Monday, 30 September 2013

Gone with the Wind

Gone With the Wind, 1939
Directed by Victor Fleming (as well as George Cukor and Sam Wood as well, kind of...)
Nominated for 13 Oscars, Won 8
Wins Include: Best Actress, Best Supporting Actress, Best Art Direction, Best Cinematography (Colour), Best Director, Best Film Editing, Best Writing Screenplay

Gone With the Wind is an incredibly iconic movie. Even if you don't really know what it's about you know there's romance, and it's in the South. While I wouldn't exactly brand this movie as romantically specifically, it is indeed a "romance" and is set in the South, taking place pre-, during and post Civil War. Scarlett O'Hara, a young girl with a rich family, owning a large cotton plantation in Georgia, she is beautiful and is stealing the hearts of all the men in Tara. But the one she does love has just become engaged to another girl, his cousin. While the film isn't really about this (though continually focuses on Scarlett's love and longing for the man she loves- Ashley Wilkes), it is just a small part. The movie spans the young man being excited for war, during the war, and rebuilding from the war.

I had a lot of ideas about what this film was going to be about, and early on it seemed as though my expectations were going to be right. It would be about Scarlett, getting together with Rhett, eventually. And it would take them 4 hours to do so. But this movie had a bit of a different layout.

Vivien Leigh was fantastic as Scarlett. Having only seen her in later films and seen photos of her when she's a bit older and more of a "star" than she was for Gone with the Wind, it was incredibly pleasant to see her early work. Leigh really captured Scarlett's vivaciousness and passion, and at the same time was able to capture how ready to please she is and how sweet.

Clark Gable was as charming and handsome as always, playing the suave Rhett Butler. The man no one is really sure who he really is or exactly where he stands, Rhett always seems to be there just when Scarlett needs help. Spending most of the movie dropping in and out, Cable's part, at first, is a little of a one-line, but eventually gets a little meatier as the film moves along.

The scenery is gorgeous and the costumes are exquisite, huge dresses and sharp suits (whether dress suits or army uniforms).

Overall, the story was not overly memorable. It glosses over a lot of what the Civil War was truly about and was sentimental. The ending, I found, was the same as the ending at the end of the first part, a little underwhelming. And was literally the same ending. The movie didn't really end up the way I thought it would, and didn't give us much of a clear ending really.

While I understand why it won all the awards it did and I did enjoy the first half very much so, the second half is what drew the film down a bit. While the story of Scarlett trying to survive through the Civil War and care for herself was very well done, the second half which consisted of her whining about Ashley Wilkes, and then about Rhett Butler become a little tiresome and what brought me to like the film a little less than I had.

Acting- 8/10 
Directing- 7.5/10 
Screenplay- 7/10 
Visuals- 8.5/10 

Music- 8/10 Emotional Connection- 6.5/10 
Entertainment- 7/10 
Rewatchability- 6.5/10 
Overall Enjoyment- 7.5/10 

Overall Package- 8/10     

Total: 74.5/100

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