The spoiled daughter of a well-to-do plantation owner is forced to use every means at her disposal to claw her way out of poverty, following Maj. Gen. William Sherman's destructive "March to the Sea," during the American Civil War.
While Scarlet faces some rough times ahead in her life in the upcoming Civil War, she is by far privileged... Blessed with inherited wealth, fair skin, good looks, and a loyal family... She has everything in life... Or so would seem.
In reality, Scarlet is living lesser as a human than her own slaves, who are about the only somewhat believable humans depicted on screen... For Scarlet is absent of humanity, love, and all the immaterial genuine human connections that makes a life worth the struggle of living. She is doomed to forever look upon what she does not have with envy, and for what she does have, with resentment.
It can certainly be said this film glosses over the harsh realities of the American South under the slave system... The times are depicted in such fervour romanticism that it becomes absurdly comical. This is a work of romantic fiction however, so it need not be historically accurate. It need not teach the audience any moral message, if anything its sheer politically incorrect attitude is a refreshing sight to behold. This feature, unintentionally amusing, makes the film even better and fits seamlessly with the kind of personalities shown on screen.
The acting is truly stunningly sublime, Vivien Leigh portrays her character with relentless perfection... She completely encapsulates in her performance the portrait of a tireless narcissist—plagued by unrequited infatuation... Acting as arguably one of the most insufferable characters of all time. I detract one star from the film only for its drawn-out length, which makes it very difficult to watch in one sitting. Overall however, the film is a cinematic masterpiece, with every scene masterfully crafted into a heavenly romanticized motion-picture landscape.