Friday, February 11, 2011

Gone With the Wind

If I had to name my favorite book and favorite movie, Gone With the Wind would be on both lists. My husband and I recently watched the movie and, although it was probably my 6th or 7th time to see it, I loved all three hours and 53 minutes of it.

Before we watched it, I googled "GWTW bloopers" and found quite a few mistakes that were fun to watch for during the movie. I couldn't believe there were so many, and thought it would be fun to share some of those bloopers, which include audio malfunctions, continuity mistakes, and prop issues. And can you believe that there is a mistake in the opening credits!

The credits for the Tarleton brothers have the twins switched with their actors. George Reeves doesn't play Brent, he plays Stuart. You know this because in the opening scene the two boys are talking about the party and asking Scarlett for dances, and George Reeves points at his brother and calls him "Brent." George Reeves, by the way, played the original Superman in the 1950s TV series.

There is another very obvious blooper in the opening scene — if you look closely at the lily Scarlett is holding, you can see that it's artificial.

You'd think they could have stretched the budget a little to at least provide a real lily for her to hold.

In the scene showing guests arriving at the Wilkes' barbecue, you see buggies and carriages driving through the front gates and up the drive toward the Wilkes' home. The carriages clearly create shadows on the ground, but not on the stone pillars of the gates. This is because when the movie was filmed, there were no actual gates. The gates were later "painted" into the frame, proving someone forgot to "paint" shadows on the pillars.

When the O'Hara family gathers for prayer, you see two boom mike shadows on the ceiling.

Another glaring mistake is revealed in the scene where a wounded Ashley is brought back from the raid where Scarlett's husband, Mr Kennedy, was killed. Melanie grabs a lamp to follow the man carrying Ashley to the bedroom and you can plainly see an electrical cord hanging down from the lamp!

Here are some of the other bloopers I found interesting:

In one of the scenes taking place in Atlanta, Scarlett is seen walking on the main street on the way to the hospital. You can clearly see a couple of light bulbs in the street lights.

The shadow scene in which Scarlett and Melanie care for the wounded in the Atlanta hospital was filmed with two doubles. Since Leigh and de Havilland were standing at the wrong angle to cast the shadows, two stand-ins were positioned in front of the high-intensity light. The shadows of the doubles were reflected on the wall behind the stars, and the result was a stunning visual effect. Yet upon a closer look, the gestures of the stand-ins are not totally synchronised with the movements of the stars.

During the burning of Atlanta scene, Rhett and Scarlett are escaping in a wagon. The horse stops, spooked by the fire, so Rhett throws Scarlett's shawl over the horse's eyes. The mistake is that as soon as Rhett grabs the reins, the horse throws off the shawl, and suddenly no longer is afraid of the fire.

In the long shot of the wounded soldiers laying on the ground in Atlanta, as the camera pulls back for a wider view watch the people walking thru the wounded. One of them actually steps right on the stomach of one of the bodies. Obviously a dummy!

When Aunt Pittypat serves her last Madeira Uncle Peter is standing on her left. Then the camera angle changes to a close-up on her, and in the next wide shot Uncle Peter is standing on her right.

After Scarlett leaves the hospital in disgust she runs into Rhett. When she climbs into his buggy she asks him if he can take her to her Aunt's, but her lips aren't moving.

When Rhett picks up Melanie from her bed to take her out of Atlanta he is not wearing a hat, but in the next shot it is on his head.

In the scene where Scarlett is talking to Ashley about owing the carpetbagger $300, right before Ashley kisses her you can see a definite change. Ashley has different dirt on his face and Scarlett's dress looks lighter. Her hair is also loose in different places.

When Scarlett is attacked in the woods on a bridge while on her way to the lumber mill, the buggy very nearly goes off of the bridge backwards. Then Scarlett faints, but when the camera returns to the full shot of the buggy, suddenly it is squarely in the middle of the bridge and in no danger at all of falling over the edge.

In the scene when Rhett is saying goodbye to Scarlett before he leaves her on the road to Tara alone, he throws his hat behind him onto the road and takes Scarlett into his arms. However, a few moments later, he picks the hat up from the fence at his side along with his coat.

