FRANKLY, MY DEAR
“Gone With the Wind” Revisited
By Molly Haskell
The Times's Original Review of the Movie 'Gone With the Wind' (December 20, 1939)
Since Haskell introduced one of the earliest versions of feminist-conscious film criticism in “From Reverence to Rape: The Treatment of Women in the Movies” (1974), feminist criticism hasn’t been very evident in the mainstream media. Haskell gave up regular reviewing in the early ’90s, leaving criticism that seriously examined the big-screen image of women and the popular representation of female social roles to go underground — into academic studies where abstruse, tenure-seeking jargon is used to rebuff popular taste. That makes “Frankly, My Dear” all the more remarkable. It’s Haskell’s feminist perspective that provides insight into a movie most academics won’t touch and current critics dismiss. She disentangles the film’s qualities from the confounding issues of misogyny, racism and intellectual snobbery.
Confronting the legendary headstrong heroine Scarlett O’Hara, Haskell explores the power she exerts on the romantic and political imagination — first as a creation in Margaret Mitchell’s... [continues]
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