Oscars Challenge #78: Gone With The Wind (1939) Movie Review
After watching Gone With The Wind, I still think that, up to this day, it defined what a Hollywood movie should be. A true epic that transcends filmmaking standards that we still see today.
Gone With The Wind has been regarded as one of the highest-grossing films ever, even if you adjust the inflation rate to today's standards: a monumental classic and the longest movie to win the Best Picture award at the Oscars.
Even though it had its fair share of controversies depicting and glorifying slavery and pro-Confederacy, it is still monumental in large-scale sets and effects.
The movie follows the story of Scarlett O'Hara during the eve of the American Civil War in Tara, Georgia. Her family owns a cotton plantation with her parents, two sisters, and their black slaves. Scarlett is deeply attracted to Ashley Wilkes but gets heartbroken after learning he will soon marry her cousin. At his engagement party, she catches the attention of Rhett Butler. They were quickly struck by President Lincoln's announcement to fight the South. The Southern men enlist.
Scarlett soon marries her cousin's younger brother to make Ashley jealous, but he dies fighting for the Confederacy soon after. Her mother sends her home to Atlanta and makes a scene while wearing mourning attire and waltzing with Rhett during a charity event.
As the fate of the Confederacy slowly diminishes after the Battle of Gettysburg, Scarlett, and her cousin get caught up with the marching Union soldiers while Rhett decides to fight. She returns home only to find their livelihood ransacked by the enemy. After her mother's death, Scarlett vows to ensure her family's survival.
This incredible film brought in the legendary talents of Clark Gable, Vivien Leigh, and Leslie Howard. This was directed. by Victor Fleming, who previously created Wizard of Oz.
There is no doubt this is the definition of an epic film. A real rollercoaster ride as we witness the greatness and downfall of the lead character, Scarlett O'Hara. A true Hollywood drama that thrives itself with its extensive set designs, costumes, music, and practical effects. What's more surprising is that this Best Picture winner was the first to be shot in technicolor. It may not be as crisp as the ones shown today, but seeing this kind of technology during the classical Hollywood era is still lovely.
Even though the movie showcased the first Black actress to win an acting award at the Oscars, it still was marked by controversies, especially from the African-American community. Of course, movies like this won't age well as we transition towards general-minded thinking of different races or communities.
Americans have depicted Gone With The Wind as one of the best movies ever. A title that is still being disputed today.
While I do not think this film is the best of all time, it still deserves respect because it has stamped its mark in our history. I truly enjoyed the movie even though it's quite a long watch.
Gone With The Wind is a solid 4.5 out of 5 stars.