Memphis theater cancels screenings of ‘Gone with the Wind’ for obvious reasons

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I’ve seen Gone with the Wind countless times. I don’t think I’ve ever owned it (like, on DVD or VHS) but there was a time when AMC, TCM, and various cable channels would play it regularly, and over the years, I’ve watched it many times. It’s not a good movie, but it’s an enjoyable movie, in that Vivian Leigh does great work as the spoiled, silly Scarlett O’Hara. It’s also an interesting movie from a historical and film-historical perspective. Margaret Mitchell’s book was one of the most famous serialized books of the 20th century, and there was a ton of interest in how Hollywood would adapt the book. Clark Gable basically agreed to play Rhett Butler for the paycheck, director George Cukor was fired by David O. Selznick, there was an enormous casting call for Scarlett. It’s also the first film to feature an Oscar-nominated and eventually Oscar-winning performance by an African American actor or actress – Hattie McDaniel played poor Mamie, Scarlett’s long-time slave and then servant.

Margaret Mitchell was a racist and one of those “the South shall rise again” Southerners, and of course the book and the film is very pro-Confederacy and anti-Union. The whole story is completely problematic and racist in general. So does Gone with the Wind have a place in modern society? Can we just say “it’s a product of its time” and watch it, knowing the history and backstory? Apparently not. A theater in Tennessee had to cancel screenings of GWTW after complaints about the film promoting white supremacy:

Gone With the Wind is now gone from The Orpheum Theatre in Memphis, Tennessee. The theater’s board deemed the 1939 film “insensitive” to their larger audience after receiving “numerous comments” that stemmed from a screening on Aug. 11. As such, the title has been dropped from next year’s planned summer movie series.

“While title selections for the series are typically made in the spring of each year, the Orpheum has made this determination early in response to specific inquiries from patrons,” read a statement from The Orpheum Theatre Group. “The Orpheum appreciates feedback on its programming from all members of the mid-south community. The recent screening of Gone With the Wind at the Orpheum on Friday, August 11, 2017, generated numerous comments. The Orpheum carefully reviewed all of them.”

The statement continued, “As an organization whose stated mission is to ‘entertain, educate and enlighten the communities it serves,’ the Orpheum cannot show a film that is insensitive to a large segment of its local population.”

Gone With the Wind, which won eight Academy Awards, features life on a Southern plantation during the Civil War and Reconstruction periods. Over the years, the subject matter has proven to be quite divisive for perpetuating a sympathetic view of the South during this time. As posted on the Orpheum’s Facebook page event for the August screening, one user called the film “racist.” Another remarked over news of the canceled screening, “slowly but surely, we will rid this community of all tributes to white supremacy.”

[From People]

I understand the theater’s reasoning for canceling those screenings and I think that was probably the best solution, especially in the current political climate, when we’re in the middle of a conversation about the Confederacy, racism, the history of slavery, and the scars which our country still carries. Of course I believe that the all of the Confederate monuments should be taken down, and of course I believe that we should be having all of these conversations. I also think that people can watch Gone with the Wind and figure out for themselves that it’s silly trash, a historical relic that hasn’t aged well. Still, I understand why people are fed up with any piece of Confederacy propaganda, which is exactly what Gone with the Wind was and is.

PS… I didn’t even get to mention how much I hated Leslie Howard/Ashley. HATE. Olivia de Havilland is good as Melanie though.

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Poster, promotional images from ‘Gone with the Wind’.

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222 Responses to “Memphis theater cancels screenings of ‘Gone with the Wind’ for obvious reasons”

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  1. ArchieGoodwin says:

    I loved this book as a teenager.
    now, I see how it glorifies the south and slavery, and won’t read or watch it again.

    but as young girl, I wanted to be Scarlett, being called to the Virginia Reel, that best of all Reels.
    Melly hiding the wallet. As I got older it was Melly I admired, her grace is the face of losing everything.

    But as a 45 year old, just no :(

    • Who ARE These People? says:

      Ditto. The “love-hate” personal drama is entirely engrossing, though why wimpy Ashley was ever appealing was never clear, and casting Leslie Howard brought forward his weaknesses and not his strengths. If he’d been cast as a blonde sex bomb with some vitality, maybe that would have helped. Also, have revisited Melanie, she was a confirmed, Yankee-hating Confederate through and through, no saint, fully endorsed everything right through to the KKK, whereas Scarlett was rather apolitical. She and Rhett, to have had any chance of making it, should have left the South.

      Also he was just too old for her.

      And Kaiser, if I may, Scarlett’s enslaved nanny was Mammy not Mamie. Though speaking of which, here’s another cringe-inducing post-Confederacy lyric from the musical Auntie Mame: “You made the cotton easy to pick, Ma-ame. You made our black-eyed peas and our grits, Ma-ame.”

    • Millenial says:

      As a teenager I thought Rhett Butler was so extremely dreamy, and Clark Gable was an (older) hottie so I was into the movie. Now, as a 30 year old, I realize Rhett is the standard “jerk” male-love interest and I’ve grown out of that fascination. Clark Gable is still super dreamy in the film though.

      I don’t care to watch the film because, problematic issues with racism and slavery aside, it’s way too long and it doesn’t have a happy ending. I like romances with a HEA.

      • LAK says:

        I thought Clarke Gable was dreamy until someone told me he had wooden teeth, and terrible breath.

        Also, he was a rotter to his illegitimate child who he refused to acknowledge despite being her godfather and a near identical copy.

      • Montréalaise says:

        If it had a happy ending – it would have been a Harlequin Romance.

      • Boxy Lady says:

        LAK I feel like I have to defend Clark Gable a little bit regarding his illegitimate child. She, Judy Lewis, definitely had Clark’s ears but otherwise she looked a lot like her mother. I’m not sure about the godfather part but Judy did say she only met Clark once. Also her mother, Loretta Young, was known as a devout Catholic had a rather wholesome image. Plus I think Clark was married but she wasn’t and it was the 1930s or 1940s. If Clark had publicly acknowledged Judy as his daughter, Loretta no doubt would have lost her career and been run out of town. Loretta did what she needed to do to avoid that scandal and keep the baby.

        ETA Also considering that Loretta stayed overseas for a number of months to avoid being seen pregnant in the US, had the baby overseas, stuck her in an orphanage, and then pretended to adopt her, perhaps it was Loretta’s idea for Clark to never acknowledge Judy as his own.

      • cara says:

        Loretta Young was known for having affairs with her co-stars. She had an affair with both Clark Gable and Spencer Tracy when they made a film together. She had the public image as a “wholesome” woman, when she anything but.

        As for not showing GWTW, people need to get a grip, we all know slavery was wrong, but this is JUST a movie.

      • LAK says:

        I know the backstory, and i understand the subterfuge required to maintain it, but Judy Lewis wrote a biography years later where she talked about how the entire thing messed her up because she *did* look like CG, and she was confused why people kept commenting on her resemblance to her godfather when she was adopted and therefore not related. She didn’t meet him frequently, and always in very casual accidental hollywood gatherings as opposed to one to one or cosy family meetings.

        Then of course the malicious hollywood gossips who told her the truth, and when she met him formally that one time, he denied her.

        Not even at his deathbed.

        Loretta went out of her way to perpetuate an elaborate lie to keep her child and her career, which i don’t blame her for. Those were the times, but the way Gable reacted to the child was cruel even though he didn’t have to do it.

    • oandlomom says:

      Same. I’m 43 and I was thinking about how much I loved the book when I was really young, and now I see how it really is fucked up about slavery and you just can’t overlook that aspect of it. “He had been their childhood playmate and had been given to the twins for their own on their tenth birthday.” Wtf. Here’s a fellow human being for you to have, happy fucking birthday. To paraphrase an article I read in the Atlantic about it, Mitchell didn’t exactly glorify slavery but she really didn’t have a problem with it.

    • Sarah says:

      I loved the book, i loved the movie and I still do. I see Mammy as the wise one, always knowing what to do and what is Moral, kind of like Tom Robinson in Huck Finn.
      I teach literarure and I think a book or movie about a time period, somewhat accurate, is far different than statues in parks, gloryifying traitors. Scarlett was a woman of her times, and she rose above the expectations of how woman should behave to save her whole family. She wasnt always wise, but she never gave up in a time when women were supposed to be weak and helpless. I love her feistiness and her flouting all the rules.
      Now Ashley was ugly. Total fail in casting.

  2. Chinoiserie says:

    Gone With the Wind is amazing and my favorite film. It’s epic film and melodrama done right. It’s also rare to have a female lead that is complicated and often unlikable. The period is shown form the main characters perspective so I it is very interesting to me rather than offensive, to get to see from the historical perspective that people had at the time. I understand it’s controversial in US but it’s important to see what other people used to think and not censor screenings of old things that aren’t what people think now.

    Anyway you wrote about Mitchell is a bit too much based on what I have red. She seemed to be ordinary kind of racist for that place and time not trying to make a South Will Rise Again statement. She seemed to really think that was the way things were in the past and was just writing a novel and not meaning it to be some big cultural deal.

    • Mel M says:

      I love it too. I love the costumes and sets. It’s visually beautiful. Vivian Leigh is so beautiful and Hattie McDaniel was my favorite. I’ve been watching since I was little and I never saw it as promoting white supremacy, it’s shows the south and it’s ideals being beaten and how that way of life and thinking wasn’t right and never going to last and is now gone. I didn’t feel any sorrow for the south losing, I actually really liked that they lost and had to change. Of course it’s also a product of its time and is a film that would never be made today but if we erase all of our mistakes from the past are we just doomed to repeat them? I’m not saying the monuments shouldn’t come down, they absolutely should. I’m just saying that trying erase or avoid this ugly history that we have in the US won’t help us to continue to learn from it.

      • Gab says:

        Agree. Scarlett is a really fleshed out flawed female anti-hero. Even today you don’t often see roles as good as that for women.

      • Megan says:

        The glorifying of the KKK and the using prison labor suggest to me that Mitchell was more than a garden variety racist.

      • bluhare says:

        Prison labor was a fact of life in the south after the war. The southern economy was dependent on slavery and after the war was over, laws were enacted that specifically affected black men so they would be jailed and could be used as slave labor. There was an excellent book on the subject a few years ago. It really opened my eyes.

      • Avamae says:

        I absolutly agree with you
        Wonderful written.

        And maybe it is my different European view of the Movie but i liked this Movie as showing a Woman of Colour, the fantastic Ms. Hattie McDaniel, in her role as Mammy, not afraid to say her Mind and showing her standing up against some stupid ideas of her white Mistress.

        Hattie McDaniel actually got the role because of Clark Gable wanted her and seemed to Be a good friend of her.
        Google her live, fascinating Woman.

