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Det Jim McLeod

Gone With The Wind (1939) Surprising And Shocking Moments

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I just watched this again for the second time all the way through. I give it 10/10, still a stunning achievement with excellent acting, engrossing story, great color, sets, costumes. 

I would like to talk about some of the more surprising and even shocking moments in it. 

First of all the character of Scarlett O'Hara and the performance of Vivien Leigh. many have said she is just a spoiled. manipulative brat and they don't like spending 4 hours with her. I was fascinated by her, she may not be the most likable woman but you can't help but root for her in many of the scenes. She goes through a lot in this story, it may be hard to tell if she has learned anything, but so what, I enjoyed the ride with her. And I think Leigh's performance is the greatest by any actress in film history. 

There is some shocking scenes in this as well. There is the scene of a wounded soldier needs a leg amputated, and the doctor has no chloroform for anesthesia, so he must do it without it! Of course it is not shown but just the suggestion of this in a 1939 is a grisly moment, we also hear his pleas and screams while Scarlett looks on in horror. The most memorable scene for me was when Scarlett is menaced by a Yankee deserter and is forced to shoot him in the face. The bloody scene is shockingly violent for it's time and still provides a jolt today. Scarlett is attacked in another scene while she is riding in a horse drawn cart. A black slave Big Sam comes to her rescue and knocks out the white man attacking her, giving a black man a rare heroic moment in a 1930s film. 

What are your thoughts?  

 

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I remember being shocked by the scene of the Yankee solider being shot the first time I saw it. Wasn't expecting the gore. Also the scene with Gable carrying her upstairs against her will was very suggestive without showing the details....

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I can't say anything in the movie  "shocked" me.  I was too overwhelmed by the scope of the story and the many well shot scenes to allow any make believe scenarios to spoil anything for me I guess.  If anything, I was surprised NOBODY hit PRISSY(Butterfly McQueen) with anything harder than the back of a hand.  After a couple of minutes, I was wondering how anyone kept from taking a BALL PEEN HAMMER to her skull!  ;) 

Sepiatone

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1 hour ago, Hibi said:

I remember being shocked by the scene of the Yankee solider being shot the first time I saw it. Wasn't expecting the gore. Also the scene with Gable carrying her upstairs against her will was very suggestive without showing the details....

Actually here Hibi, I've always thought the MOST "suggestive" part about this was the very next scene and when you see Scarlett the next morning in bed with a big ol' smile plastered across her face and her singing away! ;) 

(..oh and btw...back when GWTW was first broadcast on CBS for a while and they inserted commercials in it, it always bugged the hell out of me that they put one RIGHT after Gable carries her up those stairs and thus kind'a breaking the continuity of the whole thing)

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I know that in the last 20-25 years there’s been an effort to “cancel” Gone With the Wind and the movie does tend to romanticize the antebellum South, but I agree with the OP.  The book was very popular in the mid 30’s and I can imagine how daunting the entire project was for most involved (Howard didn’t care and sometimes it shows—but I think he does a fine job.) I have to say that Vivian Leigh was magnificent in the role. 

It’s a roller coaster ride of a movie, and to me anyway, it really moves fast for such a long movie. But I’ve seen it about 30 times so I thinks that helps in moving it along. 

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Guess using the word damn gave some a coronary. ;)

8779afa10e1ac9d3e7b1211dd4e38af910f31fd6

 

For those who hate pain  putting on that 19th century torture device. 

Ow, ow!

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5c74bf626e1d509d93af07e38c443364.jpg

 

 

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13 minutes ago, HelenBaby2 said:

I know that in the last 20-25 years there’s been an effort to “cancel” Gone With the Wind and the movie does tend to romanticize the antebellum South, but I agree with the OP.  The book was very popular in the mid 30’s and I can imagine how daunting the entire project was for most involved (Howard didn’t care and sometimes it shows—but I think he does a fine job.) I have to say that Vivian Leigh was magnificent in the role. 

