Blonde moment

And the silver spoon.

Saturday, July 09, 2005

One of the best stories with a disputable ending

Today, I watched one of the best movies ever made, “Gone with the Wind.” Very few contemporary writers and filmmakers have the ability to write such a story. First, there are few stories with such deep characters. Scarlet is more then just a disagreeable person. She had depth and complexity. She had strength and the will to survive. And I would wager that the Wilkes, the O’Hara sisters, as well as Mammy, Pork, and Prissy would have died if it weren’t for her. As horrible as she is, she is the bad character you love to cheer for, much like Michael from “The Godfather.”

I love how Margaret Mitchell ended the story. Scarlet can be destroyed for all I care. Ms. Mitchell leaves it to the reader to decide whether or not Rhett takes Scarlet back. This, by the way, was the source of a year long discussion between my grandfather and me. We went back and forth, and decided that it really depended, on what, we could never agree on, but probably the welfare of her other children. Rhett would have wanted custody of her other children. Scarlet is not a fit mother. I am perfectly content to leave it up in the air.

Back when “Titanic” came out, *everyone* was saying how this was the “Gone with the Wind” of our day. Wrong. Their only comparison was the sinking of the Titanic to the burning of Atlanta, and still, the burning of Atlanta was much cooler. Then they say, “Well, what about Leo.” Please. Clark Gable is so much better. Granted, Leo has had better parts these days, but he doesn’t have the charismatic screen presence. You love the characters Clark Gable played, and you hate them. He did conflicting well, and few of the leading actors do it now. Besides all of this, “Titanic” was about the big fling. “Gone with the Wind” was a character study. Furthermore, “Titanic” had singular emotions. You either love someone or you hate them. “Gone with the Wind” is about an extreme passionate relationship that is on a pendulum. Scarlet and Clark want each other in the most carnal way so desperately that she hates herself. And she takes her self loathing out on him. They love each other, they lust after each other, they hate each other. And while this is all going on, she is widowed twice, he has multiple affairs, the Civil War happens, she goes from rich to poor to rich again, she has kids, they get married and separate twice, and she still wants that simpering Ashley.

And speaking of conflicted, that’s Ashley. He is absolutely disgusting. Totally unworthy of Mellie. If I were Mellie’s friend, I’d smack the girl the minute she thought of marrying him. No, they do not suit. If there were no Scarlet there would be someone else.

And here’s an interesting thought… do you think that if there were no Ashley, that she would have made an honest man out of Rhett? This is an interesting mental activity that I go through now and again when I’m bored. The reason why this intrigues me so much is because Rhett is good, very deep down; Mellie is pure goodness; but Ashley and Scarlet are different levels of badness deep down.

But the ultimate question is regarding the cast and the story. Would I love “Gone with the Wind” with a different cast? I really don’t know. I’m kind of biased in some aspects. Now, don’t get me wrong, I love the book more then the movie, but I don’t know if I could see anyone but Clark Gable and Vivian Leigh as the leads. They had the perfect cast in the perfect story and everything worked well.

And the best thing about this movie is I can think about it tomorrow.


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