Gone With The Wind (1939)

on December 19, 1939 by BOXOFFICE Staff
Classic Reviews Margaret Mitchell's widely known story of the Civil War South, it is assumed, requires no telling. After all this time, "Gone With the Wind," long anticipated and, no doubt, eagerly awaited is ready. The film is a monumental job in every department. It is faithful to the voluminous, and overwritten, novel. It represents dramatic color photography at its apex. It creates in Vivien Leigh, relatively unknown, a star of the very first magnitude who earns that right by the distinguished merit of her many faceted performance as Scarlett O'Hara. The film is constantly magnificent to look upon. In two parts, its first is by far the more arresting and, as such, outdistances the second considerably and definitely tends to emphasize the overlength of the final portion. As it stands, however, this is a significant and magnificent enterprise. Victor Fleming directed.

Immediately it becomes clear that the chief selling approach on "Gone With the Wind" is to announce its date. So much has been written and so much said about this nationally known historical novel that the usual announcement advertising, but always in dignity and with restraint, should be sufficient. If ever an audience might be said to be waiting for a film, this is it. Civil War types of gowns, of course, suggest themselves for usherettes and the same period male garb for ushers. Attention properly could be directed to the enormous sales of the book and much could be done in advance heralding of Vivien Leigh as Scarlett O'Hara. But the mere fact the attraction is booked in your theatre is the keynote. It ought to be more than enough.

At last! "Gone With the Wind." The mighty novel comes to life. MGM 225 mins.

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