Friday, May 18, 2012

Jordyn Does the Best Picture Winners: Mrs. Miniver (1942)

Let's talk about war movies for a second.

Wars are generally (and have historically been) fought by men. War movies are generally (and have historically been) about men, not to mention written by men, directed by men, and, please excuse my sexist attitude, enjoyed by men. That is why it is always refreshing to me--as a woman, don't forget!--to find a movie that has a backdrop of war with a female protagonist. Now, I know there are war movies that feature women beyond the roles of mother/wife/girlfriend or nurse, like Courage Under Fire and obviously any movie about Joan of Arc. But that's not what I'm talking about.

I'm talking about the home front. How do women survive during war time? Obviously, in these liberated times, women would be perfectly capable of surviving, so I am referring to ye olden days. And, quite obviously, women of yore were able to survive or else we wouldn't be here. But how? Luckily, fiction has presented us with a scattered few examples.*

A mere three years ago in the history of Oscar, we saw how Scarlett O'Hara dealt with those damn Yankees ravaging Georgia and now, in 1942, we watch how another woman copes with an enemy attack on her beloved homeland.

If you happened to catch the first half hour or so of Mrs. Miniver, you wouldn't have the slightest inclination that it's is a war film. It begins much like a 1950's sitcom; The Minivers are an upper-middle class British family living in the suburbs. Kay Miniver (Greer Garson) is a housewife with a fondness for couture hats. She loves her architect husband, Clem (Walter Pidgeon), and he loves her. They have three children, Toby (Christopher Severn), Judy (Clare Sandars), and an elder son Vin (Richard Ney) who has just returned from his first term at Oxford with a intellectual chip on his shoulder. On his first night home, he insults Carol Beldon (Teresa Wright), the pretty, nubile granddaughter of the aristocratic (re: snobbish) Lady Beldon (Dame May Whitty). But the youngsters overcome their differences and fall in love at a dance...and then World War II starts. Vin joins the Royal Air Force. Clem helps with the Dunkirk evacuation. And lovely, glowing Mrs. Miniver--to put it bluntly--deals with it.

Mrs. Miniver is based on a series of newspaper articles written by Jan Struther for the British newspaper, The Times. According the Wikipedia, the articles were about the daily, suburban life of the fictional Mrs. Miniver. However, after the outbreak of WWII, the tone of the articles changed as the heroine was forced to deal with air raids and bomb shelters. And to directly quote Wikipedia, because I am apparently too lazy to paraphrase and have too much a conscience to plagiarize:
The U.S. was still officially neutral, but as war with Nazi Germany intensified in Europe, the tribulations of the Miniver family engaged the sympathy of the American public sufficiently that President Franklin D. Roosevelt credited it for hastening America's involvement in the war.
Just short of 6 months after the attack on Pearl Harbor, Mrs. Miniver was released to the theaters.

So yeah, the film is pretty propaganda-esque: men should go fight, women should do what they can, freedom is worth fighting for, etcetera, etcetera. But should we throw it away? No, there is lots of good stuff here and many memorable scenes, including one where a wounded German pilot breaks in casa de Miniver. I can't help but make a comparison to Gone With the Wind here; in a similar scene, Scarlett boldly shoots the Yankee straggler in the face and takes his money. In MM, Kay is much more diplomatic and calls the police after she takes the passed out Nazi's pistol. Naturally, We want women more like Mrs. Miniver rather than that haughty O'Hara girl. Neither cries in the corner in the face of danger, but one keeps her feminine cool and grace and doesn't violate the sixth commandment. what does this say about women during WWII?

Sorry. Didn't mean to go all Feminist Film Theory 101 on you. And sorry to bring up Gone With the Wind again. This isn't about comparing the Best Picture Winners, damn it!

In all honesty, I'm pretty conflicted about Mrs. Miniver. At times I was really enjoying myself and invested in the story and other times I was just annoyed by one thing or another--such as Vin's characterization and horrendous British accent. Yeesh. What I took away from the whole experience was how the war was really happening in England. Duh, you say. Anyone who took U.S. History would know that, you say. Of course I knew that, but my thick American head never really thought about it. Thank you, Mrs. Miniver. If you do nothing else, you've helped me complete a high school history education.

