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Gone With The Wind (1939) Surprising And Shocking Moments


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2 hours ago, Janet0312 said:

Can you kids point me to the thread about Zippy doo dah Song of the South that we are not allowed to watch anymore? We had an in depth discussion about this at work last night, most of us at the age where we adored the film as children. 

If you can't find it, there is a nice parody of it in Fletch Lives.

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2 hours ago, jamesjazzguitar said:

Interesting perspective here related to misogyny and it's implied impact on how one views Scarlett (especially the 'coming-of-age' maturation):

So did Rhett make a major mistake leaving her at the end of the film?    Was he being  a misogynist?   I.e.   he only wanted a wife \ life partner if he could control and dominate,  and he couldn't do that with the now strong,  grown up Scarlett?

I.e.  Scarlett had maturated to become the type of women any secure man would love to have as a wife \ life partner and Rhett was just too insecure to deal with such a women?

 

You need to watch the end of the movie again.  Scarlett did not express her love for him and Rhett believed she still loved Ashley Wilkes instead of him.  And of course with the loss of Bonnie, they had nothing to hold them together any longer.

I think Rhett, as I remember the book and movie, very much wanted the independent, ambitious, head strong Scarlett as his equal.  Of course, after Bonnie's birth he reverted to the Old South tradition of trying to please the aristocratic women so Bonnie would be accepted by "good families."  Something he never cared about for himself or Scarlett.

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28 minutes ago, TheCid said:

You need to watch the end of the movie again.  Scarlett did not express her love for him and Rhett believed she still loved Ashley Wilkes instead of him.  And of course with the loss of Bonnie, they had nothing to hold them together any longer.

I think Rhett, as I remember the book and movie, very much wanted the independent, ambitious, head strong Scarlett as his equal.  Of course, after Bonnie's birth he reverted to the Old South tradition of trying to please the aristocratic women so Bonnie would be accepted by "good families."  Something he never cared about for himself or Scarlett.

I'm not trying to nit pick, Cid, but in the film's final scene Scarlett at one point says, "I only know I love you" to which Rhett responds, "That's your misfortune" as he starts to descend the stairs to leave. He either doesn't believe her or, you know, doesn't give a . . ..

After putting up with endless self indulgence and psychological abuse from Scarlett to the point of m a s o chism Rhett is finally resigned to the end of their love, as well as his sense of independence from her. Their bonding tie of a daughter is gone forever. Mixed with a melancholy he must feel over the death of his love for Scarlett he must also feel a sense of emotional freedom as he departs.

The film does not have a happy ending for Rhett but he has at least reasserted his dignity as he begins a new future without Scarlett.

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Scarlett is in love with Tara (it "echoes" all around her at the end).  She then talks about her plans for "Tomorrow is Another Day" (can related to that right now) and, can't remember, but you see she has gone back to Tara again.  The scene I can't stand watching is when Bonnie Blue dies (just like pa - I have the feeling that Scarlett knew what was coming).

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14 hours ago, Dargo said:

And THIS is exactly what I've thought of its SECOND HALF since the very first time I watched it during its early-'70s theater re-issue("ante"-CBS television premiere) showing.

But once again, only or at least primarily its second half.

Now, I think its FIRST HALF is not only much better paced and less episodic (besides being less melodramatic or "soapy") but also contains some of the best cinematography in any film ever made.

Yeah, the first half seems relatively subdued, plus it takes some exposition time to get the melodrama train up

to full speed. And the Civil War is obviously going to put most of the characters into places they didn't expect

to be and upend their mostly placid lives. And the visuals and production values and the whole epic sweep of

the Civil War story are first rate. I vaguely remember going on a school trip to see GWTW in one of its re-releases.

How the teachers sold a trip to see an almost four hour movie as educational and why they would want to take

a mess of kids to do so is beyond me. Of course we got bored and there was a lot of snickering and joking, though

I don't think anybody actually threw anything at the screen.

