on July 6, 2005
There are so few books, movies, and products that just really light a fire under my, well, you know where region. The movie COLD MOUNTAIN was one such thing. The novel THE BARK OF THE DOGWOOD was another such item. And of course, the ubiquitous and compelling classic that we all know------GONE WITH THE WIND. The first time I've seen this movie, I was fourteen years old. At that age, not many teenagers would even bother watching a classic or even adore it. It is a beautiful love story and not only that, "Gone With The Wind" shows how the civil war affected the people of the South. How the grace and beauty of the south changed dramatically. And what's great, Scarlett is the star. A head-strong woman who made it through the war with very much emotional stars but survived and beat the odds. Scarlett is a take-charge woman and doesn't let anything or anyone stand in her way. Unfortunately with that personality you have few friends and your loved ones sometimes loses their patience. LOVE AND STRUGGLE is the basis of this movie. EXTREMELY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!!
While not always a devoted fan, I could appreciate the film-making achievement and historical significance of Gone With the Wind. But now I have a whole new admiration for the classic epic given the astounding blu-ray picture quality. This 70th anniversary blu-ray package is highly recommended for fans and collectors, as it contains in the numbered red velvet box, reproductions of correspondence, art prints and the program, along with a commemorative hardcover picture book (52pg.), and soundtrack cd sampler (approx. 34 min.). The highlight of course is the 3 disc box set which contains a mammoth amount of programming, including the blu-ray feature (disc 1 - with commentary by Rudy Behlmer), the 6-hr MGM: When the Lion Roars documentary (disc 3 - dble sided dvd), and the related bonus features on disc 2 (which is a blu-ray for storage purposes only - the approx. 8 hrs. of extras have not been re-mastered to hi-def quality). Though some doc's and making-of's are on previous releases (i.e. Gable and Leigh bios, Havilland reminisces etc.), the "new" programming to this set include the Legend Lives On (featurette), The Scarlet O'Hara War (telefilm), and 1939: Hollywood's Greatest Year (a 1 hr. doc that I'd hoped would have spanned 3). This package is highly recommended for fans and film-buffs, and the film itself to those who think they've already seen it. (Reminder - the film is presented in its original frame size (ratio aspect), meaning there will be black bars on the sides of wide screens - and as a note, the audio is fine). Gone With the Wind is well worth experiencing on blu-ray.
on June 13, 2004
Gone With The Wind is one of my favorite films OF ALL TIME. No matter how many times I watch it, I find myself engulfed,overwhelmed,moved to tears, chilled to the bone, and amazed at the pure marvelousness of the entire thing.EVERY FREAKING TIME.
The acting is BRILLIANT from absolutely everyone.That's right, not a single performance is anything less than awe-inspiring.From Vivian Leigh as fearless and strong-willed Southern belle Scarlett O'Hara, to Clark Gable(WHY DIDN'T HE WIN THE OSCAR???????!!!?????) as the ultimate "non-gentleman" Rhett Butler, to Leslie Howard as the gentle,but slightly weak-minded Ashley Wilkes, to Olivia De Havilland as the deeply humane, and physically weak Melanie Hamilton.And, who could forget Hattie McDaniel as the feisty Mammie?THIS IS SIMPLY ONE OF THE BEST CASTS OF ALL TIME, OR DAY I SAY THE BEST????Every performance, is, I repeat, a testament to the power of acting.
The dialogue is so damn good every time-and every scene stands out in my mind as a piece of cinematic history.And to those idiots who think that Scarlett O'Hara was a "bad,selfish" person, I could just spit on you.Here is a woman who had enough spirit and bravery to go against a society of pampered Southerners, a woman who fought with her sweat and blood to keep her family's plantation, a woman who rose after every war, ever obstacle, a woman who waded through burning cannons with a pregnant woman and a baby on her own-and you call her a bad person? Maybe she was selfish, but perhaps it was this selfishness that let her see that the important things in life weren't a good repuatation, or nice hands, but honor, and family, and the well-being of loved ones. She might have acted like a spoiled brat, but her fearless actions contradicted whatever egotism she may've shown through her words.
I don't care who you are, where you're from, if your favorite movie is the matrix, I DONT CARE, this is a film that, if there ever was one, can be loved by ever single living and breathing soul.In this three hours lies a treat drenched in truth about the (corny as this may sound, its true!) endurance of the human spirit, the ties which bind human beings,and simply life-what it can bring, what it can take away, and what it can retain.Watch this absolutely timeless masterwork and relish in the power of the incredible acting, the brilliance of the dialogue,each and every scene which results in a film which is by turns witty, smart,weary, romantic, tragic,epic-ally moving and spine chilling.Brilliant beyond all words-and an asbolute masterwork which has already gone down, and will continue being known as one of the cinema's greatest pieces of art.
on July 5, 2004
Gone with the Wind creates many strong opinions, but I daresay many of them by people who haven't seen the film, or at least not in many years. It is sort of an amalgamation of both Margaret Mitchell's book and a reworking of DW Griffith's even more controversial silent blockbuster Birth of a Nation.
