DIRECTOR: Victor Fleming
May Contain Spoilers!
Overrated, but maybe misunderstood in this decade. You have to cast your mind back to how it must have been in 1939, with no such thing as television as such, this was the mini-series of the day and in fact, was shown as in two parts in some of the early broadcasts. The problem with this epic is that it is often held up along with the likes Ben~Hur (1959) and Doctor Zhivago (1962) but it isn’t quite like that.
Gone With The Wind is a pretty straight up 1930’s adaptation of the Margret Michell novel, and besides its length and epic visuals, doesn’t look like an epic in the modern sense. But it is and is driven by the cast and their gripping performances, especially that of Clark Gable who is tirelessly charismatic, the vast and ambitious production design and Max Steiner’s magnificent score.
Victor Fleming was also responsible a for another classic that year, The Wizard Of Oz (1939), though it’s important to admit that directors weren’t the creative forces in the Studio Era that they are they are today and Fleming was brought on at the last-minute for Oz, but 1939 was his year and what a year it was.
The issues of racism or racial stereotyping are prevalent here, with the ‘Carpetbaggers’ and a loyal black slave regiment marching off to defend the old south and I find it fascinating that a film whose loyalties are so overwhelmingly Confederate in nature has become such a classic in the U.S.
But in spite of its political leanings and I suppose it is refreshing to have such a prevalent example of southern loyal cinema, which is often dominated by yanky-sentric prose, this is a well made film, led from the top by the characters as they make their way through an ever-changing world.
And this is responsable for some of the most prolific lines in cinema history; “Tomorrow is another day” and “Quiet Frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn!”. Well said Clark…