AFI #6 – Gone with the Wind

Gone with the Wind - PosterGone with the Wind


Directed by Victor Fleming

Netflix says… Director Victor Fleming’s 1939 epic adaption of Margaret Mitchell’s novel of the same name stars Vivien Leigh as self-absorbed, headstrong Scarlett O’Hara, a Southern Belle who meets her match in Rhett Butler just as the Civil War breaks out.

Y’all… This movie is even longer than last week’s! I’ve seen this before. I haven’t been looking forward to seeing it again for the sake of this list.

Years ago, I forced myself to watch Gone with the Wind because it was my grandmother’s favorite movie. So I wanted to see what all the fuss was about. I didn’t see what all the fuss was about.

I’ve started developing a theory about most of the films that have cracked the AFI’s top 10. They’re not really as good as we’re supposed to believe they are. But, the way I see it, someone somewhere at some point in the past decided that these movies are the epitome of what a good motion picture should be and no one has had the guts to say otherwise.

I’m not saying Gone with the Wind is bad. I’m not saying that Citizen Kane is bad (we’ll get there in just  few weeks). But are they really worthy of these top spots on the American Film Institute’s list?

Victor Fleming must have had a crazy busy year in 1939. This and The Wizard of Oz? Of the two, I definitely prefer The Wizard of Oz.

Here’s the thing… I have a really hard time finding redeemable qualities in the film’s two main characters. Scarlett is a spoiled brat, who really reminds me of a girl I grew up with that I couldn’t stand. And maybe that’s why I have such a hard time liking this protagonist. And I really should have kept a running tally of how many people she slapped across the face throughout the movie. I feel like it was a lot.

I get it. She went through a whole mess of crap. And I have to admit, she’s got a will of iron. I guess that’s a redeemable quality. But at some point, you’ve got to stop chasing after another woman’s husband! And, yeah, she does. But not ’til the end. Ugh… Seriously, every time she cries over this guy, I can’t help but yell at the screen, “Boo-friggin’-hoo!” There are bigger problems to deal with. Like not starving.

And Rhett’s not much better. He doesn’t seem to have any scruples. He doesn’t join up with the Confederate Army until Atlanta burns and the South is a lost cause. It’s clear he has feelings for Scarlett, and you want to feel bad for the guy because of her lifelong obsession with Ashley. But I don’t feel bad for him. He’ll be fine.not giving a damn wherever he goes.

You know what? It’s fine if you want to call this one of the best movies ever made. Just don’t expect me to.


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