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Monday, September 12, 2011

"Gone With the Wind" ISN'T a great love story! Yes, really!

The contest results came in yesterday from Film Classics (it's also on my blog roll, - they generously added me into theirs! - please see it; it's a wonderful website, many classic films and "I Love Lucy"s), and shockingly enough, Frankly, My Dear has managed to pick up a few awards in the categories it was entered into!

For the film noir article - yes, yes, the one I was so nervous over - I came in second place. You want some more shocking news? I managed to swing 98 votes. So: A billion and ten thanks to all of you who voted! I appreciate it so much that you took the time to do so... 98 votes??? I could never imagine so much. Thank you! :) Here's the cyber-award I received, which will now hang on my sidebar under the "Awards" portion --

Also, I entered my hundred birthday video for Lucille Ball into the video contest. There were three categories -- "Best Video", "Best Editing," and "Best Music Choice." My video came in second in all of the categories except the first, where I managed to squeak into first place by  one point. Once again: Thanks so, so, so, much everyone who voted! :)

Okay, now for the other contestants. The winner of the film noir contest is Kevyn from The Most Beautiful Fraud in the World, who won last season as well. It was actually a neck in neck race; Kevyn came in with 102. Anyhow, I believe he wrote a nice piece on the B film noir "Detour". Congratulations on winning, Kevyn, it's well deserved! And also considering that Kevyn appears to be a professional and I am just starting out in the blogging business (well, I've been writing since I was five but blogging is an entirely different thing of it's own), it was an even greater prestige to place second next to him. I hope to be half the critic you are, Kevyn!

The other two contestants were Natalie from the always fun and well written In The Mood and Meredith from the wonderful Forever Classics blog. Natalie and Meredith have been following my blog from it's earliest days and have always left such encouraging and lovely comments; as all of you readers do! (Really, you don't now how much I appreciate hearing your kind words. It brightens my day!). Anyhow, my friend Natalie wrote about Ministry of Fear; a Ray Milland movie. It was such a lovely piece and so convincing, so much so I went right over to Netflix and added it into my queue! (Despite the ending - I'll have to watch out for that, Natalie!) And Meredith wrote about a film I already have loved and have for while, Sunset Boulevard. It was a wonderful piece and described quite vividly the things we all love about the classic film noir. 

All of the above mentioned are forever lovely writers and let me say: it was so wonderful competing with you all!!! I think I was in some of the greatest company. And this also reminds me, I just wanted to mention how wonderful it is to be a part of the classic film blogging community. Finally, people who know what I mean when I say "Team Bette or Team Joan?"! But in all seriousness, this is such a kind and gracious community and it's a joy to be a part of. It really is! And for more lovely blogs, be sure and check my blog roll.

Anyway, the topic of today's post is something I have pondered about for quite a while; don't worry, it's not a rant post. 

"Gone With the Wind" has always been praised as one of the greatest love stories ever, and etc. Now before I continue I don't think you all need to know how much I love GWTW. Look at my blog title! I just adore this film. It is wonderful on so many levels, the acting and all of that is just amazing, it's true in the meaning of "classic."

However, as much as I love GWTW, I have to admit: it never seemed to me like a great love story, even though it is often praised and labeled as one. Let me explain. And before I continue, IF YOU HAVE NOT SEEN GONE WITH THE WIND (though please, I really really really hope you have!), DON'T READ ANY FURTHER. This is just for people who have seen the movie.

Anyway, let's face the facts: from the very beginning, the only person who Scarlett truly wants is Ashley, despite the fact she has about every man in Georgia at her feet. Yes, Ashley. Wimpy, wimpy Ashley. 

Yes, I always think of Ashley as a wimp. I also often wonder about what Ashley's true feelings for Scarlett were - did he love her? At all? Then why didn't he marry her? (It would have saved a lot of trouble...) Was it because he felt committed to Melanie?

Ashley is all Scarlett wants, even when she meets the dashing Rhett Butler. For the earlier parts of the film I think Scarlett flirts with Rhett alot - like, for example, dancing with him in her black mourning dress and letting him buy frilly hats for her. She also obviously cares a lot about the way she looks for Rhett, like when she has Mammy make the curtain dress for her. She doesn't restrain asking Rhett for help when she really needs it, like when Melanie is giving birth or when they go broke. Here's a good example; the "you need kissing badly" scene:

Yeah... I'd much rather take Rhett.

The thing is, I think deep down Scarlett knew she loved Rhett but she was never willing to admit it. Because Scarlett always had to have what she wanted, and what she wanted was Ashley. Though she and Ashley never have a real affair, I think they kissed more than once when he was married to Melanie.

Melanie, is, of course, too good to be true. God bless her heart. I actually thought she and Ashley made a pretty good pair. Melanie, so soft spoken and kind all the time, and Ashley... the wimp.

The thing is, those who claim GWTW is a great love story, I ask you: what love story? Despite the fact Scarlett truly does love Rhett and he loves her a lot, she only realizes she loves him once he's gone. Remember? At the end of the film when Melanie dies and Ashley is finally offered to her, she can't take him. Because she realizes it's Rhett she wants, Rhett she needs. Unfortunately for her, Rhett "doesn't give a damn" anymore. 

I guess it is the perfect example of you didn't realize you had it so good until it is all gone. What happened to Scarlett, we'll never know. Did she get Rhett back? She was forever scheming and she is at the end of the film - "Tomorrow is another day." Melanie is dead and Bonnie Butler is dead, but Scarlett knows there's another day and she can get Rhett back if she wants to; or if so she believes.

