Drama Gone with the Wind (1939)

Kevin

Code Monkey
Staff member
Joined
Mar 20, 2004
Location
Pennsylvania
Mrs. Kevin is a fan - well, maybe "was" but more on that later - of Gone with the Wind, the 1939 movie about life in the South during the Civil War and Reconstruction Era that followed. Our local Movie Tavern theater shows old movies every Sunday & Wednesday for limited viewings (one theater, one matinee & one night viewing) which is a pretty cool way of catching movies you may not have seen in years.

Being the good husband that I am :whistle: I bought tickets for the recent Sunday 2PM matinee viewing and Mrs. Kevin was excited to see it on the big screen. This may have been a mistake.

I did not realize until after getting the tickets that movie is four hours long. Four. Hours. Four hours! That is longer than other movies like Titanic and Seven Years in Tibet (which felt like seven years when watching that clunker in the theater). Fortunately Movie Tavern has wide aisles so it's easy to sneak out for a bathroom break and that time of day it was pretty empty. Being able to order drink refills & popcorn without leaving our seats helped as well.

The length of the movie was not the real problem though. The big problem is that this had to have been one of the most depressing movies I have ever watched in my life. :wtf:

Scarlett O'Hara, the main focus of the movie, is somebody who uses manipulation and deceit to get whatever she wants and has no concern for those around her even though she is ruining their lives. She is not a strong female character, she is a self-centered opportunist who clings to a vision of her life before the war and, till the very end, is only concerned with what will happen to herself.

Rhett Butler, the womanizing privateer, thinks he finds happiness in a marriage to Scarlett and a young daughter. He ends up being shattered when their daughter dies and finds himself in a loveless marriage. Bitter and emotionally empty he returns to his hometown.

Ashley, the focus of Scarlett's attention, wants nothing more than to take his wife, Melanie, to NY to start a new life. Instead he finds himself stuck in running a lumber company, a business that he knows nothing about, because of Scarlett manipulating her "friendship" with Melanie. Oh, and let's not forget that Melanie is also Ashley's cousin. He ends up a widower with a newborn.

Melanie, Ashley 's wife, knows that Scarlett envies her husband but she tries to see Scarlett as friend and defends her from those who see Scarlett for what she really is. Melanie, like Ashley, believes in honor and commitment though it may come at a personal cost. She dies after a difficult childbirth.

And those are just the major characters. Scarlett's father? Goes mad during Union occupation of Tara, the family plantation. Scarlett's mother? Dead. Scarlett's sisters? Relegated to the background as Scarlett takes over Tara. Scarlett's first husband? A young kid she married because she thinks it'll make Ashley jealous, he dies in the war. Scarlett's second husband? He was one of her sister's boyfriends but after the war he becomes a successful businessman and Scarlett deceives him into marrying her so that she can get his money to save Tara from taxes. He dies after him & group of men attack a homeless camp after Scarlett is attacked by men living in the camp. Scarlett's third husband? Rhett Butler, she used him & broke him.

Then of course there are the scenes of the brutality of the Civil War, thousands of men laying in the streets of Atlanta injured & dying with nearly no medical care while the Union canons decimate the city and are about to occupy it. Slaves are abundant and portrayed as either faithful servants or listless dullards. The society men of the South are portrayed as naive fools who literally jump for joy when war with the North is declared.

Fours hours of death, destruction, and desperation. :facepalm:

Leaving the theater Mrs. Kevin commented how she had not watched the whole movie in a good number of years and was surprised that it was more depressing then she remembered. I think she, like many others, thought of Gone with the Wind as an epic romance movie as that seems to be how US pop culture depicts it. In reality the movie is dark & grim but presents itself wrapped up in visually stunning scenes with some outstanding actors & actresses.

I'm not so sure if Mrs. Kevin is, at least for a while, as much of a fan of the movie as she once was.

 

Tom

An Old Friend
Joined
Dec 6, 2004
Location
Gulf Coast
Back when it was first showing in theaters I believe they had what was called intermissions, where they stop the movie to make reel changes and people could get up and stretch, get refreshments and take bathroom breaks. This is an example of technology that causes an issue instead of being a convenience.
My file is the full 4 hours but I can pause it anytime I want.

I was never really a fan of Gone with the Wind because it is so depressing.
I did like the Carrol Burnett skit Went with the Wind tho.


Popular Videos - Carol Burnett & Gone with the Wind - YouTube
 

Kevin

Code Monkey
Staff member
Joined
Mar 20, 2004
Location
Pennsylvania
Back when it was first showing in theaters I believe they had what was called intermissions, where they stop the movie to make reel changes and people could get up and stretch, get refreshments and take bathroom breaks. This is an example of technology that causes an issue instead of being a convenience.
Around the 2 hour mark there was a 4 minute intermission. In the original showings the intermission would be longer than 4 minutes as the screen went blank for, as you mentioned, changing the reels and giving people a break. In the cut shown at Movie Tavern the screen was left on with the word "Intermission" shown.

The intermission also served as a cut-off point in the story for the end of the war and the start of reconstruction.

I just feel bad for Mrs. Kevin as I think she now views the movie entirely different.
 

