Monday, June 17, 2024

8 Different Versions of “Gone with the Wind” Zoom to Amazon Top 50, But Oscar Winner Hattie McDaniel May Be Getting Her Revenge


Rhett Butler’s fans DO give a damn!

Since HBO Max dropped “Gone with the Wind” from its service– basically calling it racist– the most popular movie in history is selling out.

Eight different versions of the DVD are on Amazon’s top 50. There’s also a DVD of Joanne Whalley Kilmer in a Scarlett O’Hara miniseries, making it 9 spots.

The paperback and hardcover editions of Margaret Mitchell’s bestseller are also climbing their respective best seller lists.

HBO Max says it will bring back “Gone with the Wind” with some kind of context but doesn’t explain. They fail to recall that Hattie McDaniel became the first black actress to win an Oscar, in 1939, for her work as Mammy. McDaniel was an actress, a real person, and now her great achievement is being overlooked.

Ironically, I’ve read that there are people who want “The Help” somehow excised from streaming. Octavia Spencer won an Oscar for that movie. So two of the few instances in which black women have won Oscars are now in danger of being removed. Was that what these critics wanted?

Well, Hattie may be getting her revenge from the beyond. She wasn’t treated so well in good old Hollywood. She wasn’t allowed to sit with her co-stars at the 1940 ceremony, but in the back of the room. The Cocoanut Grove nightclub at the Ambassador Hotel– where 28 years later Robert F. Kennedy would be assassinated– didn’t allow blacks and whites to sit together. When McDaniel died, she couldn’t be buried in a segregated cemetery. And the mystery of what happened to her Oscar remains. It was stolen in the 1970s.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

Read more

In Other News