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"The Great Gatsby" (1949)


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Read an article by film critic Richard Crouse yesterday about the history of films made of the F. Scott Fitzgerald novel "The Great Gatsby."

Crouse mentions the 1926 and the 1974 versions, and also the 1949 version starring Alan Ladd.

His article is here: http://metronews.ca/voices/in-focus/662979/a-brief-history-of-the-great-gatsby-in-film/


Anybody have any updates on the 1949 Ladd version: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Great_Gatsby_%281949_film%29


You can see the film on YT: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U2jh6XkjrHU&playnext=1&list=PL26C33481BB06E89F


Just wondering if TCM will ever air it?? (Yes, I've looked through the TCM Message Board archives...)


I know a new print was shown at Noir City: Chicago last August...



Anyway, the article is related to the upcoming opening of Baz Luhrmann's new version:



BTW, like Carey Mulligan. Seen her in her Brit productions before she moved to Hollywood and was impressed. Especially in "The Amazing Mrs. Pritchard." But she was also good in "Northanger Abbey" and "My Boy Jack."

Anyway, advanced reviews of the new version are here:











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It is my understanding the 1949 version is restricted by those that purchased the rights to make the current version and prior to that by those that owned the 1974 version.


But yes, the 1949 version is a movie I have been wanting to see for years even with the poor reviews (e.g. Ladd being miscast).




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I saw it years ago and though Ladd was very good in a flawed film, but it's not a bad film. It's been out of circulation for such a long time, but you can see it on You tube. I guess when they did the Redford/Farrow boring version they buried the '49 version, like Disney did with "Swiss Family Robinson" from the early 40's, another fine film that has not seen in public for many years. Would love to see both of these lost treasures given the treatment they deserve.....

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Well one of the reasons I want to see the Ladd version is so I can judge the movie and his performance myself. This weeks Time magazine has a timeline of all the various The Great Gatsby productions and when it mentioned the 1949 it repeated the 'Ladd is miscast' line.


I assume no one at Time actually has seen the movie but only wrote what was said by some reviewers in the past.





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I don't know? Listen to Eddie Muller yapping about the 1949 version screened at the various Noir City events in 2012:


I read that Universal made a new print and said "Damn the rights." (Mr. Muller sorta takes credit for this - the new print - in his spiel... I guess in his role as bigwig with the Film Noir Foundation...)



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> {quote:title=Hibi wrote:}{quote}Is anyone planning to see the new Gatsby? I may this wknd..........



Thanks, Hibi. I didn't notice the thread for the new film in General Discussions...


Trailer for the new 2013 version here:



Reviews not great... Here's one titled "'The Great Gatsby' All Style and No Substance":



I've watched the first part of Alan Ladd's "The Great Gatsby" on YT:



So far, so good, Will watch the rest when I can...


A film noir version of the novel. As the review below quotes film historian Alan K. Rode:

"And any movie that you walk into a big home and you have Elisha Cook Jr. playing a piano — it has to be a film noir."



You can argue with a better director and without the Hayes Code changes they had to make to the film, it might have been better. But so far, from what I've seen on YT, looks good...


Supposed to be the second favourite film of Alan Ladd after "Shane."


Think the film noir look turned off critics used to the novel (and possibly the 1926 version - now lost) when in came out in 1949. Same thing could be happening to the new version with critics used to the 1974 version?


Anyway, for film noir fans, worth a look.


I'll post something over in General Discussions too...

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RM, anyone who's read the book would not see it as potential noir material. Sheesh, sometimes I think it's true what some complain of, "Everything's called film noir now."


Elisha Cook Jr. (or anybody) playing a piano in a big mansion does not necessarily add up to noir.


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> {quote:title=misswonderly wrote:}{quote}RM, anyone who's read the book would not see it as potential noir material. Sheesh, sometimes I think it's true what some complain of, "Everything's called film noir now."


> Elisha Cook Jr. (or anybody) playing a piano in a big mansion does not necessarily add up to noir


Film Noir Foundation president and founder Eddie Muller calls it a film noir (he does say it's bizarre that the novel was turned into a noir film):




The full quote from the ``Los Angeles Times`` article cited below is here:

"'Film noir like beauty is in the eye of the beholder,' said film historian Alan K. Rode, who will be presenting the film Friday with Eddie Muller, founder of the Film Noir Foundation. Rode said the 1949 'Gatsby' 'is very interesting in that it has the look and the feel of a film noir. And any movie that you walk into a big home and you have Elisha Cook Jr. playing a piano — it has to be a film noir.'"



Film historian and author Alan K. Rode is an expert on film noir, as is Eddie Muller:




Rode is the host and producer of the Arthur Lyons Film Noir Festival in Palm Springs, California:




Sounds like your argument is with them...



Muller's back as guest host on TCM in June with the "Friday Night Spotlight."

16 movies on the four Friday nights with focus being on noir writers Dashiell Hammett, David Goodis, James M. Cain, Jonathan Latimer, Raymond Chandler and Cornell Woolrich.



The 1949 version is rarely seen and would be nice to see someday on TCM.


Edited by: RMeingast on May 11, 2013 12:19 PM

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> {quote:title=Mr.Froy wrote:}{quote}The Hollywood hacks can work for a hundred years, but they'll

> never put a dent in The Great Gatsby.

That's probably true. All you get with films is a version of the novel, play, opera, etc....


The 1926 film version (and the 1949 version) is based on the stage play adaptation of the novel by Owen Davis, Sr.












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Sorry, I guess I should have resurrected the old thread about the film.


I looked through the message board archives to see if TCM had ever aired the film in the past, and should have resurrected the old thread.


Sorry about that...

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I think the experiences of reading a book and watching a movie are just

too different for there to be an exact carry over. Of course some adpatations

have worked better than others. And there is the practical consideration

that you can't fit one of those 600 page monsters into any sensible running

time without cutting. That wouldn't be a problem for Gatsby since it's very



If TCM had the rights to run the 1949 version I'm sure they would to coincide

with the new movie. Have to see if it's on YT.



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It would have brought more star power to the film and maybe made it better,

though that is one thing we'll never know for sure. It is on YT and when I have

a little spare time I'll take a look, more out of curiosity than anything else.

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I watched portions of the Ladd version on Youtube last spring to get clips because I was teaching The Great Gatsby, and it is definitely not faithful to the book, focusing more on Ladd as a gangster figure. The voiceovers at the beginning are really annoying, too. I felt as if I showed parts of it, students would have no idea that they were watching an adaptation of the book.



I ended up using clips from the Redford version because that one is very faithful to the text, although it is also a flawed film. Unlike many critics, I think Redford is a fine Gatsby, but Mia Farrow is an awful Daisy. I can't imagine someone buying a megamansion across a bay to be close to her. The cinematography and period detail are quite lovely, though.



I haven't seen the new version yet. I don't know how I'll feel about a hip-hop score. Wasn't the music of that era good enough for modern audiences?



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