Favourite Classic Movie Kisses : Gone With The Wind (1939)
Vivien Leigh & Clark Gable.
Dir. Victor Fleming (also George Cukor & Sam Wood)
Perhaps the most famous on-screen kiss of all-time!
A slightly-too-detailed and completely pointless review by celluloidsnogs.tumblr.com
Context: You all know the story! Scoundrel Rhett (Clark Gable) has just rescued feisty Scarlett (Vivien Leigh) and her pals from the burning city of Atlanta. They’ve been bickering and flirting all over the place up until now, and she’s already offered him a kiss in an earlier scene, which he refused with the famous line “…and you need kissing, badly!” He’s about to leave to join the army and fight “those damn yankees”. But not before confessing his love for Scarlett and giving her “a proper good one” (technical term) to say farewell. To summarise: the sexual tension here is at absolute max.
Aesthetic: Look at these sexy, beautiful bastards… with all the dishevelled-ness, and the flame-red sky. Yes, RED, the colour of passion and danger! And they’re cast in those dramatic shadows, which totally emphasise the intimacy of the moment, u feel me?
Direction: It is my opinion that the genius of this particular movie kiss lies in the direction. Without it, it could be seemingly just another good 1930s-style "let-me-smother-you-with-my-face" kind of kiss. But they get a really tight close-up on them. Right in there, where the action is. You can even see the individual hairs of Clark’s moustache! (If that floats yer boat.) I am so often used to squinting at 1930s kisses filmed in a medium shot, or even those one-sided, over-the-shoulder shots. But with this one you can see errrrything, and truly appreciate the kiss for the fine bit of acting that it is.
Technique: Can there be such a thing as a “gentle rib-crushing”? If so, this is it. And if I go into any further detail here, this review is going to get a whole lot creepier than it already is. Anyway, considering the rumours of Clark and Viv hating each other, and stories about Clark’s bad breath, there’s some pretty damn good snog-acting happening here. Whether you are to believe the halitosis story or not, it still looks ttly hawwt (official classification).
On the surface one might mistakenly think that Scarlett didn’t appreciate the kiss so much…
But by the way it is described in the book, she clearly enjoys it more than you might think: "She felt as limp as a rag doll, warm weak and helpless, and his supporting arms were so pleasant… He was kissing her now and his mustache tickled her mouth, kissing her with slow, hot lips that were as leisurely as though he had the whole night before him" …Ahem. Yes. Well. Moving on…
I’m not a big fan of this movie as a whole (for various reasons I shan’t go into now,) but I will watch it purely for the chemistry between Rhett and Scarlett. This kiss, in particular, says all you need to know about their relationship.
I give it an official CelluloidSnogs™ rating of **dayumn son!**
"If the novel has a theme it is that of survival. What makes some people able to come through catastrophes and others, apparently just as able, strong and brave, go under? It happens in every upheaval. Some people survive; others don’t. What qualities are in those who fight their way through triumphantly that are lacking in those who go under…? I only know that the survivors used to call that quality ‘gumption.’ So I wrote about the people who had gumption and the people who didn’t.” — Margaret Mitchell, 1936