The Manhattan Project--2016 A to Z Theme

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Friday, January 22, 2016

Gone With the Wind: Who Blew Away Whom (#BOTB Results)

A Silly Gone with the Wind Story

Screenshot of the title page from the trailer ...
Screenshot of the title page from the trailer for the film
Gone with the Wind (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
       My previous post featured a discussion about Clark Gable and his 1939 film Idiot's Delight.  When I think of Clark Gable my mind invariably turns to Gone With the Wind (GWTW).   Who hasn't seen this epic film also from 1939.   It's on television fairly regularly and available on just about any media source.  That wasn't the case when I first saw the Civil War classic.

        All of my life I'd been aware of GWTW.   I'd often heard it mentioned in discussions about film and read about it in articles here and there.  The film was legendary, but it wasn't shown anywhere where I had access to it.  Perhaps the reason why I'd become aware of the film was partly due to write-ups about it when it had gone into re-release in 1961, 1967, or 1971.  I didn't see it during any of those releases, but I'm sure I'd gotten "wind" of it.

        Finally when it was rereleased in the theaters in 1974 and showed up in my hometown of Maryville, Tennessee I made sure that I wouldn't miss it this time.  I was in college at the time. I knew it was a great film, but I couldn't get any of my friends to go see it with me so I went by myself.

         It was a weeknight so the theater wasn't very full.  The theater was a relatively small venue, but with only 30 or 40 people in the audience it looked bigger than it really was.  The film began and I was engrossed.  When intermission came I thought the film was over. It seemed like an odd way to end the movie but I could see how that could have made an ending.  After all in the 70's there were plenty of films with endings that didn't really seem like endings.  Though it didn't make a lot of sense to me, I figured they must have edited out the part where Rhett says "Damn". That was the controversy that I'd heard so much about.  So anyway, I went ahead and left. 

        When I got to my van I realized that I was the only one who had left the theater. That's when I realized it was only an intermission.  So I wouldn't seem like a total fool if anyone had seen me go to my van I pretended to be looking for something.  Then I sheepishly went back inside hoping that nobody would notice.  The handful of those in attendance were finding their seats or they were already seated waiting for the second half of the film to begin.  No one was paying attention to me so my stupidity apparently had gone unnoticed.

       Fortunately I did see the film to its end. I've seen the film several times since. We have 3 different DVD versions of the film all given to my wife and I as gifts. The gift givers knew it was a film that we both loved.  Now if we want to see GWTW we don't have to wait for a theater showing.  We can watch the film whenever we want.  Getting to see movies is so much easier than it used to be and that's pretty darn cool.

(This post was inspired by a comment originally left at Janie Junebug's site on June 14, 2014)

Battle of the Band Results




        My most recent Battle of the Bands featured two different songs from the film Idiot's Delight.  The outcome of this match was not really a surprise to me and probably won't be a surprise to anyone else.  Actually I feared a shut-out on this though I knew my own vote would save me from this fate.  Thankfully a few of you agreed with my pick so the outcome wasn't quite as one-sided as I had expected.

         The choice was between two songs--"Puttin' on the Ritz" and "How Strange".  The performers weren't supposed to be the criteria for voting though many of you enjoyed "Ritz" as delivered by Clark Gable and Les Blondes as did I.  However, the novelty of seeing and hearing Gable in a rare song and dance was not enough to sway me.

         In my view, "Puttin' on the Ritz" is more of a novelty song that works best in context of a visual presentation.   Typically we see the song performed as a grand dance number.  The song lends itself well to dance, especially tap dance, due to it's syncopation and quirky time signatures.   It's a fun tune, not one that I would call particularly melodic, but with a memorable melody and rhythm that gets toes to tapping and listeners to hum along.   I like musical pieces like this, but it's not what I would sit around listening to for musical pleasure.

          On the other hand, "How Strange" is hauntingly beautiful.   In the version I used, the instrumental opening with what I presume is a viola lures me with it's exotic melody.  Originally the song was a Russian tune that was later adapted with English lyrics.   Since the outset of my Battle "How Strange" is the song that has predominated the playlist in my head.   That's the deciding factor for me.  The song or song version that persists most in my memory, moving me and touching something within me, is the winner in the end.  So based on this my vote goes to the song "How Strange".    Some help for that song, but not enough to even put it close to a win in this contest.

Final Vote

Puttin' on the Ritz             26 votes

How Strange                       9 votes



Coming Up!

