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Best Shot Collection: Gone With the Wind (Pt. 2)

Previously on Hit Me With Your Best Shot - Gone With the Wind Pt 1

We return now to wind-swept Georgia and the tale of the most famous southern belle of all time, Scarlett O'Hara Wilkes Kennedy Butler. We've lost a few Best Shot participants this time around (people don't love Part 2 as much I guess - a group which includes me) or they're just running late (which includes me). I'm still debating between a few images and too tired to think any more. I'll decide tomorrow. Tomorrow is another day!

Click on any of the Best Shot choices to read the corresponding articles 

The marriage of Scarlett and Rhett is its own version of Sherman's march... a path of destruction in their wake.
-The Entertainment Junkie 

There is something you love better than me, though you may not know it.
-Ashley Wilkes for The Film Experience

a glimpse of reality; her funhouse mirror is cracking

My favorite section of the film [is] the hardcore suffering part, where everyone is starving and filthy and Scarlett has to wear the same dress for 18 months... 
-Video Valhalla 

 Certainly a movie you love wouldn’t take you two weeks to watch... 
-Pop Culture Crazy

No use trying to sweet talk me. I knows you since I put the first diapers on you.
-Mammy for The Film Experience

 You're a heartless creature. But that's part of your charm.
-Captain Rhett Butler for The Film Experience

One of the great characters and performances in the annals of cinema... 
-Antagony & Ecstasy

Scarlett stands confidently and defiantly. Its the only way she knows how.
-The Film's The Thing 

Nothing modest or matronly will do for this occasion...
-Film Actually 

Here's Our Darling Scarlett."
-Melanie Wilkes for The Film Experience

Melanie as the calm moral centre of the film...
-Lam Chop Chop 

I love the fact that Scarlett’s bedroom has a portrait of Marie Antoinette in it...
- Allison Tooey

Gone with the Wind is my mom’s favorite movie...
-Coco Hits NY

-The Futurist

And that is... the end! Except for my choice. Unless a few stragglers show up. Hope you enjoyed.

Next Tuesday night, September 2nd, our Season Five Finale: THE MATRIX (1999) for Keanu Reeve's 50th Birthday. Why not pick a shot and join us?

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Reader Comments (13)

My mom is obsessed with Gone With the Wind. My name is Kate but (more tellingly) my sister's name is Tara. My childhood home is basically a "best shot" gallery because it is decorated with dozens of commemorative Gone with the Wind plates, which capture different scenes from the movie. My favorite plate would always depend on how I was feeling that day, so these images are way too burned into my consciousness (and associated with random scattered memories of growing up in southern...California) for me to approach them rationally. I sent my mom the article for part 1 and she loved it: especially the Melanie/Scarlet relationship. She says that when she was growing up (1950s) Melanie was a far more popular character and lots of little girls were named after her. Now she's largely forgotten in the massive shadow of Scarlet. We're looking forward to your thoughts on part 2!!

August 27, 2014 | Unregistered Commentercatbaskets

The second half has it's own allure but is missing the great sweeping images of the first so it was a bit tougher to pick a best shot.

Mine is more contextual than visual. Scarlett, Melanie and Mammy are standing on Tara's porch just after Frank Kennedy has finally asked for Suellen's hand and they see another bedraggled soldier coming down the road. Scarlett says she hopes he won't be hungry, Mammy says he will and Melanie prepares to get another plate when suddenly she clutches her throat. Scarlett grabs her wrist and a look of deep concern spreads across her face. Then Melanie breaks free and runs to Ashley, who is the soldier on the path.

It's a small moment but why I love the shot is because it shows that despite Scarlett's repeated indifference to Melanie there is always that underlying level of feeling for her that perhaps Scarlett doesn't even realizes exists in that most complicated relationship.

August 27, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterjoel6

I'm one of those late participants, and agree that there were less shots to choose from this time. I made a bit of a left field choice, but it's because I'm Team Melanie all the way:

August 27, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterLam

Interesting where most participants gravitated, although no one went for any of the iconic staircase shots in the second half with Rhett, Scarlett, Mammy and/or Bonnie Blue, like this one: Three Generations.

My favorite thing about the second half is that it contains some of the finest work of Gable's career.

August 27, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterPaul Outlaw

I technically don't love Part 2 as much as Part 1 either, but man do I love it anyway.

This was my favourite movie growing up (I was that kind of child..). Still pretty high on my all time list.

