Gone with the Wind tribute – my five favorite scenes

IMDb is featuring Gone with the Wind‘s 70th anniversary edition today, complete with the lush Rhett/Scarlett bright red background. I already owned the 4-disc collector’s edition, but seeing the comprehensive anniversary set on the Warner Video site is enough to make me want to get another one!

Thanks to my late mother, I was exposed to this movie when I was a wee girl, probably around 12 or 13. Barely spoke any English, she pretty much had to interpret the gist of the story to me. But a movie like Gone with the Wind, with its rich history and cultural significance — not to mention the intricate love story — isn’t an easy movie to grasp for a teenybopper, save for the gorgeous scenery (by that I also mean Rhett Butler) and pretty costumes. Thus, it was later in college when I sort of discern what the movie was all about.

Here are some of my favorite scenes from this quintessential Hollywood epic that shall always remain timeless:

The library scene

The first of many whiny moments of Scarlett & Ashley. I reckon Scarlett never had a thing for bad boys, as the second Rhett rose up from the sofa, my heart went pit-a-pat. Gable epitomized the ‘charming bad boy’ to a tee, and he did it with such nonchalant grace that’s so swoon-worthy. Their relentless banters are one of the most delightful battle-of-the-sexes scenarios ever captured in cinema. (Sorry I couldn’t find a clip that can be embedded)

If God is my witness

The most iconic scene of the entire movie involving the non-human star of the movie that is Tara. It’d be scandalous to omit this from any GWTW favorite list. Sure it’s arguably cliched and emotionally-manipulative, but darn it, when that score came on and she stood against that breathtaking sunset framed by the giant oak tree, I always get goose-bumps!

You need kissing badly

The audacity of seducing — and proposing — a woman on her husband’s funeral is shocking even by today’s standard. But Rhett is so darn suave and charming, I almost wished I had been as fortunate as Scarlett to be on the receiving end of this tantalizing encounter.

Frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn

There’s little wonder why this quote was voted as the #1 movie quote by the American Film Institute (out of 100), as well as the #2 of “The 100 Greatest Movie Lines” by Premiere magazine in 2007. But the line that precedes it is equally great:

Scarlett: No! I only know that I love you.
Rhett Butler: That’s your misfortune. [Rhett turns to walk down the stairs]

Even before he said the “I don’t give a damn” line, we know he’s made up his mind.

Melanie & Ashley reunited after the war

Unfortunately I couldn’t find the exact scene of Melanie running after Ashley and Scarlet’s expression as the two blissfully embraced and kissed. But it’s such a heart-wrenching yet sweet scene of what Scarlet is always jealous of Melanie for.

I probably don’t do this movie justice by listing only five scenes, so if you have other faves you’d like to share, let’s hear it!

16 thoughts on “Gone with the Wind tribute – my five favorite scenes

  1. madhatter21

    I’m almost ashamed to admit that this film didn’t do much for me, but I’m cretainly glad I saw it and couldn’t possibly deny its place in movie history.

    The scene that always sticks out for me, is when Scarlett gets to the Confederate field hospital, and the camera pans up to show us the rows and rows (and rows!) of dead and wounded.

    It’s such a powerful shot, and really goes a long way to put a visual to the carnage the American Civil War caused.

    Great post!

    1. Hey, to each their own madhatter, no shame in not liking something. There are masterpieces I do not care for or simply have no interest in seeing, either.

      My buddy rockerdad just mentioned the exact scene you described yesterday. Yeah, that’s powerful stuff. I learned that they used a bunch of dummies tied up with strings that extras would pull to move their body parts, it’s amazing they could do what they did without CGI. Right now everything would’ve been computerized.

  2. rockerdad

    Almost forgot about that library scene – definitely a turning point in the film. This film still is the standard for epic hollywood drama. I think every young woman at the time wanted her own “debut” after seeing this. Thanks for posting.

  3. PrairieGirl

    After seeing Hollywoodland, the movie biopic of George Reeves, TVs original Superman, I found out he was in GWTW. So was curious to see him in it. There’s just a glimpse of him at the beginning, at a party where he was one of several suitors fawning over Scarlett, hoping to get her attention. Not a favorite scene really, just some trivia.

    1. Oh yeah, I remember the scene. I too only realized it after I saw Hollywoodland. It showed how obsessed Scarlett was with Ashley that even with a throng of guys fawning over her, her eyes grew cold as she saw him and Melanie together. There are really too many great scenes in this movie!

  4. It took me three tries to watch this film in its entirety before I fell in love with it. My favorite scenes are the library scene and the scene where he says “Open your eyes and look at me. No, I don’t think I will kiss you. Although you need kissing badly. That’s what’s wrong with you. You should be kissed, and often, and by someone who knows how” (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nACj50uq6_s)

    1. Hi Sherry, glad you love this film as much as I do. I have fond memories watching this with my mother, that’s why it’ll always be close to my heart. Yeah, that scene is great isn’t it? Rhett & Scarlet truly is one of the most iconic Hollywood movie couples!

  5. Fantastic list, you did a great job! However, regarding your latest words… the whole movie is a number of many great scenes. I would also add the very ending of the film, although we may consider it the continuation of the great “frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn” scene, when later Scarlett re-acquires her hope for tomorrow. And “As God is my witness” is fantastic.

    1. Glad you like it, Lesya. Oh yeah, that ending scene is what I love about Scarlet, her sheer survival instinct and the drive to overcome life’s obstacles. She is not a likable character but there are some traits we can admire and learn from. Thanks for your comment!

        1. He..he.. like you, I’m actually fond of her despite her flaws 🙂 I really admire the way Vivien Leigh portrayed Scarlet, too.

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