       My next Battle on Monday February 1st will be part of a perfect storm of blogging events.   Coinciding with the Battle of the Bands will be the Lost & Found: Valentine's Edition Blog Hop and Michael G D'Agostino's Question of the Month--everything all wrapped up in one tidy package.  You can get more info by clicking on the preceding links.   Hope you'll consider in joining in with your own posts about lost and found loves--we all have a story to tell.

        On Monday the sign-ups for the annual Blogging from A to Z April Challenge will open.  This will be the 7th year of the event!  It's almost hard for me to believe, but it's true.  Consider joining us again if you've done this in the past or if you've never done this then it's a must for any blogger.   Make new friends and hone your blogging skills.  The A to Z Challenge is now blogging legend and you can become a part of the legacy.  Not only you can, but you should!

       Have you signed up for the Lost & Found Blog Hop yet?   Will you be doing the A to Z Challenge this year?   What is the biggest factor in deciding what songs or song versions you like best? 



      

46 comments:

  1. You hadn't posted all week, so was wondering what had happened.
    I've seen parts of Gone With the Wind. Not my type of film.
    No surprise who won the battle.

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    1. Alex, I didn't want to post over my Battle and Blogathon post. GWTW is really a great film. It might be more to your liking than you think.

      Lee

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  2. Well, looks like I'm in the minority with my vote for "How Strange."

    Lee, do you have a linky for the bloghop yet? I'm dcrelief@yahoo.com

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    1. Dixie, we may be in the minority voting for "How Strange", but we're in good company. I've emailed you the Linky Code.

      Lee

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  3. Hi Lee - how funny about the cinema run - I'm not sure I've ever done that ... but thank goodness you got that chance to go back in and 'pretend' ... I've never seen the film, nor read the book ...

    ... my take on classic books changed this week - I went to pick up Jamaica Inn from the library ... and was surprised to have an introductory overview of the story .... now if I'd had those around I think I'd have read more classics ... not understanding the wherewithal of the book made it very difficult .. but I must now check out other books via the library.

    Mind you the Agatha Christie I took out (Man in a Brown Suit - that I've written about) didn't have that sort of introduction. Now I can find out about the vicar of Altarnun, whose church I recently visited - though we couldn't go inside as we were too late ... but is essential to the storyline of Jamaica Inn.

    I'll do the A-Z .. the other links I fluff out on .. cheers Hilary

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    1. Hilary, you really must see GWTW! Such an epic story with grand sets and costumes and good acting. It's worth a view in my opinion. I used to have a book with outlines and commentary about many great books. I wrote many a book report in school based on those and it was helpful in getting the gist of the book before reading when I actually did read the books.

      Lee

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  4. I've seen bits and pieces of GWTW but it didn't hold my attention at all. I'm super picky about movies and as a result, I haven't seen hardly any compared to most people (never seen the Godfather, Citizen Kane and other classics). I've signed up for Lost & Found and I'm glad you reminded me it's 2/1. I keep thinking it's on Valentines Day. I best get a move on.

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    1. JoJo, I've never seen any of the Godfather films either--I've got to remedy that one day. Citizen Kane and GWTW I've seen numerous times and glad I did. Maybe you were in the wrong mood when you tried watching GWTW. Maybe you should try again.

      Yeah, don't forgot Lost & Found--it's a week away!

      Lee

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  5. Hi, Lee!

    I saw it coming, good buddy. It's hard for people to filter out the visual component and vote only for the song. If I had been able to look away from Clark Gable's surprisingly good song and dance, my vote might have matched yours. Thanks for introducing both. I learned something from this contest. Have a fine weekend, good buddy Lee!

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    1. Shady, not just the visuals, but the greater familiarity of the song worked in its favor. I think "How Strange" was too strange for a lot of voters.

      Lee

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  6. LOL - you left at the intermission.

    I've never seen Gone with the Wind and I'm afraid I have no desire to see it.

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    1. L.Diane, I'm surprised that you've never seen GWTW. I've now watched it through in its entirety at least 6 times and watched parts of it many times--especially the burning of Atlanta.

      Lee

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  7. I haven't watched GWTW in years. It might be time to sit down with it again. When I was a teenager, it was on tv, and I loved it. The dresses, the dialog, the drama, oh my.

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    1. Mary, it's probably been 2 years since I've watched the whole film. Time to break it out again I think.