        Called an Uncle Tom for not beeing in Civil Rights Movements and having a white Agent.

      • SlightlyAnonny says:

        @Mel M @avamae

        Comments like this make think of Billie Holliday singing “Strange Fruit” to a group in Paris and a French woman asking her about that “wonderful song about the black bodies dancing…” It’s a song about lynching, a uniquely, American Southern crime where black people were hung from trees to their death.

        You see a woman “not afraid to say her mind” I see a long standing stereotype of a “sassy black woman” and minstrel shows and a woman who would have been whipped by that “white Mistress” if she’d said it in real life. You don’t see white supremacy when for some of us that is literally all we can see when we look at it.

      • magnoliarose says:

        Your view is European. Mammy’s were thought to be endearing to white people but they aren’t. Her speaking her mind was not really speaking her mind. If she had she would have said something entirely different. Something like “Why do you think I care about your life when I can’t see my own children and am stuck in this misery against my will?” “I hate you and I can’t stand my life.” Her plainspeak was still in the service of Scarlett.

      • Mrs Odie says:

        The “political meeting” Frank Kennedy, Ashley, and Dr. Mead went to that Rhett rescued them from was a KKK meeting.

      • Maisie says:

        Yes – portraying the KKK as the heroic resistance against Northern carpetbaggers was always a HUGE sticking point for me, as well as portraying slaves as “contented loyal workers.” GWTW is the basis for what Julia Sugarbaker on Designing Women called the big Southern lie: “Happy darkies singing in the fields while Miss Scarlett primps around throwing hissy fits.” She found it insulting. I find it gross and delusional. And it has no place in today’s world, except to foment more hate and division.

    • Val says:

      I agree with you.
      First, I must say I m not American, but French. For sure, I can understand this film might offend some American people today.
      Yet, the drama outweighs the historical point of view . By this, I mean this film, like the Ancien Greek pieces of theater, focus more on the inner dilemas of the characters, their weaknesses, their challenges, and core values honnor/law vs. love…

    • Who ARE These People? says:

      Margaret Mitchell was a true daughter of the Confederacy. She never made it clear exactly what the South was fighting for, and what kind of epic, cultured, graceful way of life plantation owners actually led that was so worth protecting. It was just a lot of rich landowners who kept slaves to make their lives rich and easy, and she was entirely unwilling to say so, instead throwing up smokescreen after smokescreen.

      Look, I read it totally engrossed when I was 13, and two or three times thereafter, but it was in a different time and I was a safe white girl in the north. Somehow I wonder if the book found a readership among the descendants of slaves and people fighting Jim Crow. It bolstered the mythology of the noble South, especially through the character of Melanie.

      That said, I did enjoy the movie, the acting, the costumes, the score (that theme!), the sheer scope of the drama.

      But it is what it is. And millions of Northern soldiers died horrible deaths, too, and their families suffered as well.

    • Godwina says:

      (Full disclosure: I’m not American, so I’m detached/out of my lane.
      Full other disclosure: I’ve never thought much of the movie or book.
      Full final disclosure: I’m a film writer/buff/historian and no fan of true censorship and HUGELY protective of cultural heritage and artistic products, in a way that makes UNESCO pale in comparison.)

      Meh. I’m beyond fine with avoiding public, advertised screenings of GWtW, Birth of a Nation, and anything else like that right now in the US. It’s a tricky time, and Reconciliation means giving in a bit to the other side’s sensitivities, no matter how you may weigh them yourself. As a cultural relic, the movie is in zero danger of being lost or forgotten if it’s offscreen for a few years (and can always be viewed privately). This isn’t censorship in the least and the movie can handle it. I think the theatre is doing the kind and mature thing. Not all confederate monuments are made of bronze.

    • JennyJenny says:

      It is my favorite film as well and has been for over 30 years.
      The production, costumes, dialog are just excellent.
      And I do agree that I could never understand what Scarlett saw in Ashley….
      However, how far reaching will we continue to go? Were movie patrons asking for it to be shut down? Were there threats to the theater?
      Will all films containing any offensive subjects become taboo?

      • Eveil says:

        Would you still say the same thing if they were your grandparents and ancestors that were enslaved? Would you still feel kindly towards it if the color of your skin is the reason why people still consider you beneath them today? If so, then feel free to continue protesting the unfairness of a movie that is meant to glorify white privelege and reinforce the idea of the gentle South.

      • Betsy says:

        Yes, movie patrons were asking for it to be shut down. I can’t say that if I had had enslaved ancestors and the turmoil of racism was rising to a rolling boil that I’d be so happy to see a confederate movie celebrated.

    • Helen Smith says:

      I explained the racial component to my teenaged students and they still loved the movie because of its melodramatic human relationships.

      I also enjoy the strong anti-hero, complicated personality of Scarlett. Film noir was popular back then and I could see Scarlett as a film noir heroine if you transplant her, as a character, to a movie set in the 1930′s time period.

    • Maria says:

      “As for not showing GWTW, people need to get a grip, we all know slavery was wrong, but this is JUST a movie.”

      This is why race relations don’t improve in this country. This dismissive attitude and outright disrespect. In case you missed this little event in Charlottesville a couple of weeks ago, there were white supremacists marching with torches who absolutely don’t see anything wrong with slavery. We have millions of people who glorify the confederacy, Dixie, and a time when humans were enslaved.

      So, Cara, YOU get a grip. It’s not just a movie. It’s Southern propaganda that paints treasonous bastards as heroes.

      BTW I went to a women’s college in MA (Smith). Margaret Mitchell was a Smithie. Do you know what she was famous for? Fighting to keep Smith houses segregated. She was a vicious racist and her book and the movie should always be tied to her nasty, evil views.

    • Maria says:

      “As for not showing GWTW, people need to get a grip, we all know slavery was wrong, but this is JUST a movie.”

      This is why race relations don’t improve in this country. This dismissive attitude and outright disrespect. In case you missed this little event in Charlottesville a couple of weeks ago, there were white supremacists marching with torches who absolutely don’t see anything wrong with slavery. We have millions of people who glorify the confederacy, Dixie, and a time when humans were enslaved.

      So, Cara, YOU get a grip. It’s not just a movie. It’s Southern propaganda that paints treasonous bastards as heroes.

      BTW I went to a women’s college in MA (Smith). Margaret Mitchell was a Smithie. Do you know what she was famous for? Fighting (as an alumnus) to keep Smith houses segregated. She was a vicious racist and her book and the movie should always be tied to her nasty, evil views.

  3. juice says:

    omg Ashley is the.worst.ever. even as a kid I could never understand why Scarlett was interested in him.

  4. littlemissnaughty says:

    I watched it when I as 15/16 I think and all I remember is that it’s a long-ass movie and I hated the protagonist. And 3 hours is a long time to hate the protagonist.

    Having said that, there are countless books and films that are products of their time and in 100 years (if mankind survives) people will look back on our time and think the same (hopefully).

  5. Talie says:

    AMC still plays it on a loop every Thanksgiving…it’s a great piece of art, no doubt. But it’s a film of its time. Still the highest grossing ever, I believe, with inflation counted in.

    • SNAP says:

      The movie is an oldie but goodie…if bringing down statues and banning movies fixed anything for good i would be all for it but i think it is being used to divide Americans more and more to keep us from really seeing the real problems that need an urgent action and solution. We can’t erase our past, but we could learn from it and move on. How about rap glorifying the gangsta/pimp life and degrading women sexually??? How about human traficking??? These are some real problems of our present, happening every day yet we are consumed by a past that is long gone with the wind (pun intended). All while people of all nationalities, colors and ages are still abducted worldwide every day and sold into human slavery??? What’s wrong with this picture? Why don’t we use all the animosity to hunt down the consumers that fuel the sex slavery cancer in our society? Because those consumers are the ones busy using the race card to keep us from bringing them down. We need to see beyond what the media feeds us. We need to tackle todays problems and stop focusing on a past we can’t change. We could be saving today’s human trafficking slaves from the predators, bring those real monsters to justice and make a real difference in our society TODAY. That’s my 5 cents…

      • Eveil says:

        You’ve got issues if you think propoganda about slavery is less concerning than rappers.

        I don’t see rappers lining up to protest about how other lives are worth less than theirs. Only the KKK and the alt-right, people who are influenced by propaganda such as Gone With the Wind.

        And also, I wasn’t aware that one could only be concerned about one thing at a time. I guess other minds work at a slower pace.

      • India Rose says:

        OMG. Read a U.S. History book written by a non-white male. Stop using the horrifyingly offensive term “race card”. Race is not a card, it is part of identity, like gender. It affects how people see and treat you. Quit equating black males with gangstas. (Which is like Trump saying “urban” everytime he was asked about racial issues.) Read some autobiographies of black lives from the past 150 years. Then get back to me about the racial divide.

        This argument is like being offended by black lives matter. Which means black lives matter, TOO. White people, men in particular, have held majority power and privilege in this country since colonialism. No one wants to take away white people’s rights. We want equality. Look at statistics about income, education, housing, employment and imprisonment; we don’t have equality now. Those statistics have built up due to years of oppression — and the way black people are often portrayed as ignorant or criminal, including within this film. A film which is both a work of art and deeply problematic.

        Black people have been pulled over and imprisoned for minor or non-offenses (jaywalking, loitering, failing to use a signal, car’s tail light being out) and then “resisting arrest” or getting shot when they question what they’ve done. Or they are arrested for minor pot charges and get much stiffer sentences than their white counterparts. Or they can’t find jobs with decent, life-sustaining wages. Read studies about how likely job applicants are to receive interviews — same education and experience — if they have a black or “ethnic” sounding name.

        If you think racial equality is a problem because black people are trying to divide us by pointing out these discrepancies and if you truly want a fair, just, equal country for all people, you are obligated to educate yourself beyond headlines and anecdotes. Dig deeper. Read more. Look at the research. Listen to the stories of people who don’t look like you.

        “It’s their fault too” and “there are good people on both sides” doesn’t cut it right now. We can do better. We must do better.

      • Egla says:

        I agree. While I understand that some things never go away and should always be remembered as to not be repeated I think to much energy is spent on them forgetting a lot of other issues. I have seen the things unfold from far and I noticed that when women marched nothing really changed for them and still the “P,,, grabbing” stayed in power and still the conservatives went after reproductive rights and health care etc but a big deal is made about some old stuffy statues that in the end nobody cares in the day to day life not even the white supremacist (look how easily they got rid of them).
        I might be wrong but I think they are really living in to the now and benefiting from the caos. They are shaping the future of an entire nation for the years to come. De facto they are regaining power as never before and it will take time again to fight them back where they should be. The people should look closely to the reality. There are more pressing issues and I think the lack of a leader and clear vision is doing that. That’s the strange thing about the US: not one solid leader to guide them. To many voices, to many organizations, to many issues not really a strong voice. See the other side, they are in a united front and have always been. That’s why they are winning.

