Top positive review
6 people found this helpful
good overview with complex characters
on December 22, 2003
Overall, ON THE ROAD TO TARA gives dozens of wonderful anecdotes about the making of the epic film GONE WITH THE WIND, using Selznick as the focal point. The real life characters seem much larger than life here, and not the one's you'd expect. Issues of that time resonate in our own, including racism, Hollywood's role in shaping national morality, ageism, drug addiction, homophobia and meglomania.
Unfortunately, David Selznick is a very unsympathetic character. He's troubled, undisciplined, unwittingly cruel, irrational-and those are his endearing qualities! Though the author takes pains to show that Selznick was always apologetic after he flew off the handle, there is no soft side to warm this character up a bit. He is reminiscent of Charles Foster Kane but with no love interest but a wife who stays completely out of sight.
Vivien Leigh is just as complex, living a life filled with scandals-she was living out of wedlock with Laurence Olivier, which had to be kept a complete secret from press and public. She was British, and many thought it a crime that a non-Southerner, let alone a non-American play Scarlett. But her determination closely mirrors Scarlett O'Hara's in single-mindedly getting just what she wanted. Over all, a good overview of the making of a classic.