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YMMV: Gone with the Wind
  • Award Snub: A studio enforced one. Olivia de Havilland (Melanie) and Vivian Leigh (Scarlet) were both favorites to be nominated for Best Actress, but the studio didn't want to have its two leading ladies compete against each other, so they campaigned instead for de Havilland to be nominated for Best Supporting Actress, which naturally didn't please her. However, Hattie McDaniel won Best Supporting Actress instead, which Olivia gladly agreed she deserved.
  • Adaptation Displacement: The novel this film is based on, while still relatively popular, is far less remembered than the movie. Generally it's not discovered until adulthood.
  • All There Is to Know About "The Crying Game": Say with me, "Frankly, my dear..."
  • Alternate Character Interpretation: Scarlett is one of the most enigmatic characters of cinema and literature.
    • There's a story out there that the actress playing Prissy had one of these about her character: Prissy certainly know "bout birthing babies," She simply could not give less of a fuck about Melanie, her baby, or the well being of any other slaveholder, and was getting revenge in the only way she could.
  • Designated Hero: For the hero of the novel, Scarlett is a huge bitch.
    • While she's the main character, the vast majority of her actions are never portrayed as good or honorable, though she's far more conflicted about them than any true villain would be.
  • Deus Angst Machina: When finally, after walking for days and while starving, Scarlett has finally reach her home, there's a lovely surprise for her. Her mommy is dead. Daddy's gone mad with grief. Her sisters are sick with typhoid. The slaves have fled except the ones loyal to the family, who are very few and also house slaves; generally not good for helping in the fields. The house was completely pillaged by the Yankees and now must provide for a large family with two children and three sick women, with the mentally unstable father as the only man of the house. In addition, she must cultivate an entire plantation with only three black slaves because it's her only source of income, while before they had hundreds of these.
  • Ending Fatigue: If you are assigned this book for school, run. That is all.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse: Mammy.
  • Ethnic Scrappy: Prissy. Oh God, Prissy.
  • Germans Love David Hasselhoff:
    • Until the book no longer could be marketed due to the declaration of war in 1941, Gone With the Wind was a big bestseller in Nazi Germany. A Bernhard Payr, a culture bureaucrat, praised that the book taught that losing a war was worse than the preceding horrors of war and how it established a clear racial hierarchy between the "master class" and the subservient "good blacks".
    • Currently, the book is very popular in North Korea, as described here. The film version is banned for the general public there, but the book is available legally and the film is watched by the country's elite. In particular, the government considers it to be "particularly useful for understanding how modern capitalism spread to all of the United States." Geez, does Margaret Mitchell have a gift for appealing to people in the worst countries or what? (Fun fact: North Korea didn't even exist when the movie originally came out.)
  • Hollywood Homely: In the book, Melanie is described as very plain. Scarlett describes her thusly in the movie, but the effect is somewhat lost due to Melanie being played by Olivia de Havilland.
  • It Gets Better: The book seems to take the longest amount of time possible to get through anything.
  • It Was His Sled: The book was written in 1936. The movie came out in 1939. You should know how this story ends just by Popcultural Osmosis. Not to mention Rhett's famous "Frankly, my dear" line to Scarlett at the end.
  • Jerkass Woobie: Is Scarlett a philandering bitch with no real sense of human emotion or empathy who will use, abuse, and kill anyone who stands in her way? Hell yes. Is she more or less trained to be such as a byproduct of her own damaging environment, a woman pulverized by every single horrific fate the war and the New South dish out at her, and someone who ultimately suffers for every one of her mistakes, with several empty relationships, dead family and children, and the one person she truly loved leaving her? Hell yes.
  • Les Yay: Melanie is very, very attached to Scarlett. Even her husband, who she takes the vow to honour and obey very seriously, will not get away with making Scarlett cry. She'll work until she faints if Scarlett orders her to pick cotton, will openly snap at those who she catches gossiping unkindly about Scarlett, and will brave social disapproval rather than cut ties with Scarlett. Part of all this is due to the fact that Scarlett helped save her and her son when she went in labour during the war, but even before all that, she was very admiring of Scarlett and genuinely happy to gain her as a sister-in-law.
  • Magnificent Bastard: From what we hear of Rhett, he manages to manipulate both sides of the Civil War to his own massive profit, speculating, blockading, and swindling his way into millions, without any significant personal consequences. Scarlett just happens to be his Achilles' heel.
    • Scarlett qualifies as well. She promises to do anything—lie, cheat, steal or kill—to protect her land and her family, and she bloody well makes good on that promise. Even while the things she does are terrible and she hurts many people including herself, you can't help but be impressed by her.
  • Memetic Mutation: "Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn".
  • Mind Game Ship: Rhett/Scarlett comes across as this at times; Rhett is definitely manipulating her and toys with her emotions. Subverted in that she causes him significantly more angst than he does her, despite hardly manipulating him consciously at all.