One thing is for sure, I don't think Scarlett would have gone to Ashley, even though she can finally have him. The situation becomes reversed. What a sequel that would have made! If she did get Rhett back, perhaps that would have made a good love story.

I found a little snippet about GWTW in my Social Studies textbook; it said the film "portrayed the Civil War in a romantic light." I do agree with this statement, I think the film has a very romantic air and lots of romantic scenes, like, for example, the famous kiss Rhett and Scarlett share while Atlanta is being burned down --

However, though it appears to be quite a passionate scene, the fact remains that Scarlett was pushing Rhett away!

I think perhaps the only time Scarlett submitted to Rhett showing affection for her - and he was willing to give it, unlike the end of the film after Bonnie dies, was this particular scene when Rhett decides to marry her. It's the "haven't you been kissed enough?" scene; unfortunately, I could not find a clip of it.

He loves you Scarlett, he really does!

So yes. I think GWTW is filled with beautiful scenes and a romantic air, but there's not really a love story. Scarlett and Rhett never love each other at the same time.

Anyway, I am not criticizing GWTW the wind at all. I think it showed the Civil War from the point of the South quite perfectly, without glamorizing it either (I mean, for how long was Scarlett in that purple dress?). The characters - with the exception of Melanie, who we all can't help but love anyway, probably because of how beautifully Livvie played her - are very alive and very human. I adore this film. It's not just the world's greatest love story, is all!

What do you think? Do I make sense? Well, this time around I think I do. I do, after all, know my GWTW!

Speaking of GWTW, I was able to talk my teacher into letting us watch GWTW at school! I take an enrichment class each week which is just to enrich us with a deeper look into information we may gloss over in other classes, and since we are currently looking at the Civil War in Social Studies class, my teacher agreed into letting us watch GWTW. I think it'll take a month for us to watch it, but I can hardly wait! The teacher and I got into a big discussion about the film, and she gave off several spoilers but I don't think anyone understood. In fact, everyone thought Ashley was a girl, obviously... so they'll have to wait and see. But yes. I am THRILLED. I love watching the classics at school!


StanwyckFan said...

Hi Rianna! Congratulations! And Congratulations! And Congratulations! I'm so happy you got second - you totally deserve it! Thanks for speaking so kindly of my entry and blog. It's nice of you, so nice of you. I also love being part of the Classic Film Blogging community...even though I'm just barely breaking in.

I actually haven't seen GWTW. I think I need to do that...then I'll come back and read the rest of this piece. ;)

Until Later On~

Rianna said...

Oh, thank you so much, Natalie! :) I adore your blog and it deserves all the praise. I'm still wetting my feet in the blogging community as well (obviously, lol) but so far everyone has been extremely welcoming! :)

You most certainly should!! I'm extremely happy because I talked my teacher into watching it at school, in addition to the fact that I'm having a sleepover with some friends in a few days and we're going to watch it! I get so happy when i can talk my friends into watching classics... lol. But yes. You should watch it, and then come back and tell me if my piece makes sense :)

StanwyckFan said...

I will. :)

By the way, do you think you'll enter the next contest whenever it comes around?

Meredith said...

I've personally always considered GWTW a love story, but I can definitely understand what you said about them not loving each other at the same time.

Oh, and congratulations! :)

Dani said...

I agree with you. I don't think Scarlett cares much about love, as she does about being the center of attention. I think she only took interest in Ashley because she saw she couldn't have him. So she looked at him as a challenge that excited her. At the end, when Rhett doesn't want anything to do with her either, that's a new challenge that has arisen for her to conquer.
All of the times she got involved with a man, it was not love that attracted her at first; it was either the need to be acknowledged or the need of money. Although I think, in Rhett's case, she might have felt sexually attracted to him, but she didn't love him when they married.
So no, GWTW is not a love story.
As for showing the movie at school, I think that's great. Young people should know the classics too. I just hope your classmates don't end up hating you for making them watch such a long movie. :)

Rianna said...

Natalie - I just saw now that it's a Bette Davis contest, and it's too tempting for me to turn down. I think I may give it a try again. You? :)

Meredith - I guess it's kind of not your normal love story. Not like you would expect it to be. ;) Thank you!! :)

Dani - I agree. I think Scarlett and Rhett were great together and I'm sure Scarlett knew that deep down, too; however, Scarlett wanted whatever she couldn't have. During most of the movie it is Ashley, but in the end it is Rhett. Scarlett was very... ambitious, let's say! Yes, I'm very excited :) My classmates are used to me and my Old Hollywood obsession, though, and I think some of them are even enthusiastic. :)

StanwyckFan said...

Yep. I'll be there! I love these contests - I need go watch some more Bette Davis movies though...that's my new goal... ;)

Rianna said...

You should! Yeah, I plan to enter today. ;)

Kevyn Knox said...

Thank you for your kind words. And congrats right back at ya. Good luck in the Bette Davis contest.

Rianna said...

Thank you!

Kate Gorman said...

I was 12 when I first saw Gone With The Wind. It was shown in two parts on TV and as the first part finished I asked my Mum,
"Do Rhett and Scarlett get married?"
Mum: "You'll have to wait and see."

I watched the second part the next day and I loved it! Gone With The Wind is one of my favourite classic films ever since! I love Scarlett and Rhett! :) xx

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