Sunday, November 21, 2010

"Gone With the Wind"

It's time.
This post as been brewing for my entire life.
Gone With the Wind is in my top three favorite books of all time.

I was literally raised on the book. When I was super young, my dad read it out loud to all of us kids.
He skipped all of the slightly racy scenes,
substituted "phooey!" for the bad words,
and attempted Mammy's accent in a truly memorable manner. 
I loved it.

I finally read the book for myself, and watched the movie just in the past year.

They are both a part of my soul.

I realize that's rather awkward, since, despite the novel and movie being tremendously popular...
many people don't like it at all.

That's okay. The whole ambiguous ending, very, very foolish Scarlett, morally questionable Rhett...
these are all reasons why some people don't get/don't like/hate the story.

My reasons for loving it are these:

1. Rhett Butler
To be honest, I'm absolutely crazy about him.

He is my favorite fictional character of all time.
That does not mean that he is my favorite fictional hero of all time.

Because he really has issues, folks.

But how could I not love a man in a white suit??

I could talk about his hair for a good while, too.

But really.
His personality is just so interesting. It's unusual how the story is about a man who loves a woman,
when the woman doesn't love him.
Usually, it's vice versa.
All of the quirks and intricacies of his personality are so fascinating.
He is an awesome character.

This is one of my favorite scenes ever.
Scarlett is having a bad dream and Rhett comforts her.
It's one of the very few times where they are both being genuine, 
and you can tell how much he loves her.

And, even though Clark Gable is one of my favorite actors ever,
I loved Rhett Butler before I watched the movie

2. Scarlett. 
Yes, she's a selfish, senseless brat. She is so human.
And although there are certain things she does that I would never do,
I really can identify with her.
I would totally fall in love with Rhett immediately (if not before), but she did, too! 
She just didn't realize it. I am pretty sure I would know right off that I was in love with him. 
In general, I tend to understand my feelings about people.
(by the way, I can't stand her hairdo in the picture above. gack)

See how cool and distant she is being?


Ashely is a wretch,
and I hate him.
She has such a distorted, glorified version of him in her head.
I'm pretty sure I could never fall in love with a man named Ashley.
I mean, wouldn't that give you a little hint as to his personality?

I think Vivien Leigh is perfect for the part--she's beautiful, 
but in an unusual and sometimes alarming way.
And she has killer eyes.
I am so jealous because she can raise one eyebrow perfectly. 
I  hope that in heaven, I can raise one eyebrow.

This scene is sad like nobody's business.
I actually get kinda annoyed with Melanie, right along with Scarlett,
but then realize how awesome she is by the end.

3. the movie is just plain epic
Especially for it's day. 1939? You guys, that was long, long time ago.

And I mean epic in the dictionary definition kinda way.
The war scenes, the costumes, the drama... it's just far ahead of it's time.

Her costumes are lovely... even though most of them are rather historically inaccurate.

Why can't we wear hoopskirts anymore??

I love the dress she makes from the curtains. 
I want to literally rip Scarlett into tiny shreds during this scene.
And Rhett makes me want to burst into tears.

4. the ending
I love how just when she finally comes to her senses and realizes she's desperately in love with him,
it's too late.
Because we all know what he says...
"Frankly, my dear...I don't give a darn."
Talk about tragic!
The horrible longing for what could have been, 
if only she had realized she loved him sooner.
I love it.

Yep. I love Gone With the Wind and that's why.

And now I want to you know why 
love or hate the book and movie.

And if you haven't seen or read it... what can I say, except
go do it right now.


  1. I want to see this movie so bad. And your review makes me want to see it even more. =)


  2. One of the best movies and book ever!! I've read the book at least 7 times and watched the movie almost as much, people think I'm nuts.=)

    I totally agree with you on your reasons why you like the characters. I also strongly dislike Ashley, the yellow bellied coward! Just stand up to her, be a man! I want to be as good as Melanie, but just can't muster it in myself!

    Have you read the sequel? Scarlett, by Alexandra Ripley? It's very good and ties up some of the loose ends that always kept me wondering at the end of the original. You should skip that movie sequel though, it's heinous!!

  3. My mom loves Gone With the Wind so I have seen it many, many times and love it. And I couldn't really put my finger on any particular reason *why* - I just always have.

    But...I've never read the book! I even OWN the book and I've never read it! I guess that is going on my reading list for 2011, huh? :)

    And I do like that Scarlett ties up some of those ends but...yeah that movie is totally heinous. Like...really, really bad. Haven't read that book either.

