out for the TMF censor) who is great out there.Remake the bad movies, not the good ones, not the classics. Be creative Hollywood and CREATE!Ken
What's w/the anger? I thought we were having an interesting discussion, but never mind. Jesus.H
"What's w/the anger? I thought we were having an interesting discussion, but never mind. Jesus.H"You take a shot at me, and then take umbrage when I respond?And stop calling me Jesus.Ken
I'm with Ken on this one. Touch Gone with the Wind and expect howls of outrage from Colorado heard all the way in Los Angeles. Hollywood needs to learn to make new films, not pull one out and go "hey this is famous/made a lot of money, let's redo it with George Clooney!!!". Sigh.Hollywood, while I have your attention. When you take a classic piece of literature and turn it into a film, step back from the script and ask one question "does this lose the point of the book?" I realize you have to make small changes, drop a character here, cut a scene there, but when you change the whole point being presented by the author STOP!!! My husband had to drag me from The Count of Monte Cristo before I injured someone. Please make sure your screenwriters & directors all read the full version of the literature being adapted, not abridged, not Cliff's Notes, not some assistant hitting the plot points while you're on the treadmill. Sit your butt down and read the book. If you don't understand it, let someone else have the project!Lara Amber
Saw The Holiday the other day (awful). Like GWTW, written by a woman, but of course it's modern and feminist and boring. ___Taylor,I love you man and respect your opinions and knowledge about movies,but The Holiday is not feminist in any way. Not in any way.Jwinter
I've still never made it all the way through Gone with the Wind. I'd like to see a 10-minute remake. That would probably rock.-chris
Hollywood, while I have your attention. When you take a classic piece of literature and turn it into a film, step back from the script and ask one question "does this lose the point of the book?"One movie that comes to mind that is vastly different from the book is the 1933 version of Frankenstein.I also happen to think that it is a wonderful movie, probably much better than if it had been more loyal to the book.David
I guess that's why when Francis Ford Coppola redid Dracula in 1992, he specifically titled it "Brahm Stoker's Dracula" - to point out that this version was going to be true to the novel, not yet another personal take on the story.http://imdb.com/title/tt0103874/...and it won 3 Oscars. Really a beautiful film to look at, and Gary Oldman made a fine Dracula.Trivia:At the first "cast meeting" called by Francis Ford Coppola, he got all the principal actors to read the entire Bram Stoker novel out loud to get a feel for the story. According to Anthony Hopkins, it took two whole days to complete.Prince Vlad's scream after he drives his sword into the cross is not the voice of Gary Oldman. Lux Interior, lead singer of punk band The Cramps, recorded the scream and it was dubbed in.The shot of Keanu Reeves's character entering Dracula's castle was filmed in reverse, making his entrance a bit more ominous.When Mina recalls her previous life as Elisabeta she says she remembers a land beyond a great forest. "Land beyond the forest" is the literal meaning of Transylvania.
..and it won 3 Oscars. Really a beautiful film to look at, and Gary Oldman made a fine Dracula..His hair drove me crazy. Could not get over his hair. Dude, what...what...what is up with your hair? It's like girly old man Dracula. http://www.movieactors.com/freezes1/Dracula6.jpgSpeaking of dudes, Keanu. As an Englishman. Please.Set design is pretty damn awesome though, no question.Taylor
FWIW, I haven't found Oldham disappointing in anything I've seen him in, starting with The Professional and True Romance, to The Fifth Element and even that silly movie with Harrison Ford or the less than wonderful Lost In Space.He was a great Dracula, a great Beethoven too.Ken
The Holiday is not feminist in any way. Not in any way.Well, depends on how you define and think about feminism I guess. If you define feminism as sisterhood and uplifting the gender and making men more sensitive, then The Holiday falls into that category. I think Nancy Meyers obviously likes making movies about gender politics and gender roles. For instance Cameron Diaz's character founded her own business, she's the boss, she works long hours, she's sexually aggressive, and she hits people when she gets mad at them. Classic male character from the '30s. Jude Law's character is sensitive, nice, passive, pretty, and stays home with the kids. Classic female character from the '30s. Obsessing about gender and gender roles and how the sexes should act vis-a-vis each other is classic feminist behavior. I'm not saying she's a smart, witty feminist. She's more a broad, shallow feminist who avoids drawing bitchy characters because, ooo, that's hostile to women. I think her characters are two dimensional and, as I said, boring.I think writers and artists are much better off creating characters based on people they know, and building a story from that. Real people are far more fascinating than PC archtypes. Taylor
I haven't found Oldham disappointing in anything I've seen him in, starting with The Professional and True Romance, to The Fifth Element and even that silly movie with Harrison Ford or the less than wonderful Lost In Space.Funny you call him an old ham, freudian slip? Anyway, Gary Oldman is sometimes a great actor (his Sid Vicious is awesome, he's a better Sid than Sid was), and sometimes a hammy one (Leon), but he's always interesting, I think.Ham's not really fair, his Lt. Gordan is pitch perfect, and that's a very quiet role. When a great actor gives a not-so-great performance, it's the director's fault, really, as it's his job to say no, you haven't got it yet. The actor can't watch himself so he's at the mercy of the person judging the quality of his work. That's why no actor is always awesome in every movie, he's so dependent upon the director (and the writer and the editor and the cinematographer...).When I was younger I used to pick movies based on what actors were in it. Now I look first at who's directing it.T
"Funny you call him an old ham, freudian slip?"Probably more like distraction and carelessness on my part.But actually, thanks, made me check out IMDb and lo and behold I find there's a Buffy Connection. Had not realized they used his "My Way" in the "Lover's Walk episode.I've never seen Sid and Nancy.So, Gary Oldman has never disappointed me then. Not as Lt. Gordon nor as Sirius Black either.Ken
Since he was uncredited, many folks don't realize it was Oldman under the makeup as Mason Verger in "Hannibal". Another fine performance.Harold
Frankly my dear,I can't believe this post hasn't a single rec!;^D ~~ Alison
But the movie does. IMO, the burning of Atlanta and that scene at the railroad yard of the thousands of wounded Confederate soldiers can still take my breath away. It's a wonderful piece of film making.In one of my bookcases is a book called "GWTW: The Making of 'Gone With The Wind'" which I remember enjoying.I think I was about 14 and I had to sneak it off my parents' bookshelfI first read it at 14, too. I was visiting my grandparents in Florida while my parents and siblings took a trip to Boston. GWTW was on the book shelf in the guest bedroom. ~~ Alison
(Speaking of dudes, Keanu. As an Englishman. Please.)I´m a little late to the party, being out of the country for three weeks and running, with limited online access. And Latin American keyboards come in several varieties, some of which lack the angle brackets necessary to do HTML tags.Anyway, I saw part of a vampire movie the other night with Keaneau and Anthony Hopkins. That must be the one you´re talking about, right? I saw it in a house, not on a bus this time, but with all the crowing roosters, barking dogs and unmuffled trucks going by, I was more reading the Spanish subtitles than hearing the dialog. Still, it seemed like his accent sucked. --fleg
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