        As for the movie it is a product of that time and should be understood in the context. I have seen it time and time again. It was a period when our few tv channels would show it almost daily in rotation and when there was nothing to watch my parents would let me watch it and used to call me ASHLI because of that even though I loathed the character. I liked Mammy (right?) a lot. I liked Scarlet, her energy and strength to reinvent herself. I have seen only the movie sure and after an online review of he book I prefer the movie, It’s less depressing.

      • Jessica says:

        Please keep your 5 cents.

      • magnoliarose says:

        They have made movies about those other subjects but how does that connect to GWTW? Glorifying slavery is offensive. No one is saying burn the film or that it has no place but at this time it would be best not to show it.

        Because of the white idiots going around claiming the Confederacy as part of their racist agenda. THEY are the ones who use it in a way that it is not historical so now it has made everything dealing with that period extra sensitive. If they hadn’t murdered Heather Heyer during the march, they initiated, the film would have been shown.

        Because rap can be sexist this somehow leads you to your argument? It has been called out a lot but you do realize there are rappers all over the globe, and they rap in foreign languages. K-pop has rappers, Italy (Jovanotti), France, Japan… It has moved beyond just black American guys. Women rap too. It has caught fire for a reason and if you bothered to listen to some lyrics of the poetic glimpses into another world you would understand why it moves so many people.

        Rock n’ roll and country music is never sexist I guess. Never ever.
        White men aren’t sexist or objectifying or engaging in the majority of human trafficking in Italy or Russia. How is that an issue remotely associated with this movie? Oh, you mean the selling of slaves stolen from Africa? Even there I can’t make the connection.

        You sound like a person who can’t keep to the subject and reach for other things to justify your feelings about the film. It is considered a classic WITH the understanding it is inaccurate and no big movement has asked for a total ban. You can release your pearls now.

        Race card… You should be better than that. If black people had race cards I am sure they would use them often just to have equality in our society.
        Stop feeling like something as unimportant as a movie has some deep effect in your life or that putting it on ice for a few months is somehow a personal affront.

  6. EOA says:

    I can understand cancelling the screening, though I also believe that GWTW can be used as an example of a). how Confederacy-apologia was really mainstream for a long time and b). how pop culture shaped our understanding of the Civil War. I would have screened it but had a public conversation beforehand about those issues, to help people have a better understanding of how to be critical of such works.

  7. Keaton says:

    I’m sure I’ll get blasted for this opinion but I thought was a terrible decision by the theater and will only serve to empower the Trumpists. It feeds into the narrative that the politically correct left are going to censor the arts and culture into oblivion. I feel like we can and should discuss/have an honest dialogue about the problematic elements of arts and entertainment (by the way, most art is problematic) without censoring any of it. This is an area where my opinion differs from the majority on this site: Show it all. Don’t hide it. Don’t suppress it. Don’t shout it down. This is a bad precedent and I feel pretty sure it’ll lead to some gross right wing backlash.

    RE: Gone with the Wind in particular.
    I still think Scarlet is an amazing female character in that she’s so complicated and multi-faceted. She’s a rare female antihero. But I totally agree that the book and film are definitely pro Confederacy. When I was a little kid my only knowledge of Sherman was that he BURNED ATLANTA and that was straight from Gone with the Wind. lol.

    • LAK says:

      I’m here to say i agree with you.

      Re: GWTW….ditto about Sherman.

    • ArchieGoodwin says:

      All I knew about the civil war was from GWTW, as a teenager. I loved Tara, and Twelves Oaks, and wanted that, loved the clothes and the BBQs. I did not know or understand the what price it came with, because she skims over that in the novel. Just moves right over who actually paid for that lifestyle.

      I think it can be used to teach, as long as those reading it have someone who actually understands what they war was about and why it was imperative the south lost.

      but yes, Scarlett was a heroine and a well written character. Just on the wrong side.

    • Nicole says:

      I live in Memphis and disagree. This theater is a short walk from the Lorraine Motel where Martin Luther King was killed. This city is 60% black. I don’t care what any Trump supporters feel about this. Frankly, Memphis didn’t go to Trump so the people complaining are the ones that don’t live in the city. It may have been smart to add a discussion before the screening, but we have enough issues in this city that just not showing this garbage movie is the smart move. There are a ton of other theaters that can show it if they want

    • Sixer says:

      I’m more of a reader than a watcher – but along similar lines, vast amounts of the history I know comes from reading fiction and being interested enough in the fictionalised version to read non-fiction to get an accurate version of what happened.

      I agree about GWTW – prima facie case for displaying racist attitudes of the time (both its setting and when it was made) but also ahead of its time in creating an unforgettable female anti-hero. Getting on for a century later, and we STILL fall down on the representation of female characters on film. If for nothing else, it’s worth watching so that we can reflect on these two conflicting aspects of it with hindsight.

      That said, perhaps not the exact moment for public showings in the US. I’m not American, so I’ll leave those who are to argue that side of it out.

      • Wilma says:

        I agree about the interesting female lead, but now when I see that argument I feel that it’s a white feminist argument and maybe it’s not the argument that should carry the most weight at the moment.

      • Sixer says:

        I just think it’s two distinct aspects of the film which are worth deconstructing in our time. Pointing out a film has a gendered positive AND a racist negative isn’t an ideological favouring of one over the other.

        But, given the events in the US right now, perhaps not today!

      • Boo Peep says:

        @Sixer GWTW has a gendered positive portrayal of some women. I’m seeing comments about how GWTW is a feminist book and film- and it is- but only for some groups of women.

        GWTW has great, multifaceted portrayals of white women, especially white middle-class and upper-class women. Its portrayals of white working class women (i.e. the Slatterys) as lazy “white trash” were less than stellar.

        The same goes for its portrayal of black women. Black women in GWTW needed direction from white men and women to be productive members of society (ie. the cowardly Prissy, the devoted Mammy who always listened to Ellen even as she quelled Scarlett). This isn’t my extrapolation; the book has straight up quotes that black people are like “children,” “lost” after the war, manipulated by Northerners into fighting for civil rights. If I had my copy of the book with me I would be able to pull at least a handful of direct lines that say that.

        At one point, Mitchell even asks, in 3rd person omniscient, “What would they do with rights? They don’t know how to take care of themselves.” I realize the film doesn’t use these quotes, but it’s a faithful adaptation in much of the characterization and plot.

        Because privileges and discriminations intersect, it’s not possible to separate the gendered positive from the racial negative. In this case, the gendered positive is applied to a specific race (and class) and not all female characters in GWTW.

        I say this as a fan of GWTW. I’ve read several times over two decades. I’ve watched the film. I’m also a POC. I know exactly where I’d be in Mitchell’s universe. I like GWTW for its feminist portrayal of white upper class women, while knowing that it is flawed and problematic in how it portrays working class white women and black and Native American women. Feminism can be class-stratified and racialized.

    • bluhare says:

      Not an unpopular opinion with me! I think that we make a mistake if we refuse to look at anything that does not meet our current views. Ignoring or pretending things didn’t happen does not help; if anything, I think it makes it worse. That being said, I don’t think GWTW is the vehicle for that; however, if we refuse to watch that due to it glorying the southern way of life, what’s next? There are a lot of films that have problematic content by today’s standards.

      • LadyT says:

        I’ll leave the decision to show this movie at this time in that theatre in that neighborhood up to them. In general though I find some of these old shows horrifying in an enlightening sort of way. Recently I’ve turned on Snow White-my God what a tralalala bimbo embarrassment to women. Also was going to watch Eddie Murphy comedy special from way back- in the red leather suit- open sequence is about f*gg*ts. Like I said, horrifying. Underlines how wrong things were.

    • magnoliarose says:

      There is a movie from that same time called Pinky that never gets much play but that would be an interesting one to screen. It is about a light skinned black woman passing for white in the 1940s. It is better than Imitation of Life. It is also a better movie from that era dealing with race relations.
      We just don’t need any Confederate anything right now. It could have the effect of drawing KKK members as some kind of statement or even be used for another confrontation. They did the right thing. 6 months from now it will be different.

      • Mel M says:

        Is this the movie where she goes back to see her mother when she’s on her deathbed? If it is I remember watching that once when I was younger and bawling my eyes out.

      • I Choose Me says:

        Hm, did Mahalia Jackson sing at the mother’s funeral in that movie. And did the mom come to visit her at the place she was working at the time and she pretended that her mother was her mammy?

      • magnoliarose says:

        @Choose Me- No that was Imitation of Life. That one was more popular and much more melodramatic showing only it mostly from the white perspective. It has merit as far as a film study of 2-dimensional representations of black women in film and racism. I was told at the time black people liked it but only because they rarely saw themselves on film. That is another issue I find interesting but more as a social commentary.

        Pinky goes deeper and shows the black community and why someone would make that choice. Better acted and more thoughtful. Elia Kazan directed it and it is a push back against racism. Ethel Barrymore is in it. Taking into account it was 1949 of course. Elia Kazan is controversial, for good reason, he named names during the blacklist era of Hollywood during McCarthyism, but he was a good filmmaker. His films don’t get the attention they deserve because of that.

    • Cee says:

      ITA. Censorship is (almost) never the answer. Loons who believe in the Confederacy do not need to watch GWTW to believe in it. Others might watch the film and think “oh, sh!t. that was WRONG”

      • Who ARE These People? says:

        It’s not censorship. Only governments do censorship. This is a private theater that wants to keep the peace and respect sensitivities during a time of high emotion. That’s sensible, not censorship.

        Government film boards – censorship. School book bans – censorship.

        Movie theaters saying, “Maybe not now,” – not censorship.

      • S says:

        Censorship is not what is happening here. If Memphis city government banned the book & movie, that is censorship. A theater cancelling a planned showing is a private business making a business decision. People in Memphis, and across the country, still have wide access to Gone with the Wind, in all its formats.

        Just like when a venue cancels a paid (or even free) speech because of protest or disagreement with the speaker’s viewpoint. That is NOT “against” free speech or a violation of the First Amendment. You are not guaranteed a platform from which to speak — be it a university or private event — you are simply Constitutionally promised that you won’t be jailed due to speech against the government. That’s all the First Amendment provides, which many people misunderstand. Free speech is also not freedom from the consequences, including widespread criticism, of what you say. So, if you say stupid, racist and vile stuff, people are allowed to point out, publicly and loudly, that you are a vile, racist moron.

