January 17, 1940
Genre(s): Drama, Romance, War
Gone with the Wind is considered an American classic. Set during the Civil War, it is both a romance and a commentary on the effects of the Civil War. Through the love affairs of its central characters, the movie also explores the norms of the old South, the emotional and financial devastation of the war, and the opportunities of the new South in the wake of the war. The story centers around Scarlett O'Hara, a Southern belle who uses her charm and wit to seduce men to gain what she wants. Despite the extreme gender inequity of the time period, we are shown through her trials and those of other women, that their intelligence and determination to succeed rivals that of their male counterparts. In fact, in the wake of the war and its destructive aftermath, we witness the rebuilding of Southern society by women. Many of them, including Scarlett, discover an aptitude for business. Scarlett's will to overcome adversity and succeed is the driving force for much of her actions. She is successful, but at cost to her own happiness. When she finally realizes what and who are truly important to her, the damage has already been done.