patrickryanlewis

Gone With The Wind

In Uncategorized on June 28, 2010 at 1:04 am

Margaret Mitchell’s sweeping Civil War saga remains one of the greatest examples of cinematic storytelling. Vivien Leigh’s tempestuous Scarlett O’Hara and Clark Gable’s handsome rogue Rhett Butler bicker and battle from antebellum plantations to the streets of postwar Atlanta. This special collector’s edition features a beautifully restored print and many extras

Likability. That is the word that kept popping into my mind as I watched this film.

Everything I like about movies was in this one. The time period (the Civil War) is my favorite time period in American History and I love watching and reading everything I can about it. The year the movie was made (1939) is generally considered the greatest year in movie making. I rarely see any movie from the late 30s/early 40s I don’t like.

While watching this 3 hour epic, I was enthralled by how, in 1939, the filmmaker created of Civil War world that far exceeds in realism anything we see on the screen today. The sweeping scene of the wounded of Atlanta after Sherman’s march is both heartbreaking and captivating at once. The Terra homestead is a gripping look at slave life and high society at once in the Civil War South. Even the interior shots are so real, you feel like you are sitting in the dining room of 1862.

So it bothered me a little, after sitting through the movie and the 11 hours worth of extras, that I had an uneasy feeling. I could not quite place it until I went back and thought about the movie. And then it hit me: likability.

In order for me to truly become fully taken by a movie, I have to feel at least some type of connection to one character in it. And in this one, I didn’t. Granted, the acting far exceeds anything I have seen in the movies in the past 20 years, and the characters are finely written. But the fact remains, they are also completely unlikable. I just did not care about Gable’s Rhett and Leigh’s Scarlett when the credits began to roll.

To put more simply: Frankly, I could give a damn about them.

The movie by itself – 3.5 out of 5 stars
The extras – 4.5 out of 5 stars

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