        As for Gone with the Wind, it was one of my favorite books and movies as a pre-teen. It actually helped foment my love of history, including of the civil war era, which I quickly learned, factually is very different than the fantasy world portrayed by Mitchell in her melodrama.

        Mitchell was a product of her time, birthplace and station in life. (<<<—–Not an excuse, or defense, just fact.) She was a daughter of the confederacy, and her book populated and revitalized the "lost cause" narrative and romanticized the civil war, helping to mainstream and disseminate beyond the south, a very dangerous ideology. Both the book and the movie were a product and reflection of their times — the 1920s and '30s — much more so than the 1860s. Mitchell wrote the story at the height of the KKK in the South, when civil war vets still lived and right when The South Shall Rise again became a political rallying cry; When lynchings were at their height, and Jim Crow was all powerful. The entire story is based on white supremacy, in a myriad of ways, and there is no getting around that incredibly unsettling fact.

        I will always have a personal fondness for Gone with the Wind, but I can also see it for what it is, and fully understand why some people find it despicable.

      • Who ARE These People? says:

        S you said everything and you said it better.

    • Wilma says:

      I think it’s time for the real narrative of the Civil war to reach your popular culture and replace this romanticized pro-confederacy vision a lot of Americans still have of it. That’s going to take quite some effort and time as the propaganda for the galant South has had a long and popular run. So yes, for a while these films should go.

    • Carie says:

      I agree. Now we’re censoring art? Let this movie stand as a record of its time. And here’s an idea- if it will make you uncomfortable, DON’T WATCH IT. My God. We ( progressives) are becoming as bad as the RW. Absolutely ridiculous.

  8. aang says:

    I don’t think we should be allowed to pretend this never happened. The statues, this movie, etc. should be seen as a scarlet letter marking us forever with the evil woven into the fabric of our nation. We should be forced to cringe and feel all the uncomfortable feelings. We should be forced to remember. The alt-right is already trying to rewrite history and tell us that the confederacy was never about slavery. Make them see, make it impossible for them to deny history. (caveat : this can be done in historical context and not necessarily as entertainment)

  9. Cami says:

    I loved gone with the wind and still do. No I don’t think it should of been taken down. We are getting to a point where everything will become offensive!

    • Tania says:

      Do you recognize the position of privilege your opinion is coming from?

      Everything HAS been offensive. Most people have remained quiet about how uncomfortable things have been for them so as to not offend people’s feelings. That’s changed because those with delicate sensibilities didn’t care when they voted in a racist sex predator to the highest office in the country.

      • SlightlyAnonny says:

        THANK YOU.

        Those statues that were erected at the height of Jim Crow and segregation were always intended to offend and frighten newly freed people in order to keep them in line.

        GWTW was always offensive. Black magazines and newspapers published articles about how offensive and demeaning it was to Black people BACK THEN.

        People were always offended it’s only now that their voices are being acknowledged on a wider scale and cue the pearl clutching when the movie is still freely played and widely available and people can fork out the bucks to watch in their homes every night or at their favorite family clan event.

      • Sarah says:

        I do recognize my privilege, but also feel that this is a movie and that we shouldnt whitewash who we were and how we behaved. I kind of think of it as a historical movie of sorts, although not too accurate.

    • Connell says:

      I saw GWTW on the big screen when I was a teenager. It is 100 times more powerful when you see it that way, particularly the devastation of the war scenes. Recently I saw it again on Amazon Prime. Scarlett is the perfect example of an incredibly selfish person, and because of her selfish, ruthless ambition, she and her family survive. She really does tell Rhett she will never love him, that she loves another, several times. He’s so arrogant, his ego refuses to believe it. The way he leaves her in the end is devastating. Vivian Leigh was so believable; all of the characters are incredible. I appreciate the love story more now than when I was younger. However, I don’t think it should be screened in Memphis, or anywhere. I am sorry the people of Memphis had to deal with this.

  10. D says:

    I hated Ashley too, so bland and not even handsome enough to make up for it. I think I was 14 when I saw gone with the wind, I remember thinking “Why do you want him?”.

  11. Merritt says:

    It is a shame that Hattie McDaniel never got to play a role other than various versions of the role she played in GWTW. She was a talented actress and completely limited by the time she lived in.

  12. lara says:

    We watched the movie in school under the topic of political Propaganda in popular culture. (Together with a lot of Nazipropagand)
    I still think, it is a better approach to put this kind of Propaganda into context, than by just banning it.

    • Who ARE These People? says:

      It wasn’t banned – that would be a government function. The theater, which as someone helpfully said above, is in a dominant black area, just decided, “Nah, not a good time for this shit.” And that’s okay, that’s being sensitive.

  13. I don’t have an “everything offends me” mentality at all. I see why this movie might be offensive, but one it’s just a movie it’s not a documentary, two it’s an old movie made in a different time we are in now, and third the movie was set during a time where things were different than they are now. The burning of Atlanta done by Sherman was actually depicted in the movie. That really happened. I mean history is history. We can’t change it, but trying to remove it or hide from it isn’t going to make it go away. It’s best we do still acknowledge these things so we can learn from the past and not make the same mistakes. Hiding or shaming it isn’t doing any good. I feel the movie is great and I actually work with this black guy who says that’s his favorite movie. He isn’t offended by it, he’s a rational, logical adult that can conclude it’s just a movie and it’s a movie about history. Why can’t people seem to grasp that anymore? Why does petty things offend people? It’s ridiculous at this point. As for statues…I don’t have an opinion. I get why people might not like them or are offended, but they’re just statues. They have one of Lenin in Oregon…anyone offended by that? He represents communism. How about the Jefferson memorial? Jefferson not only owned slaves, he had children with them. Anyone offended? See? At some point it starts to just get ridiculous. The world is literally laughing at us and our need to be offended by everything, including history, movies, statues that are older than anyone alive today is just embarrassing. Grow a back bone people. It’s really not that serious especially when there’s really issues going on!

    • Who ARE These People? says:

      The world is laughing at the US because the US president is a moron.

      The world is admiring the way Americans are fighting to stop putting oppressive symbols of oppression into the public square, and black Americans in particular are working like mad to educate white Americans about their history.

      We don’t laugh that Germany does not have statues of Hitler.

      Eastern Europe finally got rid of its last statue of Lenin.

      • Cyrus says:

        Yes, the rest of the world is laughting at the us but for both things ,your president and your everything offended mentality. Sorry to wake up but the world is not admiring at all america, you spent the last 40 years destroying the middle east,killing millions of people, all your presidents, democrats and republicans, whites and black. You tell yourself your own lies but the true is that thanks your policies the world is a worst place. In europe, where i’m, we can’t hidde our history, what happened in the WW with the nazis, etc, it’s history like roman empire and other invasions.

    • Tania says:

      “Why can’t people seem to grasp that anymore? Why does petty things offend people? It’s ridiculous at this point.”

      Because white people elected a president thinking that they’re being ganged up on, thinking they’re losing ground and don’t want to be treated as minorities have been treated since signing the declaration of independence. They feel their power is slipping and don’t want to live up the “All men being created equal” in this country.

      Why are white people so offended by not being able to openly enjoy being racist?

    • magnoliarose says:

      A black guy likes the movie so that means one black guy speaks for ALL black people. Some black people do like the movie but if you read up the thread a person from Memphis explains the reasons why they made this decision.
      What puts you in a position to decide what people are offended by? Is it so hard to understand the difference between a Founding Father in 1776 and a traitor fighting to keep people enslaved in 1860? Seriously you don’t know?
      That is one of the most absurd slippery slope nonsensical arguments I have ever heard.
      Of course, the orange idiot who should be in a straight jacket came up with that same conflation during his unhinged speech #672.

  14. Theodora says:

    As an Eastern European, this decision reminds me of the darkest years of the Cultural Revolution when our cultural past was erased in the name of ‘social justice’ (sounds familiar) and fighting against bourgeoisie/exploitation/bigotism/prejudice, etc. (the horrifying vocabulary is the same).

    Soon enough after movies and books were censored and forbidden, people in bone and flesh were sent to the Gulag where many found their death after torture and agony.

    After cultural and spiritual annihilation, physical annihilation follows. It’s Orwell in full force again.

    History will remember today’s liberals/SJWs as it remembers yesterday’s Bolsheviks.

    • Who ARE These People? says:

      Nonsense, this not a historical parallel at all. Statues of Confederate generals are not the same as symbols of cultural achievement. To follow through on your analogy, modern-day African Americans and their white allies will soon be sending — who? the same educated people who support their efforts to rid their public squares of actual symbols of racist oppression and death? — to the gulag.

      When in fact, it’s the American white supremacists, led by their president, who are using police forces and immigration officers to kill or enslave (in prisons) African Americans and terrorize and deport Latinos and Muslims.

      Please stop twisting history and logic. American history is not following the Eastern European model in any way except for “electing” a ruthless autocrat who surrounds himself with sycophants and is looting his own country as much as possible. The elites and the educated are under attack, yes, but not by the ‘liberals’ and social justice warriors that you blame here.

      • Deedee says:

        Many of the Lost Cause statues were put up as an attempted rewrite of history. That’s why so many went up during the Civil Rights movement. There’s a difference between “trying to erase history” and correcting a mistake, such as a museum removing an exhibit when an artifact is found to be a fraud, or mis-identified. This is why each monument should be studied and its fate determined on its own merits, considering history, artistic value and context.

    • Kezia says:

      Of all the nonsense comments I have read on Celebitchy this the absolute worst. Theodora, how you could twist things like that is appalling. Definition of fake news

    • jwoolman says:

      Theodora- nobody is going to jail or Guantanamo for watching Gone with the Wind, which they are free to do in their own homes or any place they decide to show it. You can buy a DVD on Amazon for less than $8. People can even borrow the DVD and the book for free at their local libraries.

      The theater would not be closed down and the owners arrested if they decided to show it. This is not censorship or a slippery slope. And not showing an old movie (older than even me, and I was born a few years after WWII) which is freely available in other venues is hardly erasing our past.

      They just looked at the facts that Charlottesville is still a raw open wound, that Confederate flags and Nazi flags are being carried together by white supremacists and neonazis marching with guns and torches to gather around other symbols of the Confederacy, that one anti-Nazi/anti-racist protester was killed and others were wounded by these fine people marching for the Confederacy, then looked around their own neighborhood and noticed a lot of brown and black people, and decided that showing a movie that glamorizes slave owner culture and the Confederacy was kind of stupid at the moment.

      That’s not censorship. That’s freedom and democracy in action.

  15. LAK says:

    Nevermind that Robert E Lee statue in Charlottesville, what i find offensive is the confederate statue industry went into overdrive in the 1960s whilst civil rights movement had kicked up a gear.

