Reel Matt

This blog started as my movie marathon — watching a movie a day for a whole year — and has continued as a place for me to write reviews about movies, TV, and various other items.



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Gone with the Wind

Film #27


American classic in which a manipulative woman and a roguish man carry on a turbulent love affair in the American south during the Civil War and Reconstruction.

Year 1, Day 26

BEFORE: Transitioning in nicely from The Wizard of Oz, today features yet another Victor Fleming film from 1939. Gone with the Wind is the 1939 Best Picture winner and begins a chain of six Best Picture winners.

Also of note: clocking in at a 238 minute runtime, this behemoth of a film easily beats the previous length record holder, Scarface, by a full 68 minutes. Well see how things go, but I may actually need to take a break during the intermission.

AFTER: Despite being just shy of four hours, and surprising to me, I did not find myself bored with this film. Even as someone who has watched an incredible amount of media in short periods of time (a full season of 24, or 18 hours, in less than a day and a half), boredom usually kicks in for me with older films. The reason being the style is just so radically different from modern day films (longer edits is the biggest difference to me) that it’s a labor to watch them.

So I was surprised with how entertained I found myself with Gone with the Wind. While I was nowhere near as engrossed as I was throughout the four hour runtime of the extended edition of Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, I was still pulled in by the extremely nuanced characters and story. Another reason maybe how modern it appeared to be. Unlike The Wizard of Oz yesterday, there was extensive use of close-ups (and at least one extreme close-up) which kind of throws off my theory of why there was a lack of them in the land of Oz.

This film won’t be for everybody. The length alone really makes it unwatchable as a casual get-together type event or a impulse movie to just sit down and watch. While a lot could probably be cut out to reduce the length, I think the important thing here is the overall story. The changes Scarlett’s (Vivien Leigh) character goes through and all the things that happen to her make for a great one. I won’t remember every individual scene in Gone with the Wind, but I will remember the lesson it teaches, which is, as the The Rolling Stones say, you can’t always get what you want.

RATING: 4 out of 5