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Gone With the Wind: Scarlett’s Women

Film and Talk on Sun 22 Nov

Join us as we celebrate LOVE – part of the BFI LOVE season, a nationwide series of events this autumn

Gone With the Wind is the most successful film of all time; described by Steven Spielberg as “one of the greatest American movies ever made”. The film has enjoyed huge influence on film-makers, popularity with generations of audiences, and impact on everyday language with phrases such as ‘tomorrow is another day’.

Female audiences adore that extraordinary epic heroine, Scarlett O’Hara played by British actress Vivien Leigh, and the tantalizingly complex three-way love story with Rhett Butler (Clark Gable) and Ashley Wilkes (Leslie Howard).

Alongside screenings of this digitally restored tour de force, Helen Taylor – author of two books on the subject – will discuss that, with its dubious racial politics, Gone With the Wind set the agenda for more than a century’s film representations of slavery and the Civil War, and that later films have been compelled to engage with and challenge it.

Drawing on new archival material about Vivien Leigh, and scholarly and popular culture references, she will discuss its particular appeal to female audiences.

Helen Taylor, Emerita Professor, University of Exeter, has published widely on American and British literary culture.  She has focused on a range of Deep South figures from Tennessee Williams to Maya Angelou. Her 1989 study of women’s fascination with Gone With the Wind, entitled Scarlett’s Women, has been updated by her 2015 BFI Film Classic about the film.

To find out more about the BFI LOVE season visit


Gone With the Wind PG

Dir. Victor Fleming, US, 1939, 227 mins (plus 15 min interval)

Vivien Leigh, Clark Gable, Leslie Howard, Olivia de Havilland

The privileged lifestyle of an eligible Southern Belle is shattered by the onset of the US Civil War, reducing her home to near ruins. Robbed of the luxuries she loved, she vows to grow strong so she will never be poor again.

Tickets £12, Members/Conc £10.50

Film times: 12.30pm and 6.15pm

Talk by Prof Helen Taylor: 4.45pm
Please note: doors open 15 minutes prior to above times

Also showing in our LOVE season:

Romantic classic Brief Encounter

13 Nov at 2.30pm

Dir. David Lean, UK, 1945, 82 mins

Celia Johnson, Trevor Howard, Stanley Holloway, Joyce Carey

Turbulent passion and middle-class restraint combine in uniquely English style when a married woman falls for a doctor she meets at a railway station. Celebrating the 70th anniversary of this indisputably classic love story.

Steamy drama From Here to Eternity

13 Dec at 3pm

Dir. Fred Zinneman, US, 1953, 113 mins

Burt Lancaster, Montgomery Clift, Frank Sinatra, Deborah Kerr, Donna Reed

Life and love on a Hawaiian US Army base in 1941. Among the bombings and wartime harshness two love stories prevail: a passionate and illicit love affair involving the commander’s wife and an equally clandestine liaison between a young bugler and a ‘hostess’. With an all-star cast, and featuring – in that scene on the beach – one of the best lip-clinches in cinematic history.

Short films from Encounters Short Film and Animation Festival on the theme of LOVE showing with selected titles throughout the autumn.