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11 hours ago, TikiSoo said:

The first half of the movie Scarlet's a typical teen - self centered. She's so wrapped up in herself she doesn't realize other people exist outside of her own needs.

In the second half she realizes no one is going to take care of her any more. She steps up and not only takes care of herself, but everyone else around her-the O'Haras, the Wilkes & the slaves.

And when the one person who would take care of her leaves, she stops crying, realizing she'll be OK without him.

If that coming-of-age maturation came from a man, the comment would be "He's grown up! Strong!"

But because she's a woman, the comments are always, "what a witch!" proving misogyny still exists in our society.

 

How about Scarlett is a belle on wheels? She finally gets back to her original position by marrying a rich old dude who

kindly exits so she can inherit the business and build it up, likely through questionable business dealings. Nothing

to applaud in a person of either gender. 

 

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One of the most poignant scenes in GWTW is when a tearful Mammy tells Melanie of the destructiveness that she had witnessed  between Rhett and Scarlett following Bonnie Blue's death. The scene is a marvelous showcase for Hattie McDaniel as an actress and it's a shame that Hollywood never again offered her the opportunity to show off her dramatic powers as an actress as she does here.

But I also want to say a word about the emotional support Hattie receives in this scene from Olivia de Havilland, whose sympathetic presence I suspect strongly assisted the actress in reaching emotionally deep in order to produce those tears. Don't forget, too, that, similarly, Olivia shared the screen with Gable in the scene in the film which he most dreaded having to play when his character had to cry.

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3 hours ago, TheCid said:

You need to watch the end of the movie again.  Scarlett did not express her love for him and Rhett believed she still loved Ashley Wilkes instead of him.  And of course with the loss of Bonnie, they had nothing to hold them together any longer.

I think Rhett, as I remember the book and movie, very much wanted the independent, ambitious, head strong Scarlett as his equal.  Of course, after Bonnie's birth he reverted to the Old South tradition of trying to please the aristocratic women so Bonnie would be accepted by "good families."  Something he never cared about for himself or Scarlett.

I read what Tom wrote and that is how I recall the ending;  Scarlett at least says she loves Rhett.     While that may be true or not,   one thing we do know is that she no longer loves Wilkes.      I.e. she has no plan to divorce Rhett and marry Wilkes,  but instead wants to continue on with Rhett.

Rhett reject her.      The reason given for him ending the relationship in Tom's post make sense to me,   but I wonder if they are realistic,  especially to those that view Scarlett as now a strong,   independent,  and capable women.      I.e. the wife \ partner Rhett had always desired.

 

 

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7 hours ago, jamesjazzguitar said:

Interesting perspective here related to misogyny and it's implied impact on how one views Scarlett (especially the 'coming-of-age' maturation):

So did Rhett make a major mistake leaving her at the end of the film?    Was he being  a misogynist?   I.e.   he only wanted a wife \ life partner if he could control and dominate,  and he couldn't do that with the now strong,  grown up Scarlett?

I.e.  Scarlett had maturated to become the type of women any secure man would love to have as a wife \ life partner and Rhett was just too insecure to deal with such a women?

 

Wait a sec here, James.  "Rhett was too insecure"?  RHETT???

Dude, Gable's Rhett Butler was probably THE most damn "secure" man in ALL of that flick...period!

He was definitely "secure" enough, for just ONE example, to pretty much attempt to enlighten the assembled clueless southern "gentlemen" at the Twelve Oaks party who thought the coming war was going to be a freakin' cakewalk that they were sadly deluded and which ONLY a "secure" man would have attempted to do and given he was surrounded by nothing BUT those sad deluded suckers. And THEN, he was "sucure" enough in his own manhood that he didn't take advantage of that clueless freakin' young man who felt he was "offended" by Rhett's comments and backed down from a damn duel that that clueless freakin' kid had challenged him to.

