Rating: Not Rated
Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Presents 1939: Hollywood’s Greatest Year Documentary
Gone with the Wind: The Legend Lives On
The Marvelous Emmy-Winning Telefilm Moviola: The Scarlett O’Hara War
Bonus DVD: 6 Hour Documentary: MGM: When The Lion Roars
Commemorative 52-Page Photo And Production Art Book
Ten 5″x7″ Watercolor Reproduction Art Prints
Archival Correspondence From Producer David O’ Seiznick
Reproduction Of 1939 Original Program
Bonus CD Soundtrack Sampler
“Period romance. War epic. Family saga. Popular fiction adapted with crowd-pleasing brilliance. Star acting aglow with charisma and passion. Moviemaking craft at its height. These are sublimely joined in the words ‘Gone with the Wind.’
This dynamic and durable screen entertainment of the Civil War-era South comes home with the renewed splendor of a New 70th-Anniversary Digital Transfer capturing a higher-resolution image from Restored Picture Elements than ever before possible. David O. Selznick’s monumental production of Margaret Mitchell’s Pulitzer Prize-winning book can now enthrall new generations of home viewers with a majestic vibrance that befits one of Hollywood’s greatest achievements. ”
“Gone with the Wind” is not rated.
I was curious to see how the film would look on an HD screen. While it’s not crystal clear sharp like recent movies, I was struck by how vibrant the colors were. I don’t think I’ve ever seen “Gone with the Wind” so bright and colorful. It’s like seeing the movie on a brand new print. From Scarlett’s green dress to the flames in Atlanta, the images just pop off the screen.
Among the bonus features, there are a number of extras that have been offered before. There’s a featurette on Vivien Leigh from the ’80s featuring Jessica Lange, a featurette on Clark Gable, “Making a Legend” narrated by Christopher Plummer, a conversation with Olivia de Havilland, profiles of the cast, and much more. But there are three new offerings for this release. The first is “1939: Hollywood’s Greatest Year.” This documentary talks about the release of “Gone with the Wind,” “The Wizard of Oz,” “Snow White,” and more. It’s a detailed behind the scenes retrospective on how the movies were made. It’s interesting, but not an exclusively “Gone with the Wind” featurette. Also included is the featurette entitled “Gone with the wind: The Legend Lives On”. This covers the making of the movie, the re-releases, the fandom, and more. It features the surviving cast members, film historians, and fans who call themselves “Windies.” It’s brief but thorough. Rounding out the new bonus features is a TV movie from 1980 entitled “Movieola: The Scarlett O’Hara War” starring Tony Curtis and Sharon Gless. It depicts the casting of Scarlett O’Hara. It’s interesting, but a tad dated since it’s quality is typical of the 1980s. The six hour documentary “MGM: When The Lion Roars” is also included, but unfortunately it’s a DVD rather than a Blu-ray disc. Maybe they’re waiting to release it on Blu-ray some time in the future.
The Blu-ray comes in a rather large box filled with other “Gone with the Wind” items. As nice as all that is, it’s rather bulky and kind of a pain to store on a shelf with other Blu-ray cases. I wish they had put a plain Blu-ray case inside with the discs. Instead it is in a book-like case that is a tad bulky itself. Storage issues aside, there’s a lot here to entertain “Windies.” You’ll find a hardback book that contains stills from the movie, pre-production art, costume sketches, and behind the scenes photos. Also included are reproductions of telegrams and inter-office memos concerning casting, press releases, and other production issues. It’s an interesting peek behind the scenes. There’s also a reproduction of an original program from the theatrical presentation. It contains the credits, profiles of the cast, and other production notes. Rounding out the set are a CD sampler of the soundtrack and a packet of postcards featuring pre-production paintings of the sets. The set is a limited edition of 150,000 and each one is numbered.
I believe this set is a required addition to the collection of any “Gone with the Wind” fan. But if you already own previous editions of the movie, I don’t think these new bonus features are incentive enough to replace your older editions. Getting it in HD quality will probably be your main motivation for picking it up.