…or why Jan is wrong!

This was the exchange on Facebook Monday night.

 Jan Hebel – Trying to watch Gone With the Wind, I don’t get how people think this is the greatest movie ever made. What over-acting!

  •  Jan Hebel –  Can’t take it any more, what a P.O.S.
  • UP – Philistine!
  •  Hank – Nice try. I sort of agree with u. In it’s defense, they did those battlefield scenes without computers. Ya know, casts of thousands. Music isn’t bad either. And there are some great lines. My favorite “I don’t know nothin bout the birth of no baby, miss Scarlet”. Hattie McDaniels ( I think). They could never make that movie today for less than a billion $$. But it sure isn’t Casablanca or Citizen Kane. And they were done on the cheap!
  •  Rick – Frankly Jan I dont give a damn
  • Jan Hebel –  @ Paul (UP), I expected that
    @Hank, good observations
    @Rick, now, that’s funny! – Rick, I know you despise me but you’re the only one in Casablanca I can trust!
  •  Don – Jan, do I have to see it?
  • Jan  Hebel – No, Don. Definitely not!
  • Don – Well, then I will.
  •  Tim –  Nice, Don!
  • UP – Butterfly McQueen said, “Ah doan kno nuthin bout birthin no babies”, she played Prissy. The best line in the whole movie is “Why Melly Wilkes, what a cool liar you are!”

 

 “Scarlett O’Hara was not beautiful, but men seldom realized it when caught by her charm…” is the opening line of Gone With The Wind.  People world wide are still caught in the charm of Scarlett O’Hara over 70 years after the movie was released.

Scarlett

Here’s why.

Scarlett is a great heroine.  Spoiled, vain, pretty, charming, conniving, duplicitous, and fearless, she rocked the world on the page, and came to life on the screen.

A woman who told us that she would “lie, cheat, steal, and kill” to keep her family safe and fed, she paved her way with the hearts of men, and let absolutely no one stand in her way.

She was, and remains, a literary goddess.

Sure, she killed a man, but he was a Yankee deserter.  Sure, she stole her sister’s boyfriend, married him for his money, bullied him, ran him, and eventually her actions got him killed.  But, any real man would have stood UP to her.  Sure, she was so self-possessed and self-absorbed that she didn’t realize love when it was in front of her and sure, she loved a man who wasn’t her husband even though he was a spineless wimp who couldn’t be “unfaithful with his body, nor faithful with his mind” to his own wife, but she was a winner, a survivor, a creature unlike any other in literature.

And we still love her.

It’s also one of the greatest love stories EVER!

Lovers

As to the book, one must remember that Margaret Mitchell was a woman ahead of her times as well as a woman of her times.  She smoked, wore pants, partied, reported for a newspaper, and interviewed female prison inmates in a time when ladies did none of the above. 

Southern Daughter

But, she cut her teeth on the myth of the Ante Bellum South, and was fed lies, half-truths, misconceptions, and TRUTH by her mother and grand-mother.  She believed in the ‘lost cause’ at her core, even if she hated it and barely realized it.  She was truly a Southern Daughter!

And, she knew the book would sell.

THE Book!

As to the movie, Jan…and I still love ya’…in 1939 there were no computer generated scenes, it was truly a cast of thousands.  There was matte painting for sets, real fires for the burning of Atlanta, and animals were injured in the production.  Frankly, PETA, no one gave a damn!

It wasn’t Star Wars…thank God!

And about that “over acting” comment!  Ten, count ’em 10 Academy Award Wins…a record that stood for 20 years until “Ben Hur” hit the screen!!!!

And, another thing, the irony of the first African American actress  (Hattie McDaniel)  winning an Oscar in a movie that many say glorifies the “Old South”, should be lost on no one!  Sure, she played a slave…it was set in 1860, in Georgia…(writer beats head against wall)…and there were very few other roles for Black women to play.

Academy Award WINNERS Vivien Leigh and Hattie McDaniel

It’s a story that grips us, makes us think, and wonder, would we be willing to sacrifice so much to hang on to the things we love?

No, it’s not the greatest movie ever made…but it’s just about the greatest story ever written.

When in a quandry or dilema, I always wonder, “WWSD?”

What would Scarlett do?

 I’ll have to admit, I don’t really know how many times I’ve seen the movie, but I’ve read the book over 30 times.  And, “my dear, I DO give a damn!”