Ashley was depressing in the movie, I think that had a lot to do with the fact that Leslie Howard did not want to play Ashley. I also think that Olivia De Havilland did good job as Melanie. I guess I just made my peace with that fact they had to cut from the book I know a lot is missing but the movie as it is; is just shy of four hours.
Some of my favorite quotes from the novel:
" 'You're so brutal to those who love you, Scarlett. You take their love and hold it over their heads like a whip.' " Rhett
"In the end what will happen will be what has happened whenever a civilization breaks up. The people who have brains and courage come through and the ones who haven't are winnowed out.' " Ashley
"For 'tis the only thing in the world that lasts...and to anyone with a drop of Irish blood in them the land they live on is like their mother...'Tis the only thing worth working for, fighting for, dying for." Gerald
"He never really existed at all, except in my imagination," she thought wearily. "I loved something I made up, something that's just as dead as Melly is. I made a pretty suit of clothes and fell in love with it. And when Ashley came riding along, so handsome, so different, I put that suit on him and made him wear it whether it fitted him or not. And I wouldn't see what he really was. I kept on loving the pretty clothes-and not him at all." Scarlett