SHOCKING NEW REVELATION

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In a press release issued with little fanfare, The Centers For Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta has confirmed that it’s possible to contract Ebola through reading about it online or watching CNN’s coverage of the epidemic.

Tom Frieden, the director of the Centers, insists there is no cause for undue concern as long as people moderate their online reading and CNN viewing and keep a careful watch for symptoms.

ON THE SET

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Gone With the Wind, 1939.

This scene with the Tarleton boys, Scarlett O’Hara’s first appearance in the film, was shot multiple times for multiple reasons — because the boys’ first red hair dye looked unnatural, because Selznick wanted a dress for Leigh that came across as more virginal than the one originally chosen.

By the time they got around to doing it for the last time, Leigh looked so worn out from the long production that it wasn’t felt she could play a convincing sixteen, Scarlett’s age at the film’s opening.  So she was given several weeks’ rest and brought back to do it once more after the other principal photography had been completed.

Click on the image to enlarge.

ANOTHER AMAZON CUSTOMER REVIEW

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Fun, weird, wonderful

Really fun! A highly entertaining story which starts off pretty funny and then grabs you by the throat! Mr. Fonvielle is clearly in his element here, which is good news for the rest of us. His detective fiction is every bit as strange, moving, sweet, scary and resonant as his Westerns. A whopping good tale with characters that kick around in your head for a while, and which you know you’re going to miss when it’s all over. I wanted to inhabit the story a little while longer, maybe hang out at The Shipwreck, order a beer, and ask everybody, “What did you guys think of that? Pretty wild, huh?” Instead, I’ll just have to wait and hope the writer sends more stuff like this our way.

For the review and book details go here — Black Pearl.

ESSENTIAL

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It’s hard to convey how good this movie looks on Blu-ray.  Digital technology makes it possible to align the elements of a three-strip Technicolor negative more precisely than was ever possible before, creating a clarity in the image that’s dazzling.

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You can certainly make valid criticisms of the film itself, for its pious romanticizing of the antebellum South and slavery, for its distressing (if well-intentioned) patronizing of its black characters.  What you can’t deny is that it’s one of the grandest entertainments ever concocted by anyone in any medium.

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A fine cast, a literate and amusing script, sure-footed direction and the deployment of studio craftsmanship on a stupendous scale result in a film of breathtaking virtuosity — part soap opera, part melodrama, part epic, part lyrical romance, part tragedy.

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Producer David Selznick put the package together with canny calculation and good taste but director Victor Fleming invested it with life, made the elements cohere into a timeless work of popular art.  His direction of the film ranks among the highest achievements of Hollywood’s Golden Age.

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It’s just the damnedest thing.  The Blu-ray of Gone With the Wind belongs in every civilized home.

Click on the images to enlarge.