Posts Tagged ‘gone with the wind’

1. Casablanca (1943)

Other Nominated Films:
For Whom the Bell Tolls, Heaven Can Wait, The Human Comedy, In Which We Serve, Madame Curie, The More the Merrier, The Ox-Bow Incident, The Song of Bernadette, Watch on the Rhine

Casablanca is a unique film in many ways. For one, it only won three Academy Awards. You have films like Ben-Hur which won 11 Oscars, All About Eve which was nominated for 14 and won 6, and plenty of other films that were nominated and won more Oscars than Casablanca. Also, Casablanca is a relatively short film — the shortest of the Top 10 on this countdown (should note that Marty is the shortest film in history to win Best Picture at 90 minutes). Then, you have epic films like Ben-Hur (again), Lawrence of Arabia, Gone with the Wind, and all of them are great in their own ways. And finally, Casablanca was nominated for two acting awards, but came out empty handed. Humphrey Bogart would go on to lose to Paul Lukas in Watch on the Rhine and Claude Rains would lose to Charles Coburn in The More the MerrierCasablanca‘s storyline revolves around Rick Blaine (Bogart), a cynical American living in Casablanca in 1941. Rick runs a swank nightclub/gambling den known as “Rick’s Café Américain.” The joint attracts people of all kinds: the Vichy French, the Italians, and the Nazi’s for example. It is also a place where refugees go when trying to escape to the United States — as well as the men who are trying to catch them. Rick tries to keep neutral and detached in all matters involving the war. Petty crook Signor Ugarte (Peter Lorre) comes into Rick’s Cafe and brags to Rick about having “letters of transit” that were obtained through the murder of two German couriers. The significance of these papers is that they allow those who possess them the ability to travel freely around German-controlled Europe and into the neutral land of Portugal from where they could book passage to the United States. These papers would be considered a treasure by any refugees looking to get out of Casablanca.  Ugarte intends to sell the letters to the highest bidder at the club that night. Unfortunately, he is arrested by the local police under the command of corrupt Vichy Captain Louis Renault (Rains). Ugarte dies in custody without revealing to anyone that he had given the letters to Rick. The film really begins to move when Rick’s ex-lover and her husband arrive at the Cafe: Ilsa Lund (Ingrid Bergman) and Victor Laszlo (Paul Henreid). The reason for Rick’s cynical and bitter attitude lies in his past with Ilsa, and this is where I feel I should end.  For those of you who have seen Casablanca, you know that the rest is history…you know that this is the greatest love story ever told on the big screen. For those of you who have yet to see it…well…what are you waiting for? Casablanca is on seven of the American Film Institute‘s top 100 lists: #2 on Movies (although on the revised list it was bumped down to 3), #37 on Thrills, #1 on Passions, #4 on Heroes and Villains (Rick Blaine), #2 on Songs (As Time Goes By), #5, 20, 28, 32, 43, and 67 on Quotes, and #32 on Cheers. But that’s not all — in 2005, Casablanca was named one of the 100 greatest films over the last 80 years by Time.com (the films were not ranked), and in 2006, the Writers Guild of America, West voted Casablanca the best screenplay of all time in its 101 Greatest Screenplays list. I actually rented a book that contained Casablanca‘s screenplay, and I really have to say that it is truly a piece of art. I’ve read about 50 screenplays over the past few years and there are none that even come close to it. I can go on and on about how fantastic Casablanca truly is, but I think you understand what I’m saying. There’s only one way to end this piece, and that’s by giving you a fun fact. One of the most famous magazine publishers and night club owners was inspired by Casablanca. Who is it? you ask? The one and only Hugh Hefner and his Playboy Clubs.*


Winner of 3 Oscars, Nominated for 8
Best Director – Michael Curtiz (WON)
Best Picture – Warner Bros. (WON)
Best Writing, Screenplay – Julius J. Epstein, Philip G. Epstein, Howard Koch (WON)
Best Actor in a Leading Role – Humphrey Bogart
Best Actor in a Supporting Role – Claude Rains
Best Cinematography, Black-and-White – Arthur Edeson
Best Film Editing – Owen Marks
Best Music, Scoring of a Dramatic or Comedy Picture – Max Steiner

(#5) Rick: Here’s looking at you, kid.
(#20) Rick: Louis, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.
(#28) Ilsa: Play it, Sam. Play “As Time Goes By.”
(#32) Captain Renault: Round up the usual suspects.
(#43) Rick: We’ll always have Paris.
(#67) Rick: Of all the gin joints, in all the towns, in all the world, she walks into mine.

Source of Hugh Hefner Note: http://www.nbc.com/the-playboy-club/video/hef-on-the-history-of-the-clubs/1347658/

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3. Gone with the Wind (1939)

Other Nominated Films:
Dark Victory, Goodbye, Mr. Chips, Love Affair, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, Ninotchka, Of Mice and Men, Stagecoach, The Wizard of Oz, Wuthering Heights