And IF you think Rhett wasn't secure enough to accept a new "reformed" Scarlett after she finally had her little epiphany about him, let me remind you that more than once the self-aware Rhett was "secure" enough to state flat out that he was "no gentleman", but also told Scarlett that SHE was "no lady" and that THAT was the reason he thought they belonged together. And, even thought Scarlett WOULD finally have this little epiphany, would in NO way suggest he would then find her less desirable. And, the ONLY reason he told her did didn't "give a damn" about her at the end was because by THAT time he had finally had enough of her cluelessness and her lack of respect and lack of love for him.

Nope, they COULD have made it IF only Scarlett had been as "secure" about HERself and as self-aware as Rhett had always been about HIMself throughout their relationship.

(..."Rhett not secure"...BAAAAH, I say)

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3 hours ago, TomJH said:

One of the most poignant scenes in GWTW is when a tearful Mammy tells Melanie of the destructiveness that she had witnessed  between Rhett and Scarlett following Bonnie Blue's death. The scene is a marvelous showcase for Hattie McDaniel as an actress and it's a shame that Hollywood never again offered her the opportunity to show off her dramatic powers as an actress as she does here.

But I also want to say a word about the emotional support Hattie receives in this scene from Olivia de Havilland, whose sympathetic presence I suspect strongly assisted the actress in reaching emotionally deep in order to produce those tears. Don't forget, too, that, similarly, Olivia shared the screen with Gable in the scene in the film which he most dreaded having to play when his character had to cry.

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 ( Caveat-- I'm going to discuss some of the plot of a well-known Bette Davis movie, but I'm not really giving it away. If you haven't seen "In This Our Life", You may want to skip this and save it all for yourself. LOL)

 

Truth of the matter, Hattie McDaniel and Olivia de Havilland relived this very emotional tearful scene in a famous 1942 Bette Davis movie called "In This Our Life".

 Olivia and Bette are sisters in a family, who employs Hattie as the maid.

In this one Warner Brothers vehicle, Bette Davis has setup an early 1940s movie where racism is discussed very frankly for the time and place in the history of movies.

According to the great black American writer, James Baldwin, this film and Bette Davis were favorites in Harlem.

In the scene that we're referring to, Hattie McDaniel is concerned--

or I should say very frightened --

 for her son who has been framed by guilty Bette for a hit-and-run of a white mother and her little girl.

Hattie's son is a law clerk and in law school, but makes extra money driving and taking care of  Bette's car.

James Baldwin said the big moment in the movie for Harlem was when Bette goes to the jail and tells Hattie's son this:

 No one would believe you over the word of a white woman.

Reportedly Warner Brothers deleted that line out foreign distribution.

This movie was John Huston's second film after *"The Maltese Falcon".

* ( An aside for Huston fans, the entire principal cast of "The Maltese Falcon" appears in one scene in the bar where Bette gets soused before the hit and run.)

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26 minutes ago, Princess of Tap said:

* ( An aside for Huston fans, the entire principal cast of "The Maltese Falcon" appears in one scene in the bar where Bette gets soused before the hit and run.)

It's been a few years since I saw In This Our Life but I only recall seeing Walter Huston as the bartender in the bar scene.

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One of my biggest regrets about GWTW was that there were not more scenes between Gable and Hattie McDaniel, the two actors enjoying a delicious chemistry. Then again Rhett and Mammy are also my two favourite characters in the film.

gone-with-the-wind-hattie-mcdaniel-clark

Having said that, to be fair, the film is primarily about Scarlett O'Hara and it's Vivien Leigh's magnificent performance which, for me, largely holds GWTW together.

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10 minutes ago, TomJH said:

It's been a few years since I saw In This Our Life but I only recall seeing Walter Huston as the bartender in the bar scene.

I'm watching "The Maltese Falcon" right now with a commentary by Eric Lax, who co-wrote a biography of Humphrey Bogart in 1997-- "Bogart".

Lax does a lot of background on the movie, the actors and Warner Brothers in general. This is an interesting DVD collection because it has all 3 of the WB versions of "The Maltese Falcon".

