Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn.

by Kristin Daniels

What’s the first thing you think of when you hear that famous line from Gone With the Wind? Rhett Butler walking away from Scarlett? The movie itself? The tumultuous time in history the movie depicted?

Not me. I think of my sister.

You see, GWTW was her favorite movie. Even as a little girl, she was obsessed. Her copy of Margaret Mitchell’s novel was in tatters by the time she was a teenager. That was before VHS tapes, DVD’s and the internet of course, so whenever the movie came on television, it was a big to-do in our house. I can remember lazy Sunday afternoons spent watching it with her while she quoted the lines right along with the characters. Used to annoy the heck out of me. Now the thought of it just makes me sad.

My sister passed away four years ago this month. Pancreatic cancer is a horrible disease; fast and unforgiving. But I have my memories, and any mention of GWTW always makes me smile.

From the costumes, the elaborate sets, the plot and characters, Gone With the Wind is considered one of the greatest and most memorable films of all time. Shot in 1939, the film’s first public screening was held two months before it was actually finished. On the evening of September 9th, the producer, David Selznick, showed up at Fox Theatre with the film reels in hand and explained to the manager that he’d picked his theater for the first-ever showing. The manager was allowed to tell the crowd about the preview, but was forbidden to release the name. Theater-goers could stay or leave, but no one would be readmitted after it started.

Here’s what they saw:

The film editor, Hal Kern, was quoted afterward as saying: When Margaret Mitchell's name came on the screen, you never heard such a sound in your life. They just yelled, they stood up on the seats...I had the [manually-operated sound] box. And I had that music wide open and you couldn't hear a thing. Mrs. Selznick was crying like a baby and so was David and so was I. Oh, what a thrill! And when "Gone with the Wind" came on the screen, it was thunderous!

Could you imagine that kind of reaction to a movie now? How exciting that must’ve been. GWTW truly is a legacy. I’m glad it’s one of my memories and that I can remember it as something that always made my sister happy.

Me and my big sister, probably somewhere around 1973 or 1974

Thanks for letting me share.


As a side note, I’d like to remind you of Red Sage Publishing’s 15th Anniversary! To celebrate, Red Sage is throwing a party! Every party needs presents, and here’s a gift that could win you the July Secrets anthology and Calista Fox’s new novel, Object of Desire!

Here’s how to play the party game:

Kidnap this logo!

Simply send an email with the subject line “Ransom Note” to Inside this email, include a link back to this blog and the kidnapped logo.

Then we will both be entered into a drawing to win free trade paperbacks! Every time one of you sends a ransom note with a link, we will be entered again! Each Ransom Note is worth two entries in the drawing -- one for the person who sends the Ransom Note, and one for the linked blog or website (me!). And we both can win!

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Good luck, and have fun!


Sandra Sookoo said...

Excellent way to honor your sister!

I first read GWTW in 7th grade for no reason at all other than the fact I was steadily working my way through the classics that year because the "required" reading bored me to tears. I loved the book, loved it. At that point had never seen the film. I agonized for long months afterward wondering "Why?" Why didn't he come back, why didn't she just call for him? LOL And spent just as many sleepless nights re-writing the ending LOL

Seems silly now, but I've never forgotten my reaction to the book.

I can only hope my own writing is as memorable to people when they read it.

Happy writing--and reading!

Nicole North said...

That is so touching, Kris! I have a feeling your sister would be incredibly proud of you now! As for Gone with the Wind, it is definitely my favorite of the classics. When I read it in school I couldn't put it down.

Kristin said...

It doesn't seem silly to me at all. The great novels make you forget where you are, make you live the story right along with the characters. And that's the best! To get caught up like that is what makes reading such a joy for me.
Thanks for the comment!

Kristin said...

Thanks, Nicole. My sister passed before I started writing, but she's been visiting me in my dreams lately. She never speaks to me (dream analysis, anyone? LOL!), but I told her I was writing and she instantly perked up in the dream. So I'd like to think that you're right, that she would be proud.

Carol Ericson said...

Kristin, what a wonderful way to remember your sister. I recall reading GWTW for the first time (after I had seen the movie), and I loved the book so much. I remember being so mad at Scarlett too! Why would she keep pining for that wimpy Ashely when she could have Rhett!!

Kristin said...

I agree! Rhett was it for me. But what's funny is this -- my sister was so into this she knew all the little secrets of making the movie. Turns out Clark Gable had some nasty breath. Vivian Leigh would always complain about having to kiss him onscreen! How odd is that?!

Esmerelda Bishop said...

Great post, Kris:) You're sister would be very proud of you:)

Terry Spear/Terry Lee Wilde said...

I loved your post, Kris. Can you imagine publishers thought Scarlett was too mean to be likeable???