One movie won 10 Academy Awards, holding the record for most wins until 1959.  One movie is the longest film on my list, standing at a whopping 234 minutes. And one movie is the highest-grossing film of all time*.  These honors belong to the one, the only, Gone with the Wind. Although incredibly racist at times, Gone with the Wind tells an amazing story of love, loss and war so eloquently that you forget you’re watching a movie — you become so completely immersed in the film that you feel as if you are there.  I remember the first time I watched it.  I received the film from Netflix; normally every movie comes in one sleeve…not this one. Gone with the Wind came with two DVDs just for the movie itself…I was terrified, thinking it would be a daunting task. But, I went on to watch it with a few friends and I absolutely loved it. We did take an intermission though…far too long. Anywho! I will admit…I feel extremely intimidated writing about Gone with the Wind — it’s such a big movie that it’s hard even just describing the plot.  I will do my best though!  The story begins on the eve of the Civil War at Tara, a Georgia cotton plantation owned by Gerald O’Hara (Thomas Mitchell).  O’Hara’s exceptionally pretty daughter, Scarlett (Vivien Leigh), is flirting with the Tarleton brothers, Brent (Fred Crane) and Stuart (George Reeves). They are talking about the likelihood of war breaking out between the North and the South — a topic Scarlett finds extremely boring.  To keep Scarlett amused, the brothers start talking about the next ball, and then share a secret with Scarlett: Ashley Wilkes (Leslie Howard) is going to marry his cousin Melanie Hamilton (Olivia de Havilland).  Unaware that Scarlett is secretly in love with Ashley, the brothers go on to say that the engagement announcement will take place the next day at a barbecue on Ashley’s plantation, Twelve Oaks.  It is at the barbecue when we’re first introduced to Rhett Butler (Clark Gable). Rhett isn’t exactly popular amongst the party guests…he was turned out of West Point, disowned by his Charleston family, and he openly states that the South would have no chance against the North in the upcoming war. As the girls are taking their mid-afternoon naps, Scarlett sneaks away to the library to be alone with Ashley and confess her love to him.  Ashley says that he feels the same towards Scarlett, but claims that he and Melanie are more compatible. Scarlett accuses Ashley of misleading her and slaps Ashley. Ashley leaves the room, and Scarlett throws a vase at the wall in anger.  Rhett Butler suddenly pops up from the couch where he’d been resting, and reveals that he overheard the entire conversation. Scarlett is furious.  As Scarlett leaves the library, the barbecue is disrupted by some very important news: the war has begun. The men rush to enlist and the ladies all…well…they wake up from their naps (wish there was something more dramatic to add here).  As Scarlett watches Ashley kiss Melanie goodbye, Melanie’s brother Charles (Rand Brooks), who Scarlett flirted with earlier that day, asks Scarlett to marry him. Angry that Ashley rejected her, Scarlett accepts despite that fact that she does not love Charles.  They are married before he leaves to fight.  If I remember correctly, I believe I have summarized the first 20-30 minutes of the movie. It’s more than I expected to tell, but then there’s so much more to watch if you haven’t seen the movie yet. Alright, give me a few moments to catch my breath.

Okay I’m back. Gone with the Wind is such a good movie, and there’s so much I could talk about! I could talk about the wonderful acting, the fantastic script, the mesmerizing music, the beautiful scenery…but I won’t go into all of that. If you’ve seen the movie…you know all of this. So I’ll just tell you the impact the film has had on the movie industry. Gone with the Wind is one of the highest ranked movies on numerous American Film Institute Top 100 Lists: #4 in 100 Movies, #2 in 100 Passions, #1, #31, and #59 in Movie Quotes (I’ll post all three below), #2 in Film Scores, #43 in Cheers, and #4 in Epic Films. Gone with the Wind was the first film to receive more than five Oscars. On March 22, 2011, ABC aired a television special: Best in Film: The Greatest Movies of Our Time — Gone with the Wind ranked #1 for Greatest On-Screen Kiss, #1 for Greatest Line, #3 for Greatest Film Character (Scarlett O’Hara), and #1 for Best Film beating out The Wizard of Oz, The Godfather, E.T. and my #1 film on this list. I’m going to be completely honest now, I’m wiped out. I know that there’s so much more I could say about Gone with the Wind, but I think you’ll understand if I just say: Gone with the Wind will always be one of the greatest films to ever hit the big screen.

Nominated for 13 Oscars, Winner of 8
Honorary Award – William Cameron Menzies – For outstanding achievement in the use of color for the enhancement of dramatic mood in the production of Gone with the Wind
Technical Achievement Award – R.D. Musgrave – For pioneering in the use of coordinated equipment in the production Gone with the Wind
Best Actress in a Leading Role – Vivien Leigh (WON)
Best Actress in a Supporting Role – Hattie McDaniel (WON) [Became the first African American to be nominated for and win an Oscar]
Best Art Direction – Lyle R. Wheeler (WON)
Best Cinematography, Color – Ernest Haller, Ray Rennahan (WON)
Best Director – Victor Fleming (WON)
Best Film Editing – Hal C. Kern, James E. Newcom (WON)
Best Picture – Selznick International Pictures (WON)
Best Writing, Screenplay – Sidney Howard (WON)
Best Actor in a Leading Role – Clark Gable
Best Actress in a Supporting Role – Olivia de Havilland
Best Effects, Special Effects – Jack Cosgrove (photographic), Fred Albin (sound), Arthur Johns (sound)
Best Music, Original Score – Max Steiner
Best Sound, Recording – Thomas T. Moulton (Samuel Goldwyn SSD)

(#1) Rhett Butler: Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn.
(#31) Scarlett: After all… tomorrow is another day!
(#59) Scarlett: As God is my witness, I’ll never be hungry again.

* — Source: http://boxofficemojo.com/alltime/adjusted.htm

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