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               > Wystan Curnow's Place > Regionalism > GWTW: Selected Stills
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G.W.T.W: Selected Stills

   
G.W.T.W. Movie Version 5th Sequence

    General Johnston was standing in the mountains like an iron rampart. Depressed by the thought that his courtship of Scarlett was at a stand-still, there was nothing to do but invite him to stay. And, if he said: General Johnston was an iron rampart in the mountain, he must be one.

Fade in . interior, a barroom in Decatur Street . night . exterior . Decatur Street . night, camera follows them . camera .

     

    His voice was still soft and filled with specious humility. The mountain fastnesses have always been the refuge and strong forts of invaded peoples from ancient times. Think of – think of … Thermopylae!

 

    A silence fell on the porch. Rhett waited his chance to pink her in an unguarded spot. They could not break the grey lines by direct assault and so, under cover of night, they marched through the mountain passes in a semi-circle, hoping to come upon Johnston’s rear and cut the railroad behind him at Resaca, fifteen miles below Dalton. But there was no rest. They lay down to sleep where they could see the rails gleaming in the starlight. They lay down to die and the last sight that met their puzzled eyes was the rails shining in the merciless sun, heat shimmering along them.

 

    Mother will make me stay here and I shall die if I have to smell these stinks any longer. Then her eyes lighted on a singing black buck in the front rank. The crowd halted, grinning. Annoyed that she had shown her trepidation, she cried: ‘I don’t see why you’ve stayed here this long! All you think about is being comfortable and eating and –  things like that.’ A stony silence and an averted head were his answers, He stopped the carriage. Scarlett stood for a moment, ankle-deep in mud as the guns lurched by. When his horse came to the fence, he stopped dead and over his head went your father! It’s a wonder he didn’t break his neck, You’d better go to Atlanta and buy some old plugs for your clodhoppers.

Exterior . Aunt Pitty’s house, full shot . dissolve to same shot as above . exterior Miss Pitty’s house . dissolve to Aunt Pitty’s house . verandah. camera pans up . interior . Melanie’s bedroom . camera pans . camera pans, camera pans .

 

    We’re holding them! An epidemic of parties and dances broke out. Bevies of belles from the country districts. The lawn was covered with prostrate men, too tired to walk farther, too weak from wounds to move. No air moved and the flaring pineknots the negroes held made the air hotter. Scarlett and many other ladies sat on the flat roofs of stores, shaded by their tiny parasols, and watched the fighting on the day of the battle of Atlanta.

The hall . front of Miss Pitty’s house at front door . medium shot . full shot of Peachtree Street and the city in the distance . Group shot . on the verandah of Miss Pitty’s house .

 

    Who would beau them about? ‘Dear don’t go to Tara and leave me! Your train might be captured. No running up and down stairs to the cellar. You stay with Miss Melly till the baby comes.’ She missed the importance and activity of her lumber business while she was immured. So she remained day after day. Thundering days followed by nights of sullen, ominous stillness. When the night was still, it was too still as though the tree-frogs, katydids, and sleeping mocking birds were too frightened to raise their voices in the usual summer night chorus. Not even the crack of a rifle had sounded since sunset and the world seemed far away. It was not often that she was alone like this and she did not like it. When she was alone she had to think and, these days, thoughts were not so pleasant. Tonight when Atlanta was so quiet, she could close her eyes and imagine she was back in the rural stillness of Tara and that life was unchanged, unchanging.

 

Dissolve to Peachtree Street . camera . a street in the city . medium close shot, dissolve to two shot . Rhett and Scarlett on the Wagon . business section of Peachtree Street, long shot . camera two shot . camera . dissolve to long shot shooting away . two shot, Rhett and Scarlett on wagon . camera . hold . shooting, very long shot still shooting away . camera . camera . music shop, camera inside . cornice of a building . Peachtree Street . horse and wagon . camera . camera . Peachtree Street, camera . shooting from narrow dark alley . camera . closer view . horse and wagon . close shot, Rhett and Scarlett. close shot, outside a saloon door, inside the saloon door (black screen) (crashing sound) . Peachtree Street, at five points . sil- houette shot of looters against a background of fire . close shot . group in back of cart . exterior . street . debris in street. buried camera shot shooting away from fire . long shot . horse and wagon . camera.

