Los Angeles -- Much has, much is, much will, be said of the giant behemoth of film entertainment. Margaret Mitchell's idealized tale of the old south and the war that swept it away ..."Gone With The Wind."
The 75th Anniversary of the release of this seminal motion picture that forever changed the landscape of moving pictures as an art form and entertainment venue was December 15th. A new 75th Anniversary Commemorative DVD box set was struck in honor of this monumental icon of the American studio system whom many today lament its passing as an era long gone with the wind.
David O. Selznick the maverick legendary independent producer and son in law of Louie B. Mayer, the studio chief of MGM, was the man responsible for bringing this landmark film to the screen. Known for his attention to detail and the spare no expense philosophy, Selznick had this uncanny sense of what the public craved, demanded and needed. Europe was at war and the United States was just emerging from the greatest economic catastrophe since the founding of the Republic.
So it would seem ripe for the time that a movie about war and its consequences would have the marketability of a blockbuster. It was a movie made for a time when all seemed to be going like the wind as was another 1939 box office bonananza: "The Wizard of Oz".
“There was a land of Cavaliers and Cotton Fields called The Old South...Here in this pretty world Gallantry took its last bow...Here was the last ever to be seen of Knights and their ladies fair, of Master and of Slave...Look for it only in books for it is no more than a dream remembered. A Civilization gone with the wind.” The prologue set the mood and tone of direction toward the sentimental nostalgic longing for an era gone, never to return but never to be forgotten. Honestly the reality was that many winced at the subject matter. The glorification of slavery, inequality and self grandiose entitlement. For the Great Depression leveled the playing field and an Austrian Chaplanisque double banger was mouthing off racial purity and superiority on the eve of the most devastating war in all the annals of humanity. Yet what we felt and what we feel now is not a tacit agreement to the archaic political landscape of the movie but rather to what GWTW represents...the epitome of the Hollywood studio system at its best an era that many in this town including friends and colleagues fondly wish that it never left yet like the prologue we can only now look for it in our dreams. A Civilization gone with the wind.
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