It’s a roller coaster ride of a movie, and to me anyway, it really moves fast for such a long movie. But I’ve seen it about 30 times so I thinks that helps in moving it along. 

 

Well hence the name "GONE with the Wind", the end of  the antebellum South. That much is part of history which makes it puzzling if not ridiculous why some people want it "canceled" (aka political correctness).  :wacko:

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12 minutes ago, Sepiatone said:

If anything, I was surprised NOBODY hit PRISSY(Butterfly McQueen) with anything harder than the back of a hand. 

Her voice could be a bit annoying but I thought she was funny. In the scene where she begs Rhett Butler to come down as he talks to her from a window, you can see he is quite amused by her.

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Just now, HelenBaby2 said:

 the movie does tend to romanticize the antebellum South,

I guess what bothers me the most is comments like that.

The book OR movie doesn't "romanticize" the Antebellum South any more than it "legitimizes" slavery( and yes, I've read that complaint somewhere before...)  but merely displays the way of life of southern gentry before the civil war, and what's become of it in the wake.   Actually IMHO, it makes the Antebellum South look more laughable than "romantic".  :D   I can't imagine holding any esteem or pride in a "heritage" that was so clueless and self absorbed. 

Sepiatone

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7 minutes ago, Sepiatone said:

The book OR movie doesn't "romanticize" the Antebellum South any more than it "legitimizes" slavery(

And Hattie McDaniel's Mammy character was one slave that wasn't afraid to get mouthy with her masters!

Image result for hattie mcdaniel gone with the wind images

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2 minutes ago, Det Jim McLeod said:

And Hattie McDaniel's Mammy character was one slave that wasn't afraid to get mouthy with her masters!

Image result for hattie mcdaniel gone with the wind images

 

How many forgot her WINNING an Oscar for that role, in 1940!

 

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21 minutes ago, Sepiatone said:

I guess what bothers me the most is comments like that.

The book OR movie doesn't "romanticize" the Antebellum South any more than it "legitimizes" slavery( and yes, I've read that complaint somewhere before...)  but merely displays the way of life of southern gentry before the civil war, and what's become of it in the wake.   Actually IMHO, it makes the Antebellum South look more laughable than "romantic".  :D   I can't imagine holding any esteem or pride in a "heritage" that was so clueless and self absorbed. 

Sepiatone

Great post here, Sepia!

Especially liked the part of your post I placed in bold, and one of the scenes that first came to mind regarding this very thing was when Rhett was asked by the assembled Southern "gentlemen" during the party at Twelve Oaks what he thought about the South's chances of winning the war were, and then that doofus Charles Hamilton challenges him to a duel because the idiot doesn't like what he heard.

(...oh man, how I've always loved that scene, and how Gable attempts to set those southern "gentleman" straight about their "chivalry" being a match for Union cannons, but of course to no avail)

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46 minutes ago, Dargo said:

Actually here Hibi, I've always thought the MOST "suggestive" part about this was the very next scene and when you see Scarlett the next morning in bed with a big ol' smile plastered across her face and her singing away! ;) 

(..oh and btw...back when GWTW was first broadcast in CBS for a while and they inserted commercials in it, it always bugged the hell out of me that they put one RIGHT after Gable carries her up those stairs and thus kind'a breaking the continuity of the whole thing)

Yes, that too! LOL.

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1 hour ago, hamradio said:

Well hence the name "GONE with the Wind", the end of  the antebellum South. That much is part of history which makes it puzzling if not ridiculous why some people want it "canceled" (aka political correctness).

The figurative "wind" was William Tecumseh Sherman. 

Anyone who reads the book might be surprised to learn Scarlett has a child with each of her husbands... 

VIVIAN LEIGH is magnificent in the part of Scarlett. 

