Friday, June 13, 2014

THEN & NOW BLOGFEST: MAMMY AND SCARLETT O'HARA

Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,


This week I'm joining a blogfest hosted by The Armchair Squid. Here's what the Squid asked of participants:

The greatest films stand the test of time, speaking to us in different ways at various life stages.  Is there a movie that was a part of your life when you were younger that you see differently now?  Like fine wine, has it improved with age or did it die in the bottle?  Has maturity brought you new insights you missed in your youth?  We want to know all about it!



Join us for "Then and Now," a bloghop hosted by The Armchair Squid, SuzeNicki Elson and Nancy Mock.  Tell us about a movie you loved when you were younger and have come to see differently over time - for better or for worse. 

Thanks for asking, Squid. I first saw Gone With The Wind when I was in the sixth grade, which was during the Not-Yet-Technofried Age, which means my friend and I had to go to a movie theater in downtown Topeka, Kansas, to see this movie. We didn't have VCRs (gasp!). We didn't have cable TV (imagine sticking your car key in a light socket––yes, it's that shocking!). Gone With The Wind had never even been on TV, but if it had been, I would have seen it on a black-and-white TV with a snowy picture because we were the last people on Earth to get a color TV with a decent picture; that is, I would have seen it if it were on one of the two channels we could pick up. Windy wasn't on TV until I was in high school, and if I recall correctly, it was shown in two parts on two consecutive nights. 

To see Gone With The Wind way back when, one had to wait for it to be shown in a theater, which happened every five years or so. Maybe. I don't know of a definite schedule for when it would appear. I remember my mother and older sisters going to see it in Kansas City several years before I saw it. I was not allowed to go, probably because I was too annoying. But then sixth grade came along and so did Wind, and my mother dumped my best friend and me at the theater to get rid of us for a few hours. It's a long movie.

We watched awestruck as the movie began and Scarlett prepared to attend the barbecue at the Wilkes' plantation.



We sat through the opening, the first part of the movie, the intermission, the rest of the movie, and the closing credits and music. It was amazing! We had never seen such a movie––so beautiful and yet so grotesque with the horribly wounded Confederate soldiers and Melanie giving birth with no one but Scarlett to help her because Prissy the slave was too stupid.

Did we understand that when Frank Kennedy sought help to control the miscreants in Shantytown that he turned to the Ku Klux Klan?

Nope.

Did we understand that when Rhett Butler carried Scarlett up the stairs to their bedroom that he raped her?

Nope.

Did we understand, despite her beauty and suffering, that Scarlett O'Hara was ruthless and vicious?



Nope! Clueless.

We didn't even understand that the slaves weren't happy. We knew that slavery had been a bad thing, but the slaves in Wind loved the O'Hara family so much that some of them stayed on after they were freed. These slaves were happy slaves.

We were so innocent and stupid.

When I watch Wind now, I'm still enthralled by the beauty of the production, but I see it with a more discerning eye.

One sequence in particular stands out to me. Mammy tells Scarlett that she needs to eat before she goes to the barbecue:


Mammy: Oh now, Miss Scarlett, you come on and eat jess a little, honey!
Scarlett: No! I'm going to have a good time today, and do my eating at the barbeque.
Mammy: If you don't care what folks says about dis family I does! I is told ya and told ya that you can always tell a lady by the way she eat in front of folks like a bird. And I ain't aimin' for you to go to Mr. John Wilkenson's and eat like a field hand and gobble like a hog!
Scarlett: Fiddle-dee-dee! Ashley told me he likes to see a girl with a healthy appetite!
Mammy: What gentlemen says and what they thinks is two different things, and I ain't noticed Mr. Ashley askin' for to marry you.
Scarlett: [Turns around slowly to face Mammy then throws her umbrella and stuffs food into her mouth]
Mammy: Now don't eat too fast. Ain't no need for it come right back up again!
Scarlett: [With her mouth full] Why does a girl have to be so silly to catch a husband?

