May 3, 1937: Gone With the Wind Wins the Pulitzer Prize for Literature

These women, so swift to kindness, so tender to the sorrowing, so untiring in times of stress, could be as implacable as furies to any renegade who broke one small law of their unwritten code. This code was simple. Reverence for the Confederacy, honor to the veterans, loyalty to old forms, pride in poverty, open hands to friends and undying hatred to Yankees.

Margaret Mitchell, Gone With the Wind

 

Margaret Mitchell began writing Gone With the Wind in 1926 when she was 26.  The book was published by Macmillan in June of 1936.  By the end of December 1936 the book had sold one million copies even though it had a high price, for the time, of $3.00.  Reviews were generally positive, and thus the tome being awarded a Pulitzer Price in 1937.  The film rights to the book were sold on July 7, 1936 for the then unheard of price of $50,000.00.

 

As of 2010 the book had sold 30 million copies, despite recent attacks on it by individuals amazed that people in the past did not have 21rst century views on race and many other topics.  Ironically, for her time, Mitchell was a racial liberal.  She funded scholarships for black students, for example, at Morehouse College and helped fund the first hospital for blacks in Atlanta.  She became friends with the actress Hattie McDaniel who became the first black to win an Oscar for her role as “Mammy”.

During World War II Mitchell threw herself into the war effort, including raising funds, christening ships and writing letters of support to servicemen.  She died on the evening of August 16, 1949, five days after being run over by a car while she and her husband were on their way to a theater to see a movie.  It was not Gone With the Wind.

 

11

Ban Gone With the Wind?

 

As fellow blogger Paul Zummo noted yesterday:

Once upon a time it took months and even years for the next level of absurdity to be realized. In modern America it only takes hours.
http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2015/03/11/professors-us-flag-symbolizes-racism-should-not-be-displayed-on-campus.html

Now the film critic for The New York Post wants to relegate Gone With the Wind to the museum:

Warner Bros. just stopped licensing another of pop culture’s most visible uses of the Confederate flag — toy replicas of the General Lee, an orange Dodge Charger from “The Dukes of Hazzard’’ — as retailers like Amazon and Walmart have finally backed away from selling merchandise with that racist symbol.

That studio sent “Gone with the Wind’’ back into theaters for its 75th anniversary in partnership with its sister company Turner Classic Movies in 2014, but I have a feeling the movie’s days as a cash cow are numbered. It’s showing on July 4 at the Museum of Modern Art as part of the museum’s salute to the 100th anniversary of Technicolor — and maybe that’s where this much-loved but undeniably racist artifact really belongs. Continue Reading

7

Gone With the Wind and Proud Contemporary Ignorance

Apparently some of the young, in addition to not reading, can’t even be bothered to watch a classic film, even when they purport to have an interest in films.  John Nolte at Breitbart gives us the grim details:

 

 

Monday we learned that a 25 year-old taking graduate-level journalism classes at New York University had no idea what an editorial was. Today we learn that “most” of the students taking a film class at Georgetown University have never seen “Gone with the Wind.”

[W]hen I asked 13 students in a Georgetown University film class if they’d seen it, most either hadn’t seen the film or had seen only parts of it. These students are serious about movies. But a lot of them sided with Mike Minahan, 20, who said when it comes to Gone with the Wind — frankly, he doesn’t give a damn.

“Everything I’ve seen about it says it, like, glorifies the slave era … and I dunno, what’s the point of that? I don’t see that as a good time in history … like, oh, sweet, a love story of people who own slaves.”

The students had two issues with Gone with the Wind: race and rape.

What a relief it is to know that the next generation of film reviewers, writers, and makers will be politically correct, uneducated, narrow-minded provincials completely out of touch with the real world. You know, just like the current crop of film reviewers, writers and makers.

A poll released Monday shows that 73% of Americans consider “Gone with the Wind” one of the best movies ever.

Not only are these close-minded students missing one of the grandest pieces of entertainment ever released in any medium, but a piece of cinema history that will live on long past any of us. In 1939, GWTW was an epic technical achievement. Seventy-five years later, in this age of CGI, producer David O. Selznick’s masterpiece is even more impressive.

Moreover, the idea that GWTW glorifies rape is laughable. Leftists are supposed to be Captains of Nuance and yet they seem incapable of understanding that this so-called rape is in reality the end result of a complicated dance of seduction between Rhett and Scarlett. As far as the film’s backwards portrayal of slaves and blacks, if you’re going to discount and dismiss any art based on current mores and values, you’re nothing more than a modern day Production Code. Continue Reading

1

September 1, 1864: Fall of Atlanta

“You can tell your grandchildren about how you watched the Old South fall one night.”

Rhett Butler to Scarlet O’Hara, Gone With The Wind

With the taking of the last rail line out of Atlanta due to the Union victory at the battle of Jonesborough, go here to read about it, Hood wasted no time in ordering the evacuation of his army from Atlanta.  Many Confederates at the time would have agreed with the fictional Rhett Butler that the fall of Altanta likely meant that the Confederacy was going to lose the War.  Their great hope had been that Lincoln would lose his bid for re-election, and with the capture of Atlanta that hope vanished overnight as it was now clear, North and South, that the Union was winning the War.

By 5:00 PM Hood ordered his troops from Atlanta.  Many of the Confederates sang the romantic ballad Lorena as they marched off, a touching factoid missed by the makers of the film Gone With the Wind in their Atlanta falls sequences.  Continue Reading