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GWTW would, I suspect, look like a pretty postcard film, a relic of its time in its romantic fanciful presentation of the antebellum South as well as a politically incorrect movie (its racism walking gently through the back door as opposed to Birth of a Nation which bursts in its full ugliness through the front door) if it was not for the magnificence of Vivien Leigh's portrayal.

Leigh's Scarlett O'Hara remains the focal point of the film throughout. Even when the production's interest threatens to totter to a degree in its soap opera second half the depth of the actress's performance keeps this epic standing straight.

Scarlett+-+Gone+With+The+Wind.jpg

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I think that Vivien's performance holds the record for the longest by a Best Actress winner, but I may be wrong.  She was in virtually every scene .

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My wife thinks she overacts in it.

As I turned on the TV in the living room just after dinner the other night to discover TCM was again presenting this film and just as the opening title was sweeping across the screen, I said "Oh look, TCM is showing  'Frankly my dear, I don't give a damn' (in my best Clark Gable voice) again." And to which she then replied with, "Meh, it's okay. I always thought Vivien Leigh was over-the-top in it", and then did HER impression of Leigh's closing "Tomorrow IS another DAY" line, and then she got up and started to walk out of the room to the den.

As she did, I said, "Well, you have to admit GABLE is pretty good in it anyway", and to which she replied, "Yeah, he's pretty good in it, anyway."

(...and now for some reason the old Charlie Rich song 'Behind Closed Doors' is coming to mind for me here)

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19 minutes ago, Dargo said:

My wife think she overacts in it.

As I turned on the TV in the living room just after dinner the other night to discover TCM was again presenting this film and just as the opening title was sweeping across the screen, I said "Oh look, TCM is showing  'Frankly my dear, I don't give a damn' (in my best Clark Gable voice) again." And to which she then replied with, "Meh, it's okay. I always thought Vivien Leigh was over-the-top in it", and then did HER impression of Leigh's closing "Tomorrow IS another DAY" line, and then she got up and started to walk out of the room to the den.

As she did, I said, "Well, you have to admit GABLE is pretty good in it anyway", and to which she replied, "Yeah, he's pretty good in it, anyway."

(...and now for some reason the old Charlie Rich song 'Behind Closed Doors' is coming to mind for me here)

That makes me recall a school party I went to in the mid- '70s in which two women were recreating and then re-recreating the scene in which Scarlett slaps Prissy. "I don't know nothin' 'bout birthing no babies," one kept saying as the other one would grab her and make a sweeping motion with her flattened hand just missing the other's face as she yelled "SLAP!" Everyone was laughing and I joined in, fancying that I could do a pretty fair Gable impersonation, pulling out my ears for added effect as I growled, "Now, Scarlett, you STOP THAT!" Of course she didn't as the fake slaps continued.

It was a lot of fun at the time and everybody there "got it" without anyone having to explain to anybody that we doing GWTW. I wonder if something like that could happen at a party today.

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18 minutes ago, TomJH said:

...It was a lot of fun at the time and everybody there "got it" without anyone having to explain to anybody that we doing GWTW. I wonder if something like that could happen at a party today.

Well Tom, I'd say it would all depend upon WHERE this party was being held.

Say, if this party were being held at the rec center of some over-55 retirement housing development, yeah, it probably COULD happen, and as long as all the walkers and wheelchairs had been moved off to the corner of the room first!

(...but no, sorry to say I'd think the chances of this happening at some youth center somewhere or maybe even at a party mostly attended by a bunch of Gen-Y-ers is probably a long shot at best)

;)

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17 minutes ago, Dargo said:

Well Tom, I'd say it would all depend upon WHERE this party was being held.

Say, if this party were being held at the rec center of some over-55 retirement housing development, yeah, it probably COULD happen, and as long as all the walkers and wheelchairs had been moved off to the corner of the room first!

(...but no, sorry to say I'd think the chances of this happening at some young center somewhere or maybe even at a party mostly attended by a bunch of Gen-Y-ers is probably a long shot at best)

;)

Yeh, probably, but  . . .

tumblr_ojwx8yNIHF1s09zx8o3_500.gifv

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9 hours ago, Dargo said:

My wife think she overacts in it.