    He had always read her and he was the one man in the world from whom she would like to hide her real thoughts. Scarlett resumed her rocking and the still darkness of the warm night closed about them, The mocking-bird, which nested in the tangle of roses and honeysuckle, roused from slumber and gave one timid liquid note. Then, as if thinking better of the matter, he was silent. No one knew why the Yankee batteries were silent. No one knew where the fighting was, if indeed there was any fighting. The telegraph wires were still, no trains came in on the one remaining railroad from the south and the mail service was broken.

    God’s nightgown! cried Scarlett. O damn Melanie! Why does she hang on to me so hard! The heavy hominy stuck in her throat like glue. After one swallow she pushed her cup away. How strange the quiet of this deserted end of town in contrast with the day of fighting at Peachtree Creek! It made her feel forsaken and alone, Melanie was silent too, but at intervals her quiet face was wrenched with pain. She would have preferred a loud scream to silent endurance Curses come home to roost, Mammy said. Scarlett hastily put her finger to her lips and left the window. If she could not quiet herself she would certainly faint. ‘Oh. Stop. Please stop!’

   
High angle . follow shot of wagon . camera trucking, shooting across Scarlett and Rhett’s backs . close-up Scarlett, close shot tough . close shot Rhett . long shot . long shot . street . hitching post . close-up . long shot . entrance to alley . camera pulls back . medium close shot . Rhett and Scarlett . long angle shot . past camera . rear view of wagon . shooting down alley towards flames in the background . close shot . Melanie, horse and wagon in a bright glare of flames . two shot . burning building and boxcar . from their angle . close three shot . horse and wagon, boxcar and burning building in view . grandeur screen . full shot . burning warehouses . grandeur screen.

     He reined in so suddenly the horse went back on its haunches, pawing the air. Scarlett was left standing in the middle of the street with the red dust thick upon her ankles. No, she couldn’t run. No, not now.

    As she rounded the corner of the Atlanta Hotel and came in full view of the depot and the tracks, she halted, appalled. Lying in the pitiless sun, shoulder to shoulder, head to feet, were hundreds of wounded men, lining the tracks, the sidewalks, stretched out in endless rows under the car-shed.  Some lay stiff and still but many writhed under the hot sun, moaning.

Camera . lap dissolve to exterior . road on edge of  town . long shot of horse and cart and troops . hot dusty night . reverse angle . troops and wagon . camera, group shot, retreating Confederates on the road . interior . cart . two shot . Rhett and Scarlett . dissolve to exterior . a country road . night . two shot . Rhett and Scarlett . close shot, Dissolve to exterior . a country lane, night . dissolve to a field . night . dissolve to long shot, bridge near wagon road . camera now tilts upward . close shot . Scarlett . bridge overhead in view, ravine and bridge . wider angle . dissolve to extreme long shot . country- side . night . moonlight . close shot . Melanie . camera has panned over to a close shot of Prissy and Scarlett, back to long shot . exterior . field . dawn . a tree top against a dawn sky . camera pans down . pans down farther . camera pans down still farther . pans over . close shot . Scarlett asleep in wagon, dead sharpshooter hanging in tree (from Scarlett’s viewpoint). camera starts shooting over her shoulder . back to scene at wagon.

    She sank down on the steps of the church and buried her head in her hands until she could breathe more easily. If she could only get one deep breath, way down in her abdomen. If her heart would stop bumping and drumming and cavorting. She felt as if she had been in this steaming, dark, sweating place all her life. She sprawled back against a pillar of the porch and with a shaking hand unbuttoned her basque half-way down her bosom. The night was drenched in warm soft darkness and she lay staring into it, dull as an ox. It was all over.  She forgot everything. Her mind was a vacuum; the world was a vacuum; there had been no life before this endless day and there would be none hereafter – only a heavy hot night, only the sound of her hoarse, tired breathing, only the sweat trickling coldly from armpit to waist, from hip to knee, clammy, sticky, chilly. She lay back against the pillar in silence.

