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"Gone with the Wind" (1939) - Director Victor Fleming's All-Time Great Film about the Old South, Starring Vivian Leigh and Clark Gable


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The interval of time between "The Birth of a Nation" (1915) and "Gone with the Wind" (1939) was 24 years.

The interval of time between "Gone with the Wind" and when I first watched it (1983) was 44 years.

The interval of time between the first and second times I watched "Gone with the Wind" (2018) was 35 years.

When I first saw this film in college, I was with a family who lived in Georgia. They were actually crying: not at the movie itself, but for the long, lost American South.

"Everyone should have a Mammy," one of them said to me.

Now, 35 years later, I'm able to see "Gone with the Wind" for what it is, and it isn't quite as far from "Birth of a Nation" as one might hope.

If "Birth of a Nation" celebrated the Ku Klux Klan, and dismissed black people as clowns and primates, "Gone with the Wind" celebrated indentured servitude, and dismissed black people as servants and deferential darkies.

In Margaret Mitchell's novel of the same name, blacks alone were responsible for the attempted rape of Scarlett O'Hara, and justice was meted out by the KKK; at least producer David Selznick had the wisdom to change the characters: In the film, the perpetrators were both black and white, and the hero was a black man acting on his own.

The following link has a clip of Hattie McDaniel receiving her Oscar for Best Supporting Actress. It is gut-wrenching seeing her award acceptance, knowing that she had just walked up to the podium from a segregated table, shoved off to the side of the room. McDaniel had also been banned from seeing the film's world premier in Atlanta. When she died, Hollywood Forever Cemetery refused to bury her.

"The Sad Story of the First Black Oscar Winner, Hattie McDaniel" on face2faceafrica.com

Everyone should have a Mammy, all right, and she should be paid a good salary with full health care, vacation, sick leave, disability, and retirement; otherwise, wash your own damned clothes.

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