‘Gone With the Wind’ is the most successful film in history and one of the highest-grossing films in history, adjusting for inflation experts estimate that the global gross of the film was $3.4 billion. It is considered highly successful because it was one of the first technicolour films ever created by Hollywood. The movie also portrayed issues in the Civil War such as slavery, adultery and theft. ‘Gone With the Wind’ was originally a novel written by Margaret Mitchell and was published in 1936. The book became widespread and soon became a bestseller. When the film was released, there was much anticipation from the readers, a buzz similar to how Harry Potter fans felt when the Philosopher’s Stone was first released.
The film begins at the O’Hara family’s plantation in Tara, Georgia. As the Civil War begins, Scarlett O’Hara’s husband dies while serving in the army, leaving her a widow.
Melanie (Scarlett’s sister-in-law) and Ashley Wilkes (the neighbour Scarlett loves), persuades Scarlett to grieve her late husband. The arrival of forces traps Scarlett in Atlanta, where she meets Rhett Butler. As Atlanta gets burned by Sherman’s army, Scarlett convinces Rhett to save them by stealing a horse that will take them back to Tara.
Although many plantations have been destroyed, Tara is still punished, leaving Scarlett unable to pay the taxes imposed by the forces.
Returning to Atlanta to earn the money she needs, Scarlett meets Rhett again. Unfortunately, he cannot help her financially. Desperate for money, Scarlett deceives her sister’s fiance, Frank Kennedy, a businessman, into marrying her.
She insists on her business deals instead of taking care of her children. However, she finds herself in a dangerous area in Atlanta. Frank and Ashley seek revenge, but Frank dies in the process so Rhett intervenes to save the day.
Widowed again, Scarlett marries Rhett and has a daughter, but after their daughter’s death, she realises that she doesn’t love Ashley anymore but Rhett.
By then, it’s too late. Rhett no longer loves her, it’s a tragic ending. ‘Gone With the Wind’ will forever have a lasting impact on Hollywood, romantic films and the portrayal of the Civil War.
Sandra Ijezie – TY Press