I have watched many a good films in my lifetime, but none can and never will surpass the best movie of all, Gone with the Wind.
For those of you who don’t know, Gone with the Wind is a movie released in 1939, directed by Victor Fleming (the same great director who brought us The Wizard of Oz) starring Vivien Leigh and Clark Gable. It won 10 Academy Awards that year including best picture.
Gone with the Wind takes place in Atlanta, Georgia during the Civil War. Certainly it is not a realistic portrayal of the Civil War, but entertaining nonetheless. The story follows one southern girl through the many trials and tribulations she faces as a result of the war; invasion, death, starvation, and deprivation of all sorts.
Like many marvelous movies, Gone with the Wind was first a book. Margaret Mitchell, American journalist and author, wrote the novel in 1936 and won the much-coveted Pulitzer Prize in Fiction in 1937.
I was a senior in high school when I first saw this movie. Just flipping through the channels trying to find something to watch other than bad sitcoms and reality TV, and there it was. I can’t remember what channel exactly, probably AMC.
I didn’t know much about the movie then, but I thought “ah, what the hell. There’s nothing else on. I’ll just watch it until I get bored.” Then an hour passed, then two, then three, then four. I never once got bored. This movie held my attention from beginning to end.
Contrary to popular belief, it is not the romance that draws me into this movie (although let’s be honest who wouldn’t fall for Rhett Butler’s charm. Oh that gorgeous scoundrel!) Rather it is Scarlett’s unyielding desire to not only survive the war-crazed period, but also to regain the life she and her family abruptly lost.
It is a story from riches to rags to riches again. She refuses to live in a world that offers so little to her quality of life, as she so elegantly quotes in the movie, “As God as my witness, I will never be hungry again.”
Well said Scarlett, well said.
Many of you reading this might think it is strange for a 22-year-old to love a movie made more than 70 years ago. I agree, it doesn’t make any sense. But stranger things have happened. The movie critics hit it right on the dot when they said this story was a timeless tale.
It was this movie that inspired my fascination with Old Hollywood. After having watched Gone with the Wind I went in search of other movies during that time period. Actors like Clark Gable, Vivien Leigh, Marilyn Monroe, James Dean, Elvis Presley, Bette Davis, Audrey Hepburn and Elizabeth Taylor brought so much to the silver screen. I am amazed by everything I’ve seen them in.
I can watch these movies all day long. And it all began with the best one of all.