Having read "Gone With the Wind" recently, I finally got around to viewing the epic length (four hours! That's like watching "Roller Boogie" three times!) film. It happens that the film swept the 1939 Oscars, is the all time highest grossing movie (in real dollars, so up yours, Avatar), and featured such a cavalier use of the word "Damn" that it got Americans all riled up to go fight Nazis. As a piece of art, it was an excellent film--the cinematography, the pacing, the performances--but as a piece of history, it certainly painted a skewed version of slavery and the Confederate "cause". (All slaves in the film seemed pretty happy to be slaves and were well treated for the most part) As I'd noted when reading the book, you could imagine that this was supposed to show the whitewashed perspective of the pro-Confederacy and pro-slavery side, but I imagine many viewers during the segregated 1930s probably saw the film as a vindication of their pro-slavery views.
Of course, the main focus is seeing things from the point of view of the two principal characters--Scarlett O'Hara Hamilton Kennedy Butler, who was immortalized as the selfish, small minded, yet determined and tough as nails Southern Belle, and Rhett Butler, the charming, cynical rogue who loves her despite himself. I can imagine the story told from the point of view of the other characters:
1) Prissy, the slave girl who famously yelled "I don't know about birthin' babies!"--"Ok, here I am, about ten years old and I'm told we're free and yet here I am sticking around with this crazy mean lady for some reason. So her pal--who I don't work for, by the way--is about to give birth, and I'm thinking, hey Prissy, this is your time to shine! So I tell Scarlett I can totally birth a baby, figuring maybe the doctor will show up and I won't have my bluff called. But then, the doctor is all not there, and I'm like, crap! So I tell Scarlett I can't birth a baby, and she goes and slaps me. I'm totally going to mess up her coffee tomorrow."
2) Melanie Hamilton Wilkes, Scarlett's unknowing romantic rival--"It's so nice of Scarlett to pay so much attention to my husband Ashley, constantly sucking the snake poison out of various parts of his body. And stripping him out of his clothes. I'm sure there's some medical reason for that. She's just so considerate."
3) The Yankee soldier who unluckily strays into the O'Hara plantation while Scarlett is armed--"So I'm thinking, hey, I could totally use some food because Sherman ain't feeding us much. I make it into this house, and the lady of the plantation is standing on the stairs, and I'm thinking hey maybe this chick will give some food to a starving man. Then the crazy bitch up and shoots me in the face. Southern hospitality my ass!"
4) Wilkerson, the O'Hara caretaker who was fired for impregnating a "white trash" woman and came back after the war to buy up the plantation--"So here I am, finally making some good money after losing my job, trying to help out freed blacks and rebuild the South. I assume people will be cool with it, but it's been the cold shoulder for quite some time! So I head back to Tara, knowing that the plantation is about to go under as basically the only staff they have to run it is two former house slaves, three dainty women, and a foppish dandy who seems to be more interested in Rhett Butler than the chicks they have running around there. I figure I can make a fair offer, and I tell Scarlett that, and she tosses dirt at me for some reason, and her crazy old mick father chases after me on his horse and falls off and dies. What a screwy family. I should have gotten hazard pay for working there when I did."
5) Ashley Wilkes, Melanie's husband and the love interest of Scarlett--"So I'm basically a good guy, right? I was right about the war being a bad idea, but I fought anyway, like some earlier version of John Kerry. I opposed slavery, and would have freed my family's slaves once I inherited them if the war hadn't done it first. All I really want is to move to New York and read books and stuff, and now this crazy Scarlett chick who's been after my junk for over a decade is getting all stalkerish now, trying to ruin my marriage and force me and my wife and kid to stay in Atlanta and work at her lumber mill so she can sexually harass me. Too bad the sex harassment laws aren't going to be around for a hundred years."
6) The horse that Rhett, Scarlett, Prissy, Melanie and the baby rode from a burning Atlanta to Tara during a dramatic night--"This sucks. I'm sitting around, doing awesome horse stuff, and suddenly the city is on fire. I'm like, great, I'm outtie, and then suddenly this dude with huge ears grabs me and hitches me to a carriage. Okay, not so bad, we're still leaving dude! Then he stops and picks up like four more people! Not cool, dude! Especially since one of them is all whiny, and it isn't the ten year old slave girl or the lady who just gave birth, no it's this entitled chick who is really not helping matters. We not only have to ride around a burning city and fend off bandits trying to steal me, we then have an all night journey through a battle zone before we finally get to their goddam plantation. You'd think they'd at least have some oats or something for me when we got there. But no."
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