Saturday, May 26, 2007

A Southern Confession

I have never seen or watched Gone with the Wind.

Upon hearing this, my born-and-raised-in-South-Carolina friend Kathryn was completely appalled. She fully intended to sit me down and watch this Southern epic with me the two summers we lived together, but we never got around to it.

Now that I'm on restricted activity, I've got plenty of time on my hands. And now that I'm living in the South, I really should be familiar with this classic. Should I start with the book or the movie?

16 comments:

JaneDoughnut said...

Well, pretentiousness dictates that you start with the book. But us Southerners are only required to see the movie. In fact, we're not required to read any books. Ever.

Kat Coble said...

The book. Definitely the book.

Amanda said...

should you start with the book or the movie? Amy, come on. You know my answer already.

Though they are both thoroughly enjoyable melodrama. And I must say that the movie's Ashley (a true pansy) ruined him for me after seeing it.:)

kate chinlund said...

You're not alone Ames, I've never seen or read Gone with the Wind either. I also hate the movie Grease, so doesn't that mean I'm not a real woman or something?

Jen said...

I've been lurking for a few weeks, but I have to say: the book. The book, the book.

Michelle McCallum said...

Read the book first- but the movie is wonderful too!

Amy said...

i'm sensing a pattern here :) I figured as much--isn't the book pretty much always better than the movie? just wanted to make sure, though. I'll have to head to the library soon...

rebekah said...

ahh! let one more southern girl place an opinion -- and of course, as usual, its different from those before. watch the movie! ... in all its sappy gore.

and i actually think i can justify why you should watch the movie first. really, it is most famous for the film not the book, perhaps that is sad, but true. it is well-recognized as one of the earliest and greatest films ever. in some weird way, i think the opposite rules apply -- movie first, book later (or never.) don't expect great acting or great filmaking (for todays standards) because it is none of those. haha. but there is something still wonderful about it.

Anonymous said...

I say go for the film first. Then when you read the book, you can have the pleasure of the added details, comparison, etc. However, if you read the book first, a lot of the film's charm and greatness will get lost while you attempt to reconcile what you read. Personally, I think there is something about the film as a whole (the acting, the music, the realization that this quality was possible in the 1930s!) that elevates it to a higher level than just Southern memories/melodrama (where the book seems to stay).

Thanks for sharing:) I never thought about it--I assumed that everyone saw that movie when they were like seven years old. Maybe that's just in the south;) If you really like it, there's a whole film genre dedicated to the subject matter.

Amy said...

well hmm...now the debate heats up. interesting that the native Southerners are all saying, movie first. I have to give them an edge when it comes to credibility...

sistasmiff said...

Not to correct Rebekah,but, I have to throw in my 2 cents worth on the popularity of the book.

When the book came out, it was huge. You could compare the popularity of that book with how popular the Harry Potter books have been the last decade. It was similar to that.

Picture the time frame-the late 30's...no television, movies were still pretty new, radio and books were about it for at-home entertainment. It was such a big deal when it came out, the pop culture headline of the day was "Who Will Play Scarlett?"

The casting of the film was so dead on and none of the main cast were Southerners and with the exception of Clark Gable, non were even American. (Talking about the main four-Scarlett, Rhett, Melanie & Ashley)

I'd say if you usually read books first before movies, do that. Do whatever you usually do. Everytime I watch the movie, I notice something new.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gone_with_the_Wind

Paige said...

I have to say that I usually read the books first, but I saw this movie before I read the book. I'm not sure if it was b/c I was so young when I saw the movie or not though. I also had a very hard time getting into the book and it took me forever to read. Maybe it would have been different if I had read the book before the movie. Who knows. I did eventually finish the book and it was very good. Enjoy both whichever way you decide to do it and let us know your thoughs.

Danielle said...

The book! It's fabulous! The movie is good, but the book is way better. I didn't expect to like it as much as I did.

And the book was huge when it came out. That's why the movie was such a big deal (along with the fact that it and the Wizard of Oz made technicolor really popular that year, I believe.)

malia said...

With Gone With the Wind, I'd normally advise movie first, book second. That's because the movie is such an icon in and of itself, so well-known and a huge part of American movie history. I think you'd appreciate the intricacies of the story better when you read the book after watching the movie

But you are in an abnormal situation in that time is of the essence. Once the baby comes, you'll have a harder time finding time to sit down with that book. And even though the movie is quite long, I personally find it easier to pause a movie to take care of responsibilities. I have a harder time a) putting down a book and b) finding the time to come back to the book. So in your case I say read the book first while you have no "distractions".

jessica said...

OH WOW! You so have to watch the movie! It is (I think) one of the best. Although I haven't read the book, the movie is still pretty good. It is definately one that you need to see. : )

rebekah said...

sistasmiff, don't worry, i don't feel corrected :) because i KNOW FULLY that the book was outrageous when it came out. i had the fortunate (or unfortunate) opportunity of having mr. pietkiewic for us history once upon a time and he LOVED that book. BUT when the movie came out it really did supercede the book in popularity -- and yes, there were huge debates about scarlett's role and personally i think she does a terrible job :) but i still in some strange way love her in it, and she contributes to the whole melodramatic feel of the movie. ... so in my opinion thru the test of time, the movie is and has become much more popular and iconic-ish (haha) than the book. basically, i think that naturally happens because the masses watch a movie more readily than read a book.

amy, this cracks me up how many contributions you have to this post! enjoy whichever one you choose to do first!