    Suddenly she thought of Rhett Butler and calm dispelled her fears. And he was still in town.  This was no time to truckle to small fears when great ones crowded so thick upon her. And the sight of Prissy’s abject terror helped steady her. She sat down on the steps. Good Heavens, Melly, why get in such a pet?

     She sat down. ‘You can’t stop me! I want my mother! I’ll kill you if you try to stop me!’ He picked up her stays and threw them at her. He propelled her into the hall but she still stood helplessly looking at him. His large brown eyes met hers and she stopped for a moment to look at the picture curiously. The smile died before it reached the corners of her mouth, Melanie tried but they fell back weakly. Scarlett’s heart went leaden as the last hope left her.

 


 

Buzzards against a hot noon sky . open field . littered with dead . hot day . camera shoots past . long shot . camera . pan shot . horse with wagon.

 

 

Dissolve to Mallory place . day . camera pans . the field . dissolve to the Mallory place . the Mallory place . the orchard . the country lane . the McIntosh place . dissolve to a country lane . camera . camera

 

 

camera . camera . rear view of Twelve Oaks, close-up Scarlett . pan shot Scarlett . camera panning after her . front view of Twelve Oaks . low angle . camera pans down . interior . hallway Twelve Oaks . close shot Scarlett, camera pulling back, exterior, Twelve Oaks grounds . over Scarlett’s shoulder .

 

Dissolve to horse and wagon at edge of woods road . dusk . underbrush . by the wagon . exterior . the country lane . dusk . dissolve to the country lane . dusk . dissolve to a hilltop . camera . Tara . the gate . close two shot . Prissy and Scarlett . close-up Scarlett . shot of the sky . close-up Scarlett . long shot Tara . medium long shot Tara . Tara . front of house . camera moves closer . interior . hallway . camera moves closer to Scarlett’s face . close shot Scarlett . outside lighted doorway . interior . parlor . reverse angle . Mrs O’Hara’s body . close-up . Scarlett . Tara . just inside the door of the parlor . camera trucking ahead of Scarlett. camera continues to truck in front of Scarlett . camera on Scarlett as she comes running in . camera . we hold on it . longer shot . Scarlett, camera moves closer . slow fade out .

    The wobbling wagon jounced into the rutty lane. Rhett sat still, the reins lax in his hands, looking after her, a curious moody look on his swarthy face. Silent or not, she thanked Heaven for the comfort of his presence. It was so good to have a man beside her, to lean close to him and feel the hard swell of his arm and know that he stood between her and unnameable terrors, even though he merely sat there and stared. He had always read her and he was the one man in the world from whom she would like to hide her real feelings. He stepped abruptly down from the wagon and, as she watched him, stunned with bewilderment, he came around to her side of the wagon. But no emotion stirred. She felt as limp as a rag doll, warm, weak and helpless. A silence fell on the porch, as Scarlett was overtaken with surprise and embarrassment. Hate choked all utterance.

    Now it was morning and the world was still and serene and green and gold with dappled sunshine. Melanie lay so still and white, Scarlett thought she must be dead. She looked dead.  But a stillness of death hung over the plantation. Would she find Tara like this, level with the ground, silent as the dead?

    Dead men and dead horses, yes, and dead mules, lying by the road, swollen, covered with flies, but nothing alive. No far-off cattle lowed, no birds sang, no wind waved the trees. Only the tired plop-plop of the horse’s feet and the weak wailing of Melanie’s baby broke the stillness. Even in her exhaustion she hated Melanie, hated the tiny mewing voice of her child which fainter and fainter pierces the stillness.

    Then, as she started back towards the driver’s seat, a vast weariness assailed her and she swayed dizzily. Climbing into the wagon required all the strength Scarlett could muster. The horse stood with head drooping dejectedly and refused to start.