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the publication of Margaret Mitchell’s novel ‘Gone With The Wind’ the book
became an immediate hit. But labeling it just another successful novel would be
a kind of underestimation. Mitchell’s book gained the prestigious Pulitzer
Prize in 1936 and this was just a confirmation of the fact that the movie
industry would kill to make it into a motion picture.
the audience had its own image of the characters, especially of the spoiled yet
charming Scarlett O’Hara, it was not an easy task to cast the best possible
actress. Finally, the producer David O. Selznick made a risque choice – he cast
a British, completely unknown actress, Vivien Leigh. What did he achieve? What
are the differences between the novel and the movie? And, finally, is the movie
a good one?
movie was made using the then innovative Technicolor. As the color technician
worked hard, the picture seems to be vivid and nice, and one can hardly imagine
the movie in black and white. The marvelous outfits by Walter Plunkett are
simply breathtaking, especially Scarlett’s dresses or even night gowns. They
underline the beauty of Vivien Leigh and she looks simply brilliant. But what
makes this movie so special, taking into account the fact, that it takes many
hours to watch the whole film? Well, if one is smart enough to reach the end of
the movie, is likely to end up sobbing. Yes, the cinematography, the
soundtrack, the costumes – they all are simply outstanding. But the most
powerful point of this superbly guided by its producer Selznick movie is the
acting. After the movie premiere one critic stated that Vivien Leigh was
created by nature and art to portray Scarlett. Actually, she is Scarlett. She
easily turns all the modes of mood she needs in the moment. She cries
convincingly, she is funny, she can make you laugh just with one look or word.
She is superb in her dramatic scenes (the scene when she finds out her mother
died of typhoid is just a masterpiece of Leigh’s) and great when making one
laugh (Scarlett dancing herself, trying to hide the fact she really is not
mourning after her husband’s Charles death). Clark Gable, the Rhett Butler of
the movie, is really great and his intelligence, his being so sexy and elegant
at the same time makes him an ideal Rhett, just the one I pictured while
reading the book by Mitchell. They both create an item I envision each time I
am back to the novel by Margaret Mitchell. The supporting actors are somehow
the greatest possible addition to the main stars. Olivia de Havilland as
unforgettable Melanie Wilkes, as well as the Oscar winner Hattie McDaniel –
they are simply magnificent.
can one detect a great movie? Well, he or she may get back to this movie
whenever he wants and without feeling bored, but excited. Is this movie just
like this? I think it really is.