I absolutely did not understand the undercurrents of this sequence the first time I saw it, nor the second, perhaps not even the third. I had to be more mature and an aficionado of films before I saw what Hattie McDaniel (Mammy) really does. Yes, Mammy manipulates Scarlett into eating breakfast by bringing up that Ashley Wilkes has not asked Scarlett to marry him. What I didn't comprehend until more recent years is that Hattie McDaniel reveals what Mammy really thinks of Scarlett. It's in the subtlety of McDaniel's performance. She gives the correct impression for a slave: loving, fussing over young Scarlett. But right before McDaniel says the line about Ashley Wilkes, a shadow passes over her face. It's a brief look of malevolence that speaks volumes. This photo does not capture it, but it's close to the moment:


"The look" reveals that Mammy hates Scarlett. Out and out hates her. She may have brought up this child, she may be dressing her perfectly for the barbecue, but Mammy sees Scarlett for the selfish, foolish creature she really is.

When I was younger, I didn't understand why Hattie McDaniel won the Best Supporting Actress Academy Award for Gone With The Wind. Olivia de Havilland was nominated for playing sweet Melanie. Why didn't Olivia de Havilland win?

She didn't win because she didn't deserve it, and Hattie McDaniel did. She became the first African-American to be nominated for an Academy Award, and the first to win.

Even though she couldn't attend the premiere of the film in Atlanta because colored people weren't allowed at such an important occasion.

So it's my opinion of Gone With The Wind that has changed the most over the years. It's a great movie––an epic film––but maturity has brought me greater insight into this movie, and in particular, to Hattie McDaniel's performance. I see Gone With The Wind for better now, because I'm able to see it for worse.

Thank you, Squid Ladies, for setting up this blogfest.


Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug



85 comments:

  1. Methinks I shall have to munch further on your words, Janie.

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  2. Inspired about the way you have written!

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  3. So there's the Klan, rape, slavery, and worst of all it's damn near four hours? I think I understand why I have never been compelled to see this film. Or read the book. "This is a symptom of the shrinking of the modern attention span." Nah, just don't need to spend that much time in that world. It was an ugly period that I'd rather not revisit. And by "period" I mean 1939 when the movie was made.

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    1. A lot of great movies were made in '39, including The Wizard of Oz, Goodbye Mr. Chips, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (love Jimmy Stewart), The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Wuthering Heights. GWTW isn't four hours. It comes in at somewhat less than three, including the intermission. The Wolf of Wall Street is longer and doesn't have an intermission. I think you can live quite happily without seeing Wind, however.

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  4. I need to watch Gone With the Wind again. My husband has never seen it. I only saw it all the way through once, when I was a teenager. I have a feeling it would be an all new experience now.

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    1. It was also digitally restored for its 70th anniversary. The photography is supposed to be breathtaking now.

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  5. Frankly, my dear... this is a superb essay. Experience and maturity allowed you to identify the subtle undercurrents in that scene with Scarlett and Mammy. (I wonder if Mammy ever baked her a chocolate pie. :)

    I can testify that the same thing often happens to me when I watch movies I enjoyed in my youth. At the time I did not understand the power of writers, directors and big name actors who represented the "old Hollywood" establishment to put across a point of view for the consumption of the masses. Many of those pictures amounted to propaganda films and I cringe when I watch them today. Naturally, when I come across the relatively few films of the period that align with my own values, beliefs and political views, I am grateful to the courageous men and women who risked their careers to make them.

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    1. Chocolate Pie! hahahahahaha I love Minnie. I was so glad when Octavia Spencer won the Academy Award, but I enjoyed the book more. A movie that is said to be particularly ugly and racist is Birth of a Nation. I avoid seeing that one.

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  6. I saw GWTW in the theater in the fifties. Intermission and everything. Saw it the second time forty years later, on VCR in my family room. Came away with exactly the same impressions. I can still recall the tone in Hattie's voice when she stops Scarlett: "He ain't yo husband."