    That is the true dirty secret.

    • Sixer says:

      Reading about this on the Twatter in the wake of Charlottesville was a complete revelation to me! Bloody things were mass produced to suit the politics of their times. Not heritage at all! I genuinely had no idea.

      • LAK says:

        Me too.

        My first instinct as a keen(ha!) amateur historian was to argue for them to *stay as a warning to history, then i discovered they were not ancient at all, mass produced AND put up when rest of country was going through a major upheaval to settle civil rights. Jessh, these statues are barely older than i am!!!

        They need to go because that is intent to an ergregious extreme, and a discussion needs to happen as to why in the modern era with modern sensibilities, people feel the need to celebrate slavery anew.

        *i don’t agree with statues to ergregious fellows and their supporters in ancient OR modern times, but there is an argument to keep the ancient ones on the grounds of history. It’s a very thin argument, but it is there. At best, put the ancient ones in a museum dedicated to the era as a teachable visit.

      • Sixer says:

        I went through a similar process. I really had no idea at all.

        How did you feel about Rhodes Must Fall? Keep? Bin? Keep and insist on funds to balance with other figures? Bin but relocate to museum?

      • LAK says:

        Where Rhodes is concerned, i’m offended more by the continued celebration of the man and his ethos via the Rhodes Scholarship than i am by that tiny statue. A case of wrong focus on the part of the ‘Rhodes must fall’ campaigners.

        According to his will, Rhodes created the Scholarship to “promote civic-minded leadership among “young colonists” with “moral force of character and instincts to lead”, for “the furtherance of the British Empire, for the bringing of the whole uncivilised world under British rule, for the recovery of the United States, for the making the Anglo-Saxon race but one Empire”.

        With the scholarships, he “aimed at making Oxford University the educational centre of the English-speaking race”.

        I can not believe that Oxford still celebrates such a scholarship. I think they should find better use for that money. Preferably in Zimbabwe and South Africa.

        I was definitely in support of the removal of the Statue of Leopald 2, King of the Belgians from my alma mater, Queen Mary, because *he* was a genocidal maniac on a par with Hitler and his cronies. Worse because his genocidal tendencies were to enrich himself personally. Hitler claimed to some sort of ergregious ideology to justify his actions, but not Leopold. He was in it purely for money. Just as i don’t want Hitler statue in the town square, so i don’t want to see a statue of Leopald.

      • Sixer says:

        I’m pretty much with you there. I really think Britain has done nowhere near enough to decolonise culturally but I also think you’ve got to pick battles that actually achieve something positive. I was for Rhodes falling but I wouldn’t have put it top of my list of priorities.

      • LAK says:

        I think the British handwring over their colonial past and empire more than the formerly colonised.

        Effects are still being felt, BUT it’s also easy to exploit that colonial guilt.

        As far as monuments to ex-colonialists, you tend to find that the smaller plaques and monuments have either been removed or wording changed to point out that any ‘discovery’ by a European was merely the first time a european had *seen/ heard* about it.

    • adastraperaspera says:

      Yep, and it’s the same with the confederate battle flag, which is really just Jim Crow marketing, pushed on us long, long after end of the Civil War. It was then and continues to be a symbol of vicious, resentful, angry, white supremacist LOSERS.

    • jwoolman says:

      Exactly. Most of them were mass produced and put up to support Jim Crow laws in the late 1800s/early 1900s and then again in the 1950s against the civil rights movement and desegregation efforts. They were always meant to intimidate the living, not honor the dead.

      Robert E. Lee himself said there should be no statues or monuments to the Confederacy, no Confederate flags waving. He said that’s not how to heal from such a conflict. He would be glad to see them removed.

  16. Kitten says:

    This is different to me than say, a confederate monument/statue in a town center. You don’t *have* to watch this movie whereas you may be forced to look at a confederate monument every day on your walk to work or whatever.

    Plus monuments exist solely to commemorate/celebrate the person they are depicting–they serve no other purpose whereas a movie generally exists to tell a story, to entertain, to provoke, or to educate. A movie is much more open to subjective interpretation IMO.

    Just not the same thing to me.

  17. Sayrah says:

    I agree that confederate monuments should be moved to museums but I don’t agree with the Orpheum removing this film. It’s a classic but one that should be critiqued for the problematic happy slave narrative. I agree that this is an overreaction that gives fodder to even your normal everyday conservative (not even alt-right) person to say “what are those crazy liberals doing now?”
    I mean the Orpheum showed The Book of Mormon too. That certainly offends a lot of people as well. This is flat out censorship.

  18. HK9 says:

    As a black woman I will always love gone with the wind and I watch at least once a year. I love Scarlet and all her faults. I don’t think the movie should be taken down, that movie is not offensive to me. It’s the current state of affairs of people cherry picking history, romanticizing the civil war and saying that slaves “didn’t have it so bad”, offends me which has nothing to do with this movie. It’s a movie of a fictional book-I never expected it to accurately reflect history. We should be able to watch these things and have a sensible conversation about it.

    • What's Inside says:

      You are so right with the phrase “cherry picking history.” History cannot be changed, but the present and the future are blank canvasses just waiting to be painted.

    • Green Is Good says:

      HK9: 👏👏👏👏 well stated.

      • Sansa says:

        Yes, also the movie shows the South was ill served , the confederacy brought down the South and shows the high price paid, the male lead Rhett basically tells them all they are idiots and breaking with the Union will fail, etc. You can watch this movie without getting the message it glorifies the confederacy, but, shows the misery and suffering caused by slavery and the war

      • magnoliarose says:

        @ The South wasn’t ill served. Poor men used to fight for a cause that didn’t affect them were ill served by their own. Most of them didn’t even own slaves and had no cause except for racism. Traitors suffer but the ones that did disproportionately were poor. Rich plantation owners wanted to remain as such so they started the war and advertised it as a call for their identity and way of life.

        BTW Britain had outlawed the slave trade in 1807 but the move to do it had begun in the 18th century. They abolished it in 1833. The Torys resisted only because of sugar and money.

  19. Lisa says:

    They’re playing this in a month or two at my theater, too. I’m in Canada. I’ve never actually seen it all the way through. It never held any interest for me. Why did girls lose their minds over Ashley?! He was so blah!

  20. Ennie says:

    My dear father taught me to love old classic movies, he was a cinema fan and liked foreign films, particularly American ones.
    He was al old timer who grew up watching legends such as Bogart, James Stewart, Grant, Cooper, Gable, and the ladies, Stanwyck, Hepburn, oh, so many of them and his favorite was Hedy Lamarr. My dad took me to watch Gone with the Wind in an actual cinema in my little corner of Mexico, it was a run down cinema, and the experience was mind blowing, since they almost never took me to watch Disney or anything else.
    That sealed my love for the English Language, as GwtW was the first full novel I attempted to read in its original language, it was difficult, but seeing it as an outsider I now understand how the era was romanticized. It showed a one-sided dream life for those in power, and, oh, how the mighty suffered. I later added more literature like Alex Haley’s Roots and Queen, and the Color Purple, and I got a better picture of what went on. I think it reflects a different time, usually products of art and literature reflect its time.
    In my country there are big haciendas where 100 years ago poor people were exploited terribly, leading a revolution.Nowadays, many of those haciendas are thriving with tourism, employing people an in many cases being self sustainable. I see how people who visit or hold events in plantations are criticized. Is that really bad? I’d say that if this racist mindset was not so prevalent today, if there are no erected monuments to promotors of racism, then maintaining plantations is not so bad. What do you think?

    • magnoliarose says:

      What do you mean by maintaining plantations? You mean as historical architecture? They do have those. In Louisiana they had plantation houses that were built for the weather and people like to tour them or buy them. Charleston SC had a fire but there are still old houses there too.

      • Ennie says:

        yea, we have our own haciendas/ plantations which are historic beautiful places. People suffered there, and now are hotels and stuff. I mentioned it, because here in this site and in others people who book plantations for events have been heavily criticized.

      • magnoliarose says:

        I think that is a little too much because I don’t believe in discarding architecture. I love historical houses so I am biased. Those are part of the southern heritage for real not the monuments. All over Europe, they have ancient buildings that have a varied history, but they are important. We will have no history if we get rid of everything. The only reason people use those venues is that they are restored and beautiful just like some great homes in Europe are. We should acknowledge history but turn the houses into something different. The south owned slaves, and we can’t ignore that and it is part of the history that we need to remember.

    • bluhare says:

      Hedy Lamarr was brilliant. She invented something that was the precurser to wireless technology.

  21. robyn says:

    These are dangerous times so I can understand the choice. I see this movie differently now but still don’t think it should be hidden … it was magnificently produced and insightful from a certain perspective. Like those offensive statues that glorify Robert E. Lee and the confederate flag there needs to be better and broader context, not destruction, of history. This shows the perspective many people are still coming from in some parts of America so even though it’s cringe-worthy nowadays in so many ways, it’s also informative about a time and a mindset. What needs to emerge more and more is an expanded awareness of the people who endured being slaves, how they coped and their diversity of thought during the “glory” days of the old south. Slowly it’s happening … despite and perhaps even because of this awful eye-opening eruption brought about by race-baiter Donald Trump.

    But more than a historical novel this was about a very strong character, Scarlett, and how she saw her surroundings and life. Oddly enough the author named her Pansy at the start which would have given us something different to ponder.

  22. Marion C says:

    Did not like the book or the movie. However, to lighten things up for a moment, without the movie we would not have the infamous “Went with the Wind” sketch from the Carol Burnett Show. Stills makes me laugh out loud.

  23. Pumpkin (formally soup, pie) says:

    Gone with the Wind was my “introduction” to slavery. I was horrified. I still am, to this day.

  24. Ann says:

    I’m 52 and when I was 14 and others my age were reading Teen Beat magazine, I was reading GWTW over and over again. Rhett, oh my, the way Scarlett experienced his slow kissing during the burning of Atlanta, oh my. Just thinking about it makes me need my smelling salts, lol. But I understand that this is a time where we need to put this movie on the back burner. It’s completely racist, especially Prissy and the way other slaves were portrayed, including Pork. “Wee-sa house workers.” Ugh. Melanie, however, is one of the greatest characters ever.

    • Who ARE These People? says:

      My husband recently read GWTW for the first time and it changed my view of Melanie. She may have been personally ‘noble’ but she was the 1st girl in line to support the Confederacy and the KKK. Just as bad as the rest of ‘em.

      • magnoliarose says:

        She was a weak goody two shoes. Oh long-suffering passive aggressive Melanie whose dim wit made it possible to find her noble and loving. She stands for everything a misogynist loves in a woman.

