Gone With The Wind #socs, #jusjojan

Usually, the prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is relatively easy: Linda gives us a word (or part of one) and we write about it. Today, she threw us a curve and asked us to pick the title of a movie and base the post on the title, not the word “title.”

Naturally, living in the Atlanta Metropolitan Area, the first movie I thought of was Gone With The Wind, with Clark Gable and Vivien Leigh, based on the novel written by Atlantan Margaret Mitchell. The movie debuted at Loew’s Grand Theater down on Peachtree Street on December 15, 1939, and was attended by many of the cast members, but not the African American ones, such as Butterfly McQueen and Hattie McDaniel, who weren’t allowed in the theater because, you know, segregation.

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Source: Wikipedia, which says this is public domain

Margaret Mitchell wrote the book in a run-down apartment building she dubbed “The Dump,” because that’s what it was. The building is still standing, although there have been a few attempts at tearing it down, met with howls and protests by people who probably haven’t read the book. The most recent attempt to do away with the building resulted in part of it being knocked down until a judge told them they had to rebuild it, but by then people anxious for a chunk of history had stolen the original bricks. They tried to get them back, and actually did manage to get most of them.

GWTW is one long book. The only person I know who’s actually read it was my stepfather Tex’s sister Ann, who he claims read it in one sitting. That’s concentration. Or skimming, I don’t know. It’s also a long movie. Two friends of mine and I actually went to see it during the summer between eighth grade and high school. We had never been to a movie with an actual intermission. You put three 14-year-old boys (one of us was 15) in a movie that long, they’re going to horse around, of course of course. At one point in the movie, they’re sawing a guy’s leg off. One of my friends leans over and says “That guy’s name is Lamb. That’s where you get leg o’ lamb.” We almost got thrown out on a couple of occasions, but made it through to the end. Four hours of my life I’ll never get back…

In 1937, a year after the book was published, composer Allie Wrubel and lyricist Herb Magidson wrote a song called “Gone With The Wind.” It’s been done a number of times and is now a jazz standard. Wes Montgomery recorded a version on his album The Incredible Jazz Guitar, Ella Fitzgerald recorded a live version on her album Ella in Berlin (which includes her version of “Mack the Knife,” which one a Grammy despite the fact she couldn’t remember the words and scatted and made up her own words). This is Julie London’s version from 1955, which I chose because Barney Kessel is backing her on guitar (Ray Leatherwood is playing bass), and besides, it’s Julie London


I wrote this for two Linda Hill challenges: Stream of Consciousness Saturday and Just Jot It January, for which I don’t have the address of her entry because it’s only Friday and, although she’s organized, she’s not that organized. If I think of it, I’ll change the link to the right place. Sorry, Linda…

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Author: John Holton

I'm a writer and blogger who writes and blogs about things that interest me.

14 thoughts on “Gone With The Wind #socs, #jusjojan”

  1. I liked a lot of the movie and I read the book when I was very young. It sounded romantic to me. One piece of trivia I know is how they filmed the scene in the train yard with all the hundreds of wounded. They had the camera on a special scaffold on it’s own train track so they could pan the scene. Terrible that the black actresses could not attend the premier. Just weird.

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    1. It seems weird to us now, but segregation was a fact of life in this country even after the Civil Rights Act was passed in 1964. Until Frank Sinatra made a stink about it, Sammy Davis Jr. couldn’t perform in Las Vegas. A lot of Black musicians moved to Europe because they were tired of dealing with the prejudice and segregation. Pat Boone got his start by covering songs originally done by Fats Domino and Little Richard, because most radio stations wouldn’t play “race” records. It was awful. And it wasn’t just in the South: a nightclub in New York wouldn’t book Ella Fitzgerald until Marilyn Monroe promised she’d be at every show, front and center, and Martin Luther King was arrested in Cicero, Illinois for a minor traffic infraction. It made no sense whatsoever.

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      1. Yes, I was aware of the terrible segregation because of the Civil Rights Movement but it is these examples of it that you are citing, like blacks not allowed in the movie theatre, that still shock me even so.

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