Excellent moviemaking, but risible history

Wednesday, July 1st, 2020

Three years ago Ed Realist noted that “Gone with the Wind is going through hard times right now.

If in a year or three it’s banished from TCM and movie revival houses and the AFI top 100 (much less the top 10 position it now holds), I won’t be surprised.

Gone with the Wind is not one of his favorite historical films — he considers it “excellent moviemaking, but risible history” — but he considers Mellie was one of the greatest feminist characters of all time. (I’d consider her a strong female character, but not a feminist.)

I’m not sure when I first realized that Melanie Wilkes, played by the great Olivia De Havilland, was the tremendous feminist model that others saw in Scarlett. I do know that from the first time I watched it to now, I preferred Melanie. Sometime in the 90s, though, I realized that she, not the tempestuous Scarlett, is the exemplar of a powerful female character. De Havilland’s Melanie is, in my view, one of the five great feminist movie roles of all time (the others: Bette Davis in Now, Voyager, Faye Dunaway in Network, Meryl Streep in Out of Africa, and Sigourney Weaver in Aliens.)

This came up because Olivia De Havilland just turned 104 years old!

Gone with the Wind is back on HBOMax, by the way. I’ve been meaning to listen to the audiobook.


  1. Jeff S. says:

    I’m not so sure Ed Realist is a man — there have been clues on the blog that this (in)famous blogger might be a woman!

  2. Bruce Purcell says:

    Steven Barnes, who hates Gone with the Wind on ideological grounds, kind of echoed the plot for his first ‘Casanegra’ book. The hooker with a heart of gold fuses with Scarlett, and is a guy and the hero. His dad is the good person in a corrupt system, the Melanie role. GWTW is like hip-hop lit, a story of the beautiful and the damned. I have forgot much, Cynara! Gone With the Wind-

  3. Sam J. says:

    If you wish here’s a magnet file for it. It’s on I2P encrypted network. Add this to I2PSnark.

    Gone With The Wind (1939) [1080p] [BluRay] [5.1]


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