This book chapter gives a description of the major films from each year as well as a bit of the events happening during that year. It provides a background from which to view "Gone with the Wind." The competition for the year is given along with the history surrounding the year of its release.
War was on the horizon for Europe and America was feeling some of the effects. Many films were made that expressed some sort of patriotism. Most were films on what it was to be an American and Americanism.
The Army was using Hollywood in their making of training films. It was also the year of the New York World’s Fair. Hollywood was helping to make educational films with the creation of Teaching Film Custodians, by Will H. Hayes. The chapter lists stars of that year such as Mickey Rooney, Spencer Tracy, Clark Gable, Shirley Temple, Bette Davis, and James Cagney.
Some of the films that year included “Stagecoach,” “The Wizard of Oz,” “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington,” and “Babes in Arms.” There is a description of each of the films and a few others. It gives a little bit of the plot and some background behind it. It also gives certain facts like the stars of the film, the running time, the director, the producer and the scriptwriter. “Gone with the Wind” was expected to flop due to many factors such as cost of production and the length of the film. However, it ended up being a very serious threat to other films that year. This chapter gives a glimpse of that.
In 1939, “Gone with the Wind” swept the Oscars. The year of its release, it saw unprecedented success. Most people believed that the film would fail. It had too many things going against it. Vivien Leigh was almost completely unknown and she was playing the role of Scarlett with a major star like Clark Gable. Many doubted whether she could hold up her side of the narrative. Also, the cost of production on the film seemed like more than could ever be made back in the box office.
This description from the 1939 Oscars gives a portrayal of the success of “Gone with the Wind.” The film was nominated for ten Academy awards, more than any movie before it. It ended up winning eight of those ten. One of the Oscars given out that night was Best Supporting Actress, given to Hattie McDaniel for her portrayal of Mammy. It was the first Oscar ever given to a Black woman.
“Gone with the Wind” had record setting success. This chapter in the book demonstrates that success. It lists the various award nominations as well as the winner. It also gives some details about that year and the events surrounding it. This information leads to an understanding of the impact of the film.
In chapter three of this book, Donald Bogle analyses the performances of the black servants in “Gone with the Wind.” He argues that the roles of the black servants in this film are more realistic than other black roles that came before it. He sees the characters and the performances of most of the black actors as an advancement of blacks in film.
Before “Gone with the Wind,” Bogle states that most of the characters in Civil War films were shown as only slaves. He sees the relationship shown between the black servants and white masters in “Gone with the Wind” as more accurate portrayals of the relations between actual blacks and whites in ante-bellum south.
Bogle looks most closely at Hattie McDaniel in the role of Mammy. She does not play the role of the entirely subservient slave, as in other movies. Instead, she is one of the family members, and has a voice of her own which she uses quite boisterously throughout the film Her character acts as a sort of mother to Scarlett. Bogle sees this as a major advancement in the role of blacks in film because she is not just a slave but a real character. She is simply comic relief but a major part of the film.
Bogle also looks at other black characters in the film such as Prissy and Pork. Overall, Bogle is pleased with most of the character portrayals, though he does see some of the servant characters as perpetuations of stereotypes. This view gives light to the racial implications of “Gone with the Wind” and actually sees them as moving in a positive direction, unlike other views.
This book looks at the movie from the perspective of David O. Selznick, the producer. It goes through every part of the filming process.
It starts with Selznick trying to decide whether or not he should do the movie. He was asked to do it by Kay Brown, a New York Editor. The book was amazingly popular but Selznick was reluctant to do the film.
He did decide to do it though and it ended up being a major success. He had many difficulties while producing it though. This book goes through and details the process of producing the film and it does it entirely from Selznick’s side. It relates it to events in his life and what was going on around him. It details all of the decisions he had to make while producing the film as well.
This book gives a look at the actual production of the film. It looks at the troubles surrounding it and at the people involved in it. It shows what Selznick wanted from the film and what he did with it. It displays the difficulties surrounding the film as well. Selznick was the major force behind everything within the film. He had his hand in every part of the film and made most of the major decisions concerning the future of the film and how it looked. It is necessary when looking at the film, to understand what went on to make it and the major influences of it. This book provides that information.
This article looks at the reception of “Gone with the Wind” by the African American Press. It analyzes the response of this particular group and what that meant for the film as a whole. There was a lot of criticism on the film by the press. However, the portrayal of some of the African American characters was received favorably.
Hattie McDaniel’s role was praised by the press. The movie as a whole was not entirely criticized for its portrayal of African Americans. The press saw it mostly as a step up from other portrayals of the racial group. However, there was resistance to the favorable representation of the plantation culture. The hegemony of the film was not looked upon favorably by the African American press, especially since it seemed to condone it throughout the film.
Overall the film was both accepted and criticized for many reasons by the African American press. It allowed Hattie McDaniel to win the Academy Award. The African American response to the film also helped Hollywood shape future films. The portrayal of more complex Black characters was well received and expected after that film.
This article explains the view of the African American culture. It looks at something other than the majority for an opinion on the film. This is not always a view given on something that was so favorably received by popular culture. It provides insight into the different types of spectators and to the opinions of other groups.