  • Narm Charm: The movie sometimes boils over with narm thanks to the difference in acting styles between the thirties and the 21st century. Particularly all of Scarlett's over the top screams and when she whines: "Why do I have to pretend and pretend?"
  • Retroactive Recognition: A young George Reeves appears early in the film as a potential suitor though his hair is dyed red.
  • Suetiful All Along: Scarlett dodges this in the books. She's regularly mentioned in the novel as attractive but not beautiful, by multiple characters. References are made to the war aging her as well, though she's only twenty-eight by its end. It's made clear that a lot of her appeal is very good fashion choices, expert flirting, and a lack of attainability.
  • Values Dissonance:
    • The antebellum era and the Confederacy are portrayed in a tragic light, with some flaws made evident but others ignored. In the novel, the KKK is described as a meeting of half-baked fools who want to relive the war, and Rhett argues to them that they are only making their situation worse, while Rhett and Ashley manage to disband the Atlanta wing of the KKK pretty quickly. Ashley is repeatedly portrayed as out of touch for wanting to relive the beautiful parts of the old days, while pretending the bad parts didn't exist. Still it is deeply racist and gives a view of history now discredited: Scarlett's servants refer to blacks who would rather be free as "trash", and it's looked at as heroic when a black man is killed for so much as insulting a white person. Entire chapters are devoted to describing how free blacks are "tricked" into believing they're equal with whites and should be allowed to vote and sleep with white women. The post-war South is presented as a kind of lawless Badlands where white women are in danger of being raped in the street and the North would throw anyone who protested into jail. (Not entirely false, but it gives a distorted image of the overall situation.) There's horror at the very idea that a well-bred white Southerner should work and that a black person wouldn't want to.
    • Also Rhett's marital rape of Scarlett, which was seen at least as much less severe back then.
    • This passage from the book:
    [Scarlett] didnít care for the eager competition furnished by the 16-year-old [girls seeking husbands], whose fresh cheeks and bright smiles made one forget their twice-turned frocks and patched shoes. Her own clothes were prettier and newer than most, ... but after all, she was 19, and getting along.
  • Values Resonance: It'd be a stretch to call Scarlett a feminist, but she spends a great deal of time, especially in the second half of the film, challenging traditional female gender roles. When push comes to shove, Scarlett is the only character willing to do something, even if it's illegal, to ensure her family's survival and to hell with the fact that she's expected to be nothing but a pretty face. Also, the ending has Scarlett losing Rhett but realizing that Tara is more important. In essence, Scarlett's character arc ends with her realizing that landing a man isn't the most important thing in the world - instead, it's protecting your property, apparently.
    • Another interpretation is that Scarlett doesn't care for the emotions or opinions that other people of any gender feel, and her reaction to the weakness and/or injury of other women is disdainful at best. She only considers the repressive culture of her time as it relates to her, and has little interest in changing or undermining it... in fact, she actively utilizes said culture's stereotypes to swindle other businessmen and escape retribution for doing so. Scarlett is an oppressed woman, but she's also the ultimate pragmatist and would probably be that even if she grew up in a more egalitarian time.
    • Ironically, after Melanie's death in the book, Scarlett thinks to herself that Melanie was the one actually with the reins, being kind and gentle but managing to not fully break either. Scarlet even thinks to herself that she was empowered by Melanie's own strength without noticing it.
    • Perhaps not surprising. Despite her less than enlightened views about race, Margaret Mitchell was a first-wave feminist who campaigned for women's suffrage in her youth. Imagine What Could Have Been if she had seen the struggle for black rights the same way she saw the struggle for women's rights.
  • What an Idiot: Bonnie's death could have been averted, had Rhett put his foot down and refused to give into Bonnie's wishes in regards to making a dangerous jump with her pony "Mr. Butler". The situation finishes ends with the pony tripping over the bars... and Bonnie falling, breaking her neck, and dying.
  • What Do You Mean, It's Not Symbolic?? Analysis of the book points out that the worsening war coincides with Melanie's worsening condition, Gerald's breakdown following Ellen's death represents those of the South who would never adjust to the changes that the war wrought. Most of all, as Scarlett and Rhett's child, Bonnie represents their marriage—as such, her death represents its end.
  • What The Hell, Casting Agency?: No one expected a little known English actress would get the role every actress in Hollywood was dying to play. A critic even predicted that there would be rioting in the streets to protest the casting of Vivian Leigh.
    • The Daughters of the Confederacy group ironically supported the casting when it was announced, though it was wedged in veiled "Better a Brit than a Yankee" response to the news.
    • Margaret Mitchell reportedly wanted Groucho Marx to play Rhett, probably because Rhett in the novel is more of a snarky smartass than the film's suave Rhett was.

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