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Gone With the Wind (1939)

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On 6/25/2019 at 11:46 AM, ruby24 said:

Well, it's true. The book itself (I've read it twice) is deeply, inherently racist. The movie is less plainspoken about that in terms of its white characters but the depictions of the slaves are incredibly racist. And the whole movie is about glorifying the "Old South" and the Confederacy.

I think the thing that saves it (if it does, and there may come a day when this isn't enough anymore) is the inherent selfishness of the characters of Rhett and Scarlett, who end up turning the story into a melodramatic soap opera about themselves and their relationship rather than any sort of wider depiction of southern life and commitment to slavery. Especially in the second half. You can appreciate the incredible acting, production values of Old Hollywood and the entertaining nature of it aside from the abhorrent values of the society it's trying to endorse.

You can't escape that in the book. 

Well said. That's exactly what they movie is about but its easy to be distracted by Rhett and Scarlett given how horrible their characters are and the second half with all that happens and Scarlet ends up going through. It is very well acted, the costumes and everything is very well done. Watching the movie as a kid and preteen that's what I focused on but watching in my late teens and as in adult I noticed the rest of it. It really is an endorsement of the Old South and the Confederacy and that's really hard to watch. 

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10 hours ago, andromeda331 said:

Well said. That's exactly what they movie is about but its easy to be distracted by Rhett and Scarlett given how horrible their characters are and the second half with all that happens and Scarlet ends up going through. It is very well acted, the costumes and everything is very well done. Watching the movie as a kid and preteen that's what I focused on but watching in my late teens and as in adult I noticed the rest of it. It really is an endorsement of the Old South and the Confederacy and that's really hard to watch. 

Even that intro title page where it equates the Old South with fairy tales and romantic chivalry, referencing knights and fair damsels... it's like, sure, you can pretend that the upper class of the Old South was fanciful and romantic with the giant hoop skirts and balls and dancing but all of that was based off of slavery and pretending otherwise does no one any good.

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1 hour ago, Dandesun said:

Even that intro title page where it equates the Old South with fairy tales and romantic chivalry, referencing knights and fair damsels... it's like, sure, you can pretend that the upper class of the Old South was fanciful and romantic with the giant hoop skirts and balls and dancing but all of that was based off of slavery and pretending otherwise does no one any good.

Even putting aside the horrific reality of slavery, as a white woman, you could not pay me to live in the Old South. No, not in a million years. Corsets, hoop skirts, and a thousand petticoats in the ungodly heat (I live in the South, so I should know), few rights, no real freedom, having snotty, prissy  "Southern Gentlemen" condescend to me, and basically living and being treated like an over-groomed Pomeranian? Screw that noise, I don't get the appeal. 

I used to adore Gone With the Wind (the movie is a marvel in terms of acting and filmmaking), but these days I kind of hold it at arm's length. I now feel rather guilty for ever liking it, TBH, because I feel it set an utterly damaging precedent in terms of how the Civil War is depicted in media and even in history classes. 

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The podcast Unspooled will be discussing Gone with the Wind  on July 11.

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15 hours ago, Wiendish Fitch said:

Even putting aside the horrific reality of slavery, as a white woman, you could not pay me to live in the Old South. No, not in a million years. Corsets, hoop skirts, and a thousand petticoats in the ungodly heat (I live in the South, so I should know), few rights, no real freedom, having snotty, prissy  "Southern Gentlemen" condescend to me, and basically living and being treated like an over-groomed Pomeranian? Screw that noise, I don't get the appeal. 

You couldn't pay me either. I like the clothes but the rest of it? No thank you. I don't really get the appeal either.  No freedom, few rights and putting up the Southern Gentlemen crap.

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I used to adore Gone With the Wind (the movie is a marvel in terms of acting and filmmaking), but these days I kind of hold it at arm's length. I now feel rather guilty for ever liking it, TBH, because I feel it set an utterly damaging precedent in terms of how the Civil War is depicted in media and even in history classes. 

I used to love the movie too and feel guilty that I used to like it. It is very well made, excellent costumes, sets and acting. But after realizing it glorified the Old South and Confederacy and that's not suppose to be a bad thing. Why is that a good thing? All the beautiful homes and wealthy bought on the back of slaves? Mammy is an excellent character, but slave who spent her entire life taking care of the rich white family who owned her. War sucks but the men fought to keep slavery. Melanie won't go north because her son might have to go to school with a black boy. Ashley is the 'typical Southern gentleman' but so was Rhett. Its movie but all of those things were real as was the glorifying of the Old South and Confederacy that went on for so long after the Civil War and still continue to this day although there is finally more push back.  

Edited by andromeda331
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3 hours ago, VCRTracking said:

Coincidentally this video essay was uploaded last week:

Hehheh, I was just coming to post this.  😄

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On 6/28/2019 at 10:05 AM, VCRTracking said:

Coincidentally this video essay was uploaded last week:

This is part one of two. I really liked what he had to say and can't wait to see part 2.

