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Jeruba's avatar

How do you remember GWTW?

Asked by Jeruba (55849points) July 2nd, 2016

Gone with the Wind: even now, it’s probably as well known by its initials as LOTR. The book came out in 1936 and the movie in 1939. It left an indelible mark on American culture.

1. Have you read the book?
2. Have you seen the movie? If so, how recently?
3. What did or does it mean to you? Do you recall it warmly, angrily, nostalgically, or what?
4. Are you a Southerner or a Yankee (by birth or by adoption)?

This question was prompted by a question posted yesterday in honor of the 100th birthday of Olivia de Havilland, one of the principal cast members in the 1939 movie. Her three costars have been gone for decades.

Tags as I listed them: movies, novels, Gone with the Wind, Olivia de Havilland, the South, Civil War, fiction, memory.

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

22 Answers

Call_Me_Jay's avatar

I think it’s like a dreamy, longing, nostalgic look at the lives of the families of the SS officers at Auschwitz.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

1. Yes, I read the book when I was19.
2. Yes, I’ve seen the movie several times. It’s been years since last viewing it.
3. It’s an interesting read when it comes to different personality types.
4. A Southerner born and brought up by Yankee parents.

filmfann's avatar

I am not a fan. Over rated. Over romanticized. Over blown.
It’s a nice fictionalized story, often at the expense of truth, and manys feelings.
I used it as an example to my kids on how some films are highly regarded without reason.

janbb's avatar

Haven’t read the book. Saw the movie in a revival when I was a teen. My Mom remembers I came home saying, “You never told me about Clark Gable!”

Darth_Algar's avatar

1. Nope
2. Nope
3. Having neither read the book nor seen the movie it means nothing to me.
4. Yankee, thank god.

CWOTUS's avatar

Frankly, @Jeruba, I just don’t give a damn.

1. I read the book, decades ago.
2. Ditto the movie.
3. I was young and sort of infatuated with “Scarlett” anyway, which surely colored my interpretation of the film.
4. I’m Yankee by birth and inclination, but I’ve spent time in the South and appreciate it – and the resentment that is still felt there in places.

Seek's avatar

Yankee by birth, transplanted into the South against my will.

I’ve not read the book.
I’ve seen the movie several times.

It’s a pretty awful story, based around awful characters who treat the supporting characters like crap.

Clarke Gable was a major babe, though.

MooCows's avatar

Too long a book..did not keep my interest and couldn’t
stay awake for the entire movie…..I only remember
one line and I bet everyone knows what it is!

JLeslie's avatar

I saw the movie about ten years ago. I should say I saw about ¾, I didn’t make it all the way to the end. I don’t even remember it well, because it didn’t hold my attention well. A few days later I mentioned to my sister that I finally saw most of it, and she told me how our grandmother once commented on how awful and ridiculous the movie was.

I’m a Yankee, raised by New Yorkers. I lived in Maryland most of my growing up years, which I guess is technically below the Mason Dixon line, but I lived in suburban DC so it doesn’t count as Southern. I have lived in the South as an adult, both Raleigh, NC, and Memphis, TN.

Going back to my grandmother, I believe she might have made such a comment. She had a Master’s degree, and although she had some old school ideas of women and men, mostly she was a liberal who worked a good part of her adulthood living basically middle class, although she grew up with a reasonable amount of money. She lived in NYC, or a surrounding suburb, her whole life. She would never fathom having a slave in the house. All that Miss Scarlet and Master, or whatever southern forms of address they used, would have been annoying to her I think. Not the formality of it, but the lack of formality I think, and the heirarchy based on race more than anything.

dappled_leaves's avatar

The commercial TV premiere of Gone with the Wind was in 1976. I remember being a child in the 70s, when the TV premiere of a big budget film was a very big deal. There would be commercials announcing it for weeks, and people would be sure to stay in and watch. There weren’t video rentals or sales, or streaming or any other way to view these films once they’d left the theatre.

So, the memory I have of watching Gone with the WInd as a child is in that context. I remember my sisters talking about how great it was – they must have seen it on the big screen as a re-broadcast. It was exciting to see it. And being a child at the time, of course some of it went over my head, and of course, I decided it was brilliant, partly because I did love old movies and it was a good story and visually beautiful (the gowns and landscapes and such), but also because everyone had already told me it was brilliant.

I’ve seen it maybe 3–4 times over my lifetime, once in a rep house theatre, and I still enjoy it on a purely nostalgic level. I love the grandeur of classic films of that era. As a teen I couldn’t understand why Scarlett mooned over the dreary Ashley and spurned the clever and dashing Rhett. As an adult, I’m shocked that Rhett is not vilified for raping Scarlett. And of course, any of the scenes with Mammie or Prissy are very difficult to watch. I can’t imagine what it must have been like for 1930s black actresses to have to play these kinds of roles.

I never read the book, nor had any interest in reading it. I’ve sold it and its sequel in bookstores, so I get that it’s a long, soap-opera-ish thing. I don’t enjoy reading that style of novel.

I am Canadian, so definitely not a Southerner.

syz's avatar

I’ve read the book and seen the movie and I’m not a fan of either.

Buttonstc's avatar

I much prefer “Went With the Wind” Bob Mackie is a genius.
(This last clip is a short behind the scenes reminiscence by Carol.)

stanleybmanly's avatar

Seen the damned thing so often that the wife and I are like a chorus with the lines. They ran it yesterday on TCM. Everyone & everything over the top. So many cliches, so little depth.

stanleybmanly's avatar

Yankee, SOUTH side Chicago

Pachy's avatar

As my friends and some fellow jellies know, I’m a hopelessly addicted movie lover and I especially adore films from the ‘30s and ‘40s. But for me, GWTW is too long and too dated and just not that interesting. Every few years I promise myself to watch it again because I think I should, but I never do. In fact, I’m not sure I’ve ever watched every minute of it.

And I never read the book.

SecondHandStoke's avatar

Atlantan here:

While being reconstructed Margaret Mitchell’s home caught fire.

You can’t buy irony this good.

flutherother's avatar

I remember being given a paperback copy to read when I lived in the deep south and being told it was a must read but I never got around to it.
PS GWTW meant nothing to me.

ibstubro's avatar

Not seen the movie.
Never read the book.

Coloma's avatar

The last time I saw the entire movie was in 2004 or 5 when lounging around sick on a stormy day. I have never read the book. That was probably the 2nd time in my life. Once seen is more than enough IMO. I do adore Cammie King, the little girl that played “Bonnie” who was killed on her pony. She died in 2010 at age 76.

Jeruba's avatar


> I can’t imagine what it must have been like for 1930s black actresses to have to play these kinds of roles.

Neither can I. There wasn’t the slightest pretense of equality among races in Hollywood in those days; but Hattie McDaniel (“Mammy”) was famously quoted as saying approximately this: “Why shouldn’t I work for $700 a week playing a maid? Otherwise I’d be making $7 a week being one.”

SmartAZ's avatar

I saw the flick in 1981 at the Fox Theater in Atlanta, GA. It was sort of a celebration of refurbishing the theater and putting it back into use. The flick was ok, just another gorgeous Hollywood spectacle. The only thing really significant about it was that it forced the abandonment of censorship in movies.

Darth_Algar's avatar

@SmartAZ “The only thing really significant about it was that it forced the abandonment of censorship in movies.

I’m not sure if I’d go quite that far. The “Hays Code” was still followed pretty solidly throughout the 1940s and 1950s (the occasional bold film notwithstanding). It only began really loosening up in the 1960s before the major film studios finally abandoned it in 1968.

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