      • nnire says:

        agree! not a Melanie fan. she’s like the Victorian notion of the Angel in the House, portrayed to be ‘perfect’, but really just symbolic of a confederate white dude’s wet dream.

        Scarlett is a b!tch, but at least she fully owns it! so much more character dimension. she occasionally has the odd caring, unselfish feeling, such as being completely devastated to discover that her mother has passed away.

  25. Maria says:

    At the end of the day businesses are allowed to do what they want as a business, this theatre doesn’t have to show it, they can make that decision. It’s not like they are banning the DVDs or other theatres from showing it.
    Personally I’ve never been able to get through this film.
    I don’t understand the monuments though. I mean, did these monuments not bother you in the past? Why not petition to take them down when Obama was in power? Were they not problematic then or in the Bush era? Going around and toppling over monuments now just looks like a bunch of tantrum throwing to me.

    • IlsaLund says:

      No, it’s not about having a temper tantrum. Those confederate monuments, just like the flag, have always been problematic for African Americans. “Southern heritage” was always the rallying cry anytime the issue was raised about removing them. Since Charlottesville, more people have become “woke” about what those statues truly represent….hence the renewed effort to replace them.

      • MJ says:

        I have to politely disagree with you about the protesters taking down a statue in anger. It’s destruction of public property and a crime. I live in a large city in the south and our civil war statues, monuments and school names will be gone/revised by the end of the year. Boom — no vote, just a get it done attitude. The way this movement is going, statue would probably be going anyway. The protestors just looked foolish to me. Hey, just an opinion.

    • Who ARE These People? says:

      Why now? Because American Nazis are willing to kill people to save them. That’s why now.

    • magnoliarose says:

      I don’t understand your point? People have complained about them for years but no one took notice. Why does it matter if it is now or the past 8 years or 16?
      Things happen when they happen. Period.
      Now they need to go. They aren’t works of art. Who does it hurt?
      Statues for treasonous traitors should not have been erected in the 1950s or ever. Should we put one of Benedict Arnold all over New England? How about a few of those agents that sold information to the Soviet Union? Aaron Burr could use some statues. John Wilkes Booth was considered a hero by the south for killing Lincoln. Why are there no statues?

      The movie is whatever the theater decides but the statues have to go.

    • JenB says:

      Even before Charlottesville I think the Charleston church shootings pushed this issue back to the forefront as well. We’re evolving as a society. (Sometimes.)

    • Charlotte says:

      Um…folks in Memphis have been trying to get the Nathan Bedford Forrest statue down for years and years. It’s not a new issue here. Forrest and his wife were originally interred in a local cemetery (Elmwood) and they and the statue need to go back there.

      For context, Forrest was a slave dealer before the war and a KKK founder afterwards.

  26. Marianne says:

    Idk. I always liked the book, but I think that was more to do Scarlet being such a strong female character. Not to say that I hated the movie, but it doesnt showcase as much as the book.

    That being said, I understand that with the current political climate it might not be the best thing to put on. But I dont think it should be something permantely erased from history.

  27. IlsaLund says:

    Agree with others that Ashley Wilkes was a wimp and it never made any sense why Scarlett was so obsessed with him. The movie itself is a product of its time.

    Kind of off topic, but I watched the 1934 version of Imitation of Life starring Claudette Colbert and Louise Beavers (as Delilah). Talk about a rage inducing movie. The white woman gets filthy rich off the black woman’s pancake recipe and the black woman refuses the meager 20% stake offered to her cause she wouldn’t be able to take of the white woman and her daughter no mo. My head almost exploded watching that crazy nonsense.

  28. JenB says:

    Don’t think GWTW should be permanently banned from showing but agree that now is not the best time to show it. I’ve never read the book. Recently I’ve noticed a lot of old cartoons that are REALLY racist. You can stream “classic cartoons” on amazon prime and the Mammy character is in full effect on one of them. Generally I love old cartoons but I wish they would remove the blatantly racist ones from the Amazon line up – which you may unsuspectingly let your child watch because it’s under the kid category.

    • jwoolman says:

      Old books are like that also. I remember reading some old children’s books that were written in the first half of the 20th Century. I was astonished at the casual racism and the way black people were portrayed. I was just a kid myself and pale but wondered how other kids who were black would feel reading that stuff. Right in the middle of an otherwise innocuous story – bam, there it was.

      Also the Dagwood and Blondie movies had moments like that. Really cringeworthy.

      It’s one of those things where it’s better to keep the group out of the story entirely than to include them in such an obnoxious way. I felt the same about Daisy Duck’s nieces…. I was fine identifying with Donald Duck’s nephews, who knew everything from their Junior Woodchucks scout manual and thus frequently saved the day for their bumbling uncle. The all-male cast in the original Carl Barks Uncle Scrooge stories were fine for me (Scrooge hired Donald and the boys for five cents per hour). But the nieces they brought in later were embarrassing. Better to have no girls in the comics at all. They’ve improved over the years, but it was really awful for quite a while.

  29. HelloThere says:

    This film had the first African American win an Oscar. When a group starts to target the arts things are getting bad. It actually scares me a bit that the left are promoting communism. I don’t think that many realize the deep undercurrents to those leading the left and the fact that they want a country that runs like a communist country. The key points are: they want wealth spread equally, they want the arts controlled so the message only comes from one side, they want all people to act and think the same. Racism is a huge concern, but trying to get rid of it by taking down statues and not playing movies from years ago will not make it go away. These things are part of history. Once we forget history we repeat the mistakes of the past. It needs honest conversation, not hate and stifling of free speech.

    • I totally agree. There’s a rather slippery slope here; if certain things get banned, then what will be next? I mean, didn’t ESPN pull an announcer from some planned event because his name was Robert Lee? Dude is asian, and “Lee” is a common asian surname….

      • magnoliarose says:

        Slippery slope like in Aspen and stuff? Or slippery slopes of Four Chan and Britebart? No, it must be the slippery slopes of trollsville where the residents think they are cleverer than the elite liberals with our fancy educations. Hmmm. Or the slippery slope when posters don’t realize that we know the talking points by now.
        I have no idea but with all of those slippery slopes, I better go work on my balance.

      • Hmm, extremely snarky tone, there, Magnoliarose. Why?
        Perhaps a better term than communism is “socialism” and /or “cultural Marxism”. I very much remember when the Berlin Wall came down and the period of glasnost, so no need to “inform” me that the Cold War is over.
        I, like plenty of other non-socialists, have no problem with the concept of people having equal opportunities to achieve wealth. However, not if it involves “robbing Peter to pay Paul”. Some ideas (for lack of a better example “free college for all”) sound great in theory, but might not work so well in practice.
        And I work in the mental health field, so I’m well aware of the importance and necessity of some government programs. I see the gray areas of this debate.

      • MEG says:

        Theres no such thing as cultural Marxism. Try again.

      • Oh, I see. Wikipedia deemed it “conspiracy theory”. Cute.

      • Charlotte says:

        Nobody’s trying to ban GWTW, for the 600th time. The Orpheum is a private business that shows classic films in the summer to make money. They feel (rightly so, I think, as a resident of the city) that showing this movie is insensitive in the current climate in a city that is majority African-American. Their theater, their decision.

        If folks feel so strongly about it, they are free to rent a venue and show it. Plus, it’s not as though everyone in town hasn’t seen it 10 times; the Orpheum has shown GWTW probably every other year for the past 20 years.

    • Kezia says:

      “This film had the first African American win an Oscar.” oh that make sit ok so. But wait, she wasn’t even allowed to sit with her fellow nominees because of SEGREGATION.
      Jesus Christ what is the obsession with Americans and communism, being the ultimate big bad?! It is bizarre. And I live in a very capitalist country. “The key points are: they want wealth spread equally” Wow! How radical, trying to eliminate poverty, and equalise wealth distribution. Isn’t that just called human decency?

    • A.Key says:

      “It actually scares me a bit that the left are promoting communism.”

      I love it how Americans are so scared of communism like it’s somehow worse than slavery or racism.

      Are you joking.

      I’d rather live under communism than in the Confederate USA! Or basically Trump’s America today.

      P.S. “they want wealth spread equally” – hahaha God forbid that should ever happen in the world!! We can all hate each other and kill each other based on the color of our skin, as long as we ain’t all equally rich and wealthy!!

      The rest “they want the arts controlled so the message only comes from one side, they want all people to act and think the same” is actually what Trump is doing now with his fake news BS, refusal to give answers and his transparent attempts to control the media and the message that they send.

      • Llamas says:

        Errr, Americans are freaked out by totalitarian regimes. Communism falls under that. Millions have died under communist regimes and everything IS censored in a communistic govt. Communism is scary, as is fascism, and I hope Americans stay afraid of both. Softening on either isnt good.

      • Jessica says:


        Millions have died under capitalism (i.e. slavery) and even during the Industrial Revolution when there was zero labor laws. But I’m not here to defend communism.

      • Annie says:

        100 million people have died through Communism. My family, all leftists, were refugees of Communism. We fought Nazis and Communists. As a young leftist I too flirted with it; but the history major in me forced me to acknowledge the truth.

        Communist apologism should be viewed as Nazi apologism. Millions, millions murdered, and barbaric intellectuals like Lacan and Althusser normalized it, and we continue to normalize it today. Terrifying.

      • magnoliarose says:

        I don’t know if you realize you are being baited by people who are espousing the beliefs of the alt right racists under the cover of “reasonable” assertions. They are all over the internet right now trying to use gentle language. It is actually a plan to grow their movement with more palate friendly language.
        Communism is used as a hidden signal to connect to Cultural Marxism a Neo Nazi ideology to connect to anti-Semitism.
        You see how the discussion snuck that part in?
        Little brown shirt bees swarming blogs and forums.

      • A.Key says:

        People I’m not saying communism is good, I’m saying racism and slavery is EVEN WORSE than communism! And I’m pointing out the fact that Americans are TERRIFIED of communism but equally willing to accept and live with racism and their slavery-apologist past. As long as it’s NOT communism it’s OK!!!


        Communism is epic $hit, I would know because my family lived through it. But slavery is even effing worse!!! How many millions of people died in the US during the Confederacy in horrible conditions do you think? How many millions were brutally worked or beaten or abused to death? You’ll never even know because they weren’t considered human enough to be recorded and remembered, they were possessions with no free will of their own. HORRIBLE. Human beings were treated and considered as chattel. That’s what great old America is built upon. But sure lets run away from this by mentioning communism and saying hey at least it’s not Russia.

        Right it’s not communism because if it were then white people would be under equal threat, because communism is color blind and treats everyone as $hit equally (except for the privileged minority in power). Guess that’s why most Americas are so afraid of communism. Whatever threatens white people is the scariest of all.