What really baffles me is the film's 1942 release date. 1942. That was only halfway through the war for England. There were three more years of war, and of course, the world had no way of knowing how long it would go on. There is no real conclusion to Mrs. Miniver and how can there be? All though a buttload of stuff has already happened to the family, a buttload more will happen. Perhaps even young Judy and Toby will be sent to live with professor in the country and find a magical portal to another world. But until then, the Minivers and all the people of the Britain, must keep holding on, and not stop believing and fight the good fight until the bitter end.

Ah, Mrs. Miniver. How little I actually wrote about you. Whatever. This isn't one I really care about so you're lucky got this much out of me.


Impressions circa 2004
Negative. I really hated this one for reasons I can no longer remember or even guess at.

Other Nominations and Wins
(bold represents win)
  • Best Director - William Wyler 
  • Best Actor - Walter Pidgeon 
  • Best Actress - Greer Garson 
  • Best Supporting Actor - Henry Travers 
  • Best Supporting Actress - Teresa Wright
  • Best Adapted Screenplay 
  • Best Cinematography, Black and White 
  • Best Film Editing 
  • Best Sound Recording 
  • Best Visual Effects 

1942 Best Picture Nominees
(bold represents films I have seen...followed by my opinion in 10 words or less.)

  • The Invaders 
  • Kings Row 
  • The Magnificent Ambersons 
  • The Pied Piper 
  • The Pride of the Yankees 
  • Random Harvest 
  • The Talk of the Town 
  • Wake Island 
  • Yankee Doodle Dandy 

What I Learned From...Mrs. Miniver
War affects everyone, even women.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Jordyn Does the Best Picture Winners: How Green Was My Valley (1941)


Just thought you all should know.

See, that's pretty much all anyone knows about this film. Instead of dilly-dallying around it, I thought I'd shout it to the internet rooftops just in case you thought I wouldn't address it. Now I've addressed it. And now we can move on because we are not here to compare and contrast two films, we are here to dissect the winner which was How Green Was My Valley, no matter how badly the Academy and fans of the Oscars wishes it wasn't.

1941's winner is a simple little film about a simple little family who lives in a simple little mining town in Southern Wales. Huw Morgan (Roddy McDowall) is the youngest child of patriarch Gwilym (Donald Crisp) and devoted Beth (Sara Allgood). Huw has five elder brothers who work in the coal mines with their father and one elder sister, Angharad (Maureen O'Hara) who helps her mother. Over the course of the film, the elder Morgan brothers form a union, Huw and his mother become ill, and Angharad falls in love with the new preacher Mr. Gruffyd (Walter Pidgeon). Despite Huw's aptitude for learning, he refuses a scholarship at the university in favor of working in the mines and supporting his brother's widow Bronwyn (Anna Lee).

How Green Was My Valley is a good movie. It is an even better 1940's movie, which is my polite way of saying that it don't age so well. It's just so heartfelt and sincere with it's message of family, religion, and tradition--hallmarks of golden age Hollywood. But there is some darkness and realism here. (It is a John Ford picture and not a Frank Capra one, thank God). Due to the film being narrated by adult Huw who is looking back through the rose colored glasses of that bitch Nostalgia, the darkness and realism seem a bit diluted. Huw's youth and innocence makes everything seem less harsh than it really is. If HGWMV was made in the 1970's, I would say the film suffers for it. But this is 1941. The Hays Code rules the roost and it canít ever get really that dark. But it tries. For 1941 it tries. (That being said, I'm not sure how dark the 1939 Richard Llewellyn novel is in comparison).

Honestly, the best part of the movie for me is Angharad's tragic romance with the preacher, Mr. Gruffyd. And it really is tragic because they can be together. Mr. Gruffyd is not a priest. He can get married but he tells Anharad that he wonít have her living the somber, pinchpenny life of a preacherís wife. She settles for the son of the mine owner and has a miserable existence henceforth. Unfortunately this little romance is just a slice of the HGWMV pie. A small slice that maybe takes up twenty minutes of the running time. I wish it was longer. I wish it was the whole movie.

And that's pretty much all I can say. As I conclude this far too short review, I would like to reiterate what a good film How Green Was My Valley is. It deserves a fair shake. It's not for everybody, myself included. I don't think I'll be watching it again for a loooonnnngggg time. But it is not a bad film and one of the better winners from the first third of Oscar's history. Just give it a chance. At the very least, you can make an educated argument on why Citizen Kane was robbed.

