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The Next Reel • Season 12 • Series: 1940 Academy Award Best Picture Nominees • Gone With the Wind

Gone With The Wind

“Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn."

Considering the racially-charged climate of the US right now, it’s oddly perfect timing that we’re starting our 1939 series with “Gone With The Wind,” a film as technically brilliant to look at as it is hard to watch because of it’s portrayal of slavery and the ‘lost cause’ Southern view of the Civil War. It certainly gives us a lot to talk about in this episode! Join us — Pete Wright and Andy Nelson — as we dive into Victor Fleming’s “Gone With The Wind.” We talk at length about the position of the film in cinematic history and how that contrasts with what it’s portraying and how we feel about that, noting that perhaps this film is one that should be considered in the same camp as ‘Song of the South.’ And we look at what problems we have with the story and why it makes us feel uncomfortable, even if the story itself can be enjoyed when taken out of historical context. Focusing more on the film itself, we look at the actors — Vivien Leigh, Clark Gable, Olivia de Havilland, Leslie Howard, Thomas Mitchell, Hattie McDaniel and more — how they got their parts and how well they work for us. We look at lots of bit players and talk about where they’ve since popped up. We talk about the context of 1939 and how the studio system worked. We talk about the three directors who contributed to this film — George Cukor, Victor Fleming and Sam Wood — as well as the producing kingpin who really is the one responsible for getting this film made the way he wanted: David O. Selznick. We chat about other key crew who helped bring this film to life, including Max Steiner, Yakima Canutt, William Cameron Menzies and Walter Plunkett. And we marvel at how much money this film has taken in over its lifetime and deliberate over whether it should still be able to make money or if it should be locked away now due to its painful portrayal of the period. It’s a long film but a film well worth discussing because of these factors. Tune in!

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