 

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13 hours ago, Vautrin said:
On 6/12/2020 at 6:23 AM, TikiSoo said:

If that coming-of-age maturation came from a man, the comment would be "He's grown up! Strong!"

But because she's a woman, the comments are always, "what a witch!" proving misogyny still exists in our society.

 

She finally gets back to her original position by marrying a rich old dude who

kindly exits so she can inherit the business and build it up, likely through questionable business dealings. Nothing

to applaud in a person of either gender. 

 

Exactly. While a man would strong-arm or buy his way up the top, Scarlett uses the only power she has, giving away herself in marriage. It's wrong by antebellum moral standards, but Scarlett declares "I'm going to beat them at their own game" stopping at nothing to provide for herself and her loved ones-including her now technically free slaves. 

Does anyone ever talk about the idea several of Tara's slaves stay living there after they're freed?  Mitchell's intention was to show everyone's confusion over the fall of the previous society and Scarlett taking responsibility for them as her family. Scarlett, her sisters, Melanie all worked the fields for all to eat. 

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11 hours ago, TikiSoo said:

Exactly. While a man would strong-arm or buy his way up the top, Scarlett uses the only power she has, giving away herself in marriage. It's wrong by antebellum moral standards, but Scarlett declares "I'm going to beat them at their own game" stopping at nothing to provide for herself and her loved ones-including her now technically free slaves. 

Does anyone ever talk about the idea several of Tara's slaves stay living there after they're freed?  Mitchell's intention was to show everyone's confusion over the fall of the previous society and Scarlett taking responsibility for them as her family. Scarlett, her sisters, Melanie all worked the fields for all to eat. 

But  "beating them at their own game" implies that she is playing their game, which is basically a

corrupt, dishonest one. I think she could have provided for herself and her various dependents

without marrying the rich guy. That allows her to get back close to her original economic situation,

as long as she's willing to keep cheating in business. 

No doubt some slaves got the hell off  the plantation and some stayed, whether for practical or

other reasons. Perhaps it was more likely that the house servants would have stayed and the field

hands would have left. 

 

 

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13 hours ago, Vautrin said:

I think she could have provided for herself and her various dependents

without marrying the rich guy.

You think so? What resources did women have in 1865 to provide for herself & dependents? 

Any stashed away Confederate money was worthless, there was nothing valuable to sell except Tara and Scarlett wasn't going to leave anyone homeless. All she had was herself to sell and marriage was the lesser evil than prostitution, which she had no experience. She did have experience in flattering men - only now it was necessity rather than fueled by emotion. Well, I guess the emotion that made her decision was fear of hunger & homelessness.

This is why GWTW is a period piece of manners. It illustrates what life was like and how far (or not far) we've come.

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On 6/13/2020 at 6:21 AM, TikiSoo said:

Does anyone ever talk about the idea several of Tara's slaves stay living there after they're freed?  Mitchell's intention was to show everyone's confusion over the fall of the previous society and Scarlett taking responsibility for them as her family. Scarlett, her sisters, Melanie all worked the fields for all to eat. 

I've mentioned this a couple of times over the years. If that was Mitchell's intention, I don't know that it really comes across in the movie. No one seems confused about anything. The former slaves just keep on cheerfully working at their old jobs, as if they couldn't possibly even consider any different kind of life. Do they get paid now? There's certainly not any mention of it. Scarlet does give Polk her father's watch.

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14 minutes ago, sewhite2000 said:

No one seems confused about anything. The former slaves just keep on cheerfully working at their old jobs, as if they couldn't possibly even consider any different kind of life.

I wouldn't say anyone is "cheerful" but some stay, some go (Big Sam, Miss PittyPat) Everyone's "place" is gone with the wind as the previous Southern way of life.

And since we're talking about "people", everyone reacts differently: Scarlett's sisters cry, Melanie takes things intellectually, Mammy tries to keep control of the household but looks to Scarlett for funding. Change is hard for people and it was an abrupt change for the South for all people.

