GONE WITH THE WIND (1939)
For nearly three decades, this sprawling historical epic about the Civil War and Reconstruction from the Southern perspective was the country’s most popular film. (Adjusting for inflation, it still is.) Based on Margaret Mitchell’s best-selling book, the film largely follows the soapy romantic exploits of white Southern belle Scarlett O’Hara (Vivien Leigh), but several of the African American slaves who work on her plantation figure prominently in the story. Alas, to the modern eye, they’re also cringe-inducing stereotypes: Docile, often simple-minded, and content to stick with Scarlett after the Emancipation Proclamation and the end of the Civil War. Hattie McDaniel won Best Supporting Actress for her performance as a character named, yes, Mammy, the first black actor to win an Oscar — and the only one for 24 years.