'Gone with the Wind (Two-Disc Special Edition)'
(Clark Gable, Vivien Leigh, et al / 2-Disc DVD / NR / (1939) 2009 / Warner Home Video)
Overview: As epic as the 1,000-plus-page Margaret Mitchell bestseller on which it was based, David O. Selznick's production of Gone With the Wind (1939) went through three directors, a well-publicized search for Scarlett O'Hara, and a then-enormous four-million-dollar budget, resulting in one of the all-time highest-grossing movies.
DVD: 'Gone with the Wind' is quite simply one of the greatest films ever made. Its a masterpiece on all levels of production: the acting is first rate, the epic story is breathtaking and awe inspiring, the cinematography and the depth of detail is extraordinary and the production values are astounding.
Vivien Leigh stars as Scarlett O'Hara, a young girl living with her family on their southern cotton plantation, Tara. She is desperately in love with Ashley Wilkes (Leslie Howard), an attraction which proves hopeless when it is announced that he is to wed his cousin, Melanie Daniels (Olivia de Havilland).
At a party at the Wilkes', she tells Ashley of her love for him but is spurned. Rhett Butler (Clark Gable), who has overheard their conversation, takes a fancy to Scarlett and makes a pass at her. She turns him down however, still obsessed with Ashley and painfully jealous of Melanie.
Apart from all this, Scarlett's life is perfect. However, the outbreak of the American Civil War throws everything into chaos and changes her family life and that of the whole country forever.
The film charts Scarlett's life from her early teenage years up until her adult life, charting her adventures in Georgia during the horrific attacks on the town as well as her reclaiming Tara after the war and her marriage to Rhett Butler. It also vividly chronicles the American Civil War in horrific detail, at one point depicting the massive scale of injuries as Scarlett tends to wounded soldiers.
Clark Gable performance's as Rhett Butler is really top-notch, deserving his Oscar nomination (and more). With subtleness he composes a complex character: cynic yet chivalrous, tough yet kindhearted, detached yet madly in love with Scarlett.
Vivien Leigh's Scarlett is a legendary performance. She portrays Scarlett from nearly adolescent until a grown up woman, from a scatterbrained damsel into a willful business woman. Her Oscar was more than well deserved.
What to say about the "secondary" or "supporting" actresses & actors! Olivia de Havilland (nothing less), Oscar nominee; Hattie McDaniel, Oscar winner; Leslie Howard gives an excellent performance, even personifying lukewarm character; Butterfly McQueen as childish irresponsible Prissy; Ward Bond in a minor role; veteran Harry Davenport as Dr. Meade and so on.
All technical items are exceptional! Ernest Haller's color picture is unbelievable beautiful. Atlanta burning images are just unforgettable. Prolific Haller, more than 182 films, won his only Oscar with this film yet he will be nominated several times more. Musical score authored by multi-awarded Max Steiner underlines each scene & mood outstandingly. This is a Full Screen Presentation (1.33:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Features of:
Commentary by Historian Rudy Behlmer