Eating my vegetables #5: Gone with the Wind

I had to watch Victor Flemming’s classic Gone With the Wind over two days because I somehow failed to understand that the film was almost four hours long. And I’ll be damned – it’s no doubt a story to warrant such an uber-epic length! A film so big, bold and melodramatic, I have to give it props for living up to it’s larger than life reputation. It is truly a grand story of the landed gentry of the Old South during the last half of the 19th century: the deprivations and carnage of the Civil War, the humbling squalor of Reconstruction and, of course, the deathless story of a love quadrangle throughout all those many years. By far the greatest thing about this film is the end: the dashing and rakish Rhett Butler, having finally and fully succumbed to Scarlett’s flighty and manipulative charms, fully realizes that his wife is a total bitch and deserves misery and longing for the rest of her miserable and immature life and walks out on her once and for all (appropriately just as the pragmatically scheming Scarlett finally realizes her life-long crush, the feminine and weak-willed Ashley Wilkes will never reciprocate the school-girl crush she’s harbored for twenty years!)

Continuing my post-modern PC analysis of the classics of American cinema, this one was a doozy! Slaves (even put upon field hands) betray absolutely zero resentment of their masters. A wife is raped by her drunken husband and, the next morning, glows as if she just spent the night discovering the joys of a new vibrator. But, good lord, does the camera just about swoon whenever Vivien Leigh and Clark Gable embrace? And great balls of fire do I love that a film ostensibly revolving around a love story has such an incredibly unhappy ending!

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