Most industry experts were confident that the movie would flop. Rhett and Scarlett have been immortalized in global discourse as archetypical tragic lovers no less iconic or recognizable than many of their Shakespearean antecedents. But these days, the movie is in need of some rehabilitation. Its very popularity and political incorrectness have blinded mainstream critics to its artistry though there are exceptions to the rule, like Molly Haskell, who takes the film seriously.
One thing he did not address, however, was Howard's use of the word, "nigger. When a Production Code Administration employee read Howard's draft inhowever, he flagged it.
Their use could create problems for the industry. He believed the PCA could be convinced of the importance of "nigger" in the script, especially considering that they agreed to the "I don't give a damn" line when Selznick lobbied for it.
The decision not to pursue the use of the word demonstrates both Selznick's awareness of the political tensions surrounding the production of the film and his desire to be historically accurate.
It is, after all, the actual use of the word, "nigger," that makes the term desirable in Selznick's eyes. Despite his attention to such detail, however, Selznick often adhered to much of the "Old South" coding of American film that both enforced the mythification of black characters and created clear historical inaccuracies.
Thomas Cripps writes in his essay, "Winds of Change: Gone With the Wind and Racism as a National Issue," that Selznick and Howard hoped the hiring of consultants, Wilbur Kurtz, an Atlanta architect and Susan Myrick, a reporter for the Macon Telegraph, would remedy their own limited understanding of plantation life.
As Cripps explains, the Kurtz's sense of detail was extremely important to the setting of the scenes: His carefully worked memoranda, augmented by his reading of black historian William Still's Underground Railroad, provided details of plantation activity, equipage, and personnel that black critics could not effectively challenge.
In Tara's washyard, for example, he missed nothing: Every black resident of Tara was the subject of a sketch. Catherine Clinton identifies one of the first historical inaccuracies in the film when she writes: We know it's spring because the drama opens with news of the April attack on Fort Sumter.
In this case, as in many others, producer David O. Selznick sacrificed accuracy to suit his larger goals. The workers in the field are not harvesting cotton--rather, they are plowing the fields so that cotton can be planted.
Despite this misinterpretation of the scene on Catherine Clinton's part, the Hollywood coding of the scene is still in effect.
When the bell rings to signal the end of the day, the assistant foreman yells, "Quitting Time. Although the scene is historically accurate in a visual sense, the in-joke about who exactly is in charge of the field is a standard Hollywood gag.
The question of wheter the slaves are plowing or harvesting the field is moot when it is understood that regardless of their actions, they are conventional comic types.
This scene is representative of the ways in which Selznick and Howard appeared sympathetic to the historical realities of the South while adhering to Hollywood mythology.
One reading of Gone With the Wind is that the attention to detail is essential to its narrative innovations and its success but, in the end, this simply adds a new dimension to the established myths of African-Americans.Vivien Leigh and Butterfly McQueen in Gone With the Wind.
Photograph: Getty I have to wonder what the motivation is for re-releasing Gone With The Wind just a couple months before 12 Years A Slave. Slavery in Gone with the Wind is a backdrop to a story that is essentially about other things. Southern plantation fiction (also known as Anti-Tom literature) from the early 19th century culminating in Gone with the Wind is written from the perspective and values of the slaveholder and tends to present slaves as docile and happy.
Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell. Home / Bestsellers / Gone With the Wind / Themes / Race ; It barely discusses or shows the conditions of black people under slavery. It certainly shows that the white characters aren't doing as well now that they can't force black people to work for them, but the novel doesn't care enough about black.
Tied to a different age Vivien Leigh (left) and Hattie McDaniel in the film version of Gone with the Wind () Photograph: Everett Collection/REX It was a steamy August day in Atlanta and. Slavery in Gone with the Wind is a backdrop to a story that is essentially about other things.
Southern plantation fiction (also known as Anti-Tom literature, in reference to reactions to Harriet Beecher Stowe's anti-slavery novel.
News > World > Americas Gone with the Wind is an 'undeniably racist artefact', says prominent critic. Lou Lumenick, a writer for the New York Post, labelled the film 'insidiously' racist for its.