I think everyone knows the story – beautiful Southern belle, Scarlett O’Hara, longs for a man she cannot have as the Old South dies and she has to face her own personal battles. It has a host of famous faces as iconic as the film itself. This movie became the romantic benchmark for years, and it still has the unattainable status which will never be reached again. The book is a massive chunk of literature at over 1,000 pages long so I suppose a faithful enough adaptation was necessary to get the full flavour of the story.
The plot is solid with fleshed out characters (if a bit stereotypical) – the tempestuous but childish Scarlet, the dreamy Ashley, the sexually charged Rhett, the kindly Melly. It brings a bygone age vividly back to life, from the highest highs to the bottomless lows. When it was released 75 years ago, it must have been breathtaking explosion for cinema audiences.
Not to say that this film doesn’t have its faults. At times it comes across as a bit too stagey (the dramatic flight from Atlanta, anyone?) but these moments are few and far between. Of course, it being set in the 1860s and filmed in the 1930s racial stereotypes are a bit too overblown, and this was a main focus of criticism upon this film’s release.
The characters are just so human apart from that, and the situations timeless – who hasn’t found themselves longing for the love of someone who doesn’t love them? Who hasn’t had to face parental loss, or the loss of a beloved child?
MY RATING: 5 / 5.