Final Essay, Intro to Film Eng 225

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An Analysis of the film Gone With the Wind
Catherine M. Piraino
Instructor Pal
December 17, 2012

An Analysis of the film Gone with the Wind
Rarely has a film impacted an audience and held the test of time as the film Gone with the Wind. I have always been curious if director, Victor Fleming and producer, David O. Selznick and screenplay writer, Sidney Howard knew what they were creating a masterpiece and how this film would have such an enormous impact on audiences for years to come. Interestingly enough there were some who thought the film should not be made, as Irving Thalberg said to Louis B. Meyer in 1936, “Forget it Louis, no Civil War picture ever made a nickel” (Ten Films that Shook the World). This romantic melodrama was released in January, 1940, yet it was at the 1939 Academy Awards that Gone with the Wind was nominated for thirteen awards, the eight awards that were won were Best Picture, Director, Actress, Supporting Actress, Screenplay, Color Cinematography, Art Direction, and Editing (Ten Films that Shook the World). ”If the total income for Gone with the Wind were to be adjusted for inflation, it would be considered the most successful of all time” (Ten Films that Shook the World). When you think of “Gone with the Wind” from a film criticism standpoint, it’s hard to judge it by the Auteur Theory, which states that the director is supreme overlord of a films artistic merit because in the case of Gone with the Wind, Fleming takes a back seat to Selznick. The film chronicles the grandeur and splendor of the Old South, how it crumbles during the Civil War and the New South during reconstruction. The characters are basically simple folk living a simple life until their world is shattered by the Civil War and this devastation creates a new world, one which will require courage and resilience to survive. Selznick genius in the aspects of cinematography lighting, sound, costumes and societal impact and genre...
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