Tuesday, January 4, 2011


William Wyler, 1938, bw (8.1*)
Wyler has a track record likely to remain unbroken, as 13 of his films were nominated for best picture Oscars®, including five years in a row, and he successfully directed actors to 12 individual Oscars®, including Bette Davis for this film. When she was asked to play Scarlett in Gone With the Wind a year later (she was the overwhelming choice of fans and the producers), she replied, "No thanks - I've already played Scarlett once".

This story is also a little soapy like Wind, but at least we're only subjected to less than two hours rather than nearly four. Here she also plays a less than saintly southern belle, who also scandalized the town, in this case by appearing at a ball in a red dress, which unfortunately loses some impact by being in black-and-white.

I did like the ending of this film more than Wind, which I found to be dreary and hopeless. As many know, the south really never recovered from the Civil War and remains in pretty much a depression nowdays. Georgia leads the nation in recent bank failures and is in the top 3-5 for unemployment, so the end of Wind made me think that Scarlett likely did not have any life to envy after returning to Tara.

Nevertheless, for fans of perhaps the greatest actress in film history, a double-Oscar® winner, and one of the greatest directors, this is a must-see.


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These are the individual film reviews of what I'm considering the best 1000 dvds available, whether they are films, miniseries, or live concerts. Rather than rush out all 1000 at once, I'm doing them over time to allow inclusion of new releases - in fact, 2008 has the most of any year so far, 30 titles in all; that was a very good year for films, one of the best ever.

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