Pin It
Favorite

DVD Review 

by Ted S. McGregor Jr.


They say more eyes have watched Gone With the Wind than any other film. With this new version on DVD, even more people can get their chance to see this epic of the American South during the Civil War. This isn't just any re-release; it's only the third film to be completely re-mastered at Warner Bros.' new high-tech film-resurrecting facility. Every frame has been cleaned and brightened -- even the soundtrack has been redone, based on a pristine copy recently discovered. The result is spectacular: It looks the way it must have back in 1939.


There are four discs in this set, two for the film and two for the special features. Unlike so many DVD sets, the extra discs here are worth watching, especially the feature-length documentary about the making of the film. The story behind Gone With the Wind is filled with drama, too. Maverick producer David O. Selznick moved heaven and earth to make this movie, and some of the factoids are amazing. The burning of Atlanta was actually a controlled fire on MGM's back lot to clear out old movie sets, including the giant old gate used in the original King Kong. And it wasn't until the filming of this scene that Selznick met Vivien Leigh, whom he immediately cast as Scarlett O'Hara.


The film itself stands the test of time very well. Human drama set on top of actual historical drama is always a great formula, and the film -- like Margaret Mitchell's novel -- captures the tragedy of war along with the resiliency of survivors. Rhett Butler, played by Clark Gable, is among our earliest anti-heroes. He's a me-first kind of guy, but he's powerless against Scarlett.


Because of the novel, Scarlett herself was a sensation even before the film premiered.


But why? Scarlett is basically a spoiled, generally horrible person. Her one redemptive quality is her endless font of will power. Perhaps her ability to overcome any obstacle -- even when they are of her own making -- made her America's sweetheart. Or maybe she was a vision of what women dreamed of -- to be unbound by convention and free to follow their desires. Whatever the appeal, this isn't the kind of character you find in mainstream cinema all that often, and Leigh's devious little pixie interpretation was perfect.


The ending isn't tidy either, leaving viewers knowing little more than that life goes on. But now, looking and sounding better than ever, so will this film.





Publication date: 12/09/04

  • Pin It

Latest in News

  • Skunked
  • Skunked

    Why Spokane County Commissioners passed a temporary ban on new outdoor pot farms without telling anyone
    • Dec 8, 2016
  • Prisoner Problems
  • Prisoner Problems

    Computer errors continue to plague state Department of Corrections; plus, Washington ranked first in pro-charter-school policies
    • Dec 8, 2016
  • In Defense of Refugees
  • In Defense of Refugees

    In the aftermath of the presidential election, local residents seek ways to love and support their refugee friends
    • Dec 1, 2016
  • More »

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Today | Sun | Mon | Tue | Wed | Thu | Fri
Spokane Storytelling League: Christmas Stories

Spokane Storytelling League: Christmas Stories @ South Hill Library

Sat., Dec. 10, 4 p.m.

All of today's events | Staff Picks

More by Ted S. McGregor Jr.

  • BOOKS
  • BOOKS

    From Twin Peaks to the darkest reaches of our galaxy, there's a new book for everyone on your list
    • Dec 1, 2016
  • Fake-News Nightmare
  • Fake-News Nightmare

    The social media dream of the 2000s is fading, but we can reset the system by sticking up for the truth
    • Dec 1, 2016
  • Trump wins: America's great state of disconnect
  • Trump wins: America's great state of disconnect

    • Nov 9, 2016
  • More »

Most Commented On

  • Unfinished Business

    Isaiah Wall wants to get his life on track. But first, he's gotta buy drugs for the police
    • Nov 17, 2016
  • Fake-News Nightmare

    The social media dream of the 2000s is fading, but we can reset the system by sticking up for the truth
    • Dec 1, 2016
  • More »

Top Tags in
News & Comment

Briefs


green zone


marijuana


TRAIL MIX


Comment


Readers also liked…

  • Manufacturing Fear
  • Manufacturing Fear

    Spokane's Republican sheriff says members of his own party are dangerously dividing people
    • Aug 12, 2015
  • Unfinished Business
  • Unfinished Business

    Isaiah Wall wants to get his life on track. But first, he's gotta buy drugs for the police
    • Nov 17, 2016

© 2016 Inlander
Website powered by Foundation