Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Women on Wednesday ~ Scarlett O'Hara

Scarlett O’Hara (Full name:- Katie Scarlett O’Hara- that’s without the Hamilton, Kennedy Butler added on.) Scarlett like Rhett is one of my all time favourite characters. Scarlett is the girl who doesn’t know wants until she loses it, namely Rhett Butler. According to the novel; Scarlett O’Hara was not beautiful, but men seldom realized it when caught by her charm …
I love Vivien Leigh in this role. She had that added something that jumps out at the screen at you. Unlike Joanne Whalley (Still trying to work out what possessed someone to cast her as Scarlett).

I’ve been watching the screen tests of some of the actresses who tested for the role. Here’s a list of the actresses who were considered:

Lucille Ball                                                            Mary Brian
Joan Fontaine                                                      Gloria Stuart
Frances Dee                                                         Jean Harlow
Madge Evans                                                       Anita Louise
Carole Lombard                                                  Margaret Sullavan
Loretta Young                                                     Miriam Hopkins
Joan Crawford                                                     Barbara Stanwyck
Constance Bennett                                              Alice Faye
Ruth Chatterton                                                  Ann Sheridan
Irene Dunne                                                         Maureen O'Sullivan
Claudette Colbert                                                Norma Shearer
Myrna Loy                                                           Janet Gaynor
Ginger Rogers                                                     Dorothy Lamour
Gale Sondergaard                                               Merle Oberon
Linda Watkins                                                     Rochelle Hudson
Mae West                                                            Clara Bow
Glenda Farrell                                                     Jane Wyman
Kay Francis                                                         Andrea Leeds

Scarlett has also been described as selfish, shrewd and vain. Okay maybe not qualities we want in our heroines, but it does give you room for her to grow. As the book or movie continues, you soon realize that Scarlett does grow and is not always so selfish. She has a caring nature when it comes to Melanie even if she does complain about her dear sister-in-law. 
Scarlett believes she is desperately in love with Ashley Wilkes, her childhood neighbor. Only problem is Ashley is going to marry his mealy-mouthed cousin Melanie Hamilton. Thinking she will hurt Ashley by marrying another she agrees to marry Melanie’s brother, Charles the night before the men go off to war. Charles does leaving Scarlett a very young widow. One of my favourite scenes is at the dance when Rhett pays to dance with Scarlett much to the shock of many of the towns good women folk.
The war continues and with the Yankee army descending on Atlanta Scarlett is ready to return to Tara her family home, only to find out Melanie is about to have her child.
After the birth of Melanie and Ashley’s son and with Rhett’s help Scarlett and Melanie begin their return to Tara. Another of my favourite scenes (which I also told you on Monday) is where Rhett leaves the women on the side of the road to go and fight the war. Tara is not the home it once was, and instead of going home to be looked after and pampered, it is left to Scarlett to keep the family feed.

With money scarce and the threat of losing Tara, Scarlett goes in search of Rhett hoping he will be able to help her save her beloved home. Rhett however is in jail and in no position to help. On her way back to Tara she runs into her sister Suellen’s beau, and convinces him Suellen has moved on. Frank marries Scarlett and Tara is saved.
Frank dies after a rally meeting goes wrong. While still in her morning period Rhett calls on Scarlett kissing her for the first time, telling her “None of you fools have kissed you like this, not you Charles, or Frank, or your stupid Ashley.”
Rhett and Scarlett finally marry, and are happy for a while, even if Scarlett does continue to believe she is in love with Ashley. When it all becomes too much for Rhett he leaves taking Bonnie with him. Rhett returns to find Scarlett pregnant, he taunts her asking who’s child it is, Scarlett falls down the stair of their mansion losing the baby. After little Bonnie’s death from falling off her horse life is not that same in the Butler house. When Melanie dies, Rhett believes there is nothing to keep Scarlett from having Ashley, Scarlett on the other hand finally realizes it is Rhett she has always loved and confesses her undying love to him. In the movie Rhett utters those heart stabbing words. “Frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn.”
Does Scarlett live up to the heroine of today? I think she does, after all she grows throughout the story in positive ways.
Below is Vivien Leigh accepting her Academy Award for Best Actress for her role as Scarlett O’Hara.


So that is it for Women on Wednesday this week. I haven't decided on Next week's subjects yet.

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