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Does any of these dialogues ring a bell?
“With enough courage, you can do without a reputation.” Or “You are no gentleman. And you, miss, are no lady.” Maybe perhaps: “After all… tomorrow is another day!” Still guessing? How about: “Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn”?!
Well, if they don’t, then you have missed that one movie that has come to define THE standard for Cinema.
The scintillating Eight Academy Award winner, Gone With The Wind, with breath-taking locales, superb acting, brilliant story, gut-wrenching romance and betrayal, and one of the finest dialogues delivered in Cinema, is a supremely gripping historical romance, that despite its exhaustive running time, will leave you gasping for more.
The story of Gone With The Wind revolves round the vivacious Scarlette O’Hara (Vivien Leigh) whose unrequited love for the dreamy eyed Ashley Wilkes (Leslie Howard) finally ends in nothingness and tragedy. Scarlette, the spoilt daughter of Tara Cotton Plantation owner in Georgia, nurses a secret passion for Ashley, the blonde who has eyes only for Melanie Hamilton [Olivia de Havilland), whom he is betrothed to marry.
As the story begins to develop, guests are shown congregating at Twelve Oaks, the neighboring plantation for the marriage of Ashley with Melanie. Scarlette manages to tell Ashley of her all too absorbing love for him but gets a rebuff. This is witnessed by Rhette Butler (Clark Gable), who in the course of celebrations, Scarlette has noticed looking at her with absorbing interest.
The marriage barbeque is abruptly disturbed by the news of breaking out of the brewing Civil War. As men scurry away for enlistment, Scarlette finds herself with a proposal from Melaine’s brother, Charles (Rand Brooks). There is a quick marriage and an equally quick widowhood for Scarlette as Charles dies during the War. After the death of Charles, Scarlette comes to Hamilton house, where while refusing a proposal by Rhette, she helps Melaine deliver her first born without proper medical assistance.
The film turns at its quintessence Hollywood best with Scarlette vacillating amidst hopes of ultimately winning over Ashley’s love, her three marriages, and the ever sweet Melaine never believing Scarlette to be capable of anything bad.
As the gripping tale begins to develop in twists in the plot, Twelve Oak is engulfed in fire and all the fierce determination for survival surfaces in Scarlette who has had a comedown from riches-to-rags. Never to be cowed down, Scarlette does her gritty best to save the family despite the many hardships including a rape attempt. Soon the War concludes and Ashley’s return rekindles Scarlette’s flaming love but finding herself on the brink of financial ruin, a determined Scarlette contrives a marriage with Frank Kennedy (Carroll Nye), her own sister’s fiancé by falsely projecting to him that her sister got tired of waiting for him.
There follows a raid in which Scarlette is almost gang raped as she drives alone but Frank dies. Widowed second time, Rhette proposes marriage to her. Although still pining for Ashley, Scarlette agrees and they have a daughter named Bonnie.
As things begin to take a turm for the nasty, fueled by the news of a sly but passionate embrace between Ashley and Scarlette, Rhett forces Scarlette to attend Ashley’s birthday celebrations where he commits on her marital rape. Scarlette gets pregnant second time but a fall down the staircase causes miscarriage, while in the later scenes, the daughter Bonnie to whom both parents love, sadly jumps to her death.
As things begin to wrap up, the ever sweet Melaine never believes Scarlette could ever be bad and at the time of her untimely death begs Scarlette to not only take care of Ashley but also be kind to Rhette. As Melaine breathes her last a disconsolate Ashley breaks down forcing Scarleette to see the reality that Ashley never loved her.
And when the reality sinks in, Scarlette rushes to Rhett, the only man who ever really loved her, but is repulsed as Rhette walks out on her, saying that majestic line of “Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn.”
This nearly 4 hour long gripping tale of the upheavals wrought by the War, and with the presentation in Scarlette of the grit, determination and the vicissitudes of a modern woman, the film has developed into a benchmark of classic and extraordinary cinema.