“Fiddle-dee-dee!” – Film Fest Friday

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Gone with the Wind

Book Release: 1936
Movie Release: 1939
Where to Watch: Sitting on your porch surrounded by a crowd of suitors so thick, you can hardly wade through in your hoop skirt.

The Story

War, war, war.

Set in the time of the American Civil War, the story follows the iconic characters of Katie Scarlett O’Hara Hamilton Kennedy Butler (good luck fitting that on your driver’s license) and Rhett Butler. Weaved throughout the tale is the story of the Old South’s way of life being swept away in the wind.

Scarlett is not your typical damsel, or rather belle, in distress. However, some of the qualities that didn’t allow her to fit the mold such as selfishness, shrewdness, willfulness, hardheartedness (lots of -ness-es) allowed her help herself and others through the unimaginably difficult time of surviving in the falling South. She did what she needed to do with single minded focus. Still, she makes bad choices that make you want to give her a good lashing with buggy whip. (Rhett’s words, not mine.) I mean, Ashley? Bleh. Too bad it took her so many pages/silverscreen minutes for her to figure that one out.

Honestly, I don’t really like Scarlett. Were I a character in this story, I doubt we would have been friends. Heck, I bet she would have flirted her way into my beloved’s heart just because she could. But, man, you just can’t help but root for her.

Better in the Book:

  • The book’s characters have more depth and complexity. (Typical answer, but true.) We especially miss hearing some of Scarlett’s coo-coo for Cocoa Puffs thoughts.
  • Even though the movie is 238 minutes, it misses some interesting scenes and characters.

Better in the Movie:

  • Clark Gable’s dimples.
  • How fun is the intermission? Let’s get those going again.

Conclusion:
I picked up this book for the first time years ago at the library…and we’re talking years ago before ebooks and self-checkout kiosks. I usually threw in a classic or two to balance out my armful of much-adored easy-reads. Why? I was always conscious of what I thought the librarian thought of my selection. Truthfully, I hefted this baby into my pile because of its gerth. It turned out to be one of my favorite books, so I’d call that a happily ever after. (Sorry ‘bout it, Scarlett.)

Don’t think of reading this book tomorrow, at Tara. No, my dear, go impress a librarian today.

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