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    1. Hattie was so good. What an actress.

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  7. I didn't read the book or see the movie until I was an adult but I can imagine how many of the subtleties would fly right past a small child's mind. This is one of my favorite books ever---that story just took me over while reading it---but I watched the movie too soon after reading, and so I don't love that version. I do own a beach towel w/ that cover on it though. :)

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  8. I saw the movie the first time with my buddy, Richard, sitting in the balcony at the Lowes Grand Theater in Atlanta (where it was originally premiered.) It was in the early 50's when bad language wasn't ever heard. And we giggled when Rhett said, "Frankly my dear, I don't give a damn." We thought Clark Gable was so cool, being a WWII hero and cussing on screen. He was 'da man'. We thought Scarlett was just the ubiquitous (though we had never heard that word before back then) female that was in every move made to give the good guy a reason to be good. Even today, all the females seem cookie cutter that are hared to tell one from the other. But the men are unique.

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    1. And a lot of actresses are sick of being arm candy/sex objects.

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  9. Ahem, Squid's a gent. My co-hosts, however, are ladies.

    Wonderful choice. I've watched the movie all the way through twice: once as a child and once fairly recently. I think your insight into Mammy is fascinating - and spot on - though I never considered the relationship in that light. I see Gone with the Wind as a movie to admire more than one to like, per se. Beautiful movie, troubling story.

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    1. I beg your pardon, Sir. Tomorrow is another day.

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  10. I think I only saw the film once or twice but I must have read the book half a dozen times, a long time ago. It’s still sitting on my shelves somewhere.

    I am not sure that I would be quite as keen on it as I was many years ago. There’s been quite an awakening since then.

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    1. I read the book a number of years after I saw the movie. I no longer have the book. I don't think I'd enjoy it as much now.

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  11. What a great post! I was captured by this film as a kid and read a few books about the making of the movie. My aunt named her house Ten Oaks, played off of Twelve Oaks in the film. My family pointed out some of the inconsistencies when we watched them, though the subtleties about Mammy I did not pick up on. It's been quite a few years since I've watched.

    Also, I did not know this:
    She became the first African-American to be nominated for an Academy Award, and the first to win. Even though she couldn't attend the premiere of the film in Atlanta because colored people weren't allowed at such an important occasion.

    I have no words for that. How do you nominate them for an award and then bar the nominee from attending the ceremony?! It's just unthinkable to my modern mind. How that level of bigotry could ever be so accepted, it's really hard to understand. And very sad and shameful. Especially given I've been to a Gone with the Wind movie museum and the author's house in Atlanta. Quite an overlooked piece of history about the awards ceremony.

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    1. Hattie McDaniel attended the awards ceremony and accepted her Oscar by saying she hoped she was a credit to her race. It was the premiere that the black actors couldn't attend. It's a sad fact of life that Atlanta is a stronghold of the South. If the black stars had traveled to Atlanta, they would have had difficulty finding a decent hotel where they could stay. This country still has a lot of bigots. How about the people who attend Tea Party rallies and shout that President Obama should be lynched?

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  12. Great post about how we don't see things in depth when we're younger. I haven't watched Gone With the Wind for a long time but I'm going to keep all your insights in mind when I see it again.

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    1. The movie has a lot to enjoy. It's a pleasure to revel in the beautiful gowns and great acting.

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  13. I was an adult when I first saw GWTW and the aftermath of the rape scene has always bothered me. Scarlett is cheerful, as if to say that one "good" night with a real man -- even if it's forced -- is all a woman needs to "straighten her out." Awful implications there...

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    1. Absolutely. She simply needed a strong man to threaten her and carry her off to the bedroom. Quite a few movies from that era have violence toward women that's treated as acceptable and even funny.