    • magnoliarose says:

      It is the choice of a privately owned theater. They can do what they want with their own property.
      If you want to address the communist party I think they have a website.

      You do realize the cold war is over right? No need to be so afraid of communism anymore.
      The United States democracy will survive without statues of dead guys who betrayed our country and not watching a movie in one theater in Tennessee. It shall be tough to survive without Confederate monuments and one showing of the film that explains the meaning of life (in such remarkable detail) but with Yankee grit and determination, we can save our democracy from utter ruin.

  30. Grandjen says:

    Not my type of movie at all, never has been. I haven’t ever actually sat through the whole thing. If it’s B&W and “classic”, for me the easy choice is a Marx Bros picture. Groucho remains one of my heros…


    I’m Southern born and bred, and I can attest to this GWTW movie having a very special place in Southern white racists’ hearts. Particularly women. GWTW is the original Confederacy Porn. My racist grandmother lived and breathed that movie; it was absolute Historical Truth to her. She said over and over that slaves didn’t mind being slaves until the Evil North came along and ruined all the fun… or whatever. Like she would know… I mean even as a kid I’m like wait you weren’t anywhere close to being born… She didn’t live through that period obviously but she always talked like she did. It was bizarre….it was like she attached herself emotionally to the film as some kind of substitute for reality-?

    I really never got into that movie at all, except
    I do remember Carol Burnett making fun of it on her show, converting curtains into a dress like Scarlet did, except leaving the curtain rod hilariously in the design…

  31. Miss Jupitero says:

    I didn’t see it until I was in college. Based upon how everyone raved about it, I went in ready for an epic romance. Holy shit was that film disturbing. Racism, the KKK, prison labor, spousal abuse, rape. Gaaaaaaaahhhhhh. I was horrified.

  32. Johanna says:

    Gone with the Wind is very feminist and Scarlett is like Carrie in Sex and the City. Great historical movie also and everyone can learn about history and past mistakes – except Kaiser and other die hard-feminists…
    I love the movie and the dresses and I’m also a feminist 😁

  33. A.Key says:

    I agree with the theater’s decision. Having said that, isn’t gone with the wind basically like any BBC period drama/historical movie which glorifies the rich privileged aristocracy and romanticizes their way of life while simultaneously glossing over the fact that they were fueled by feudalism and abuse of poor peasants deprived of their rights and doomed to live a horrible short life while they feed the noblesse?

  34. wood dragon says:

    Scarlett O’Hara is closer to an anti-heroine like Becky Sharp than a straight forward heroine.
    I am a westerner and have always been wholly on the side of the Union, so whenever they reference Sherman in GWTW, I went “Go get ‘Em! ” He said “War is hell” and he was damned determined to teach them a lesson about the costs of treachery.

    • jwoolman says:

      I don’t think we should encourage scorched earth policies such as Sherman’s. His excuse was that he wanted to shorten the war. Yeah, we keep hearing that one again and again, just with more and more powerful technology. It didn’t impress me when the US nuked Japan, either. Or all the other bombings of cities and clean water supplies and other things civilians need since then.

      We need to hold such people as Sherman back, not honor them. No excuses.

  35. wood dragon says:

    Oh and lest anyone forget Disney hasn’t re-released Song of the South since I was a kid. That film has been permanently archived precisely because of its troublingly oblique reference to slavery.

  36. Miss Jupitero says:

    Public Service Announcement:

    The Memphis theatre decided not to show Gone With the Wind. This is not censorship, nor have they “banned” Gone With the Wind. (They have no power to “ban” btw– they can only decide what they will show or promote.)

    Strange as this may seem to some people posting in this thread, the theatre had the right under the First Amendment to decide what films they want to show or not show and to talk about why. That’s all free expression, which also covers the right to criticize a film or vote with one’s feet. Are you suggesting that they should not have this right?

    Censorship is when the government steps in and tells the theatre what to show or not show, or arrests people for their ideas. This is not what is happening here.

  37. Tig says:

    Have to put in a word for Leslie Howard- agreed, he was miscast. But after this movie, he enlisted in the RAF and was lost on a mission. I can never watch any of his movies without thinking of that, nor that Clark Gable lost his wife Carole Lombard in a plane crash while she was barnstorming the country encouraging folks to buy war bonds during WW II. This is not an endorsement of GWTW by any means, but just a sad footnote to these particular actors.
    And Vivian Leigh is so gorgeous in the header photo.

  38. Leigh says:

    I absolutely loved this movie growing up and my prom dress was even a replica of the maroon dressing gown Scarlett wore when Rhett, arguably, semi-raped her. I’ve always loved Scarlett for being an unabashedly, albeit deeply flawed, strong woman, but viewing the book and movie with adult eyes it’s just impossible not to see that the whole thing is racist.

    I’ll never not love the costumes and certain elements of the story and movie, but I definitely won’t defend it and given what’s happening in the country currently I support people demanding it not be aired at theaters.

  39. seesittellsit says:

    I think it’s important to be able to acknowledge well-made art and separate it from its origins. We get this in music re Wagner a lot. GWTW is a fantastically made film and utilized incredible new feats of special effects and backdrops and painted in scenery. You don’t have to agree with its point of view to acknowledge that or watch it as such. Wagner’s “Ring Cycle” undoubtedly has racialist undercurrents (what a surprise!) but would you necessarily hear that just listening to the “Forest Murmurs” section of “Siegfried”? I don’t think so.

    Mitchell wrote this in the 1930s, and yes, it glorifies a certain view that the South still had of itself. But it’s also fantastically well-written: it’s an object lesson in how not-great lit can still contain characters who leap off the page.

    Stravinsky was virulently anti-Semitic. So was Chopin. So were many Russian composers, since anti-Semitism was a deeply embedded part of Russian culture at the time. I’ve seen a Guardian music critic call one of my very favorite pieces, Mussorgsky’s “Pictures at an Exhibition” anti-Semitic (I think he was off his rocker in this regard, but that’s beside the point).

    Artists are mostly flawed humans, not especially evolved ones. If we start ditching cultural riches because of their point of view, we’ll find ourselves looking at a very denuded landscape.

    I’m always a bit alarmed when socio-political norms are applied to art. Wagner was a racist louse but am I going to state that because of that, all recordings of the Ring Cycle (which Tolkien borrowed heavily from for his own famous trilogy, although Tolkien was not remotely anti-Semitic) should be burnt in the town square and no one should ever hear another note of it?


    • Nicole (the Cdn One) says:

      No one is saying you can’t watch it and enjoy it or that another theatre can’t show it, but just as Jewish musicians may decide not to play any Chopin or Stravinsky, so this theatre may decide not to show GWTW. You are conflating two very different principles. This is not about burning art or censoring it or dictating what must be done. It is about an independent theatre making a decision about what it best for it – that is the exact opposite of censoring art. If you support the right of the artist to make what they choose, you must support the right of those who choose not to support or appreciate it.

      • seesittellsit says:

        @Nicole – fair points. Wagner is still a problematical issue for bodies like the Israel Philharmonic, and I don’t blame them one bit. I think it is interesting that Daniel Barenboim, himself Jewish-Argentinian, and who loves Wagner’s music, has been instrumental in trying to get Wagner back into the public repertoire in Israel. The IPO leave it to individual musicians whether to play or not if it is (cautiously) programmed, as you rightly suggest.

        I also understand an individual theatre suspending the showing because of recent events, but I am also concerned that it will set a precedent for a film that, as filmmaking, deserves its place in American cinema, just as John Ford’s “The Searchers” does – that’s hardly a PC point of view, but nevertheless a towering piece of filmmaking.

        So I think it is precedent that is concerning me, but I hear your points.

    • Kitten says:

      “I’m always a bit alarmed when socio-political norms are applied to art.”

      Generally-speaking, I share your concern. However, as numerous commenters pointed out above, this was a decision made by a private business and it was one made in light of recent events that have amplified already-existing tensions and fears.

      People still have the option to watch the movie if they want to, just not at this particular theater. If you think about it, a private business deciding that this movie is problematic during this time in our country isn’t too different than me or anyone else saying that we refuse to watch the movie because we find the content revolting, uncomfortable, or just plain uninteresting.

      I do hear where you’re coming from in terms of protecting artistic expressions, regardless of whether we want to hear the story that they are here to tell us. But I think we are all smart enough to take it case-by-case–context, timing, audience, location, etc are all important–and I’m certain that any good artist would understand and agree with that.

    • Nicole (the Cdn One) says:

      @seesittellsit. Thanks for such an interesting and civil discussion. If it was an institutional decision, I would share your concern. I guess I just see this as an extension of individual free choice. I think some individuals can separate art and political issues and others can’t or choose not to and the lines fluctuate for everyone. I think instead of that creating a denuded landscape, it actually creates a richer texture because (among those open-minded enough) it creates the opportunity to have this exact discussion. And I think companies/corporations are entitled to draw a moral line the same way individuals are. Where we are in entire agreement is that institutions of the state (and to that I include institutions funded by the state) cannot and should not apply socio-political norms to art.

      • seesittellsit says:

        @Nicole – yes, I think it’s a question of where the line is drawn between private choice and public endorsement, you clarified that nicely. I read the book in my mid-teens and I don’t think I was ever philosophically seduced by its view of the south and slavery, only by the characters and the immediacy of the writing.

        You know, this discussion reminds me of the background to Eliza Kazan’s “On the Waterfront”. It is such a moving film with such iconic performances, and yet it was made partly as a justification for ratting people out, because Kazan did just that before the House UnAmerican Activities Committee during the disgraceful McCarthy era. Many in Hollywood never forgave him and when Kazan got the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Oscars, many in the audience refused to join the standing ovation he got.

        I understood their anger completely, and yet once the film starts and I hear that mournful score by Leonard Bernstein begin, I just get lost in the thing itself.

        And yet, who could defend Kazan’s actions?

      • magnoliarose says:


        It is like the films of Leni Riefenstahl. She was a propaganda filmmaker for Hitler’s regime yet her film making was groundbreaking in many ways for aesthetics and technique. But she was associated with Nazis so there is conflict about her films, and she paid the price after the war, she was branded a Nazi sympathizer and couldn’t find support to make films.
        I am not in support of destroying art made by deeply flawed individuals. Picasso was a malignant narcissistic misogynist but his brilliance can’t be denied.
        Of course, there is a line but it has more to do with the content or execution of their art than the character of the artist.

  40. Moptop says:

    Love it or hate it, the movie will always have a place in history, as much for what went on behind the scenes as in them. Gable took action on behalf of the extras on set when it came to segregated bathrooms and was good friends with Hattie McDaniel to the extent that he refused to attend the Oscars the year she was nominated and won if she wasn’t allowed to attend. I can’t think of any of today’s “movie stars” that have risked their stick neck out like Gable did during and after the making of this film.

