Gone With The Wind, A Historical Film

scarlett and rhett

“Scarlett & Rhett”

In 1936 Margaret Mitchell wrote the award winning novel “Gone With The Wind”.   The story is a white Southern point of view of the American Civil War and the period thereafter.   The book was made into a movie of the same name in 1939 starring Vivien Leigh as Scarlett O’Hara and Clark Gable as Rhett Butler.  When it was produced it was the longest American talking film ever made – over 3 hours.  The film has been re-released several times over the past decades.  I’ve seen the film several times over the years.  The film generates emotions from laughter to tears.

Tara is the home plantation of the O’Hara family in Georgia.  To the family, especially Scarlett and her father, it is the most important thing in the world.  Shortly after the film opens there is to be a barbecue on a neighboring plantation.

Before leaving for the party, in one scene you see Scarlett holding onto a bed post while (I think) her housemaid Mammy (Hattie McDaniel)   pulls her corset tighter and tighter.  Scarlett was proud of her eighteen and one-half inch waist.   While everyone is at the party war is declared and the young men rush to join the Confederate.  Earlier in the day Rhett Butler, who had been disowned by his Southern family and  put out of West Point,  predicted the South could not win against the North’s superior numbers and mechanical skills.  This did not endear him to the Southern gentlemen.

The movie portrays the hardship of the war, battles and the plight of the southern people and Scarlett’s obsession to hold onto the home place, Tara.  Scarlett also has secretly loved  Melanie Hamilton’s husband Ashley Wilkes for years and this too has been an obsession for her. Eventually Scarlett marries Rhett Butler as her third husband.  The other two had died.

Scarlett and Rhett have one daughter, Bonnie Blue.  Unfortunately, Bonnie  dies in a horse jumping accident.  Both parents are heart broken  Scarlett becomes pregnant again, but falls down the stairs and has a miscarriage.  Rhett has been aware of Scarlett’s obsession with Ashley.  After Bonnie’s death he tells her he is leaving.  She pleads that she realizes she has never loved Ashley but her pleas do no good.  When she asks “Rhett, if you go, where shall I go? What shall I do?” he replies “Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn”.

The ending of the movie shows Scarlett realizing her strength comes from Tara and so pulling herself together Scarlett decides to head home and think of some way to get Rhett back..  Wonderful movie, even if it means sitting a very, very long time.

Comments

  1. Chris says:

    The article seems to say that Ashley is Scarlett’s cousin. He is actually Melanie’s cousin whom he married. Correct?

  2. admin says:

    @Chris- yes, that was confusing and wrong. Thanks for the correction!

  3. sue says:

    All time beat flim script stars. Leigh was made for this role. Others have come very close if I had to choose would be one film on dessert island. Best. Advise. Think about it tomorrow! !!

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