      Lee

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  8. GWTW is an amazing film. Cracked me up that you thought intermission was the end. I can see how that could happen. I'd always wanted to wear a gown like they wore, and finally, two years ago, my folk dance group did a costume party themed Southern Comfort and I did it. It was so much fun.

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    1. Karen, I hadn't been to that many films that had had an intermission so it was a new experience. The bad thing was that they didn't indicate it was an intermission, the film just stopped and the lights came on. It was kind of weird actually, but it was a tiny small town theater.

      Lee

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  9. Ha! It's endearing stories like this that make you all the more enjoyable:-) An epic film indeed, one that I've seen and now want to see again - thanks to you! I've a mind to watch African Queen while finishing up a few pesky tasks this morning :-)

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    1. Diedre, I've seen African Queen a couple times. It's another great film but not as memorable to me as GWTW.

      Lee

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  10. Good thing you realized the movie wasn't over yet! It would have been a shame to miss the second half. It sure is great that we have so many viewing choices for films these days. I've seen GWTW several times and love it. Last Saturday night, hubby and I watched two new films "Creed" and "Joy" with the laptop hooked up to the TV. There's a fabulous site called Putlocker that offers free streaming. You do need to have an Adblocker program installed though, otherwise you'll be inundated with popups.

    I suppose the novelty of Clark Gable singing and dancing got to me, like most of the others, but I've always enjoyed that tune as well. Interesting battle! My next BOTB will include the Lost and Found blog hop as well. Should be fun! Have a good weekend.

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    1. Debbie, we just got a blu-ray player with the built-in wi-fi and I see that there are some movie stations available there with some being free. I'll have to explore my options.
      Glad you'll be doing the "Lost and Found".

      Lee

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  11. I was on your side in this musical challenge. Now here is an odd bit of Jeffrey Scott trivia. I've never seen the film GWTW but last time I was in Liverpool, I stopped into an antique shop and found an old 1940 red hardback copy of GWTW. I loved the condition it was in so I bought it. I think it would be neat to say I have read the book before I saw the film. So I can say, "Eh, not as good as the book." LOL
    A-Z I can't wait! I'm even considering reviving one of my old sci.fi. blog to do a second A-Z listing there.

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    1. Jeffrey, sounds like a cool book copy to have in your possession. I've done as many as 4 blogs in A to Z. This year I'll probably only do 2 and maybe just one. Good luck with yours!

      Lee

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  12. As I scrolled down the comments, I was somewhat surprised how many people had not seen GWTW in its entirety.

    Frankly, I don't give a damn.

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    1. Larry, I too was kind of surprised. I figured everyone had seen this movie by now. It seems like it's on TV once every couple of months.

      Now that "damn" is no big deal I wonder what Rhett would say to Scarlett if the film were remade today?

      Lee

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  13. I originally saw it in bits and pieces when I was a kid. I don't think I ever just sat down and watched it all the way through until I did that with my wife.

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    1. Andrew, wives seem to especially like this film though I wouldn't necessarily call it a "chick flick", but I guess it kind of is.

      Lee

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  14. I have a feeling the video clip helped Puttin' on the Ritz a bit more plus most know this song. GWTW is a true epic film including the backstage events. It is not my favourite film but it is a film everyone should see at least once. It also is still the biggest box office winner of all time. This film came out in 1939 and was in one theatre, alone, for 2 years. If you adjust it to today's dollars it made....$1,757,788,200. compared to the new Stars Wars film which is currently $863,148,200. It is 12th on the list of biggest box office. The original Star wars is 2nd and Sound of Music is 3rd. Yowza!!

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    1. Birgit, I think typically voters will go with what they know best. It can take a while for certain music to grow on certain listeners.

      I agree that GWTW is a must see film for Americans. I wouldn't say it's the greatest film, but it is a pretty great film.

      Lee

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  15. The book is even better. I feel awkward with Southern themes. The irony of the GWTW flick is that Margaret Mitchell wanted to dispel some myths of antebellum South and Hollywood put those myths front and center.

    I can understand why you got up and left during intermission. I must of saw it in 67 when I was eleven with my mom. She told me to stay seated it was not over. The movie kept my attention the entire four hours. It is a great flick.

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    1. Ann, the myth of the Southern aristocracy is difficult to dispel. It's what most people expect.

      Good that you had a guide in the theater to tell you to wait. It's a long film for sure, but not oppressive to sit through--not for me at least.

