Thursday, February 10, 2011
Gone with the Wind
We're first introduced to Scarlett O'Hara (Vivien Leigh) when she discovers that her beloved Ashley Wilkes (Leslie Howard) is going to marry his cousin Melanie Hamilton (Olivia de Havilland). The next scene has her both trying to win Ashley's love and make him jealous by pursuing other men, much to no avail on both counts. It's also in this scene we're introduced to Rhett Butler (Clark Gable), to whom Scarlett takes an immediate dislike to.
The vanity comes in during the Civil War scenes. As Melanie is in labor, Scarlett goes into town to get the town's only doctor. In a now-famous image, we see hundreds, if not thousands, of wounded soldiers. Does Scarlett express any remorse? Hell no. All she cares about is getting the doctor.
Greed comes into full view once Scarlett marries Rhett. By the time he proposes, she has been married and widowed twice, barely expressing any grief for her husbands' deaths. It's clear she married him for money. After all, just look at their house.
Everyone is aware of Scarlett's self-centered behavior, everyone except Melanie. She always welcomes Scarlett with a smile while everyone else gives her a sneer. Is Melanie oblivious of Scarlett lusting for Ashley or did she turn a blind eye? We never do find out.
I did admire Leigh's work as Scarlett, but she was too much of a pain in the neck to really like. That being said, Rhett saying, "Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn" to her was totally worth it.
My Rating: *****