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Gone With the Wind
Short plot summary

Scarlett O'Hara (Vivien Leigh) is a spoilt socialite who woo's her social circle in just pre-Civil War Southern North America. The trouble is she has the hots for Ashley Wilkes (Leslie Howard) but he already has a beau and ain't interested NOOO SIREEE BOSS! This spurs our heroine into marrying his brother just to be horrid to him HORRID I TELL YOU! He goes off to fight for the Confederates in the Civil War and dies, DIES! I CAN'T TAKE IT - holds eyes with back of hand...

Rhett Butler (Clark Gable) is attracted to Scarlett and is more than a match for our fast-talking-get-what-she-wants-and-yet-gets-nothin gal. War has broken out and Rhett, who initially does not fight after having, previously, told his fellow Southerners they would lose badly because they didn't have the industrial support of those dang Yankees, once again tries to woo Scarlett but Scarlett is still in love with Wilkes.

Wilkes returns from fighting and Scarlett tells him she loves him. He says he must be honorable to his wife.

The Yankees invade the South, pillaging and burning the old world in their wake. Scarlett, who had been helping out as a nurse, returns to her family home to find that her father is a broken man and their estate is in ruins.

Determined to never be hungry again, Scarlett becomes even more manipulative, this time for money. She goes to see Rhett Butler who is in prison but he quickly sees through her plans. However when he is released, he woos her anyway and they marry and have a child together.

The marriage is unhappy. Their child dies in a horse riding accident. Scarlett is discovered in a brief embrace with Ashley Wilkes. On being forced to attend a party in which Wilkes' wife was within her rights to shame Scarlett in her social circle, she is warmly welcomed as an old friend.

But all is still not well, and Ashley Wilkes' wife dies suddenly. On her death bed she asks Scarlett to look after Ashley, whom she knows Scarlett loves, and who presumably she believes loves her. Rhett Butler, now realizing that her true love is now free, walks out on Scarlett ("How will I survive?" sobs Scarlett. To which Butler replies: "Frankly my dear, I don't give a damn"). However Scarlett realizes that Wilkes is not what she wants and looks determined to return home to make her Estate work.

What our panel of critics thought

"Just like a well dressed Dallas (the TV soap of the 70's) but without the outside breakfasts while the gale force winds rage in the background."

"Lovely sunsets, shame about the army."

"Not nearly enough fart jokes for my liking. Gone with the wind? Surely they could have worked a couple in there somewhere?"

Dr Bravisimo-Encore II Movie Review

A monumental achievement: an old fashioned pre-CGI epic set at a time which apparently went with the wind. Vivien Leigh rightly won many awards for her performance of the determined but ultimately defeated heroine.

Whilst there are some light moments (the Rhett Butler vs Scarlett O'Hara exchanges at the beginning are funny) there is very little other humour here, and the ending is ever so slightly over-melodramatic and may require counseling or at least a tissue or two to mop those leaking facial pores. It is also difficult to watch how the black actors were made to whine and growl.

This movie is frequently honored with high rankings from AFI, BFI, Empire Magazine, Time Out Magazine. There are just so many interesting items of trivia associated with this movie: It is mind boggling that they had to film the burning scene first and had intended, if it went all wrong, to cancel the whole picture (IMDB Trivia).

Ultimately the movie has something for everyone although it is essentially a woman's movie. Scarlett O'Hara is one of the best female roles of all time and has a powerful right hook.

Quotable quotes (mostly real)

Real final words: "Tomorrow is another day."

"I'll thank you kindly..."

"Oh Lawdy."

"Lordy lo li hargh!"

"I don't mind if I do, kind sir."

"Fiddly dee Milly"

Other comments

Nicely flawed characters that you watch develop and fail.

What do you think?
 
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