When Scarlett's father comes home to announce that the war is over Melanie is standing on the stairs with empty hands. When we see her next a moment later she is carrying her baby.

When Rhett visits Scarlett after Frank Kennedy's death she keeps weeping into her handkerchief. But all of a sudden there is no handkerchief and she is wiping her nose with her hands.

After Frank Kennedy's death Scarlett is drinking in her bedroom. She takes his picture, which is standing on the dressing table, and turns it on its face. In one close-up shot this picture is placed on a piece of lace, in all others not. When she finally leaves the room the picture is gone completely, and also all the other things on the dressing table are rearranged.

When Scarlett is being attacked on the bridge by the two thugs Big Sam comes and saves her. He throws one of the guys into the water, which all of a sudden has developed from a mere trickle to a remarkable river.

When Scarlett is talking to Melanie before she dies, Melanie's "widow's peak" is obviously painted on.

In the scene where Bonnie dies, Scarlett is sitting down drinking a cup of tea. She puts the cup on the table and stands up. When we see the next shot from behind, the table is clearly visible and the cup is gone.

After Rhett tells Scarlett that he doesn't give a damn, she's standing just inside the front door and places her hand on leading edge of the door, which moves when she touches it to support herself.

There are too many bloopers to list, but if you would like to read more, you can click on this link: Movie Mistakes. As many times as I've seen the movie, I never noticed the mistakes until I read about them on the website. And when you know what to look for, some of them are so obvious, you can't believe you didn't see them before.

I think it would be fun to have a "Gone With the Wind" Party sometime and see how many of the bloopers you and your guests could spot. You could even serve desserts from the Gone With the Wind Cookbook (yes, there really is such a thing) ...

Some of the recipe choices are Lemon Souffle, Kentucky Strawberry Shortcake, and Georgia Peach Trifle.

Even with all its flaws (which I think make it even more interesting), Gone With the Wind is truly a classic and will always remain one of my all-time favorite movies. Although it is fiction, its writer, Margaret Mitchell, gives us an historically accurate glimpse of what it was like to have lived during the War between the States, from a southerner's point of view.

Even today, 150 years later, the South still bears physical scars from the War, in many of its beautiful antebellum mansions and buildings that are still standing, and the stories about entire towns that were burned and destroyed. I have written about many of those houses here in the Vicksburg area, and captured pictures of the cannonballs that are still lodged in their walls.

At the beginning of the movie, there was a title card which, I think, summed it up beautifully:

There was a land of Cavaliers and Cotton Fields called the Old South. Here in this pretty world Gallantry took its last bow ....

Look for it only in books, for it is no more than a dream remembered.

A Civilization gone with the wind ...


racheld said...

A forever Classic. I seldom envy other people's possessions, but Sis' college roommate had a program from the Atlanta premiere---it was huge, colorful, and had a lovely little silk cord and tassel down the middle.

And I love that you pointed these out---I'll look next time---haven't seen it in years. I did google the "Cavaliers, etc." quote, just to see if it were from the book, or created for the movie, and the first thing I hit was this:

You DO come up with the most remarkably intereting subjects---I often think, "Why didn't EYE think of that first?" And you know I'm not above kleping an idea now and then. You're amazingly generous and kind when I do.

Stay warm!!

D said...

I can't believe I have missed so many of these bloopers, and I have watched GWTW LOTS of times. :)
I recently watched an interview with Cammie King (Bonnie) It was filmed right before she died and was very interesting.

Tonja said...

Maybe we Southerners don't notice the bloopers because this movie takes us back to the romance and mystery that was the Old South.
I have never noticed these, but it is one of my most fav movies. So the next time I watch it, I will be sure to look for these! So interesting!

I agree with Rachel, you find the most interesting topics!

Jenni said...

I first read GWTW when I was twelve yrs old... my mother wanted me to read it, she said I would love it... so I sgot it to pacify her....then read the first page and was hooked!

Ah... the beautiful, gracious South....

Hmmmm I'll "think about all of this tomorrow... tomorrow is another day..."

fiddle - dee - dee,