As a man I am probably not the most typical fan of this movie, which is very feminine, and sometimes surprisingly feminist. And still I can not help it. I always loved GWTW and it still has on me a magical effect, as few others manage to do (the others being essentially "Star Wars", "The longest day", "The seven samurai" and "Alien"). This is an adaptation of a very long (and excellent) book, so it has to be long. And it is. And me for one I am very happy that it is, because there is no way to tell the whole story shorter. Period.
GWTW is two stories in one and they are both passionate - and very, very sad. The background is about the death of a country, a civilisation and a way of life. And no matter what is your opinion on the American South, a death is never happy - but it can be a great story. And it is. The scene with Scarlett walking between the wounded Confederate soldiers in the railway station of Atlanta is unbelievable - those who never saw it, missed something great and perfect.
The second story is about the coming of age and maturing of a very beautiful, but antipatic, mean and rather stupid young girl. Scarlett is 17 at the beginning of the movie - immature, silly, lazy and spoiled she is in fact a horrible (although cute) little brat. The cataclysm swallowing her world will force her to change and she will show a surprising strength - you simply must admire her for the moment when she succesfully deals with the repugnant Yankee plunderer, who came to steal the very last money and the very last food of four starving and sick women. The scene in which, on the ruins of the world, in the background of blood coloured sunset she swears that she will never be hungry again, is one of the most powerful ever in the history of cinema.
Now, being initially just a silly, spoiled child, Scarlett couldn't help but fall for the wrong guy, handsome, intelligent and kind but weak Ashley Wilkes - when in the same time becoming the object of interest of possibly the most incredibly appealing macho in world history, Rhett Butler, played by Clark Gable, in his greatest role ever.
Then there is Melanie, Ashley's wife, played by Olivia de Havilland. You have to read the book to fully realise how incredibly strong and clever is Melanie. She in fact is the real "Power woman" in the movie - although her iron rule is made with the softest of gloves. I always was in deep awe of this character and of the way Olivia De Havilland played her.
Relations and tragedies between those four are one of the greatest stories ever told on the screen. Of course, like all the great stories, and mostly like life itself, this is one is devoided of happy ending... although? The last scene of the movie is just incredible... there is so much you can see in it and how you see this scene, well, it depends of your heart.
This is a mythical movie, played by great actors, with an incredibly powerful and moving musical score and with costumes and decors which still can impress, even today. I strongly believe that who never stood with Scarlett under this dead tree, looking at this bloody sunset, holding this pathetic radish she digged barehanded from the dirt and screaming to God that she will never, never be hungry again... he missed something important that should not be missed.