There's an undeniable grandeur to Gone with the Wind that isn't seen enough in contemporary cinema, and the scope and the conviction with which Fleming orchestrates proceedings is highly commendable. Over the course of its substantial runtime you can't help (at least on a surface level) but be swept up. We can't help but absorb 'classics' such as this into the public consciousness. Gable's oft-quoted final line is uttered by those who don't always know where it originates from. In short, this is the stuff of Hollywood legend and so it can be difficult to step back from the glamour of former heavyweight screen stars such as Gable and Leigh.
The film's sprawling set-pieces and scarlet sunsets are truly sumptuous to behold and endure seventy years on. However, if we dare to peel back its Technicolor veneer, what we're left with is a triptych of fine performances shot against blood red skies. Fleming's Gone with the Wind possesses a worryingly celebratory attitude towards the world of the Old South, a place of bigotry and racism that today makes it feel like a relic from an all too recent, dark period in American history. Rather than confront the guilt related to the sins of the past it paints over them in vivid colours, hoping the viewer will collude in its melodramatic muddying of the water.