Skip to comments.Movie for a Sunday afternoon: "The Great Gatsby" (1949)
Posted on 11/25/2012 1:32:44 PM PST by ReformationFan
Today's feature is the 2nd film version and 1st talking one of F. Scott Fitzgerald's 1925 novel about the mysterious Jay Gatsby and the decadent rich Long Islanders of the Jazz Age. This version has been harder to find. I don't believe it's ever been officially released on home video and it's rarely if ever aired on TV. I suppose Paramount may have limited exposure of it in favor of its better known lavish 1974 remake with Robert Redford. Not a perfect film(the death of Myrtle is unintentionally hilarious) but worth watching for fans of the novel. Alan Ladd seems closer to the character Fitzgerald wrote than Redford did. Sidenote: it was produced and co-written by Richard Maibaum whose later claim to fame would be authoring or co-authoring 13 screenplays in the James Bond film series.
I used to drive by Zelda Sayre’s house every time I visited Montgomery. There was also a Sayre street tho I think it was named for her Father who was Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court.
Good news for Great Gatsby folks. They are making another one and will be out in I think December. I never saw the movie but I know many fans on here. I am glad to give the good news to you good folks.
I always wanted to see the 1926 version. It would have been cool to see a Gatsby movie actually made in the Gatsby era. Don’t know if any copies actually survived.
The first film version of “The Great Gatsby” came out in 1926 and is lost—the fate of so many movies made before the middle of the twentieth century, when film, made with nitrate compounds, would decompose while in storage if one wasn’t careful.
According to what I’ve read, the only footage to survive from the silent version is this trailer-
I would like to see a production of Owen Davis’ stage play version. Or at least get a copy of the play to read and compare to the book and the other film versions.
I’ve seen the trailer for it. I’m not sure it will be so good. Anyway, when it comes to this novel, Hollywood seems to keep taking a crack at it every 25 years or so. I haven’t seen the 2000 Toby Stephens version.
I heartily concur with that, although I will say Sam Waterson's Nick Carraway was one of the best performances of his career, and better than Macdonald Carey's in the older film.
Yes. Sam Waterston was perfectly cast as Nick. Redford always seemed too much like an “old money” insider to be believable as an “outsider” in high society circles. It is also interesting how the 1949 version seems to nicen the character of Jordan Baker so she can end up with Nick and give the film a happier ending. That’s Hollywood.
The 1974 version is one of my favorite movies. I need to see if it’s on Netflix.
Many of the extras were Navy people from the Naval War College and the air base in North Kingstown, as well as ships in port. My parents always enjoyed spotting their friends in the crowd scenes!
(And ... it’s on Netflix streaming. There’s also a 2000 version with Mira Sorvino as Daisy, which comments on Netflix say was a Fail.)
I love the 1974 version. I was never a big Redford fan but thought he made a great Gatsby and I was always a big Bruce Dern fan but thought he was miscast as Tom Buchanan.
Was that Bruce Dern playing Tom? I like Tom in the movie, although I can’t remember if I like him in the book ;-). We have a couple of copies around here somewhere - it’s in my kids’ high school English curriculum, just like it was in mine in 1983.
Looks like the 1949 version is on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U2jh6XkjrHU
I haven’t checked, so I’m not sure all the parts are there—but they probably are.
He must have thought that his dreams could hardly escape him when he saw the light at the end of Daisy’s dock - he did not know that they were already behind him......
I saw the Redford-Farrow film several times when I was young and it really defined the story for me.
The new DiCaprio-Mulligan version doesn't look as good to me.
Baz Luhrmann doesn't really do realism -- Moulin Rouge! definitely wasn't "about" the 1890s in any "realistic" way.
Also, when I saw the earlier version, I wasn't familiar with the actors as actors, so they could just "be" the characters of the story.
I'm pretty sure Sam Waterston is a better Nick than Tobey McGuire, though.
Have you seen the 1949 version I posted? It seems like most of the comments on this thread are about all the other versions. If Paramount later intended to keep the Alan Ladd version obscure in favor of the Robert Redford one, they’ve certainly succeeded.
I'm not into watching movies online, but from what I see of the 1949 version now, it may be a worthy, workmanlike effort. It's not quite the sensation the 1974 version was, though.
There was also a 2000 A&E TV version. I remember it with Paul Rudd as Gatsby, but he was Nick (which seems a lot more appropriate).