Impressions circa 2004

Other Nominations and Wins
(bold represents win)
  • Best Director - John Ford 
  • Best Supporting Actor - Donald Crisp 
  • Best Supporting Actress - Sara Allgood 
  • Best Adapted Screenplay
  • Best Cinematography, Black and White 
  • Best Art Direction, Black and White 
  • Best Film Editing 
  • Best Sound Recording 
  • Best Music, Original Score 

1941 Best Picture Nominees
(bold represents films I have seen...followed by my opinion in 10 words or less.)
  • Blossoms in the Dust
  • Citizen Kane - The greatest movie of all time? I liked it fine. 
  • Here Comes Mr. Jordan 
  • Hold Back the Dawn 
  • The Little Foxes 
  • The Maltese Falcon 
  • One Foot in Heaven 
  • Sergeant York 
  • Suspicion 

What I Learned From...How Green Was My Valley
Ah, the good old days when times were bad...

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Jordyn Does the Best Picture Winners: Rebecca (1940)

Anything would seem like small beans coming after Gone With the Wind. Anything. But 1939, the reputed greatest year in American cinema, inevitably had to give way to 1940. So here we are at the beginning of a new decade. Oscar is now thirteen years old and the winner is Rebecca, an Alfred Hitchcock helmed picture based on Daphne du Maurier's 1938 novel of the same name.

Plot synopsis, like a boss: Joan Fontaine plays an innocent (and never named) young woman who is the paid companion of a wealthy old dowager (Florence Bates). While on vacation in Monte Carlo with said dowager, the young woman meets Maxim de Winter (Laurence Olivier) a wealthy widower and the owner of the ancient and noble estate of Manderley. The pair marry after a whirlwind courtship and the "second Mrs. de Winter" finds running a large household far more difficult than she imagined. The housekeeper, Mrs. Danvers (Judith Anderson), is devoted to Maxim's first wife, the titular and seemingly perfect Rebecca and makes the second Mrs. de Winter wrestle with her feelings of inadequacy.

I could probably write a very thoughtful and insightful analysis of this film, but not without spoiling it. I won't, despite the fact that Rebecca is, like totally, 72 years old. My review will suffer for it, surely. So here are some what I can mention: I like the film. Best Picture Winners based around females and especially feminine neurosis are exceptionally rare. Off the top of my head, there's Gone With the Wind, Rebecca, All About Eve, and Terms of Endearment, but let's not go down that rabbit hole.

Yes, yes, I liked it even though it had a little bit of a genre identity crises. The first act is sort of like a rom-com with an edge. The second act is full-on gothic romance, and the most interesting part of the movie for me. Overall, I would have preferred an 19th century setting vs. the 30's/40's, who wouldn't? And the last act treads into mystery/detective territory. After the twist is revealed (It's Hitchcock. There's a twist) I sort of lose interest. That isn't to say the twist is boring or unmerited, it just transforms the film from a emotionally/psychologically driven story to an externally conflicted one. And me no so much like external conflict.

Bitch, bitch, bitch. Rebecca is really, pretty good. Notice I said "pretty good" which basically means, good with a "but..." While reading other bloggers' reviews of this one, everyone pretty much likes it but... My "but" is, as stated above, the third act. Others are let down by...stuff? There just seems to be a vague disappointment surrounding Rebecca. Perhaps it's because people expect something more from a Hitchcock film. (Confession: I have only seen Vertigo and Psycho so I'm not sure what they want).

Um...what else?

Oh, yes. Mrs. Danvers.

Mrs. Danvers is an infamous character. One of the "greatest villains of all time" according to the hacks at the American Film Institute. It is strongly suggested that Mrs. Danvers is a lesbian and that she has a big ol' lesbian crush on Rebecca. Gay stereotypes in Hollywood have just as rich of a history as those of blacks and other minorities. Post Hays Code, gays were allowed on screen but usually as villains. It is not Mrs. Danvers' reputed homosexuality that directly makes her a villain, it is her obsessive nature. I feel that Mrs. Danvers would attempt to destroy anyone--man, woman, or child--who attempted to replace her fallen idol--man, woman, or child.*

Another thing: Mrs. Danvers seems strictly Rebecca-sexual and is never seen coming on to other women or our heroine. Food for thought.

