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
Full Cast >

Directed by: Victor Fleming
Written by: Sidney Howard and others from Margaret Mitchell's novel

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

ANTI Reviews

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"History has rarely been told with even an approximation of truth in Hollywood, because the few men in control there have no interest in the real forces behind historical movements and the new forces that every new epoch sets into motion. Gone With the Wind deserves our attention because it is an overinflated example of the usual, the false move approach to history. Selznick's four-hour feature represents all Hollywood might do, and, unfortunately, most of what it usually does. In every foot of it is inscribed the tragic gap between possibility and achievement."
(Lincoln Kirstein, Films)
"It moves, just as I suspected it would, and it is in color, just as I heard it was, and the Civil War gets very civil indeed and there is a wonderful bonfire and there are also young love and balls and plantations and practically everything... They threw in many good things, and everything else but a towel, and they got them in line and added them all up to one of the world's imposing cancellations... Clark Gable managed to be just the size ordered and to shift his gumdrop from side to side with unusual aplomb."
(Otis Ferguson, New Republic)
"Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew seems to have got mixed up with one of the novels of Ethel M. Dell... 'Where shall I go? What shall I do ?' says Scarlett O'Hara at the end of Gone with the Wind, and receives from Rhett Butler the repIy: 'Frankly, my dear, I don't care a damn !' The trouble with this film, which lasts four hours, is that for the last hour and a half nobody in the audience has been caring what happens to anybody... Since the Civil War is not the theme, what is? I can only suggest the minxishness of minxes. Indeed, Scarlett is so declared a baggage that I come away feeling that I have spent a long afternoon in the cloakroom at a literary Waterloo Station."
(James Agate, Tatler)
"Will probably surge on to success on the strength of its 'bestseller' story, on the strength of its stars... (who perform the required gestures competently), and even - such are our present discontents - on the strength of its length. But none of that will ever make it a good film, any more than the Bearded Lady in a circus sideshow can ever be quite the same attraction as the pure and satisfactory sawdust circle of the Big Tent itself."
(Basil Wright, Spectator)
"A major disappointment."
(Allen Bishop, Theatre Arts)
"Miss Leigh gave a performance compact of vivacity, coquettishness and rigid egoism, extremely clever and well-trained and almost entirely without interest."
(Dilys Powell, in a review which led MGM to ban her for a year from all of their pictures)
"Reduced the gigantic panorama of history to a painted backcloth for the cavortings of a group of vulgar little egoists."
(Dilys Powell, unrepentant in 1945)
"It does not seem to me the greatest film ever made... It lacks - shall we say?- heart, the high, noble memorable emotion one associates with great drama... [It] suits our wartime mood. It is a prodigal film, generous to overflowing with facile events."
(C.A.Lejeune, Observer,1942)
"Ponderous trash."
(Val Lewton)
"The film succeeded admirably in continuing the popular Southern myth that the South had in fact won an ideological war, that, indeed, although the Negroes had been set free they still remained inescapably fettered as historic inferiors to the white race, socially, politically and economically."
(Peter Noble, The Negro in Films, 1969)
"It cannot be a coincidence that while the second World War was wreaking havoc, America made its second Civil War epic. It was Griffith over again, except this time the excuse was more expensive - three year thirteen writers and four million dollars to create three and three-quarter hours of the most boring celluloid ever to be shown on the screen... America was saying through Hollywood, its translator, 'We've had our war. Leave us alone.'" (Julie Burchill, Girls on Film)>
"I'll let you in on a secret: GWTW is a piece of crap. It wouldn't outgross Grumpy Old Men in today's market. Hey, it couldn't even get made today. It's a fourhour soap. Every scene is rushed, and something momentous just has to happen every three minutes. It's exhausting and phony."
(Rod Lurie, Los Angeles Magazine, 1994)
"You know, I don't like Gone With the Wind. I don't like the racism, when Clark Gable makes fun of Butterfly McQueen outside his window, and I don't like the implied rape and smash cut to Scarlett all smiles the next morning. And I especially don't like this necrophiliac fascination with the red dirt of Tara that can make someone a hemselves out to the first available benefactor, basically compromise every other ideal they have in life, just to retain some vestige of ownership or entitlement."
(Harry Knowles, Ain't It Cool, 2001)

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