  4. i'm sorry, my dear, but I do not like Gone with the Wind, basically because I can't stand Scarlett. She steals everyone's fiancees/boyfriends and doesn't give a rip as long as she can save herself and her farm. Well, ok, she saves her family too, I gotta admit that. (At least I think so; I haven't seen it in awhile.) And she does have guts; boy does she have guts!!
    AND Rhett pushes her down the stairs! That is just so sad. :(
    Anyways. Yeah. =)

    1. Rhett does not push her down the stairs. She takes a swing at him and he dodges. This causes her to lose her balance and take the tumble. (Rewatch the movie. I used to think he pushed her as well.)

  5. Ok FINE, you've convinced me. I'm watching the movie :):) :) :)

  6. I adore the book. And I adore the movie. It is, in my humble opinion, the Ultimate movie of all time. Period.
    One thing I always found interesting in the book - how selfish and shallow and bratty Scarlett was all the time - but yet she was ferociously protective and loving to the slaves/servants. Very interesting.
    Too bad Margaret Mitchell wrote only one novel. :( Her personal story is quite amazing, also.

  7. I haven't read the book yet, but I've seen the movie quite a few times. It's my mom's favorite. (:
    However, I really only like the first part of the movie. After the intermission......things go downhill. Bonnie's death, Rhett going out and shooting the pony *sobs* and Scarlett-----being Scarlett.

    So it may be a classic, but I don't think I will be reading it any time soon. (:

    ps--btw, what kind of a name is Scarlett? Just askin'.

  8. We'll talk about this on Thursday ;) I saw the movie like a LONG time ago...have never read the book - but REALLY want to (I just need to go to the library and borrow it :P )...and I need to borrow the movie from my aunt and uncle. My Mother...greatly disliked this movie, and thus, watching it with her, I think I formed a somewhat bad opinion of it...but that's not set in stone yet. :)
    Great post, dear! *hugs*

  9. I've never read the book.

    I don't like the movie. I won't say I hate it, because I like to give movies several chances before I decide that I hate them (I want to like "The Philadelphia Story" so badly! It has Cary Grant *and* Jimmy Stewart, for goodness' sake! I've watched it three times and still don't like it). And I've only seen "Gone With the Wind" once so far, about a year ago.

    My honest thoughts after watching it: Wow, how depressing. A letdown after how much I was anticipating it. The characters all seemed cruel and selfish. That was a long four hours out of my life. :)

    I'm an obsessive classic movie fan. :) People who know that can't believe I don't like "Gone With the Wind." I was just expecting something wonderful. And "Gone With the Wind" wasn't what I expected. I had always heard about what an amazing love story it was. And I didn't see much love in it at all.


  10. I love this movie, and the book! The only thing I wish, is that there wasn't any cussing....but besides that, this movie {and book} are amazingly good!



    P.S. I'm doing a modest photo contest over at my blo {If you don't know already...hahaha!} and I'm inviting you to enter! I'm sure your outfit would be *gorgeous* hahaha!

  11. I love this movie! My mother and I watch it at least once a year. I hate Ashley as well! He makes me more mad than Scarlett acting stupid. :p I really want to read the book! Btw have you ever watched the movie Scarlett? It is the sequel to Gone with the Wind, that no one seems to know about. It's really good but there are some things in it. Clear play would be good for Scarlett. Unfortunately we don't have clear play so my mom just memorized were the bad parts are. Anyway I think you would like it. Please tell me if you end up watching it. :)

  12. I love the fact that nearly all of the characters are truly horrible people underneath! It makes things so much more interesting. :)

  13. Molly--YES! Read it right away and let me know what you think. : )

    May Amelia--Well, the thing is, I love it for the complexities and the humanity of all of the characters. Scarlett is a brat, but she is such a great character. AND Rhett doesn't push her down the stairs--that was an accident.

    Lily--that's the thing, I love tragedy. So that's one of the main reasons I love it. All of those parts... when Bonnie dies, etc... they are so sad. And I think you should read the book so you can have an official opinion. : ) Plus, I think the book and movie together really make you understand the story, because there is A LOT the movie can't include that the book fleshes out.

    Kristin--you should read it, to make sure you don't like it. : ) But I definitely understand that it's not for everyone. I think you would understand/appreciate the characters if you read the book, though.

    Margaret Rowena--I know, seriously. I get annoyed with perfect characters. ; )

  14. I'm sorry to say that this was on my top list of movies that I watched and never to watch again. The book was slightly interesting at the beginning - but Scarlett just began to bug me - even if she is pretty realistic - blech... :)

    I do agree on Ashly - he's a pathetic wimp...