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  14. I thought Scarlett was rather stupid to treat Rhett like she did. Of course I'm picturing Clark Gable. There's a lot of references to history in that story. Nice choice!

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    1. Scarlett may be a genius at making money, but she has a rough time figuring out that Ashley Wilkes is not the man she thinks he is.

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  15. I haven't seen Gone With the Wind in ages. I did remember thinking that Scarlet was a nasty woman, but I didn't catch all those other subtleties you mentioned. (There's a Gone With the Wind museum here in Atlanta. I'll have to visit it.)

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    1. Another blogger mentioned visiting Margaret Mitchell's home. That might be fun.

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  16. It's been such a long time since I've watched it, I suspect I need to watch it again.

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    1. I tempted to look for the restored 70th anniversary edition, which has lots of extras.

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  17. I LOVE LOVE LOVE this movie. I had seen it on the BIG SCREEN when I was about 15, My mom dragged me because she loved it so. I was captivated..... LOVED the costumes sets and Vivian Leigh... What as STUNNING woman! I couldn't keep my eye off of her. No one can wear 'curtains" like her!!! LOL. That color and her eyes... just breathtaking.

    I know what you mean about Mammy.. I saw it early on. I've seen the movie so many time afterwards. She was amazing. And definitely deserved the oscar! Melanie got on my nerves. LOL.

    Scarlett was RUTHLESS. Did you read the book? She's even worse in that. She even had Hamilton's child. Very different than the movie.

    Thanks for sharing with us. It's nice to know I wasn't the only one with a black and white TV growing up. We didn't get our color until 1970-71... I was nine.

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    1. Yes, I read the book about ten years after seeing the movie. Scarlett was such a horrible mother to her son. Vivian was strikingly beautiful. I read that her eyes were blue but because Scarlett was supposed to have green eyes, her eye color was "fixed."

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  18. Wow, I learned a lot from your post in terms of Hattie's performance and her oscar. Thank you! I also laughed when you described yourself as young and stupid in terms of not understanding the larger context of favorite childhood movies. I think that could describe all of us!

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    1. We have to go through young and stupid to achieve older and less stupid.

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  19. I'm not sure how old I was the only time I every saw this movie, but I think it might have been 4th grade. A friend and I walked to the movie theater next to the bowling alley where her parents were bowling in their weekly night time league. We totally didn't get the movie at all and left at intermission. I think we thought it was over. We'd probably never been to a movie that had an intermission. You have encouraged me to revisit this movie. I loved your then and now interpretations!

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    1. That's funny. These days even a long movie such as The Wolf of Wall Street doesn't have an intermission.

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  20. Dad wore his hat. Mom wore her dress, pearls and gloves, and carried her "good purse". We sat in silence, and clapped through the credtis. Clapped. No worries about spit wads sailing through the air, or cell phones going off, or getting shot. There's as many memories of the WHEN it was shown, as there are of the movie itself.

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    1. I know what you mean. We dressed up to go to the movie theater. It was clean and quiet. We could hear the movie.

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  21. Great comments! Something to think about. What are we watching now that we are "accepting" without empathy or insight? I wonder...

    Love it!
    Cherdo
    www.cherdoontheflipside.com

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    1. I don't really care for The Big Bang Theory. I know it's popular. I suspect most people probably accept the portrayal of the "nerds" on the show as funny. I was amused by it at first, but it didn't take long for it to get old. The Hurricane is a mathematician. I feel as if the show makes fun of her. The problem with the show is that we're laughing at the characters, not laughing with them.

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  22. WoW! This is an awesome breakdown of the movie. I am embarrassed to admit that I am not sure if I have ever sat and watched the movie in its entirety...and now all I can think of is the Carol Burnett drapery wearing takeoff!

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    1. I've never forgotten that Carol Burnett skit. It was hilarious.

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  23. A fantastic choice, and a brilliant assessment. I do declare, Miss Janie, you have surely outdone yourself.

