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Watching “Gone With the Wind” on TCM

August 21, 2013

Did I watch the entire movie this time? No, but I have many times including once on the big screen. Each time I see any or all of the classic “Gone With The Wind,” I feel enriched in some manner.

“GWTW” aired on TCM last night as part of the “Summer Under the Stars” August feature on the fabulous Turner Classic Movies channel.

Yesterday’s star was the incredible Hattie Mc Daniel, “Mammy,” in “Gone With the Wind,” for which she became the first black actor/actress to be both nominated for and win an Academy Award.

The fabulous TCM host Robert Osborne set the scene for “Gone With the Wind” with his usual array of great facts and tidbits.

So well spoken, precise and classy, Osborne is so great in his role as host, that I can almost forget the other drek (an Italian word, “ha ha”—no “LOL” for me just as certainly no “w–k –f,” for a game ending baseball play) that permeates the airwaves. The operative word is almost as even Osborne is not that great as to do the impossible.

Knowing the Academy Awards are “apples and oranges” but with a reverence for movie history, I repeat the five nominated films out of the ten nominated, cited by Osborne for the great movie year of 1939.

“Gone With The Wind” won the award. “Goodbye Mr. Chips,” whose Robert Donat won the best actor award, “The Wizard of Oz,” “Stagecoach” and “Ninotchka” were the nominated films cited by Osborne.

In the movie (GWTW), Olivia de Havilland’s “Melanie Hamilton Wilkes” tells Leslie Howard’s “Ashley Wilkes” she will love him until her death.

In real life not reel life, (a truly “reaching for” phrase by me–sorry–), Mr. Howard died 70 years ago when a plane he was in was shot down during World War Two. He was a superb actor.

Ms. de Havilland is 97 years old and on some level great work like “Gone With The Wind” is loved for all time.

By the way, time, that most precious of commodities, is recognized in “Gone With The Wind.”  I noticed a sign warning not to waste it while watching “Gone With The Wind” last night. Again, I was enriched watching this classic.

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