This article compares the novel, “Gone with the Wind,” with another novel written around the same time, “Absalom, Absalom!” It compares the development of male characters in the novels, Rhett Butler and Quentin Compson. Both novels focus on the aristocracy of the South as well as the Civil War and the ante-bellum south. It looks at the effects of miscegenation on both of the characters development. Both see the influence as negative and it effects how they ultimately view the South and its future.
Railton argues that few essays have focused on bother of the novels and few have focused on race within the novels. He argues that race relations are a very strong theme within both books but it is rarely dealt with in essays about the books. Railton not only compares and contrasts the development of the two male characters. He, also, examines how the two novels fit into the broader spectrum of thought in the 1930’s. He looks at how the two novels interacted with southern historical thought at the time.
This article gives some perspective into the creation of the movie. It delves into the themes of the novel which enter into the film, and gives an analysis of race that is different from many essays. The comparison with “Absalom, Absalom!” also allows for new interpretations of the film as a product of its time.
This article examines the character of Scarlett O’Hara in a psychological sense. It looks over her characteristics and social tendencies in an effort to categorize her psychological personality.
Deeks uses Adler’s four types of people, which are categorized by their interest in society and their manner of gaining or working towards perfection. There are three types that actively seek out their goals as well as avoid outside problems and have low societal interest. They are the ruling type, the getting type and the avoiding type. The last type is the socially useful type, which works well and cooperates with his or her society. Deek argues that Scarlett is the getting type.
Deeks identifies certain characteristics which make this type the most suitable for Scarlett. Scarlett is conniving and manipulative towards everyone around her. She uses people to get what she wants through coercion and seduction. She does not cooperate with those around her or attempt to improve the society which she is a part of. She only works to get what she wants and nothing else. This does not make her happy because she cannot interact with the people around her in a way that is not manipulative.
This article gives a specific view of Scarlett as a character and a human being. It is a psychological examination of a character as a human being and not just a fictional being. That makes the character more tangible and provides a different angle of the film.
This article argues about “Gone with the Wind” from a sociological perspective and takes a look at some themes that are not often focused on when discussing the film. Racial questions seem to be the first that are focused on when talking about “Gone with the Wind” This article takes a look at the class structure within the film instead. It looks at how that class structure is portrayed as the ideal and encouraged by the film.
Butsch examines how the main characters fit into a specific class structure. Scarlett is portrayed as Southern Aristocracy and therefore upper class at the start of the film. She remains upper class throughout the film, despite being poor, but leaves behind the ideals of the aristocracy. She begins to represent a capitalistic society, in which only the fit survive. Scarlett gradually moves towards this representation through her relationship with the two main male characters in the film. Rhett represents that capitalistic society and Ashley remains Southern Aristocracy. Eventually, Scarlett moves away from Ashley and towards Rhett.
The film legitimates the class structure in the film by only portraying one class. There is no class struggle because there is only one class. The audience is also meant to identify with the upper class through Scarlett’s struggles. This approach sheds light on the social implications of the film. The discussion of class structure and capitalism provide, yet another approach for viewing the film and the themes which it contains.
The chapter in this book on “Gone with the Wind” explains the problems with the casting of the movie. It took a great deal of effort to find the right actors for the different roles within this film. The way that the casting started made the film see doomed from the beginning. David O. Selznick, the producer, had a great deal of trouble finding the right Scarlett and was turned down by many different actresses. The filming actually started without Scarlett being cast because the role was so difficult to fill.
There was also some difficulty in getting Clark Gable to play Rhett Butler. He was the most popular suggestion for the part and most of America called for him to play it. However, he refused at the start and it took a great deal of convincing to get him to agree to the film.
The casting of this film did a lot to further its success. This shows that that was not always how it seemed. The show appeared to be a disaster before it even hit the theaters or even began shooting. This book gives all the background information on who was considered and for what reasons. It gives information on Selznick’s reasoning behind his choice of Vivien Leigh for the part of Scarlett O’hara. It also gives some background on the actresses and actors involved in the production. The film was dependent on a few actors and actresses.
This article discusses major themes within the novel and briefly compares them to those of the movie. Beye argues that the novel portrays both blacks and women as slaves to white men within the old southern society. Women are forced into marriage and life of servitude to their husbands. They must play out certain roles and are not permitted to even dress comfortably.
Beye argues that Scarlett struggles to detach herself from this slavery through identification with male characteristics. She does not act as the other docile southern females act. Instead, she is outspoken and predatory. She takes after her father in that she works for what she wants. She is shown and strong and willful and this is what allows her to survive in a society that is collapsing. Scarlett is able to adapt and does not stay in a position of servitude towards men. She realizes soon in the book that she does not need men to succeed. She manages her own business. It is a novel deeply rooted in the feminine perspective. Rhett Butler is not the same character that he is in the movie. Instead, he merely plays the compliment to Scarlett and little else. He is not the same powerful prescience that he is in the movie.
The novel is also seen as more racist in some sense than the movie is. Scarlett seems harsh on the blacks and comes to have a low opinion of them in the end. Beye argues that the connections between Scarlett and the blacks are not the same as the movie. This argument toward the book gives a picture from which to view the movie. It is clear that the movie was not an entirely strict interpretation of the novel.
Call#: Van Pelt Library PN1997.G59 V47 1997