Ultimately, Rebecca is probably just one of those middling Best Picture Winners. But it's one that I like and look forward to watching again when I inevitably re-rank these movies in the next decade. Having seen only one other BP nominee from this year, I am sort of surprised that Rebecca snagged the Oscar. I mean, it's just sort of girly and I don't understand how all of Hollywood (re: the Academy) could be that taken by it. (I also heard somewhere that the Oscar lobbying for this movie was insane.)

P.S. I want to watch Laurence Olivier act some more.

Impressions circa 2004
Positive. Love triangle with a dead woman? Yes, please.

Other Nominations and Wins
(bold represents win)
  • Best Director - Alfred Hitchcock 
  • Best Actor - Laurence Olivier 
  • Best Actress - Joan Fontaine 
  • Best Supporting Actress - Judith Anderson 
  • Best Adapted Screenplay 
  • Best Cinematography, Black and White 
  • Best Art Direction, Black and White 
  • Best Special Effects 
  • Best Film Editing 
  • Best Music, Original Score 
1940 Best Picture Nominees
(bold represents films I have seen...followed by my opinion in 10 words or less.)
  • All This and Heaven, Too 
  • Foreign Correspondent 
  • The Grapes of Wrath - Boy, that Depression sure was depressing.
  • The Great Dictator 
  • Kitty Foyle 
  • The Letter 
  • The Long Voyage Home 
  • Our Town 
  • The Philadelphia Story 

What I Learned From...Rebecca
There's always someone before you--for better or worse.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Jordyn Does the Best Picture Winners Decade Wrap-Up: 1928-1939

After a semi-long hiatus, I am semi-back with a semi-vengeance! In honor of finally posting my Gone With the Wind review--the last Best Picture Winner of the 30's--I figured I'd take a look back and offer my Jerry Springer-esque final thoughts on the decade (and the two 1920's winners). I'll also put up some fun (re: boring) statistics as well as my ranking so far.

Thoughts on 1928-1939 was sort of a mish-mash, wasn't it? That has to be expected. I mean, Oscar was just learning to walk, of course he would stumble a bit. The first five years were particularly jarring, going from pretty good film to bad film to great film to bad film to pretty good least in my opinion. After the "January 1 to December 31" switch, things got a little more steady but I can't point out any definite patterns of this twelve year stretch and so, I don't really have much to say. (Wow, this wasn't really thought out, was it?) I will say this about the decade: it holds some of the very worst winners in Oscar's 84 years and one of the very, very best. Perhaps the best ever? Hmmm...there's still 72 movies to watch. Maybe I shouldn't make judgements yet.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Jordyn Does the Best Picture Winners: Gone With the Wind (1939)

Christ, where to start? Where to start? Um, Gone With the Wind is a huge fucking deal. Everything you would ever want to know about it is already out there, floating around in cyberspace. There are thousands, maybe even millions of reviews on this film that discuss its lengthy search for a lead actress, its tumultuous production with multiple directors, and its highest grossing movie adjusted for inflation-ness. And maybe I should write about all that, but frankly my dear, I don't give damn. YOU'VE heard it before and I'M not interested in rehashing common movie knowledge.

Let me state here and now that Gone With the Wind is one of my favorite, favorite movies of all time; easily in my top ten it is. But for this Best Picture winner retrospective I'm going to work my little ass off to not just gush and gush or get sentimental and personal. Therefore, this review might seem a little clinical. But fear not, dear readers, for one day I will write another post for my neglected Jordyn's Favorite Movies series. That will most likely be years in the future so this will have to do for now.

Gone With the Wind is based on Margaret Mitchell's Pulitzer Prize winning (our second of four Pulitzer Prize winning source material BP's) and only novel of the same name. Picture it: April 1861. The gorgeous southern cotton plantation of Tara. Raven haired southern belle Scarlett O'Hara (Vivien Leigh) shamelessly flirts with a pair of twins and learns beloved neighbor boy Ashley Wilkes (Leslie Howard) is going to announce his engagement to his sweet and mousy cousin, Melanie Hamilton (Olivia de Havilland), at the barbecue the following day. This simply won't do for Scarlett. She decides to confess her long simmering love for Ashley hoping he will redact his marriage agreement with Melanie. He does not. In fact he rejects her outright and dashing rogue Rhett Butler (Clark Gable) overhears the entire episode, much to Scarlett's humiliation. Then the War Between the States is declared and Scarlett marries Melanie's brother Charles (Rand Brooks) to get back at Ashley and tie herself to Melanie. goes on. For twelve years. The important thing to remember is Scarlett loves Ashley who loves Melanie who loves Ashley. However, Ashley is sexually attracted to Scarlett but wants to remain loyal to his wife. Meanwhile Rhett is hot for Scarlett (and loves her too) and she refuses to admit or recognize her mutual feelings for him. She also marries two men she does not love during the course of the film: the aforementioned Charles Hamilton and Frank Kennedy (Carroll Nye), both of who had their own sweethearts...Also, a prostitute named Belle Watling (Ona Munson) is in love with Rhett.