I had written this off as a silly commercialized Hollywood fairly tale but recently decided to give it another look. Basically, I think the claims of racism are far overblown, especially compared to other films of this era. It seems to me that Selznick and company went to great pains to stamp out the more overtly racist themes of Griffith's famous 1915 film. For instance, Scarlett's attempted rapists were all white; real black actors have menial but still important roles; those black actors are treated with dignity and respect; and finally the "n" word probably more frequent in southern parlance of the day was replaced with the more delicate term of "darky", and never used in a scornful fashion. And while establishment opinion in the North still clings to belief that the Civil War was a most noble and unselfish effort, the truth was something much less certain. Surely slaves in the prewar South were not all treated as gingerly as in this film; but just as certainly they were also brutally repressed in the North as well (just watch Gangs of New York for a history lesson on Northern feelings towards African Americans). All wars have a side people would rather forget, and this one was certainly no different. Also on the positive side, the film does a good job of capturing this broad historic period with smart scenes amidst well designed sets. It's really quite a grand production, in color no less, with a marvelous historical and cinematic scope.
On the less positive side, the heralded performances I think are a bit overrated. Clark Gable's presence helps considerably, but he is certainly not nearly as natural or comfortable as he was in It Happened One Night. And Mitchell's sappy, soap operaesque story frequently slips nearly into the preposterous, especially in latter scenes of the film when the historic takes a back seat to the dramatic. But maybe that's what gave the film its broad appeal, as it has a little of something for everyone. I think another factor may have really launched its success: released during the cold winter of 1939, its four-hour sitting time gave depression-weary Americans a warm night on the town for a cheap price that they could all afford.
Regarding the standard edition DVD, its very serviceable but the extras are appallingly poor for a film of this esteemed history. Also, Spanish subtitles would have been nice (only has English and French).
on February 1, 2014
I HAVE ALWAYS WANTED A COPY OF THIS MOVIE AND WAS VERY PLEASED WITH MY PURCHASE. THE RE-MASTERING OF VIDEO AND SOUND WAS TREMENDOUS . I WOULD HIGHLY RECOMMEND THIS CLASSIC TO ALL. AND THE SERVICE FROM AMAZON WAS FIRST CLASS.
on February 27, 2013
This movie is timeless and always enjoyable. I have always enjoyed it and now own it. One of our daughters was named after the little girl in the movie (Bonnie) - this has nothing to do with the movie but just something interesting I would throw in there. The movie has action, plot, romance, history and unfortunately also tragedy in some areas. But it is definitely one to see.
on June 10, 2004
I have to admit that I loved this film. Vivien Leigh gave a very strong performance in "Gone With The Wind" (although her greatest performance, and one of the greatest of all time, came 12 years later in "A Streetcar Named Desire"), as did the others in the ensemble of lead and supporting actresses and actors. Although very lengthy, I was never bored and the color (so rare for a motion picture made in the late 1930's) is vibrant and magnificent. As a fan of passionate performances, I felt that the romance between these two selfish, self-absorbed individuals, Scarlett O'Hara and Rhett Butler, is so fiery that they make one of the greatest, if not the greatest, romantic couples in film history. Interesting to see is the use of Melanie Wilkes as a foil for Scarlett O'Hara and Ashley Wilkes as a foil for Rhett Butler. If you are very interested in passionate romances, I would also recommend two other films: 1939's "Wuthering Heights" as well as 1958's "Vertigo." 10/10. A.
on February 7, 2004
Considered to be one of the most classic epics ever made. The only one of its kind at that time. 1939 was a magic year for movies. Many excellent, dramatic films were released. But Gone With The Wind was the crown jewel, having won 10 Academy Awards. Although the story is mostly for adults, including the unforgettable "rape" scene when Clark Cable took Vivian Leigh up the red-carpeted stairs, teenagers might find this entertaining as well. If you catch your teen watching this film alone and in peace...let them. Trust me, you'll thank me later. Now you can see this film without commercial interruptions and no network logo in the corner. No scatches. Just brilliant original technicolor with your choice of Dolby Digital remastered soundtrack or original monophonic. The entire 3 hours and 53 minutes is all here. All on one disc in standard format. Included are the Overture, Intermission, Entr'acte and Exit Music. The movie continues on the other side of the disc. "Overture" is the beginning of the film. Many scenes of Gone With The Wind were reshot either because of color of hair, costumes or an in-studio shot for a better on-location shot. One interesting scene omitted from the film takes places just after the infamous "rape" scene with Rhett carrying Scarlett up the stairs. Look quick at the next scene. There is a mysterious breakfast tray in bed on the left. We see Bonnie leaving and Mammy complaining of aches and pains. The scene removed is Bonnie bringing in the breakfast tray to her mother. Perhaps, lost footage will be found someday (if not corroded)and maybe included it in a future restored DVD version. In September 1991, the continuing story of Scarlett O'Hara and Rhett Butler was officially written and published by the late Alexandra Ripley in a novel, "Scarlett--The sequel of Margaret Mitchell's Gone With The Wind." This was followed by the television mini-series, "Scarlett" in 1994.
on January 17, 2004
It's "Gone With the Wind". I don't think I should have to write a review about this movie. Everyone knows how remarkable this is. I should only have to say, "it's 'Gone With the Wind'. Need I say more?" ...
