Wednesday, August 12, 2020

“Gone with the Wind” Returns to Theaters for 80th Anniversary

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I am still waiting for that blue police box to take me on a star trek to a galaxy far, far away. Until then I will have to content myself with fantasy and sci-fi adventures from books, movies, and TV shows.

In honor of its 80th anniversary, Gone with the Wind will return to the big screen with special showings on February 28 and March 3, 17, and 18. Showings include a 4-minute intermission.

Gone with the Wind (1939) was adapted from Margaret Mitchell’s 1936 novel set in the south during the American civil war. The film tells the story of Scarlett O’Hara (Vivien Leigh), who is in love with and pursues Ashley Wilkes (Leslie Howard). Wilkes is married to his cousin, Melanie Hamilton (Olivia de Haviland). Scarlett is pursued by and eventually marries Rhett Butler (Clark Gable).

In the 1940 Oscars, Gone with the Wind set records for total number of wins and nominations at the time: It received 10 Academy Awards (8 competitive, 2 honorary) from 13 nominations. It won for Best Picture, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actress, Best Director, Best Screenplay, Best Cinematography, Best Art Direction, and Best Editing, and also received two further honorary awards for its use of equipment and color. The Best Picture win is quite an achievement considering the other nominees: Dark Victory; Good Bye, Mr. Chips; Love Affair; Mr. Smith Goes to Washington; Ninotchka; Of Mice and Men; Stagecoach; The Wizard of Oz; and Wuthering Heights. Other notable wins were Hattie McDaniel (Best Supporting Actress), who became the first African American to be nominated for and win an Academy Award, and Sidney Howard (Best Adapted Screenplay), who became the first posthumous Oscar nominee and winner. Gone with the Wind was the first color film to win Best Picture and it was the longest American sound film made up to that time; it may still hold the record of the longest Best Picture winner depending on how it is interpreted. The running time for Gone with the Wind is just under 221 minutes.

Gone with the Wind was exceedingly popular when first released and broke attendance records everywhere; within four years of its release it had sold an estimated sixty million tickets across the United States (equivalent to just under half the population at the time). It became the highest-earning film made up to that point, and held the record for over a quarter of a century. After adjusting for inflation it sits at #1 on Box Office Mojo’s All Time Box Office list (including results from multiple releases).

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Gone with the Wind is regarded as one of the greatest films of all time; it has placed in the top ten of the American Film Institute’s list of the top 100 American films since the list’s began in 1998. In 1989, the United States Library of Congress selected it for preservation in the National Film Registry. It is rated 92% on Rotten Tomatoes.

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So if you do give a damn, go see it on the big screen!

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