    I loved the book, and the movie was the first one I'd ever seen that was so spectacular. Saw it in a fancy theater in downtown Baltimore... you know, the kind with chandeliers and heavy velvet curtains. But you're absolutely right. With age come a better perspetive, and hopefully, it's "less stupid."

    Loved Shady's crack about the chocolate pie.

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    1. Shady either makes me laugh, or he makes me blush with his kind comments. I remember the red velvet curtains opening at the theater, which was very large and had a balcony. I don't think any of those "fancy" theaters are left. Attending a movie was more of an event then.

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  24. In a similar vein, "Song of the South" has changed for me over the years. Even though it takes place during Reconstruction, I've come to realize that life in the postwar South was way suckier than the bright picture presented by Disney. Zip A Dee Doo Dah my shiny white hiney.
    And the next time I watch GWTW, I'll be sure to watch that interplay between Mammy and Scarlett.

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    1. I've never seen Song of the South, which is unusual since we usually went to all Disney movies when I was young.

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  25. While we're on the subject of looking at movies with an adult's eye...I just cannot watch "The Ten Commandments" anymore. I loved it as a child but now? All that "Pharaoh this", "Pharaoh that," "You will let the People go," "God will deliver us", and "So let it be written" stuff drives me insane. And I just can't take Edward G. Robinson serious.

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    1. I've never seen The Ten Commandments, either, or The Bible, except for snippets. Those movies look so boring.

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    2. If you ever do, it really is tedious.

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  26. Excellent review and wonderful insight Janie. I too saw the movie as a young teenager and was mesmerized...absolutely glued to my seat. I checked the book out of the library a few years later and have read it a few times since. Let's just say my impression of many of the characters and the story line has completely changed over the years. You know, Rhett Butler really was a cad and Scarlett was a self centered and spoiled woman-child who did not improve with age. The movie is so visually beautiful but the book tells the larger and uglier story. Well done on your choice.

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    1. Thank you. You stated it well. It's a beautiful production of an ugly story.

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  27. I've never seen Gone with the Wind in full. I taped it once on my trusty VCR and watched a big bulk of it...then the VCR cut out before the movie ended because it ran overtime. I was like..."Noooooooooooooooooooooooooo!!" I really should make the time and watch it in full.

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    1. I think it's one of those classic movies everyone should see, along with Citizen Kane, Casablanca, The Maltese Falcon, Mr. Smith Goes To Washington, It's A Wonderful Life . . . I could go on and on.

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    2. To say nothing of 'Booty Call' and 'Mars Attacks.'

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  28. WOW such a wonderful post. I just love the way you hit all the major points of the movie with your younger self answering. Super entertaining.

    cheers, parsnip

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    1. Thanks so much. I appreciate your visit.

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  29. GWTW is such a great film. Like you I didn't see it until it was rereleased in the theaters. It was 1974 and I was in college at the time. I knew it was a great film, but I couldn't get any of my friends to go see it with me so I went by myself.

    It was a weeknight so the theater wasn't very full. When intermission came I thought the film was over. It seemed like an odd way to end the movie but I could see how that could have made an ending. I figured they must have edited out the part where Rhett says "Damn". So anyway, I went ahead and left.

    When I got to my van I realized that I was the only one who had left the theater. That's when I realized it was only an intermission. I sheepishly went back inside hoping that nobody would notice. Fortunately I did see the film to its end. I've seen the film several times since. We have 3 different DVD versions of the film all given to my wife and I as gifts. They knew it was a film that we both loved.

    Great choice of films.

    Lee
    Tossing It Out

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    1. You aren't the only one who has admitted to being confused by the intermission.

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  30. Rhett Butler raped Scarlett? Are you sure she didn't consent when they were in the bedroom?

    Anyway, here's a You Tube link for 'Song of the South', performed by Chevy Chase. Note how all the extras are white, to avoid any suggestion of racism.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hsBtuhWw7RM

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    1. I enjoyed the video. Scarlett probably couldn't consent. I imagine she passed out because her corset was too tight.

