Monday, December 15, 2014

Classic Cinema: Gone With The Wind Opens 75 Years Ago Today in Atlanta

Gone with the Wind  is the most famous epic produced about the United States Civil War, and is  arguably the best known film of all time.  It took home a remarkable 8 Oscars and dominated a year the many consider to be the best year in cinema's history for great films. Adjusted for inflation, it is still the most successful film in box-office history.

The film has been criticized for its historical revisionism and glorification of slavery,  Hattie McDaniel was the first African American to win an Oscar for her portrayal of Mammy, which these days is an offensive stereotype for black domestic help and older black females in general.  The film nevertheless has been credited for triggering changes to the way African Americans are depicted on film up until 1939.

Clark Gable as Rhett Butler and Vivien Leigh as Scarlet O'hara
Academy Awards Wins:
  • Best Picture
  • Best Director- Victor Fleming
  • Best Actress- Vivien Leigh
  • Best Supporting Actress- Hattie McDaniel
  • Best Cinematography, Color
  • Best Film Editing
  • Best Art Direction
Other Academy Awards Nominations:
  • Best Actor- Clark Gable
  • Best Supporting Actress- Olivia de Havilland
  • Best Visual Effects
  • Best Music, Original Score
  • Best Sound Recording
Clark Gable's iconic performance as Rhett Butler only earned him a nomination and not the award itself, which went to British Robert Donat for his performance in Goodbye Mr. Chips, a fact that always bothered him.

Other Honors:
  • In 1977, Gone with the Wind was voted the most popular film by the American Film Institute (AFI), in a poll of the organization's membership. However, the movie slipped to the number 6 position in 2007 in the AFI's ranking of the 100 greatest films. Some film critics as of recent have not ranked the film in top lists, probably due to the film's dated racial views.

See the film's Wikipedia entry for more information:
Gone with the Wind

To find out other films made in 1939, the greatest year in the history of film:

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