Packed in a velvet box filled with three discs full of bonus features, a 20-page reproduction of the original program, a 40-page book about the production, eight art prints, and a CD sampler, one might accuse Warner Home Video of gilding the lily for their premier release of Gone With the Wind on Blu-ray. Amazingly, however, the set manages to seem like exactly the amount of excess that would be necessary to properly celebrate one of American cinema's earliest masterpieces. Newly remastered in high definition and arriving with some eight hours of supplemental material, Gone With the Wind remains a classic by which all others should be judged, and now the same can be said of its home-entertainment iteration.
Initially I considered covering this film in Cinematical's "Shelf Life" column, but watching just a few of the film's opening scenes I knew it would be redundant to re-christen Gone With the Wind as amazing,and disingenuous to call it anything less. Vivien Leigh is at her fiercely unlikeable best as Scarlett O'Hara, the spoiled, obstinate and irresistible oldest daughter of the Southern O'Hara family. Discovering that her intended husband Ashley Wilkes (Leslie Howard) has committed himself to the decidedly less fiery Melanie (Olivia De Havilland), Scarlett is apoplectic, but she has little time to lament her loss when the Civil War begins.
Passing from one suitor to the next in some ritualistic pretense of domesticity, Scarlett commits herself only to her family's financial success, only to realize that the money she earns comes at the price of the love of Rhett Butler (Clark Gable), a pragmatic and perfectly suited companion who falls head over heels for her firebrand charms.