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  31. Hattie McDaniels deserved that Oscar. She steals every scene she's in and with that cast it couldn't have been easy.

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  32. This is a great and brutally honest post, a lot of important points that one does tend to about this classic movie. I still have not seen it, not quite sure why it's taken this long!
    Thanks for sharing this on our Bloghop!

    Nancy at Hungry Enough To Eat Six

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    1. Thanks for visiting. I enjoyed writing the post.

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  33. My mom watched it when I was about eight or nine, I think. I don't really remember much of it, except a tragic horse riding accident with a little girl. I didn't understand anything that happened in the movie except that and I was broken hearted because it was so sad. I had absolutely no idea anything that you talked about happened in the movie though, but that was like eleven or twelve years ago.

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    1. You might want to see it one of these days. 1939 was an amazing year for movies, and GWTW is one of them.

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  34. Fiddle de dee
    ( jumps on bed.)
    It's a cracker of a film
    Olivia de havilland was a revelation too

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  35. I have never seen Gone with the Wind, of course I have heard about it but nope never seen it ever.....

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    1. I doubt if you have time to watch movies because you do so much for your family.

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  36. I saw GWTW when I was six then not again until I was about fourteen. Altogether, I have seen it about a dozen times. At fourteen I did get that Scarlett was nasty, charming, and manipulative. However, she was enviable because she was beautiful and successful at overcoming adversity by her own wits, not needing a man to take charge even though sometimes men were the agents of change.

    Scarlett epitomized many women, not all as wealthy and spoiled, who saved the family, the farm, and put food back in the mouths of their children when the Northern Aggressors took all they had. She is to be celebrated in my opinion. Melanie was not effectual in any way. She could not survive without someone to help her.

    Slaves often thought of the children of the whites as part of their identity and bragged that "my owner has more than your owner." Mammy had reared Scarlett and taught her how to be an acceptable female in society. She made her nap; she made her eat. Scarlett was 16-years-old and a normal willful, coquettish, young girl. She wanted her way.

    This young teen manipulated her world to save herself. Yes, she was a spoiled young flirt. However, she did what she could do the only way she could to get what her family, friends, and slaves needed. A woman only had so many tools/skills at her disposal.

    She was going for all she could get, not just a meal for tomorrow for those she loved. I find absolutely no fault in what she did or did not do. She worked within the system available to her. Don't we all do the same as women in a more enlightened time. Remember, men were taking advantage of women without protection under the laws of the time. She had to be ruthless. If I were that beautiful, maybe I would do the same thing she did.

    We know we should use our brains to get what we need, but my 94-yr-old neighbor who died 20 years ago said to me, "If smiling helps, smile twice."

    If our world were turned upside down, we would do well to emulate Scarlett's actions. The pouty, flirty little girl trying to become a woman had to learn fast. She had seen women get their way and was emulating their actions. She knew the power of her beauty and body. That is why she did not want a child/pregnancy to spoil her famous and regaled 17" waistline.

    Yes, she made a few mistakes, but who hasn't? She suffered for her mistakes, but in the end, even though we are all frowning, we can go home and think about how she was reared, how young she was, and how successful she was.

    While in grad school, I needed something to wear to a Christmas party at 6 pm on Christmas Day. I remembered a silk curtain I had gotten at a sale, pulled from the edges of the attic, all dirty and in a heap. I had washed it and dried it and sort of pulled out the stitches, thrown out the lining. That morning I made a jacket. I had sheer fabric gotten for $1/yard from Walmart. I made palazzo pants and a tunic that came to top of my legs and wore a tank top. The outfit was cranberry and the drape was cranberry and beige.

    When I went into the party, most of the people there, professors, lawyers, and other professionals looked excited and smiled. "Well, Scarlett, you didn't have anything to wear?" I got so many compliments. One gay guy came and told me I should make men's clothing from drapery.



