Tag: civil war

MOVIE REVIEW | ***AFI WEEKEND*** #6. Gone With the Wind (1939)

“The American Film Institute’s list of the 100 Greatest Movies was selected by AFI’s blue-ribbon panel of more than 1,500 leaders of the American movie community to commemorate 100 Years of Movies”. Every weekend(ish) during 2015, I’ll review two(ish), counting them down from 100 to 1.
Wind 1
“Take a good look my dear. It’s an historic moment you can tell your grandchildren about. How you watched the Old South fall one night.”

These days, Hollywood is accused by the right wing of being militant lefties, always pushing an overly progressive agenda, trying to kill good old fashion values and conservativism. But apparently, in its earlier, golden years, Hollywood seems to have been a little on the redneck side itself, with a strange habit of telling Civil War stories where the slave owning southerners were the heroes. Birth of a Nation, the first ever feature length film was one. A decade later, Buster Keaton’s The General, arguably his best move, was another. Then, another decade after that, it was time for what may be the most famous movie of all time to make heroes out of a world of assholes, with Gone With the Wind.


On the Eve of the Civil War, spoiled plantation owner’s daughter Scarlett O’Hara (Vivien Leigh) is sick of hearing about Georgia’s secession from the Union. All she wants to do is swan around in pretty dresses and win the heart of neighbouring plantation heir, Ashley Wilkes (Leslie Howard). But when Ashley declares his engagement to his cousin Melanie Hamilton (Olivia de Havilland), Scarlett spitefully replies by marrying Melanie’s younger brother, Charles (Rand Brooks). But not before meeting the handsome and charismatic Rhett Butler (Clark Gable). He’s so tainted with scandal and so rich, the only thing he can’t buy in the old south is respect. But before either of these fresh marriages can take root, the Civil War breaks out, with the men going to the front, while Scarlett and Melanie take refuge in Melanie’s aunt’s house in Atlanta. (more…)

MOVIE REVIEW | ***AFI WEEKEND*** #18. The General (1927)

“The American Film Institute’s list of the 100 Greatest Movies was selected by AFI’s blue-ribbon panel of more than 1,500 leaders of the American movie community to commemorate 100 Years of Movies”. Every weekend(ish) during 2015, I’ll review two(ish), counting them down from 100 to 1.
General 1

“He’s a disgrace to the South.”

Over the last few years, as I’ve delved more and more into movie nerd-dom, I’ve found myself watching more and more silent films.  And while l’ve liked most of them, it still usually comes down to more of a respect thing, then a pure entertainment thing.  I find Charlie Chaplin immensely impressive, but once l’ve seen a Chaplin movie, I never really feel like re-watching it.  But there’s on silent film that I find genuinely entertaining, that I forget is even a silent film.  It’s just great action comedy, and it lives up to multiple viewings.  That movie is Buster Keaton’s The General.


Civil War has broken out in America, and good southern boy Johnnie Grey (Keaton) is the first to enlist.  Well, at least he tries to be the first to enlist.  But as a train engineer, the army decides he’s too valuable in his current role to risk his life as a soldier.  A reason they never give Johnnie.  So soon, Johnnie is disgraced and seen as a coward, even by his fiancé, Annabelle (Marion Mack), who dumps his ass. (more…)

MOVIE REVIEW | Song of the South (1946)

Song of the South

“It happum on one ah dem Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah Days. Now dat’s the kinda day where you can’t opem yo mouf widout a song jumpin right out of it!”

God bless the internet.  If it wasn’t for the internet, I wouldn’t have known that Song of the South Existed.  I wouldn’t have known that it’s one of the biggest pieces of tone deaf racism ever committed to film.  I wouldn’t have known that Disney has tried to bury it over the last few decades.  And I if it wasn’t for the internet, Disney would have succeeded in burying it and I wouldn’t be able to track it down.  But God bless the internet, because I just saw Song of the South.


It’s sometime soon after the American Civil War and young boy Johnny (Bobby Driscoll) is travelling with his parents to his grandmother’s Georgia plantation.  When he arrives, he realises that it’s not a happy family holiday, but that Johnny and his mother will stay, while his father heads back to Atlanta.  Refusing to accept that his family might be falling apart, Johnny sets off that night to run away, back to Atlanta. (more…)