Famous words from Scarlett O’Hara at the end of the movie, Gone With The Wind. What a hyped film that turned out to be, more so for its time–1939–parties and extravaganzas in Atlanta for the opening, the long “search” for the perfect Scarlet, the burning of the back lot for Atlanta’s destruction. The racism within the film disguised as affection, the South depicted as a noble but doomed world, the Klu Klux Klan given birth on screen, and free blacks drunkards and rapists. Butterfly McQueen “knows nothin’ ’bout birthin’ no babies”, Hattie McDaniel scolds and pets Scarlett, but still knows her place, and Ashley symbolizes the dreamy South, full of pretty talk and manners, but lacking the clearheadedness to either take what he wants, or admit he doesn’t want it to begin with.
In other words, a hell of a film from a hell of a book.
I wonder if Margaret Mitchell would have been tempted to write a sequel if she hadn’t stepped off the curb and been mowed down? I can only hope not, as the one that was written is enough of an excuse never to write or think of writing one again.
Here’s ABE’s take on the 75 year span since GWTW was first published in 1936. The different covers are fun to see.