As I turned on the TV in the living room just after dinner the other night to discover TCM was again presenting this film and just as the opening title was sweeping across the screen, I said "Oh look, TCM is showing  'Frankly my dear, I don't give a damn' (in my best Clark Gable voice) again." And to which she then replied with, "Meh, it's okay. I always thought Vivien Leigh was over-the-top in it", and then did HER impression of Leigh's closing "Tomorrow IS another DAY" line, and then she got up and started to walk out of the room to the den.

As she did, I said, "Well, you have to admit GABLE is pretty good in it anyway", and to which she replied, "Yeah, he's pretty good in it, anyway."

(...and now for some reason the old Charlie Rich song 'Behind Closed Doors' is coming to mind for me here)

 

If she wants to see OVERACTING, watch "Camille" (1936) 

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43 minutes ago, hamradio said:

If she wants to see OVERACTING, watch "Camille" (1936) 

I don't disagree, but why does SPENCER TRACY always come to mind when someone mentions overacting? 

tumblr_pj6vlxOR2t1w3x2dzo1_500.gifvCaptian+Courageous+1937.gif

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18 hours ago, hamradio said:

Well hence the name "GONE with the Wind", the end of  the antebellum South. That much is part of history which makes it puzzling if not ridiculous why some people want it "canceled" (aka political correctness).

Agreed.

My first viewing, I was most struck by the silly, serious behaviour that separated "ladies" vs "dyed haired women". Being brought up with very watered down versions of those behaviours it was an interesting history lesson of where/why they actually came from.

(I loved when Scarlett threw dirt at Victor Jory, "That's all of Tara you'll ever get!")

The women had to behave a certain way to show others their good upbringing and eligibility for making a good wife/mother/representative for their family. You watch the transformation of ALL the charactors and how their different personalities dealt with the fall of their culture-the O'Haras, the Wilkes, the freed slaves, etc. 

Women devoured the book when it first came out & delighted in Scarlett's emancipation. I'm afraid too few identified with the parallel, more serious slave emancipation. Everyone cheers for Mammy's wisdom & power over her situation. The fall of Tara is the first time Scarlett reverses the roles in Mammy's life.

My Mom read the book in two days as a teen then gave me her first print copy when I was a teen. I loved it too. I am also lucky enough to have seen it projected 35mm in a theater-and sat in the front row. 

I knew a man who had a preconceived notion about Scarlett. He said he didn't want to watch a movie about a spoiled brat. He trusted me to give it a try and in this scene...

16 hours ago, TomJH said:

 

Scarlett+-+Gone+With+The+Wind.jpg

...I caught him crying like a baby. The power of movies.

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48 minutes ago, TikiSoo said:

I knew a man who had a preconceived notion about Scarlett. He said he didn't want to watch a movie about a spoiled brat. He trusted me to give it a try and in this scene...

...I caught him crying like a baby. The power of movies.

I can understand that, TikiSoo. For my money there is no more powerful or inspiration scene in GWTW than this one, with Scarlett's declaration to God that neither she nor her family will ever starve again. Along with its stunning photography and Max Steiner's glorious musical score which slowly builds, oh how the passion and strength of Vivien Leigh sells it! This is truly one of the great moments of the movies.

 

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18 hours ago, Dargo said:

Well Tom, I'd say it would all depend upon WHERE this party was being held.

Say, if this party were being held at the rec center of some over-55 retirement housing development, yeah, it probably COULD happen, and as long as all the walkers and wheelchairs had been moved off to the corner of the room first!

(...but no, sorry to say I'd think the chances of this happening at some youth center somewhere or maybe even at a party mostly attended by a bunch of Gen-Y-ers is probably a long shot at best)

;)

The movie was only 30 something years old at the time too though. Being more recent in people's minds but yes, I doubt many would understand that quote today.

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