Gone with the Wind (1939) / Drama-Romance
MPAA Rated: G, suitable for all audiences (probably PG to PG-13 today for war violence and adult themes)
Running Time: 238 min.
Cast: Clark Gable, Vivien Leigh, Leslie Howard, Olivia De Haviland, Hattie McDowell
Director: Victor Fleming
Screenplay: Sidney Howard (Based on the book by Margaret Mitchell)
Review published June 8, 1997
Do you really need a plot summary? Scarlett O'Hara (Leigh, A Streetcar Named Desire) is a bratty daughter of a plantation owner, who goes through a series of hardships in trying to keep her family's land and through several different relationships always seeming to have love out of reach.
The film is four hours long, and it's almost like a movie and a sequel joined together in two separate halves. The first half of the movie deals with the times before the end of the Civil War for the South, mostly setting up the love triangles and dealing with some of the horrors of the war. The second half is mostly a soapy romance, dealing with love, death and relationships when everyone tries to put the pieces of their lives back together.
Due to the fact that this film seems to be always hyped as one of the greatest films ever made, it was going to be quite a task to not disappoint. The film actually clicks along very well in the first half, never seeming to miss a beat. The film tends unfortunately sags during the second half as the goings-on are less crucial and therefore less interesting.
I know you're probably wondering why on earth I could give this movie anything less than the highest rating, but I must tell you that while there are some undeniably great moments, great acting, great directing, and a great story, the fact that the film is four hours and the least interesting hour of the film is the last made me restless for the film to wrap up and finish.
A beautiful film, and a must-see for anyone who loves grand old Hollywood productions; this is the grand-daddy of them all.
©1997 Vince Leo