You know what? Here's a graph:

Yep, sort of like an episode of Jerry Springer. Despite all the war and slavery and cotton picking and carpet baggers, at its heart, GWTW is the tale of a love quadrangle...or more accurately, a love nonagan, but for all intents and purposes a quadrangle; two men and two women, hopelessly trapped in a mish-mash of feelings and complicated relationships. (And if you want to get more bare bones, it's the story of a woman loving the wrong man for twelve years...but let's not get into that.)

I could endlessly discuss these relationships: Rhett's hatred towards Ashley, his respect for Melanie. Melanie's blind love to Scarlett and her acceptance of Rhett. Ashley's indifference for Rhett and burning desire for Scarlett. And then Scarlett's misguided "love" for Ashley and utter ignorance towards Rhett and her hatred, respect, adoration, and love for Melanie. As monumental as Gone With the Wind is as technical achievement, I cannot, for the life of me, fathom why anyone would want to watch it if they didn't care about the petty romantic entanglements. Honestly, that is what drives the film. For your sake, dear reader, I will stop here and go onto something less emotional. Besides, I need to save something for my other review.

Gone With the Wind is often accused of romanticizing the Old South and it is, of course, guilty. Hell, even the opening title card wistfully states:
There was a land of Cavaliers and Cotton Fields called the Old South. Here in this pretty world, Gallantry took its last bow. Here was the last ever to be seen of Knights and their Ladies Fair, of Master and of Slave. Look for it only in books, for it is no more than a dream remembered, a Civilization gone with the wind...
But answer me this: What historical film doesn't romanticize its time period?

That rebuttal doesn't suffice, I know, because Gone With the Wind involves issues of RACE.

I am pro-GWTW so am totally going to defend it. But first and foremost, just in case there is any confusion: We at Popped Density and all its subsidiaries and affiliates believe slavery is wrong. Subjugation of anyone is wrong. But it happened. That can't be helped now, and I would rather have a movie that presents slavery in all its nastiness than have a movie that ignores it. It's important to note that GWTW is not told from the slaves' perspective, nor is it even about the slaves. It is about Scarlett O'Hara and her endeavors, romantic and non-romantic. I like to think the portrayal of said slaves is how Scarlett would have seen them, for better or worse. But, that is just my little ol' interpretation and perhaps not that of David O. Selznick & Co.

The character of Prissy (Butterfly McQueen) is brought up time and time again, so let's address her, shall we? Prissy, for those of you who haven't seen this movie, is fucking irritating and a perfectly horrendous example of stereotypical 1930's race representation. Earlier in the film, Prissy claims she knows how to assist in childbirth and that she will help Scarlett deliver Melanie's baby. The day comes when Melanie goes into labor and it turns out Prissy "don't know nothin' 'bout birthin' babies" so Scarlett smacks her.

This scene is always shown or discussed out of context and I am here to defend Scarlett's actions because:
  1. Prissy outright lied for no discernible reason.
  2. This is the 1860's. Childbirth is a matter of life and death. Without proper knowledge of the process, both Melanie her baby could die.
  4. Scarlett smacks everyone; Ashley, Rhett, her sister Suellen, and she beats that poor horse to death on her way home to Tara.
Sorry for the digression, but I felt the need to delve into that scene a little deeper. Prissy had it coming, young or old, black or white, male or female, I don't care. I would have smacked her too.

ANYWAY, most everyone agrees that Prissy is a dark spot (no pun intended) in the world of Gone With the Wind. On the other hand, people often praise Mammy and specifically the performance of Hattie McDaniel. Once again, I am here to make a rebuttal.