August 27, 2014 | Unregistered Commentergoran

joel6 - That is a great scene. The way the joy spreads over Melanie's face as she realises it's Ashley is one of Olivia De Havilland's finest moments in the film.

Also, the way Hattie McDaniel says 'He's her husband ain't he,' after stopping Scarlett running after Melanie, sends shivers up my spine every time.

August 27, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterRobMiles

That shot of Scarlett in the red dress entering the party--green eyes showing nothing but defiance--is iconic, and would definitely be a great choice. (I also love her take-no-prisoners expression and line, "You Yankees were here before" on the stairs before she shoots the deserter.)

As Part II goes on and keeps stuffing plot twists in, I think it loses some of its emotional pull (aside from the slow-motion car crash of the Butler's marriage--a uniquely unvarnished portrayal of bitterness, recrimination, and unhappiness). However, if I need a tearjerker moment, I can always go to Mammy's monologue as a witness to the unhappiness, and her praying on her knees--after her being one of the only characters in 3 3/4 hours who never, ever broke, seeing her fall to pieces is devastating. But then there's Melanie's death, and DeHavilland's heart-ripping sweetness and sincerity when she describes Rhett: "Be kind to him...he loves you so." Melanie may not have ever been able to really see Scarlett for who she was, but she absolutely nails Rhett.

August 27, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterDback

Some nice selections, as always, though it's always really weird when multiple people pick the same exact shot. Are they just pulling things off google image search or what?

I suppose the second half isn't as dynamic as the first visually, but all those shadowy scenes late in the film are pretty striking, as I remember. Haven't seen the movie in a long time, though.

August 27, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterRoark

Roark -- i think in this case, that scene is so famous and impossible to forget that why wouldn't peopel pick it? it's so dramatic and she's so beautiful.

RobMiles -YAS. that is a great moment. Hattie McDaniel is so so good in this picture. I don't know why i couldn't see it when i was young and was pissed that Olivia de Havilland hadn't won (cuz i was obsessed with Melanie as a kid watching it)

August 27, 2014 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

I also thought the staircase would be a no brainer for a pick, especially where they fight and Scarlett falls.

Part 2 loses a bit because they glossed over a great deal of the social crimes Scarlett committed which are gone into in more detail on page. Courting while in mourning, working publicly, going out in public while pregnant not to mention driving her own carriage and working while pregnant. They touch on them, but you don't get the same sense of what people thought of her. In the book, these add another layer to the red dress scene as she was already pretty much an outcast and just kept giving them all more and more reasons to hate her and more and more reasons for her to avoid being in their midst.

I always felt Scarlett and Melanie were two sides of the same coin. Scarlett was Mitchell as she wanted to be and be known. Defiant, strong, willful, ambitious, smart.....the savior and protector of herself and her loved ones even if it meant getting her hands dirty and Melanie was the woman Mitchell felt much of her family and society wanted her to be. Compliant, the good little wife, seen but not heard. That was why they were always in close physical proximity, had a strong protective streak towards each other, were each others equal in strength and intellect and were always in each others head through the entire book/film.

August 27, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterHenry

Part 1 is definitely better than Part 2. The first half lets you luxuriate in the visual grandeur of the picture, while the easy pacing masterfully and playfully draws you into the story. The second half feels a bit more rough. They start throwing a lot at you at once: there's one big event after another, much too quickly, with little room for the viewer to breathe. But the buildup toward the finale--Fleming and the other three or four directors got it so right.

It's hard to argue that image of Scarlett in the red dress as best shot: that always takes my breath away. Vivien Leigh's performance has to be the greatest ever.

BTW, Cinemark will be playing Gone With the Wind in theaters as part of its classic series at the end of September. I've seen the remastered version in the theater, and there's nothing like it.

August 27, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterbrookesboy

PS I've always loved the way the shoulders of Scarlett's red dress match Vivien's eyebrows. One of them downcast, and one of them perpetually lifted in a scornful surprise. :-)

August 27, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterDave in Alamitos Beach

I toyed with other shot possibilities but anything other than that shot of her in the burgundy velvet dress just felt like a lie or trying just to be different. that shot is one of my favorites in the entire film and I even had a postcard of it as a kid that I kept on my dresser...too iconic not to pick.

I was also trying to find a good one of scarlett in her dress made of curtains but there's just no good shots. I also love the shot of her at Tara in another red dress as she sits in her newly acquired finery among the dilapidated home - selling her soul in devil red. and I've always loved how tranquil and nostalgic her face is at the end, with tears streaming down as she remembers Tara and says, "Home."

August 27, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterabstew

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