  41. A says:

    Look, my opinion on a lot of “problematic” media is a lot stricter than most people’s, and I’m generally not a person who buys the whole, “But it’s free speech!” argument a lot of the time either, because it’s increasingly being co-opted by some seriously horrible elements in our society. But I figured that EVERYONE knew Gone With The Wind was pretty bad?? I mean? I never watched it or read the book particularly because I thought it was going to be a decent adaptation of what the South was like? Everything about the book is vastly irredeemable, including its characters, and who doesn’t know that today? If it were a lesser known, less commercialized work, then yeah, I get it’ll be subject to more scrutiny. But GWTW has been criticized and scrutinized for its content from the day of its serialization, to the day the movie was released, to today. It’s very popular and very polarizing from the day it was written, so? I honestly don’t get what’s going to be accomplished by calling off a screening of a movie that everyone who has a decent head on their shoulders would know is awful. There are better ways to combat idiots who romanticize the South and slavery (by extension) than by going after a movie that’s so overexposed.

  42. Erica_V says:

    Hot take – I have never seen this movie.

    • seesittellsit says:

      @Erica-v, well, it’s BIG BIG BIG. I think they restored it recently so the Technicolor is refurbished. Plunkett’s costumes alone are worth a viewing. Visually and musically, the film is stunning.

      Interesting Factoid: Gable couldn’t dance to save his life. In the scene in which he and Scarlett waltz at the fundraising ball early in the war, Gable is on a swaying platform so that he looks as if he is leading Scarlett expertly across the floor.

      Depressing Factoid: on PBS a few months ago, they talked about a study in which close to half of Americans asked couldn’t place the dates of the Civil War, and an alarming number placed it in the early 20th century.

      Hence my fear of losing history.

  43. Ozogirl says:

    I own the DVD and recently watched it again with fresh eyes. It…definitely has it’s moments…but I still love it and I’m not ashamed.

  44. GMonkey says:

    It’s a well-made movie as far as most of the acting, costumes, music, etc. It is an example of “art” I believe, which can be problematic, provocative, and emotionally ugly. Considering what we know about the theater and the neighborhood, I think that they absolutely made a prudent decision not to show the film at this time.

    I think that movies like this can have a lot of value when presented in a certain manner. For instance, I think that having a panel discussion before and after the film would be great. Film critics, comedians, political commentators, historians, and local citizens discussing the merits and the faults of the film and its impact on the time compared with our evolution as a society would be really interesting.

    I agree with Kitten that there’s a big difference between films and Confederate statues. I can’t imagine being a POC and every day seeing a statue dedicated to someone who was willing to fight to the death so that I could remain someone’s property. I suppose it would be like driving down “Women Are Worthless Slags Hwy” every day for work. Or living on “Get Your Stupid Butt Back in the Kitchen Blvd.”

    As a white woman who has experienced plenty of sexual discrimination, but zero racial discrimination of any significance, I’m not about to tell POC what they should or should not be offended by.

  45. Helen Smith says:

    I enjoy Gone with the Wind with the same understanding that I bring to old Looney Tunes cartoons. It reflects the attitudes of the time but still is a brilliant representative of its genre- the movie epic.

    Watch some old Looney Tunes cartoons you will see the same racial beliefs, attitudes toward violence and sexism that makes GWTW problematic by today’s moral standards but as a representative of the cartoon genre, Looney Tunes are must watch viewing.

    If we decide or don’t decide to watch old movies or read classic books based on whether or not they reflect modern values, the canon of great culture is going to shrink because most of it hasn’t aged well in that area.

    A hundred years from now how much of our culture is going to reflect the values of 2117? There is no way of knowing. We don’t have a crystal ball. Even progressive ideas may be seen as lacking a hundred years from now. Kind of like when you find out that Abraham Lincoln supported the idea of sending freed slaves back to Africa to Liberia. WTH? That from the man who freed the slaves. Even heroes that stand up reasonably well a century plus later like Lincoln weren’t perfect by today’s moral standards.

  46. Lurker says:

    For me, as a non-American, it’s the context that matters. A screening of GWTW here in the UK is a much less heightened environment than a screening in the South, in Trump’s America, with Nazi rallies happening just a few hundred miles away.

    Outside the US we can look at GWTW abstractly as a piece of history and propaganda, the same way we watch something like the equally jingoistic and propaganda-laden Henry V. We’re removed from it (perhaps too removed; Britain certainly has plenty of blood on its hands from the slave trade). Contemporary America is so steeped in jingoism, bipartisanship and racial issues, and there are still so many people invested in the myth and propaganda GWTW portrays. Maybe it’s not that the movie is bad, but it’s a case of not here, not now.

  47. Spike says:

    Aaaah!!! I just lost my comment.

    I was going to comment as soon as it was posted but like got in the way.

    I saw this movie in the 80s. I was a child of the 60s. Multiple people told me that I “had” to see it since it is a film classic.

    I hate that movie with the intensity of a thousand suns. The romanticized depiction of the Confederacy was repulsive. I’ve seen a variety of movies classic & those set in different periods of time. I suspend my disbelief; go along for the ride. The mawkishness portrayal of the Civil War and Reconstruction was vile.

    I especially dislike the Stepin Fetching like performance of Prissy. Brain bleed. I don’t blame the actress. Based on the director Victor Fleming’s directoring history and style the responsibility was his.

    Some folks will equate the cancelation with political correctioness or on SJW) Social Justice Warriors).

    However the city council just voted to remove Confederate monuments. These are local issues (states, cities, towns. Everyone needs to SFU and leave it to local communities. Pinocchio is the champion of returning any problematic issues to the statees. He needs to sit down.

    Based on current events Gone with the Wind is a polarizing issue. A business has a right to make their own decisions. Based on my work experiences in business, and government it would be ill-advised for them to move forward with the screening. It’s ridiculously that it’s gotten so out of control.

  48. jwoolman says:

    It’s not censorship to just decide now is not the time for a public reshowing of a particular film. New movies also sometimes are delayed because they hit too close to home concerning a recent tragic event.

    Anybody who wants to watch Gone with the Wind can see it any time. You can buy a new or used copy in various formats now for less than the cost of a movie. You probably can get it various ways through online services also.

  49. anon1 says:

    Looking at it as an indian, the theater should have displayed the movie. Sometimes it’s important for people to see a movie to viscerally experience how awful racism was. For instance, all the bbc raj shoes pretty much show indians as children needing white colonials and specially women to redeem us and civilize us, never mind our complex civilization. It makes me so angry every time i watch them, but i would never ban it from my theater, if i had one.

  50. erbs says:

    It’s a great film, came out the same year as Wizard of Oz. It’s a piece of film history. Anyone who reads GWTW and thinks it “glamorizes” the South or whatever, has not read it closely. It was a complete indictment of the so-called “great south.” Gadzooks. Frankie says relax.

    • magnoliarose says:

      It does glamorize it.
      Are you unwell? The last part of your post sounds unhinged.
      Frankie says shill and bot.

    • seesittellsit says:

      @erbs – does not glamorize it? Sure – Vivien Leigh, Olivia de Havilland, Clark Gable . . . no glamor there at all. The rotten Yankees plundering and starving the poor former southern aristocrats. The famous pullback scene of half the south’s army laid out in the streets of Atlanta, the soldiers in the hospital writing to their mothers . . . the south’s soldiers walking home and carrying their exhausted brethren . . . Even the cynical Rhett heroically going off to fight for the south at the 11th hour. Not a bit of glamorization.

      And I LIKE the movie.

      troll bot indeed.

  51. anon1 says:

    Something else interesting about the movie is that vivian leigh is of indian descent, but she had to hide it, to become an actress.

    • LAK says:

      This is not true. Or at the very least is an exxageration.

      She was born in India of white Scottish/Irish parents who were working and settled in India at the time. Further examination of said parents’ ancestry and they are firmly from the british isles though maternal great grandma was suspected of being mixed race due to being born during the Indian rebellion of 1857 in a predominantly White Irish settler area of India and being placed in an orphanage.

      Whatever the truth of maternal grandma’s heritage, she was brought up as a white woman, married a Scottish man to produce Vivien’s mother who also married a Scottish man.

      As for Vivien herself, her life was golden. She was brought up in the life of a white settler child in India before being sent to boarding school. There was no question about her background or ethnicity and she never hid her origins in India. Her life in Britain and Hollywood was smooth sailing. Reading her biographies shows a life unencumbered by difficulty of any sort except one area. Her health. She was bi-polar. To a severe extent such that she was often treated with electric shock therapy in later life. This aspect was hidden from the public, possibly even most friends.

    • seesittellsit says:

      Er, with that face Leigh didn’t have to hide a damn thing except her oddly outsized hands, about which she was extremely sensitive.

  52. Shannon says:

    Been years since I’ve seen this movie. I was a kid, and I definitely missed a lot of things that would make me cringe now. I homeschool my son (no, not for religious reasons) and decided to have a ‘Little House on the Prairie’ summer, right? I was thinking ‘history, literature, cooking, nature, feminism’ what could go wrong? It is definitely not as bad as GWTW, but certainly a lot more explaining than I anticipated about why certain things are problematic. We’ve stuck with it because my kid adores Laura. But he’s like, “Mom? I think Ma is a racist you-know-what.” And she is. My kid is more woke than I was at that age, for sure. But to my credit, I’ve gotten more woke and am teaching him to be woke.

  53. NeoCleo says:

    I read the book when I was very young (12) and enjoyed it. Read it again about ten years later and realized that it is not particularly well-written and have no wish to revisit it. I feel the same way about the movie.

  54. Luci Lu says:

    For a long time, I was never able, or interested enough to watch this movie from beginning to end. Then, about five years ago, I read that Hattie McDaniel, who won the best supporting actress Oscar for playing actress Vivian Leigh’s maid/slave/servant in the movie, was not allowed to appear at the opening night movie showing in Atlanta, GA, because she was Black. Also, I read where the actress Butterfly McQueen, famous for saying, “I don’t know nothing about birthing no babies”, and promptly got the shit slapped out of her by the actress, Vivian Leigh, recalled having to endure those slaps for at least ten retakes. She said that at each retake, Vivian slapped her harder than the last time, and that Vivian’s handprint stayed on her face for a day or two. These facts made me actually realize how much prejudice and bullshit Black people, who just wanted to act and be a creative part of the arts and Showbiz, had to deal with. It also delights me to read that Vivian Leigh died a drunken, drugged out, has been bitch. I sincerely hope that’s true.