"Gone With the Wind" is said by many to be the best film ever released. It rightfully won ten Oscars in 1939, including Best Picture. This emotional love story is based on Margaret Mitchell's novel of the same name, which was published in 1936. The screenplay adaptation for this film is brilliant. The writing is just one detail out of many that makes the film so remarkable. It desplicts Scarlett O'Hara's battles in life and love. The love story between Rhett Butler and she has yet to be matched by another film. Its detailed and deep theme offers the unforgettable experience. O'Hara's struggles during the Civil War, including losing her first husband, offer a more expanded visit into her life. Her struggles after the war offers a more climatic theme all the way to the conclusion. Such intense emotion and deep storyline, which is never held back for a second, always keep the audience's attention.
The elaborate setting and costume design are flawless. The artists' research of the 1800's styles is obvious. Every detail is accurate to the times. Such elaboration was never heard of in 1930's cinema. No other filmmaker at that time emplanted such difficult effort. Much of what is seen looks more realistic than a lot of modern-day movies. The cost of making this film: if inflation is included, it totals more than the current record holder "Titanic", $200 million. That money was well spent.
Vivian Leigh performed her role of Scarlett O'Hara beautifully. She deservingly earned an Oscar for Best Actress for what many call the best performance in her career. Her every drop of heart and soul went through her character. Her character's happiness, love, greed, and life trials are desplicted by her wonderfully. Clark Gable performed his role of Rhett Butler brilliantly. His character's rough image blends perfectly with his soft loving image due to his efforts. Leigh and Gable describe in this film why their legendary status is at the level it is. All other actors, major or minor, also performed their roles beautifully. The war times, the war effects, the love, the jealousy, and everything else never fall below their fullest capabilities.
"Gone With the Wind" is sure to please audiences of all kinds. This masterpiece will remain a classic until human extinction. After watching this DVD, those that like it should also watch the film facts and the theatrical trailer, which offer more interesting insights of how the film was created and its surrounding history.
on December 29, 2003
I had heard a lot ab out GWTW before I ever had a chance to see it. When I was young, there was still a ban on showing GWTW on TV. That wasn't a ban that the TV stations imposed, it was a ban imposed by the movie's producers. I can imagine their feeling that TV was beneath the dignity of this movie. Frankly my dear, I think they were right. Thus even though it was in the 1960's, I saw GWTW in a movie theater (it made the rounds every so often and not because it was digitally remastered). This is one of the greatest movies of all time and arguably the best epic of all times. It has everything, directing, acting, script, cineamatography, sound, music, you name it. I used to listen to the soundtrack periodically and even it would give me goosebumps.
It is a movie about the South; before, during, and after the Civil War. There have been many detractors about the misrepresentation of this theme, especially of its' portaryal of Blacks (a number of slaves portrayed seemed quite content with their lot). Nonetheless, it was a record-breaking picture in that the first Black thespian to receive an Oscar was Hattie McDaniel in her outstanding role as "Mammy". This was in 1939 after all, the tone of the movie was to be expected; the awarding of the Oscar was not. In this day and age of everything needing to be politically correct, we loose sight of the fact that some art forms prefer to show a perspective rather than the "agreed upon" correct version. As a Yankee through and through, I take no umbrage at our portrayal in this movie. I realize that this is easier for me to say than for some groups. However, we are talking about a work of fiction.
The acting, as mentioned is terrific and many of the stars of the day were in the cast. Clark Gable was certainly the "Joe Cool" of his day. Vivian Leigh was outstanding as well in her coveted role as Scarlett O'Hara. The supporting cast was long and able. The scenes of Atlanta during the Civil War were gripping and technologically innovative in its' time.
While the subject was the South, the theme was romance and the electricity between Gable and Leigh was definitely high voltage. There were many scenes of great sadness in this movie and the audience seems even more involved in what happens than in most any other movie I can think of. We are all uncomfortable with the ending yet none of us wanted a sequel. We simply were left believing that Scarlett had the strength to eventually prevail.
If you haven't seen this movie, you are missing not just an excellent movie but one of the classics of American Cinema. Yes, it's long but it really doesn't seem so (and you'll have wanted it extended another 10-15 minutes to get the ending you wanted to see). The younger kids might fall asleep and the teenagers will claim that it's corny, but this really is a family movie. Maybe this is one you want to watch with your parents instead.