Hattie McDaniel, the first ever minority actor to win an Oscar. For some reason, people lurvvve this performance and I don't understand why. Really. I just don't. To me it is not that special. Unlike Prissy, Mammy has a personality and intelligence and heart. She is a good character, but at the same time, she is a stock character who, thanks to GWTW's epic length, gets a lot of screen time. Before and after GWTW, McDaniel continued to play similar characters including a role in Disney's infamous Song of the South.

1. Mom Beck in The Little Colonel (1935) 
2. Mammy in Gone With the Wind (1939) 
3. Aunt Tempy in Song of the South (1946)

I could be off-base with this but I've always seen McDaniel's Oscar win as a way of white Hollywood rewarding a black actress who "knows her place"; playing slaves and maids who's sole purpose is to serve her white superiors with no thoughts of her own unmentioned family. I wouldn't say that's all the Oscar is for. Hattie McDaniel does the best with what she is given but I certainly don't think it's better than Olivia de Havilland's turn as Melanie or even Geraldine Fitzgerald in Wuthering Heights...but that's an argument for another day*.

So, Racism was just a part of 1930's America. Naturally, it would show up in the films of the day. But many ask why and how Gone With the Wind, with its romanticized Old South, can still be so popular in our enlightened, politically correct society?

There is no definitive answer to this, but here's my theory: Before and even after the Civil Rights Movement, Hollywood has made several films/television miniseries that turned the antebellum south into the United States' medieval stand-in. See, American history is just not "romantic" or "regal" in the way European history is. We have no royalty. We have no nobility. America was made up of the descendants of boring puritan stock or rebel upstarts wanting to get away from all that British stuffery. For whatever reason, the South became the site of those wanting to preserve some of the Honor and Finery of Europe. As the North became industrialized and the West remained wild (for a bit), the South represented constancy and civility. Things just weren't changing down there, much like the millennium long stagnancy of the Middle Ages.

Humanity is inherently nostalgic for some reason. As Rhett Butler says, "I've always had a weakness for lost causes once they're really lost." And that's it. The Old South is gone and it will never come back. That's a good thing, all things considered. People just want what they can't have so instead of enslaving an entire race and living off their misery again, we can simply pop in a film and pretend for a few hours. You could also make the argument about the South suffering and rising from the ashes. Because you know how we all love to see Humpty Dumpty fall and try to put himself back together again.

I'll end this review with one last thing that is unrelated to most everything I've written above. Whilst watching GWTW, I was delighted by the whole story being in one movie. That seems like an obvious statement, but in this age of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 1, The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2, and The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, I couldn't help but be a bit comforted by the simplicity of it all. Oh, to live in a time when they made you stay at the theater for four hours straight...Oh, to live in a time of Overtures, Intermissions, and Exit Music...Oh, to live in a time when you didn't have to wait a whole year to see the conclusion of a movie...Alas, look for it only in old movies, for it is no more than a dream remembered, a format gone with the wind...

My First Time With...Gone With the Wind
I was 10 years old. I had recently moved to lovely Oakesdale, Washington. My dear mother bought it for some reason so I watched it. I loved it immediately and drew pictures of Scarlett O'Hara Hamilton Kennedy Butler in her green muslin dress instead of doing my fractions.

Other Nominations and Wins
(bold represents win)
  • Best Director - Victor Fleming 
  • Best Actor - Clark Gable 
  • Best Actress - Vivien Leigh
  • Best Supporting Actress - Olivia de Havilland 
  • Best Supporting Actress - Hattie McDaniel 
  • Best Adapted Screenplay 
  • Best Cinematography, Color 
  • Best Film Editing 
  • Best Visual Effects 
  • Best Art Direction 
  • Best Original Score 
  • Best Sound Recording 

1939 Best Picture Nominees
(bold represents films I have seen...followed by my opinion in 10 words or less.)
  • Dark Victory 
  • Goodbye, Mr. Chips 
  • Love Affair 
  • Mr. Smith Goes to Washington 
  • Ninotchka 
  • Of Mice and Men 
  • Stagecoach 
  • The Wizard of Oz - A part of everyone's childhood which transcends Oscar.
  • Wuthering Heights - GWTW's black and white lil' sis. 

What I Learned From...Gone With the Wind
Like minded people should be together.

I know I didn't really get into this lesson, because it's more of a "Jordyn's Favorite Movies" argument, but Scarlett O'Hara would have had a much easier life if she realized the right man was in front of her all along.