Gone With the Wind is one of my all time favorite movies.
If you have NOT seen it, stop reading now and go watch it immediately. It’s just under 4 hours long, so be sure to get comfortable before you start it!
Should you fail to watch the film in its entirety before continuing to read this post, I’m afraid I can’t be friends with you anymore.
Don’t you want to be my friend?!
Good! Then watch the damn movie.
Scarlett O’Hara, where do I even begin?
I can safely say that she is EVERYTHING about all women that makes us unbearable. Maddening.
Therefore, she is simultaneously ALL the things which make us irresistible as well.
- She is loud and full of high energy.
- She is used to getting everything she wants with little effort.
- She won’t hesitate to throw an outright tantrum when denied.
- She is gorgeous and fully aware of the leeway this gives her.
- She flirts with ALL men, no exceptions.
- She is 100% shameless.
Like the rest of us human beings, she quickly begins to take for granted that which comes too easily and too often.
In spite of the endless line of young men competing for her attention, it seems that only Ashley Wilkes has (unwittingly) discovered the secret to capturing it.
He remains aloof and immune to her charm.
Like countless other women before her (whether they’ll admit it or not), she only seems to want a man who she cannot have.
A forbidden fruit that belongs to someone else.
Although he has no alluring traits, the denial of his affection allows her the time needed to imagine him some kind of hero.
At no point within her delusions does she pause to ask herself if she even likes Ashley Wilkes.
Rhett Makes Me Wet
Then, along comes the man of ANY woman’s (wet) dreams!
But poor little Scarlett is way too busy distorting reality and being in love with a total douche.
And it’s a damn shame, too.
Because Rhett Butler is the FULL MEAL DEAL.
About thirty seconds into their first encounter, he calls her out as the snotty-nosed brat she is and then shrugs it all off.
He’s in no rush, after all.
He figures Scarlett might just turn out to be a fun time, once she grows the fuck up and gets over her little grade school crush.
“With enough courage, you can do without a reputation.”
In the meantime, Rhett wanders off on his own adventures in life to pass the time. Among his better friends is a prostitute named Belle who keeps him company from time to time.
Scarlett makes the mistake of insulting Belle, to which Rhett responds with one of his sexiest lines ever:
“If you were a man, I’d break your neck for that.”
And then FINALLY, after years of bullshit games…they get together.
He buys her a giant engagement rock, she gives him a daughter and they move into an extravagant mansion.
He gives her everything.
Except for Ashley Wilkes.
By the end of the movie, these two have suffered major tragedies, both independently and as a couple.
But rather than see them come together, it only works to further drive them apart.
Just as it seems to often happen in real life, Scarlett’s moment of clarity comes too late.
More Than a (Fucked Up) “Love Story”
I’m sure you didn’t get very far into that before writing this off as a ‘chick flick.’
Make no mistake – this is more than 4 straight hours of sappy love story.
It’s a period film set in 1860’s America, from the perspective of the defeated South in a war that marked the end of slavery.
It is a dramatic masterpiece.
It’s the quintessential historical fiction.
Never Gets Old
I can only hope to age as gracefully as Gone With the Wind has.
Filmed over seventy years ago, it somehow manages to never feel dated or seem cheesy when I watch it.
Once I travel back in time 35 years or more, most movies have an understandably ‘awkward‘ feel to them.
I’m sure this is due to a disconnect between styles that were common then, and just seem silly to me now.
Gone With the Wind is truly a timeless classic.
Shit Gets *REAL*
For anyone who doesn’t know, this story takes place in the Southern United States around the beginning of the American Civil War.
Scarlett’s spoiled childhood comes to an abrupt halt as she watches her family lose everything.
We watch as she endures all the hardships that come with war — starvation, poverty, destruction and disease. For her, the fall of the Confederacy means losing her home and loved ones.
Alas, she astonishes us all with her ability to adapt to whatever new situation she finds herself in.
Ultimately, Gone With the Wind is a tale of survival and indestructible human will.
“As God is my witness, I’ll never go hungry again!”