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4.4 out of 5 stars
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Showing 161-170 of 243 reviews(5 star). Show all reviews
I have probably seen all or part of this film on more than a dozen occasions but not for several years until I recently checked it out in DVD format. The production values have never looked more vivid. The scope of the story and the scale of telling it are truly epic. The performances by Clark Gable and Leslie Howard are as impressive as ever. A number of supporting actors are first-rate. A number of scenes have retained their visual impact. And yet....I now think this highly praised film (ranked #4 by the American Film Institute among "America's Greatest Movies") has lost much of its impact.
For whatever reasons, the acting by Vivian Leigh and Olivia de Havilland now seems to me contrived. Rhett Butler's devotion to Scarlett is inexplicable. De Havilland's portrayal suggests that Melanie Hamilton is too good to be true, and therefore isn't. Thomas ("Burning Ham") Mitchell portrays Gerald O'Hara as a cartoon character. When Sidney Howard's screenplay shifts its attention to social issues, I suspect that his muse was Harriet Beecher Stowe. To an extent I did not realize before, this film glorifies (almost deifies) a way of life which justified slavery as a state's right (i.e. the ruling class's right). Even benevolent despotism is still despotism.
On the subject of entitlement, producer David O'Selznick and director Victor Fleming obviously had every right to create a film based on Margaret Mitchell's bloated and sentimental novel. If they wish to suggest in this film that to many slaves, loyalty to their owners was more important freedom from bondage, so be it. Their movie. However, as Voltaire observed, great is the enemy of the good...and, I presume to add, an even more formidable enemy of the mediocre. Gone With the Wind offers great spectacle and a few brilliant performances as well as several credible performances and an occasional chuckle. But overall, it is emphatically not the great film I once thought it was. The film hasn't changed so obviously I have.
Some may think it unfair to be critical of a film released more than 60 years ago. I respectfully submit that many films released since then have raised the standards of measurement. They have redefined what greatness is. (Most of them are on the AFI's list.) Perhaps it's unrealistic to expect an historical film lasting almost four hours (222 minutes to be exact) to hold up. Audiences which first saw it in 1939 are obviously quite different from those which see it now. Nonetheless, our nation fought one war to obtain certain inalienable rights and another was fought to ensure that the same rights are extended to everyone in our nation. Any film which claims to portray American history must be subject to the same scrutiny which a book would be if making the same claim. As for matters of aesthetics, judgment is necessarily much more subjective. For reasons indicated, I think that Gone With the Wind offers neither circumspect history nor great art but will always be praised (and rightly) so as spectacular entertainment.
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on May 3, 2013
Great price for the movie. No tax. Reasonable mailing cost and it arrived in a timely manner. Haven't try to view it yet, but I'm assuming it will work fine,.
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on April 11, 2002
To those who think the GWTW DVD is "pan-and-scanned", think again. Movies weren't made in the wider aspect ratios until the mid-50's. The full frame DVD is in fact the original aspect ratio -- and the film looks incredible on DVD considering it is 60+ years old.
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on November 2, 2002
Cinematography, Art Direction, Screenplay, Casting, Direction, Set Design, Period Costuming, Lighting, Sound, Score: you name it, and this film has the best. It still, after 64 years, outshines near everything else to come out of Hollywood since.
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on May 11, 2000
The first epic saga. Vivien Leigh is magnificent and Hattie McDaniel deserved an award. You sure don't need me to tell you about Gone with the Wind. A must for and and all movie buffs.
Just wanted to say I'm pleased with the DVD version.
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on January 28, 2012
Outstanding sound and image. Better than the original! While filmed in 1939, the Blue ray quality makes the experience of watching unsurpassed.
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on September 15, 2002
"Gone with the Wind" is one of the all time great movies. Unfortunately, this DVD has hardly any extras. This should have been a 2 -or even- 3 disc set. There are so many extras that can and should have been included but aren't.
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on December 21, 2001
I believe this movie to be the best movie of all time, because everyone I've shown it to can relate. It's romantic, some-what funny, and an all around good movie. This is one of those movies that everyone should at least see once.
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on January 29, 2014
Ce film est un des grands classiques et je trouvais important de l'avoir en DVD et de pouvoir jeter mes vieilles cassettes vidéo!
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on August 20, 2000
It was very adventurous. A lot of Action. One of the best movies ever made. My favorite character is Vivien Leigh. Clark Gable is incredible, too. It is a must see. A fantastic movie: the best I've ever seen!
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