For reasons we don’t need to dwell on here, I was recently reminded of the fact that — a few weeks ago as I pen these words — I was watching that great American classic movie, Departed with Flatulence (I believe it was released as Gone with the Wind in the south). Staring British stage and film actress Vivien Leigh as Scarlett O’Hara and American film actor Clark Gable as Rhett Butler, this was an epic production with a run time of 221 minutes on a good day, or 238 minutes if the fates are against you and you are forced to sit through the overture, intermission, entr’acte, and exit music. As you may recall, this epic tale relates the story of Scarlett O’Hara, who is typically described as “the strong-willed daughter of a Georgia plantation owner.” Personally, I could come up with several descriptions that I feel are a tad more apt than “strong-willed,” starting with one that rhymes with “itch.”
Gone with the Wind is an epically long epic movie (Click image to see a larger version)
Why was I watching this movie for what seemed to be the 1,000th time? Well, I was informed by my wife (Gina the Gorgeous) that this came under the heading of “Quality Time” and you can’t (well, you’re not allowed to) argue with logic like that. Happily, I wasn’t condemned to suffer this delight in this movie alone because we were joined by my son (Joseph the Commonsense Challenged). Halfway through the film, after the tide of war has turned against the Confederacy, Scarlett makes her way back to her family’s cotton plantation in Georgia. The plantation has been pillaged by Union troops, the fields left untended, and there’s scant food to be found. While Scarlett meanders her way through a field, she stumbles across a small turnip, eats it raw, throws up, and then cries to heaven proclaiming, “As God is my witness, I’ll never be hungry again.” It is at this point that the intermission image appears and the intermezzo music commences, but Joseph didn’t realize this was just an interlude. “Well,” he said in a dour and cheerless tone as he stood and prepared to exit stage left, “that was the worse ending for a movie ever.” Strange to relate, my informing him that we were only halfway through the film failed to return him to good cheer, and he departed muttering something about turnips under his breath. How about you? Do you class this movie as being an epic, or just as being an epically long movie? And, either way, what would you class as being the worst movie ending of all time?