Sunday, 15 April 2012

Rhett and Frank

Scarlett takes Mammy with her to Atlanta, and they end up staying with Aunt Pittypat who has returned to her home, which is amazingly still standing. Atlanta is being rebuilt after the fires from the war, and it is teeming with Yankees, free slaves and Southerners trying to rebuild their lives. 

Rhett in jail.

Scarlett visits Rhett in jail.

She learns from Aunty that Rhett has been put into jail by the Yankees, who suspect him of stealing a quite a large sum of Confederacy money/gold, and that he has hidden it somewhere for safe keeping. Under the circumstances, one would think that they would despise him, however Rhett being the charming person that he is, they cannot help but enjoy his company and make sure that he is comfortable, even if he is jailed. Scarlett goes to see him, acting worried about him and flirting outrageously, and for a moment he is fooled by her charms, but then realises that she is putting it all on and finally gets the truth from her about Tara. Here is a gorgeous scene from the movie…

What he is going to say there is, she can go to his hanging! I just love him! He is so dry and fabulous.

Scarlett leaves in a state, and runs into Frank Kennedy, a friend from the old days and her sister Sue Ellen’s beau. They had an understanding about one day being married, but after the war Frank decided that he couldn’t marry her without having some money to his name so he left for Atlanta to open a store and become more successful before marrying Sue Ellen. As it turns out, Frank did indeed make some money, and quite a bit too. 

Scarlett runs into Frank.    

He, like all men, cannot help being charmed by Scarlett, and as she visits with him her plan changes course dramatically. She knows that if Sue Ellen marries Frank, she won’t use the money to save Tara because she doesn’t love it like Scarlett does. If Scarlett marries Frank, then they would be saved and from future taxes as well. Scarlett decides then and there to tell Frank that Sue Ellen has decided to marry another, and puts herself in his sights as a potential wife. Their courtship is swift and they are soon married, and Scarlett doesn’t even return to Tara, she stays on Atlanta and sends money home regularly to keep them all fed and safe. 

Scarlett charms Frank.

So, this particular part of the story is quite terrible. Even though Scarlett is not that fond of her sisters, to steal her own sister’s beau right out from under her is awful. Scarlett hardly feels any remorse for her actions, and even though she is trying to do a good thing by saving Tara, she has done an awful, immoral thing. What do you think? What would you have done in the same situation? 

Sue Ellen is upset at her sister's betrayal.

Mitchell, M .(1974). 'Gone With The Wind'. Pan Books Ltd, Cavaye Place, London, MacMillan London Ltd.

All still frames and movie clips courtesy of Selznick International Pictures and MGM. 

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