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Old 11-14-2012, 08:42 PM   #1
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Gone With the Wind book vs. movie?

I've never read it or seen it. I've owned the DVD for about 10 years but never opened it. I just put the book on my Kindle.

Now I'm trying to decide if I should read it or watch it first. If I read it first, will it ruin the movie for me? I ask since I have never enjoyed a movie after reading the book. They can never compare. However, Gone With the Wind is supposed to be a fantastic movie.

Decisions, decisions...
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Old 11-14-2012, 09:51 PM   #2
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I suggest that you read it first. The movie had to cut stuff from the book, mostly the good stuff about Scarlett. I mean... Scarlett is not a saint but she's not a bad girl either, she did what women could do in that time period. Personally I think the movie focuses on her childish, selfish, obsessed with money & Ashley side. But she has good sides too, she's strong, hardworking, obstinate and generous. So I fear that you might end up not liking her at all if you start with the movie.
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Old 11-14-2012, 11:20 PM   #3
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Thanks! I was kind of leaning towards reading the book first. I asked the same question of my facebook friends and they unanimously agreed with you.
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Old 11-14-2012, 11:40 PM   #4
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Both are great. And since the film is such a classic (and is so long), this is one of the few instances I could almost see recommending watching the film first. Almost. I'd still recommend book first, but you'll be fine either way.
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Old 11-15-2012, 12:15 AM   #5
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Both are terrific. Read the book first.

I have just finished a reread. It's an experience to be savored.
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Old 11-15-2012, 12:23 AM   #6
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Definitely read the book first. Even though you'll know what's coming when you do watch the movie, it doesn't spoil it one bit. It's one movie that stayed true to the book.

And definitely watch the movie after, it still has to be one of the greatest movies ever made.
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Old 11-15-2012, 03:02 AM   #7
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I'll also jump in to say read the book first to get more background on the characters and the era. Then watch the movie. They are both fantastic and are great by themselves, but much more enjoyable if you read the book first, I believe.
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Old 11-15-2012, 03:05 AM   #8
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I suggest that you read it first. The movie had to cut stuff from the book, mostly the good stuff about Scarlett. I mean... Scarlett is not a saint but she's not a bad girl either, she did what women could do in that time period. Personally I think the movie focuses on her childish, selfish, obsessed with money & Ashley side. But she has good sides too, she's strong, hardworking, obstinate and generous. So I fear that you might end up not liking her at all if you start with the movie.
I hated the movie for all the reasons you stated. And, because after all she went through, she didn't seem to have grown at all.

Maybe I should try the book instead.
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Old 11-15-2012, 11:36 AM   #9
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The movie does stay true to the book as much as possible. I think reading the book just fleshes out the story more. You could do either (read the book or watch the movie) and be very much entertained. The book tells a more fuller story; however, the movie dramatizes the book very well. The best that I have seen.
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Old 11-15-2012, 11:54 AM   #10
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I suggest that you read it first. The movie had to cut stuff from the book, mostly the good stuff about Scarlett. I mean... Scarlett is not a saint but she's not a bad girl either, she did what women could do in that time period. Personally I think the movie focuses on her childish, selfish, obsessed with money & Ashley side. But she has good sides too, she's strong, hardworking, obstinate and generous. So I fear that you might end up not liking her at all if you start with the movie.
Not only did the movie make Scarlett more of a hitch, it also softened Rhett considerably. There's little of his cruel side evident.
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Old 11-15-2012, 12:51 PM   #11
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I think it does not matter. They are both great.

I happened to see the film first.
As a result, when I read the book, the faces of the protagonists were already set for me.

Spoiler:
As for Scarlett not changing or growing (in time) this is why, for her, it's not a happy ending so the ending is satisfying. Of course we can sympathise with her because she was traumatized but even so...


Oh and Nothingness, Scarlett is definitely a bad girl...
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Old 11-15-2012, 02:43 PM   #12
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Not only did the movie make Scarlett more of a hitch, it also softened Rhett considerably. There's little of his cruel side evident.
Having just revisited the book, I was a little surprised at how unflattering a picture of Scarlett it offered. I think she come off much worse in the book than in the movie, as does Rhett. Both characters are softened in the movie, I think, so they still come across as well-matched characters.

I think Mitchell's genius is that she made these two characters complex and endlessly fascinating.
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Old 11-15-2012, 07:49 PM   #13
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Everyone's input makes me excited for both the book and the movie. Not sure how I have went 48 years without ever trying either.

Starting the book tonight even though I am in the middle of another. I often have many books going at once. This may be an exception if it's as good as I expect it will be. May not be able to put it down.

The advice of having the background information of the book has trumped the possibility of making the movie seem lame in comparison.
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Old 11-15-2012, 08:00 PM   #14
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When I was reading the book I was waiting for my husband to pick me up late one night, so decided to go park myself in the public library and take advantage of the time to read more. I was so engrossed in the book that I had my purse stolen while there, and never even noticed it until an hour later when I went to leave. Talk about blocking everything out.

The movie theaters used to show Gone with the Wind every 10 years or so in my area, they haven't for awhile now, but I got lucky and managed to get interested in the book and movie around one of those times so was able to see it on a big screen. Truly an amazing experience, even if I did find myself with tears starting to well up before anything happened because I knew what was coming.

The movie will not seem lame in comparison after you read the book.
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Old 11-15-2012, 10:07 PM   #15
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The movie theaters used to show Gone with the Wind every 10 years or so in my area, they haven't for awhile now, but I got lucky and managed to get interested in the book and movie around one of those times so was able to see it on a big screen. Truly an amazing experience, even if I did find myself with tears starting to well up before anything happened because I knew what was coming.

The movie will not seem lame in comparison after you read the book.
I saw the film on the big screen the first time, about a year after I read the book. I tear up during the opening music!
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