I’d been on such a hot streak without skipping a month on these, but then September came and went, because it is hard to schedule time to watch an almost 4 hour movie. (Especially when no one involved was super excited to watch it.)
Had I seen this one before?
Remarkably, not. Miró and I tried once in high school but got bored and went to eat about 45 minutes in and never started again. I knew a ton about it though, because of my film podcasts and the really great exhibit on its production at the Ransom Center when I lived in Austin.
Top 3 Observations on this viewing?
- Upfront, I feel I need to state for the record, this movie is really racist and props up a narrative of the Lost Cause of the Glorious Old South, which is dangerous, ahistorical nonsense. That being said, Hattie McDaniel’s Mammy is a great performance, and we all commented that we would love to watch a movie about her (preferably one where she leaves Scarlett behind and goes to live her own life somewhere.)
Queen of the side-eye
2. I was really dreading this, I remembered it being dull and so long, but on this viewing (aided, I admit, by quite a bit of white wine) it didn’t really feel like it dragged. The structure is so episodic that it felt like watching a soap opera, which also helps contextualize the character of Scarlett for me. She’s a sociopath really, but a glamorous one, like the divas at the center of daytime soaps today, who are always doing things like stealing their sister’s men and then not caring when those men die.
3. This is an exceptionally well cast movie, filled with incredible performances (I get the fuss about Rhett Butler guys – I mean how do you not find Clark Gable charming?) with one, surprising to me, exception – Leslie Howard as Ashley Wilkes, not only does he sometimes slip into a British accent at moments of high emotion – he’s such a drip (to borrow a phrase from my friend Mary Kate) that its actually hard for me to understand his appeal at all. (I mean, I get why Melanie loves him, but she’s such a saint she sees the good in everybody. – Oh & one bonus observation – the movie is 4 hours long, indulge me – the most interesting relationship in this film is between Rhett and Melanie. I love that he respects her and sees that her kindness has its own power.)
What did it beat? Did it deserve to win?
Dark Victory – I’ve never heard of this, but I love a Bette Davis vehicle.
Goodbye, Mr. Chips – Ah, yes, the retrospective, teacher drama, I haven’t seen it in years, but I remember it being…fine?
Love Affair – I don’t think I know this, but I love the comically generic title.
Mr. Smith Goes to Washington – A true classic. Love Capra. Love Stewart. Love this.
Ninotchka – I don’t know enough about Greta Garbo.
Of Mice and Men – Is it bad to admit I prefer the Gary Sinese/John Malkovich version of this?
Stagecoach – I’ve never seen it. (I know…I know…)
The Wizard of Oz – Oh, I love The Wizard of Oz (of course!)
Wuthering Heights – This is not my favorite Bronte novel, and this is not my favorite adaptation of this novel.
Wow, what a stacked year…politically I want to give it to Mr. Smith, sentimentally I have to go with Oz, but I understand why they gave the production award to Selznick for this. I guess I’ll let it stand (with the earlier caveat that it is racist AF.)
Bechdel Test Pass?
Yes! By a mile. In fact, I would say the majority of conversations in this movie are about a woman, she’s evil, but she isn’t a man.
Did you know there’s a dessert called “Gone With The Wind?” Well, now you do, it’s basically an egg custard. The recipe linked here is absurdly simple, so I’ve written it out in a more logical way.
Gone With the Wind
- 1 cup milk
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 2 eggs
- Pinch of salt
- 1 envelope unflavored gelatin
- 1/4 cup cold water
- 3/4 cup heavy cream
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- approx. 20 graham crackers
- 3 tablespoons brown sugar
- 3 tablespoons butter
- Crush the graham crackers so that they are crumbs (Should yield approx. 3 cups of crumbs)
- Whip the heavy cream until it forms soft peaks, set aside
- Separate the eggs
- Whip egg whites until they hold soft peaks, set aside
- Melt the Butter
- Mix graham cracker crumbs with the brown sugar and melted butter in a medium sized bowl until evenly coated
- Line a 9in square pan with approx. half of the crumb mixture, set the other half aside
- Place in freezer while preparing the custard
- In a medium sauce pan, combine the milk, sugar, egg yolks, and salt
- Cook over medium heat until thick, stir often to avoid scorching the sugar or scrambling the egg.
- Dissolve the gelatin in the cold water
- Add it to the milk mixture and let cook down until a smooth, thick liquid forms
- Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature
- Pour custard mix into mixing bowl and whip until starts to fluff
- Slowly mix in the whipped cream and egg whites
- Beat until fully combined
- Remove crust from freezer and pour custard over graham cracker layer
- Sprinkle top with remaining graham cracker layer
- Place in refrigerator to set for at least 4 hours