Tom

An Old Friend
Joined
Dec 6, 2004
Location
Gulf Coast
I've noticed just the opposite with my own movie favorites.
Movies I used to adore are now ho-hum and many films I used to think were slow or depressing are now good watching.
Not monster movies, never monster movies. I think I will always love monsters and creatures.
I have noticed that lately I seem to be more tolerant of dramas?

I also now prefer baked food over fried.
Guess I'm just getting old.
 

sci-fi-dude

1963, 1899 called they want every thing back....
Joined
Jul 20, 2017
Location
DFW
We southern folk it call it by its proper name "The war between the states" Good ol' hollyweird portraying real life in a slightly fictional way. But, the film had the most famous 1st amendment loving line "Frankly my dear I don't give a dam."
Mrs. Kevin is a fan - well, maybe "was" but more on that later - of Gone with the Wind, the 1939 movie about life in the South during the Civil War and Reconstruction Era that followed. Our local Movie Tavern theater shows old movies every Sunday & Wednesday for limited viewings (one theater, one matinee & one night viewing) which is a pretty cool way of catching movies you may not have seen in years.

Being the good husband that I am :whistle: I bought tickets for the recent Sunday 2PM matinee viewing and Mrs. Kevin was excited to see it on the big screen. This may have been a mistake.

I did not realize until after getting the tickets that movie is four hours long. Four. Hours. Four hours! That is longer than other movies like Titanic and Seven Years in Tibet (which felt like seven years when watching that clunker in the theater). Fortunately Movie Tavern has wide aisles so it's easy to sneak out for a bathroom break and that time of day it was pretty empty. Being able to order drink refills & popcorn without leaving our seats helped as well.

The length of the movie was not the real problem though. The big problem is that this had to have been one of the most depressing movies I have ever watched in my life. :wtf:

Scarlett O'Hara, the main focus of the movie, is somebody who uses manipulation and deceit to get whatever she wants and has no concern for those around her even though she is ruining their lives. She is not a strong female character, she is a self-centered opportunist who clings to a vision of her life before the war and, till the very end, is only concerned with what will happen to herself.

Rhett Butler, the womanizing privateer, thinks he finds happiness in a marriage to Scarlett and a young daughter. He ends up being shattered when their daughter dies and finds himself in a loveless marriage. Bitter and emotionally empty he returns to his hometown.

Ashley, the focus of Scarlett's attention, wants nothing more than to take his wife, Melanie, to NY to start a new life. Instead he finds himself stuck in running a lumber company, a business that he knows nothing about, because of Scarlett manipulating her "friendship" with Melanie. Oh, and let's not forget that Melanie is also Ashley's cousin. He ends up a widower with a newborn.

Melanie, Ashley 's wife, knows that Scarlett envies her husband but she tries to see Scarlett as friend and defends her from those who see Scarlett for what she really is. Melanie, like Ashley, believes in honor and commitment though it may come at a personal cost. She dies after a difficult childbirth.

And those are just the major characters. Scarlett's father? Goes mad during Union occupation of Tara, the family plantation. Scarlett's mother? Dead. Scarlett's sisters? Relegated to the background as Scarlett takes over Tara. Scarlett's first husband? A young kid she married because she thinks it'll make Ashley jealous, he dies in the war. Scarlett's second husband? He was one of her sister's boyfriends but after the war he becomes a successful businessman and Scarlett deceives him into marrying her so that she can get his money to save Tara from taxes. He dies after him & group of men attack a homeless camp after Scarlett is attacked by men living in the camp. Scarlett's third husband? Rhett Butler, she used him & broke him.

Then of course there are the scenes of the brutality of the Civil War, thousands of men laying in the streets of Atlanta injured & dying with nearly no medical care while the Union canons decimate the city and are about to occupy it. Slaves are abundant and portrayed as either faithful servants or listless dullards. The society men of the South are portrayed as naive fools who literally jump for joy when war with the North is declared.

Fours hours of death, destruction, and desperation. :facepalm:

Leaving the theater Mrs. Kevin commented how she had not watched the whole movie in a good number of years and was surprised that it was more depressing then she remembered. I think she, like many others, thought of Gone with the Wind as an epic romance movie as that seems to be how US pop culture depicts it. In reality the movie is dark & grim but presents itself wrapped up in visually stunning scenes with some outstanding actors & actresses.

I'm not so sure if Mrs. Kevin is, at least for a while, as much of a fan of the movie as she once was.

Yeup war is hell. The south truly lost a lot, but so did the north, funny thing, no one ever thanked the north or the south for their sacrifice, hmmm, interesting. I heard a Cajun man once tell me about ol' flame thrower Sherman burning every thing in his path except for one church in La. The preacher boldly stood in front of his church and yelled to the evil Sherman on horse back not to burn this church tonight, Sherman stared with eyes a blazing, didn't say anything during his arson lust, and he split. For the preacher it truly was a better night than everyone else. Rip Dixie, rip!:(:(:(
 

sci-fi-dude

1963, 1899 called they want every thing back....
Joined
Jul 20, 2017
Location
DFW
I saw it a long time ago. It was a pretty good film. An interesting fictional story. The 39 steps is a classic, as well as you cant take it with you. All classics are great!
 
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