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On 6/27/2019 at 2:30 PM, Wiendish Fitch said:

Even putting aside the horrific reality of slavery, as a white woman, you could not pay me to live in the Old South. No, not in a million years. Corsets, hoop skirts, and a thousand petticoats in the ungodly heat (I live in the South, so I should know), few rights, no real freedom, having snotty, prissy  "Southern Gentlemen" condescend to me, and basically living and being treated like an over-groomed Pomeranian? Screw that noise, I don't get the appeal. 

I used to adore Gone With the Wind (the movie is a marvel in terms of acting and filmmaking), but these days I kind of hold it at arm's length. I now feel rather guilty for ever liking it, TBH, because I feel it set an utterly damaging precedent in terms of how the Civil War is depicted in media and even in history classes. 

I’m a black woman and I still enjoy the film. It is my favorite film (hence my name). I find it excellent regarding cinematography, directing, set design, costumes and acting. I can love the film as an artistic peace while not finding it ASPIRATIONAL at all. It’s not! It’s told from the point of view of Scarlett (for the most part), and while we can identify with her struggles as her universe of extreme privilege falls a part, we are not expected to ignore her very bias view point and many many character flaws. 

Perhaps it’s easier for me to enjoy it as a black person (I watched this movie with my Great aunt a lot may she RIP) because I never saw myself in Scarlett (although she’s a fascinating character). I never had the “realization” as an adult regarding how racist and sexist it was because it was always presented to me in that way. 

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It'd be interesting to see a remake of Gone With the Wind in a "sliding doors" style - half with the "romantic chivalry" overtones from the book and the other half critiquing that for the lie it was.

Or maybe film The Wind Done Gone instead.

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1 hour ago, Miss Dee said:

Or maybe film The Wind Done Gone instead

I read that years ago.  It was hysterical!

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It's on TCM right now. The scene with those poor slave kids at Twelve Oaks fanning the girls taking their naps has always pissed me off. Those little kids were practically toddlers, THEY were the ones that needed a goddamn nap.

And that's another example of Southern women being treated ever so infuriatingly delicate. Like seriously, what self-respecting teenager would take a nap. Especially when those bitches barely worked all day, except for going to parties and doing needlework or whatever. Although to be fair I'd be so bored doing those things I'd be in a coma. So yeah, to echo an earlier post I'd rather eat poison than live in that era. "Grand old days" my ass.

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29 minutes ago, Spartan Girl said:

It's on TCM right now.

Yes it is.  I used to keep it on my DVR just for sleeping.  I am a costume 'ho.  I watch Downton Abbey for the costumes, too. That's not England's best time either.  Same shit, different day.

I shit you not.  I was born in Atlanta in 1960, we moved to Texas in 1964.  I did not know until I was about 10  yrs old that the south had lost "the war".  Seriously.  No one told me.

On the other hand, my family were poor Brokeass white sharecroppers.  My grandmothers and mother had  black "nannies".  It was kind of an equal " we all broke" kind of thing.

I don't remember where I heard it (I was about 6), but I said the N word!  My grandmother smacked me the white right off my face! (1966) She said that it was ugly and nasty.  That only "white trash" talked that way.  "They are colored". 

I think it was the best she could do at the time.  She had a black maid that she adored.  She was trying as much as an old Southern woman could.

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4 hours ago, Spartan Girl said:

It's on TCM right now. The scene with those poor slave kids at Twelve Oaks fanning the girls taking their naps has always pissed me off. Those little kids were practically toddlers, THEY were the ones that needed a goddamn nap.

And that's another example of Southern women being treated ever so infuriatingly delicate. Like seriously, what self-respecting teenager would take a nap. Especially when those bitches barely worked all day, except for going to parties and doing needlework or whatever. Although to be fair I'd be so bored doing those things I'd be in a coma. So yeah, to echo an earlier post I'd rather eat poison than live in that era. "Grand old days" my ass.

Don't disagree that these toddlers were more deserving of naps than the teen daughters of the plantation owners' families.

 However; one must keep in mind that from preteen years onward, non-working class white females in the antebellum South were expected to wear boots, stockings, pantaloon undergarments, umpteen petticoats,corsets  and hoops under very heavy outer dresses(although often with very low necklines) even during the height of summer (and,it must be said during pregnancies) so it was rather common for women of that circle to faint from being overwhelmed by all the accoutrements they had to wear. They even had specially made 'fainting chairs' made for the purpose! Yes, if they had worn practical and lighter clothes it would have spared them and those toddler slave girls from all that but few folks of that era besides Amelia Bloomer considered that option. 

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3 hours ago, Blergh said:

Don't disagree that these toddlers were more deserving of naps than the teen daughters of the plantation owners' families.

