Last night, after noting the long held controversy surrounding Gone with the Wind’s handling of racial issues, streaming service HBO Max made the decision to temporarily remove the 1939 classic from its library. Naturally, as one would expect, the news went viral, and Amazon was apparently the first place fans of the film went to in order to console themselves. And they did just that by buying copies of the MGM Hollywood classic, sending director Victor Fleming’s film to several spots on the Best Seller charts.
As reported by Deadline, Gone with the Wind found itself as the first, eighth and ninth best-selling product on Amazon’s movie and TV charts earlier today. Those standings, as of the writing of this news item, have changed slightly, as the film retains first and eighth place holdings, but also has showings in third through fifth places. Even the not-so-often remembered TV sequel, Scarlett, starring Timothy Dalton and Joanne Whalley-Kilmer, managed to see a boost in its fortunes, as that film is in 30th place.
You might be asking how so many copies of Gone with the Wind are starting to live up to the film’s very name right about now. Especially when it looks like the decision to remove most of the DC Comics movies canon hasn’t yielded similar results. Well, it’s because of two key factors, and it all starts with the initial announcement. When it was reported that HBO Max was removing the film, due to the current climate of events surrounding racism in the United States, it sounded like the service was taking the film down for good. This turned out to be false, as the Clark Gable/Vivian Leigh starring classic was merely being suspended until it could be reinstated with some further historical context in place.
On top of the temporary suspension of Gone with the Wind driving physical media sales, there was also a plethora of formats that saw the movie available for purchase. Strangely enough, the DVD format was the #1 entry, with Blu-ray copies showing up further down the line. What isn’t strange, though, is the fact that there’s such a fandom still out in the world in love with the romantic epic from one of Hollywood’s golden ages.
Considering a dress from Gone with the Wind fetched over $100,000 at auction a couple of years ago, and with inflation adjusted, it’s still the biggest theatrical success ever, it’s a film that’s earned its place in history. However, much as Warner Bros has done with its stable of racially insensitive entries into the classic Looney Tunes canon, the studio has decided that it’s time to finally allow its film to exist with some proper context as to why it extolls the views it does.
Still, a lot of people are about to have their own personal movie night with Rhett Butler and Scarlett O’Hara; and if their families thought Avengers: Endgame or The Irishman were “too long,” they’re about to be in for a rude awakening. Guess it just goes to show that frankly, some people still do give a damn about Gone with the Wind.