      Lee

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  16. I love Gone with the Wind. What a classic and it can lead to some great conversation. That was funny about you leaving during intermission. Movie theaters don't do intermissions anymore and I only recently became aware that they did that in the first place.
    I'm not surprised that Puttin' on the Ritz won. Was a noble contest though Lee...

    Looking forward to the Lost & Found Blog Hop!

    Michele at Angels Bark

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    1. Michele, they don't make many movies these days that are long enough to require an intermission. Years ago going to the theater was like a major event that required several hours. Now theaters herd people in and out like cattle.

      Lee

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  17. Lee, good thing no one noticed you left and came back. lol I saw the movies many years ago on my in-laws cable TV and then we bought it on DVD or maybe we have it on Blu-ray, which ever it is we all watched as a family after making the purchase. I thought DH and DS would fight me on this, as for my daughters I knew they were on my side, but I didn't hear a peep out of them other than DH commented that he actually liked it more than he thought he would. It was a fun family movie night. WOW, Puttin' on the Ritz won big time. I thought I voted on that video, but my notes say I voted for How Strange. Now, how strange is that?! :D Good battle! Have a great weekend!

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    1. Cathy, I'm glad you voted for "How Strange" or the outcome would have been even more lopsided.

      Lee

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  18. Me. The answer to who hasn't seen Gone with the Wind would be 'me'. Yes, I've yet to see it. But I don't think I could get my husband to watch it with me.
    Man, I wish some movies now days had intermissions. I've sat through 2 1/2 hour movies in theater needing to use the rest room, but not wanting to get up and miss anything. :(

    Hah! I knew Putting on the Ritz would win! :)

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    1. Madilyn, tell your husband that I said GWTW is a fine film. Hey, it's a Civil War film and that's enough for me. The rest room issue is one of the factors that make me want to stop going out to see movies. And then there's the cost and the hassle. In the end, going to see a 2 1/2 hour movie can add up to 3 1/2 or 4 hours of ones time. When I watch at home I can stop the film whenever I want and not miss a thing and when it's over I'm already home and that's nice.

      Yeah, I figured Ritz to be a sure winner in this Battle.

      Lee

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  19. That was a pretty interesting battle all around. Love the idea for the lost and found Valentine's edition...not sure what I will right, but I am IN.

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    1. Cherdo, Glad you'll be joining us for Lost & Found. I'll be posting an appropriately themed BOTB song and saying a thing or two about it--all related to the theme of the blog hop.

      Lee

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  20. Intermission. Whoops!
    Have you seen "Scarlett" - the sequel? I have it on VHS. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0108915/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1

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    1. J, I'd heard of the book Scarlett, but didn't realize they'd filmed it yet.

      Lee

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  21. I love Gone With the Wind. Haven't watched it in many years, so maybe it's time.

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    1. Patricia, Time for me as well. It's kind of like an annual watching of Wizard of Oz.

      Lee

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  22. I had no idea there were different endings! What? I'll have to check it out now. As for the blog hop...I am mulling it over if I can still meet my deadline and have fun with you guys as well. Wish me luck!
    Edge of Your Seat Stories

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    1. Raquel, no there are not different endings unless you leave at intermission and miss the real ending. Hope you can join us for Lost & Found.

      Lee

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  23. I never saw GWTW all the way through until I was an adult, though I can't remember what age I was exactly. It's a great film, though in spite of how Margaret Mitchell had complete creative control and helped it to be truer to the source material than many book to movie adaptations, there are a still a lot of things which were left out. I suppose the film would've been as long as Erich von Stroheim's original cut of Greed had they tried to include everything!

    I loved the running commentary my witch of an aunt and my late grandma used to provide when they watched GWTW together. Particularly funny were their comments on Melly's death scene:

    "I ain't never seen a person who was dying do so much talking before."

    "No, wait a minute, she's got a few more people to talk to."

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  24. Carrie-Anne, books usually have far more than can reasonably put into a movie. I guess they could have done a television mini-series and gotten everything in. Long drawn out death scenes can be an easy target for humor since they are often kind of ridiculous.

    Lee

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Go ahead and say something. Don't be afraid to speak your mind.
I normally try to respond to all comments in the comment section so please remember to check the "Email follow-up comments" box if you want to participate in the comment conversation.

For Battle of the Bands voting the "Anonymous" commenting option has been made available though this version is the least preferred. If voting using "anonymous" please include in your comment your name (first only is okay) and city you are voting from and the reason you chose the artist you did.

If you know me and want to comment but don't want to do it here, then you can send me an email @ jacksonlee51 at aol dot com.

Lee