Eras Journal – Anderson, D. Abstract

Abstract of Anderson, D.,”Print the Legend” – Gone With the Windas Myth and Memory.

Gone With the Wind (1939) has been hailed as a triumph of both American literature and film. Both Margaret Mitchell’s Pulitzer Prize winning novel and Producer David O. Selznick’s multi-Academy Award winning film, exceeded all expectations and received unprecedented critical and public acclaim. Even today, the movie, despite its numerous historical faux pas, forms the basis of worldly popular memory of the Old South. It was no surprise that Southern reviewers reacted favourably to the film. Film-goers everywhere had been so conditioned by many years of cinematic glorification of the Old South that they were completely taken in by the claims of historical and social accuracy.

Selznick’s film version, the capstone to Hollywood’s fictionalisation of the South, and the quintessential representation of the moonlight-and-magnolias plantation romance, aided enormously the affirmation of the South as the most distinctive region of the United States. With its rural characteristics the Old South increasingly served as an alternative to recall with fondness and, in doing so, Gone With the Wind aided this collective effort enormously.