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Critic Leonard Maltin says that the 1949 version of "The Great Gatsby" is a misguided adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald's book about a mysterious young millionaire who crashes Long Island society in the 1920s.

He goes on to say that the movie is too talky and much too literal-minded.

He also notes that Alan Ladd as Gatsby is pretty good, but Betty Field (as Daisy Buchanan) gives a strangly petulant performance.

For more reviews of the movie go to IMDb.com.

 

Mongo

 

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Mongo,

 

I have not seen any of the 3 versions of this film. Have you seen any? Any feedback you can give us?

 

I've read that, according to most critics, neither the 1949 version with Ladd nor the 1974 with Redford, did succeed in capturing the essence of Fitzgerald's novel.

 

And what about the 1926 version? If I'm right it was directed by one of the top directors of the Silent Era, Herbert Brenon.

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I think the 1949 version of Fitzgerald's novel would be quite well received by most Gatsby scholars, Filmfashions.

 

I know that many people feel that Ladd was the sine qua non Gatsby on film, even though that film did not get a lot of acclaim. Ladd is a great personification of the now quasi-respectable bootlegger, who just wants to hear that tinkle in Daisy's voice again, which sounds like money.

 

With Macdonald Carey in the narrator's position as Nick Carraway, and Shelley Winters turning in a fine performance as the slatternly Myrtle, I think the Ladd film is really the one to unearth.

 

The 1970's Jack Clayton film, though dismissed at the time, and seen as just an **** of clothing and fancy set pieces, does do well in explaining the story of Jay's fascination with a woman who he thinks still yearns for him. A good cast including, Sam Waterston and Karen Black make the best of the extravaganza and Redford is pretty good, as is Mia Farrow who can play insipid as well as anybody, and that's what the character demands.

 

The real sine qua non version to look for is the one that came out in 2000, as it is the only one who places the most inestimably important character from Scott's book on the screen...Owl Eyes. Just as the green light at the end of the dock, and the peering eyes of Dr. Eckleburg are important components of the novel in understanding Gatsy, so too is the inclusion of Owl Eyes, and the latest movie rendition is the most faithful to Fitzgerald.

 

I've never seen the silent version, from the 1920's but since Gatsby depends on narration and a literate interchange of conversation, I would think it would be hard pressed to tell the story adequately.

 

I say...look for the Alan Ladd version, in which he brings true pathos to his search for the woman of his dreams amidst a sea of insincerity.

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Feaito, I did happen to see the Redford and Farrow version of "The Great Gatsby", which I enjoyed due to the essence of the era which was captured brilliantly. I doubt if anyone would deny the handsome Redford as Gatsby, and Farrow was quite stunning as Daisy.

 

And like I posted, Leonard Maltin wrote that Alan Ladd, was very good as Gatsby, which is positive.

 

Mongo

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Thanks for the feedback Mongo, Path and Fuster.

 

Mongo, you've quite a Collector's item there! The first issue of the very popular People Magazine! Many would die to have it.

 

And I'm intrigued by the 1949 version of "The Great Gatsby", 'cos I had also read some appraisal concerning Ladd's portrayal.

 

After your comments Mongo,I'd like to see the 1974 version with Redford and Farrow.

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People Magazine, but had not remembered it being the first one, so thanks for mentioning it or I might have thrown it out.

 

Do you think we could sell them as a combo on Ebay for a mint?

 

I agree with you that the 1974 version of the film has many merits, and that Redford is quite good, as are Bruce Dern, and that Lois Chiles I think, and the settings and costumery are excellent. They evoke a whole mood of Scott and Zelda cavorting in fountains and are an excellent Roaring Twenties pastiche to be sure.

 

They do not detract from the main story, which is that Daisy is basically shallow, and though she protesteth too much, still loves her dimwitted hubby over Gatsby, who has wasted much of his life, buying rainbows of ties to impress her with.

 

The Ladd version is threadbare in comparison in money expended, but Alan does equit himself well.

 

It would be interesting to recast this film, to see who people would pick now to play Jay, Tom, Daisy, Murtle and the narrator, Nick on film.

 

I can already guess that John Cusack would be first choice to play the narrator, in view of his bit in TGOGAE. They'd probably go with Charlize Theron for Daisy, but who would play Gatsby?

 

I'll go with Tim Roth.

 

I shall get back with you about the value of your People, Mongo. You don't have any Delineators do you, or Mechanics Illustrateds with Mimi centerfolds?

 

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