 However; one must keep in mind that from preteen years onward, non-working class white females in the antebellum South were expected to wear boots, stockings, pantaloon undergarments, umpteen petticoats,corsets  and hoops under very heavy outer dresses(although often with very low necklines) even during the height of summer (and,it must be said during pregnancies) so it was rather common for women of that circle to faint from being overwhelmed by all the accoutrements they had to wear. They even had specially made 'fainting chairs' made for the purpose! Yes, if they had worn practical and lighter clothes it would have spared them and those toddler slave girls from all that but few folks of that era besides Amelia Bloomer considered that option. 

True. And again I say I would rather eat poison than live in that era and have to wear those suffocating dresses in that abominable heat with no air conditioning. Yeah, I'm spoiled, so what?

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1 hour ago, Spartan Girl said:

True. And again I say I would rather eat poison than live in that era and have to wear those suffocating dresses in that abominable heat with no air conditioning. Yeah, I'm spoiled, so what?

If you're spoiled, then so am I, Spartan Girl. I said it once, I'll say it again: nothing, but nothing on Earth could compel me to live in the Old South. I love that I can wear a tank and shorts in the summer (again, I live in the South, our summers are no joke), that I have air conditioning, and that I can fucking vote. And "Southern Gentlemen" have never done a thing for me (my dear, darling husband isn't even from the States).

And the little girls fanning the napping Southern belles always pissed me off too, even back when I unabashedly loved GWtW. It's more impossible for me now than ever to not root for the North (however flawed they were). 

Edited by Wiendish Fitch
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8 hours ago, zillabreeze said:

I shit you not.  I was born in Atlanta in 1960, we moved to Texas in 1964.  I did not know until I was about 10  yrs old that the south had lost "the war".  Seriously.  No one told me.

No one's telling them that today, either. That's why there's such an uproar about keeping statues of a bunch of alleged "heroes" who were little more than traitorous assholes who lost the damned war. That's right, the South has a collective hard-on for a bunch of losers. It boggles the mind. And, no, slaves were not happy being slaves. Even if they appeared happy (which I call bullshit), a prisoner having a good day now and then doesn't erase the fact that they're still in prison.

Back to GWtW, liking the movie does not reflect on anyone as an individual in any way, shape or form (mind you, I used to adore it), it just rubs this particular individual the wrong way. I'm prickly because I was born in New England, but I've lived in the South since the age of 7. Technically I'm a native, but I still feel like a Yankee at heart, and Southern pomposity and the blind spots regarding the Civil War irk me to no end, and I now feel GWtW has contributed negatively in some small way.

Again, the film has a lot going for it, and I will alway get the appeal... but it also has a lot going against it, and, given recent events, it's too hard to ignore the negative aspects.

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On 6/30/2019 at 12:02 PM, Scarlett45 said:

I’m a black woman and I still enjoy the film. It is my favorite film (hence my name)

I have had a mess of adopted greyhounds.  My beloved, Scarlett, was named for her tiny waist!

Right now, the smart, bossy and shiny black girl that runs my house is "HattieMac".   The highest of honors, IMHO.

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My mom had it on earlier, and when I informed how racist Mellie was in the book she was shocked. 

Racism aside, I can't help liking Mellie, both in the book or movie. She and Mammy were more awesome than people took them for.

Olivia just turned 103 this month. Still alive and kicking!

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Since the story is told from the viewpoints of the whites/previous slave owners, I'm not surprised it depicts the "Old South" as glorious and wonderful, etc.  They would see it that way.  They weren't slaves, and they benefitted from the system.  As for the freed slaves continuing to work for former masters or returning to work for former masters, the freed slaves were not given what they were promised when the war ended, so they didn't have a lot of choices.

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On 6/25/2019 at 3:03 PM, VCRTracking said:

I've always been more interested in the making of GWTW and that era of Hollywood history than the actual movie itself. I saw the TV movie "The Scarlett O'Hara War" more than a decade after it first aired in 1980. You can find it on YouTube. It starred Tony Curtis as David O. Selznick as he searches for the right actress to play Scarlett. All the leading ladies of the day Joan Crawford, Carole Lombard, Jean Arthur, Katherine Hepburn, Talullah Bankhead, Miriam Hopkins vie for the coveted role. Selznick goes through many trials and tribulations trying to find the right actress. Finally at the end of the movie just as they begin production by filming the burning of Atlanta first, Selznick's brother introduces him to a young actress from England by saying "Meet Scarlet O'Hara." and it's Vivian Leigh(played by Morgan Brittany) and Selznick smiles.

Leigh was the perfect choice not just because she was so startingly beautiful(especially for the then new technicolor with those green eyes), but also half Irish and grew up in India during the British Raj, so acting like a member of a more privileged class and race wouldn't have been hard.

Tallulah may have been up there in age, but I think that she would have made a ok Scarlett. 

I LOVE Tallulah Bankhead. Her episode of I Love Lucy (or maybe it was another Lucy show) is the best episode. 

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