By on November 29th, 2013

Gone with the Wind (1939)

Gone with the Wind (1939) Dir. Victor Fleming – QFT Belfast 1st Dec

Who’s in it? Clarke Gable, Vivien Leigh

What’s it about? Victor Fleming’s 1939 American Civil War epic produced cinema’s most famous scene, featured Hollywood’s first black Oscar winner and reminded us that, whatever happens, “tomorrow is another day”. If you’ve managed to miss/avoid GWTW, fear not, Christmas is just around the corner and you can’t pull a cracker or stuff a turkey without hearing Max Steiner’s rousing score at some point during the festive season.

Memorable Moments? Whether you’ve seen it or not chances are you already know GWTW’s most memorable moment. It’s tempting to watch it on YouTube rather than wait the epic 4 hour run time (a genre standard) to hear Rhett Butler tell Scarlett O’Hara he “…just don’t give a damn!”. And yet it remains quintessential Sunday afternoon cinema.

Look Who’s Talking: ‘Grand old Hollywood at its most magnificent and melodramatic. Say what you like about the soapy characterisation and plotting, the spectacle flattens all in its wake.’ – Film4

Like that? Try this: If it’s period epics you’re fond of you could do worse than another genre classic, Doctor Zhivago (1965), directed by David Lean (Lawrence of Arabia) and starring Omar Sharif and Julie Christie. Swapping Gone with the Wind’s American Civil War setting (recently re-visited in Spielberg’s 2012 Oscar winner Lincoln) for The Bolshevik Revolution in newly communist Russia. In the throes of political and ideological upheaval, Sharif’s doctor/poet falls for Christie’s vulnerable activist’s wife. Based on Boris Pasternack’s 1957 novel (published in Italy due to a unilateral ban in the USSR), like GWTW before it, Doctor Zhivago proved good endings aren’t necessarily happy ones.

Trivia Pursuit: In 2005 Clarke Gable’s immortal “Frankly my dear…” line was voted the most memorable American movie quote of all time by the American Film Institute’s ‘100 Years… 100 Movie Quotes’ list, just ahead of Marlon Brando’s “I’m gonna make him an offer he can’t refuse”, from The Godfather (1972).

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