Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Best Movie #6: Gone with the Wind

Today, I've spent most of the day in bed due to the stomach flu. I know, I know, I must be getting old. I'm still getting acupuncture treatment on my back, so I just prayed that I wouldn't have to make a run to the toilet with needles sticking out my back. (Probably too much information there!)
With all of this extra time off, I've finished reading Harry Potter (5), and today I watched Gone with the Wind. AFI ranks it as the 6th best movie of all time.
I was greatly disappointed, though. Sure, it's a great story with some great lines: "You need to be kissed good and often and by someone who knows how!" and of course, "Frankly, my dear ..."
However, I felt a steady sense of disgust at how the movie glamorized the old South, completely varnishing over the horrors of slavery. The rolling text narration consistently referred to that era as one full of gallantry, chivalry, and grace. I'm sure it didn't feel nearly so beautiful at the end of the whip in a cotton patch.
Also, the whole point of the movie is how Scarlet O'Hara throws her life away. In Rhett Butler's words, she was "throwing happiness away with both hands." She lives with nearly utter selfishness and reaps the rewards: a lonely heartbroken life. I suppose that could be the negative image of a positive message: don't be selfish - it doesn't pay. But over all, Rhett and Scarlet seem to glamorize and promote selfish and careless living.
Another downside: it is very, very long: 3 hours 40 minutes!

All in all, I give it a jjj rating. A good movie, but not all it was cracked up to be.
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