“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.
“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…)