movie film review | chris tookey

Gone With The Wind

1998 - New Line Cinema Productions, Inc - all rights reserved
  Gone With The Wind Review
Tookey's Rating
9 /10
Average Rating
9.72 /10
Clark Gable , Vivien Leigh , Olivia de Havilland
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Directed by: Victor Fleming
Written by: Sidney Howard and others from Margaret Mitchell's novel

Released: 1939
Genre: DRAMA
Origin: US
Length: 240


Flirtatious Southern belle (Vivien Leigh, pictured right) rings changes in career and love life. Finally tamed by gambler (Clark Gable, pictured left) who loses patience with her after four hours. Don't blame him.

Reviewed by Chris Tookey

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A tremendous epic with inspired set-pieces (such as the burning of Atlanta, and the pull-back to reveal the carnage at the railway station). It's also one of the great love stories, especially refreshing because it does not have a cop-out happy ending and offers a complex picture of a self-destructive anti-heroine: Vivien Leigh gives one of the great performances on celluloid.
It's been criticised over the years for racism and sexism; but it's a film of its time, and describes rather than prescribes (unlike, say, Birth of a Nation). The Civil War is merely a backdrop, and although the detail is well observed, there's little attempt to take a political stance on the conflict. Gone With The WInd is above all wonderful entertainment, handsomely produced, and another of those classics, like Casablanca, which proves that some of the best films are born out of collaboration and chaos. It was, of course, one of the biggest hits in screen history; and, despite a few longueurs and an uncharismatic performance by Leslie Howard, it's as enjoyable now as it ever was.
Not surprisingly, it won nine Oscars including best cinematography (Ernest Haller, Ray Rennahan) , art direction (Lyle Wheeler) and editing (Hal C. Kern, James E. Newcom), plus a special award for production design (William Cameron Menzies). Max Steiner was only nominated for his brilliant score, which even without the pictures can still make grown men cry. Gable should have won, too.
"Forget it, Louis. No civil war picture ever made a nickel."
(MGM executive Irving Thalberg to Louis B. Mayer, 1936)

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