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    1. Thanks for sharing your point of view. I don't think Melanie was totally ineffectual. She's great when Scarlett shoots the thief. I love your story about making the outfit.

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  37. Heard so much about this movie but I dont think I really had watched it at all. Now I have to.
    www.thoughtsofpaps.com

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    1. I don't know if it makes much sense to non-Americans. If you watch it, then please let me know what you think of it.

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  38. I always knew the quote "Frankly my dear, I don't give a damn" was from Gone with the Wind but it wasn't until watching it, I was surprised where it was in the film! Mammy is certainly the best character and you're right, Hattie McDaniel deserves all the accolades for her role.

    Ed- Empire's 5-star 500

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    1. At that time, the movie standards code forbade any profanity in movies. GWTW received special permission to use "damn." After that "hell" and "damn" were allowed in movies.

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  39. I saw GWTW as a teenager and loved all the subtleties between Mammy and Scarlett--well, between a lot of people and Scarlett because she was rather clueless as to what people really thought of her. I never liked Scarlett at all. Was amazed anybody could stand her...and, therefore, was most deeply touched and humbled by Miss Melanie's forgiving love. Melanie was who I remembered the most--well, and Mammy--LOL! You make me want to watch it again...and I've seen it a good half a dozen times. ;)

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    1. I love it when Rhett dresses Scarlett in red and insists she attend Melanie's party (although I dislike his cruelty). The look on Melanie's face when she approaches Scarlett is downright beatific. Scarlett has Melanie's love and devotion no matter what.

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  40. The first time I watched this movie I was around 12 years old. Even then, I knew that Scarlett was a negative character who hurts all the people around her, but here's the thing about her: she also saves them. She is stronger than anybody else in the film (Rhett is her only equal). This strength is what makes her so powerful. She uses her beauty but also her intelligence to get what she wants and all the other characters either admire her or envy her for that. Having said this, Scarlett pays for all the mean things she does because: 1) she loses her daughter, and 2) she doesn't get Rhett in the end when she finally realizes that she loves him. Not sure I agree with the theory that Mommy hates her. I do think that Scarlett gets on her nerves, but I think there is also love between them.

    In later years I came to understand that Melanie is also strong. She is the other character people turn to when there are problems. Who do they call when Rhett is devastated by the loss of his daughter? Who challenges Atlanta society when they turn against Scarlett? Who keeps calm when Scarlett kills the soldier who tries to abuse her?

    When I went to Atlanta and visited the Mitchell House, I realized that Margaret was an early feminist and this comes through in her novel because with the exception of Rhett (who also leaves at the end) all the men are lost at the end of the war.

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    1. I saw a documentary about Margaret Mitchell. It emphasized how unusual she was for her time because she went out and worked in a man's world. I think Mammy remains devoted to the family because she's so fond of Rhett, and taking care of Scarlett has become second nature to Mammy. Melanie is very strong -- maybe not physically, but emotionally. Her character is beautiful, and I love Olivia de Havilland, the only star of the movie who is still alive.

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    2. "I love Olivia de Havilland, the only star of the movie who is still alive."

      I know! I always thought it was odd that she didn't get along with her sister, who recently passed away. I think it's because when I think of Olivia, I always picture Melanie, who was so forgiving. :)

      Last year, when I visited Mitchell's house I found a lot of parallels between her and Scarlett. I wrote a post about it--would be interested to know what you think about it. If you get a chance, it's here:

      http://divinesecretsofthewritingsisterhood.blogspot.com/2013/06/the-real-scarlett.html

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  41. The settings were great for this movie, but the story is not much to write about (then and now)

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  42. I don't know nothin' 'bout birthin' babies! And we didn't get a color TV until 1986. And I didn't get cable until 1999 when I married Phil. And we don't have it anymore... I haven't watched GWTW in forever, but I love it. Excellent choice and excellent essay.

    -andi

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