    It is also hard to watch a movie with your twin brother groaning over every scene and the three-year-old asking what everything was...

    The costumes - lovely!! The plot - annoyingly long and drawn-out. The ending - dreadful.

    In short - and nicely put - I don't like or prefer Gone With the Wind. ;) But then again, my Daddy never read it to me. :D

    Thanks for following my blog!

  15. Hello, hello! Thanks for leaving a comment on my blog. I love yours! It's super adorable. I love Gone with the Wind... And I also.... Have a strange addiction to Les Miserables! I always thought I was crazy for liking it so much. Haha, I guess not.

  16. Hi, to answer your question: yes! You can link up whenever you want. :)

  17. I never saw the movie... But I DID read the book! I read it at a time in my life when I was less into musing the moral intrigues and just wanted it to end well. Yet I did love how the authoress so clearly drew a picture of a selfish person that we like, and that she gets the fruit of her labors in the end. It's so powerful!
    I saw a book about the making of the movie (how they found the actors and such) that I think you would enjoy.

  18. I have yet to read that book! I really should!!

    Thanks for following my blog! Oh and I've changed my url from '' to ''.... Just thought I would let you know. =]

  19. I've read the book and seen the movie.

    You have to hate Scarlett because she's selfish to the core... BUUUT how often I act out of selfishness. Sometimes I think we all have a Scarlett inside us.

    Anyway, I do agree that it is an epic story/movie!

  20. ahh! Yes! i love this movie. Rhett Butler...what is it about him? He is just awesome.

    I read somewhere once (and take this with a grain of salt) that he had really bad breath because he had false teeth and Vivien Leigh hated kissing him. haha!

    1. Clark gable was quite the prankster. Por example, when Bonnie is born and he is talking with Mammy, he offers her a drink of liquor. The common replacement for whiskey is tea. That is what she was expecting. Instead for one take, he switched it with the "real" stuff. :) While he did have false teeth, one prank he played on Vivian Leigh is during the scene where he awakens her from her nightmare. Just before that scene, he ate a bunch of onions. :)

  21. I love Gone with the Wind, book and movie! Scarlett is my absolute favourite character of all time - I'm literally going to name my kids after her! She may be selfish and stubborn and spoilt, but she is a very strong character, not afraid to go for what she wants, and also capable of great sacrifice in times of need - for example when she stoops to something so abhorrent to her as prostituting herself to Rhett when she needs money.
    To people who disliked the second half of the movie because it was depressing - I know what you mean. I think the problem is that they had to condense so much of the book into an already very long film. If you read the book, it won't feel so horrible because it's more spread out...
    Finally, after thinking about it for a long time, I've convinced myself (perhaps delusionally) that the ending is far from hopeless. If there's one thing we've learnt it's that Scarlett usually gets her way, she does whatever she needs to get it - so if she's determined to get Rhett back, she will do it. She is the stronger of the two, and I believe she can make him come back to her. I don't need no sequel to tell me that :P

  22. Overheard from the backseat of the car, my little brother...

    "Before we saw that stupid movie... What was it, Gone with the Wind? and you guys were like, talking about some Ashley, I was like, 'Who names their son ASHELY?' and then I saw him and was like, 'Yep.'" lol!!!

    My thoughts exactly. Although I can't say that I have any particular love for Rhett either. Give me Colonel Brandon, Mr. Darcy, Mr. Tilney, Mr. Knightley, Robert (Wives and Daughters), etc...

    I can never figure out why I love this movie so, considering I dislike every one of the characters except Mammie... maybe it's the costumes. ;)

  23. Ran across your post when looking for GWTW photos. First, let me say, I LOVE the name of your blog. And I couldn't agree more. Life is way too short. Second, as a diehard GWTW fan, I'm glad to see a younger fan coming up the ranks. Keep the GWTW flames going! My favorite character? Mammy. She's the only one in the whole movie with any common sense. :)

  24. Oh my word, no one has ever come close to so accurately sharing my same view! There is somethin' bout Rhett Butler that I will always love. Excellent review. :)

  25. First of all, this is a great post.
    My wife is an 8th grade Georgia history teacher. Every year she shows GWTW to help the students understand life before duirng and after the Civil War. It is always one of the students' favorite times of the year. (She shows it over the course of about two weeks, in 20-minute segments.)

    Also, I do not see how the costuming is historically inaccurate. The costuming department went to great lengths to preserve accuracy. One actor asked the director why they weren't wearing fake crinolines instead of the ornate real things when non one will see them. His reply, "Because YOU will know they are real."


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