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It's here, boys; come and see it. You will see four hours of superb acting, excellent scenes in technicolor, a wonderful story. But you will not see a great picture. GWTW has been produced on a monumental scale using the best of everything Hollywood has to offer, but the story is not big enough to make the picture go down in film history. Not that it necessarily should, of course, but there has been so much ballyhoo about this being motion pictures' greatest triumph. It is not. Rather it is the best in entertainment.
There is little to be gained in singling out the salient details of the film; every feature is outstanding. The scenes are only rivalled by the acting. We have never despised a woman more than Scarlett, nor loved one more than Melanie. We thought perhaps breeding would tell, but for all his Twelve Oaks Ashley is a coward, and despite the Old South, Rhett is not. Each character is faithful to Miss Mitchell's book, and it is these characters which made the book. Although in any large production one expects the main people to be well-done, it is seldom that every person is good. Down to the last extra (free plug for the Central Casting Office), though, the parts are played well. It is this attention to meticulous detail which makes the picture an artistic success.
Noteworthy in the approach to the story has been the incorporation of "realism." We hope the Hays office will be as tolerant in the future, for such details make the story live. Rhett's final "I don't give a damn" jars most but is unimportant in this connection compared to the scene where a soldier has his leg amputated without an anaesthetic, or to the scene of Scarlett's mother lying dead upon the bier in war-ruined Tara. Throughout the film the audience remains convinced that it is 1865 and the characters do breathe.
There is much more to the picture than this short review can hope to encompass. GWTW is certainly the best picture to strike this or any other town in many a day. Everyone should take at least a two-hour look-in on what Hollywood can do if it wants to. Mr. Selznick will have his cost and a handsome profit back before long, and the public will have had some fine entertainment. We think this a more than fair exchange.
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