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Well, "dutiful" instead of cheerful, perhaps. And yeah, I forgot about Big Sam, who went off to dig for the army and never really came back, I guess, other than to save Scarlet's life at a most apropos moment.

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4 hours ago, sewhite2000 said:

I've mentioned this a couple of times over the years. If that was Mitchell's intention, I don't know that it really comes across in the movie. No one seems confused about anything. The former slaves just keep on cheerfully working at their old jobs, as if they couldn't possibly even consider any different kind of life. Do they get paid now? There's certainly not any mention of it. Scarlet does give Polk her father's watch.

At that period, almost nobody had any money - not the whites nor the former slaves.  The slaves had never lived anywhere else, had little education in managing money (if they had it) and no skills other than what they had done as slaves.  Very, very few could even read and write.

One often overlooked aspect of the plantation system before the war was that many of the plantation owners were land rich and money poor.  Also, most were in debt to  factors and various other people.  They lived the good life, but much of it was on borrowed money.

A lot of slaves did stay on the plantations and agreed to work for the plantation owners on shares and food and lodging.  The former house slaves would probably have been treated better and more prone to do this.

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7 hours ago, sewhite2000 said:

Well, "dutiful" instead of cheerful, perhaps. And yeah, I forgot about Big Sam, who went off to dig for the army and never really came back, I guess, other than to save Scarlet's life at a most apropos moment.

I woulda told Selznick to late the shanty rabble have her.

:D

 

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2 hours ago, NipkowDisc said:

I woulda told Selznick to late the shanty rabble have her.

:D

 

So are you saying that if you don't like a woman you advocate her being beaten and raped? (Always eager to gain keen insights from those who love to quote the Bible to us all the time).

 

Or is this just another attempt at trolling on your part?

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10 hours ago, TikiSoo said:

You think so? What resources did women have in 1865 to provide for herself & dependents? 

Any stashed away Confederate money was worthless, there was nothing valuable to sell except Tara and Scarlett wasn't going to leave anyone homeless. All she had was herself to sell and marriage was the lesser evil than prostitution, which she had no experience. She did have experience in flattering men - only now it was necessity rather than fueled by emotion. Well, I guess the emotion that made her decision was fear of hunger & homelessness.

This is why GWTW is a period piece of manners. It illustrates what life was like and how far (or not far) we've come.

I'm sure a person of Scarlett's intelligence and deviousness would have found a way to turn a legal buck,

without having to marry a wealthy old codger (okay he was only a middle aged codger, but old codger is

funnier.) She could have rented the remaining slaves out as day labor and maybe done the same with her

sisters. She would have led a less glamorous life, but she could have done okay. In some aspects the movie is

a period piece, in others it's a rather over the top melodrama, a sometimes entertaining one at that.

 

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4 minutes ago, Vautrin said:

I'm sure a person of Scarlett's intelligence and deviousness would have found a way to turn a legal buck,

without having to marry a wealthy old codger (okay he was only a middle aged codger, but old codger is

funnier.) She could have rented the remaining slaves out as day labor and maybe done the same with her

sisters. She would have led a less glamorous life, but she could have done okay. In some aspects the movie is

a period piece, in others it's a rather over the top melodrama, a sometimes entertaining one at that.

 

By 'middle age codger' do you mean  Frank Kennedy?   (fiancé of Scarlett's younger sister?).    I assume YES;

I have always wondered if the book provides more details about why Scarlett had to marry him in order to pay those taxes on Tara.    Say Frank had gone ahead and married Suellen.   Wouldn't he had helped the family?   E.g.  paid off the taxes,   provided jobs to family members etc....     Ok,  he might want rights to some of Tara,   but I assume he got those anyhow when he married Scarlett (and those rights went back to Scarlett and the O'Hara family only because Frank died).

I.e.  That point of:  if Scarlett wouldn't have married Frank Kennedy,  the O'Hara family would have lost Tara and been out on the street,  is therefor bogus.

 

 

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