A History of Gatsby On Film
As you may know, a new Gatsby movie is coming out next summer, starring Leo Dicaprio, Tobey Maguire, and Carey Mulligan.
It was originally scheduled to come out on Christmas Day, but the film got pushed back—hopefully not because it sucked.
I’m beyond excited about it. I love the novel and Dicaprio is one of my favorite actors, so it’s a win-win.
The novel has been adapted to film six times. I’m not sure about this, but that has to be close to a record. It’s interesting to look back at the history of Gatsby on film, just seeing how it has evolved over the years.
For starters, the first version of Gatsby that appeared on screen was a silent version of the movie, actually scripted by F. Scott himself, that came out in 1926. The clip below is the trailer, and the only known, surviving footage of the 1926 film. How awesome is this? Who knew they even made trailers for films in 1926.
Another version of the novel came out in 1949, starring Alan Ladd, Betty Field, and Shelley Winters. The film was panned by critics. And, according to the YouTube page, contained some “heavy moralizing.” But if you’re so inclined, you can watch the entire movie online. Don’t you just love the interwebs?
To date, the most famous movie version of the novel came out in 1974—with a star-studded cast. Frances Ford Coppola wrote the script. Robert Redford starred as Jay Gatsby. Mia Farrow as Daisy. Sam Waterston, who I still picture as Nick when I read the novel, starred as Nick Carraway. This is the film most of us have seen.
Here’s an unofficial trailer for the 1974 film:
Next, I’m not sure why anyone would ever attempt a made-for-TV version of The Great Gatsby. But, in 2000, A&E did just that. The film starred Toby Stephens and Mira Sorvino. Here’s some footage from that film, which I know absolutely nothing about.
Speaking of knowing nothing about a film, the 5th version of The Great Gatsby on film appeared in 2002. The film, simply titled G, was a loose interpretation of the Gatsby novel about a hip hop music mogul “trying to win back the love of his life, Sky.” Um, yeah. I’m not sure if this should really count as Gatsby film, but here you go anyway:
Finally, the newest version of The Great Gatsby will come to theaters in May of next year. Whether or not the film succeeds, it promises to be spectacular. The trailer alone makes my eyes pop out of my head and my mouth drop to the floor. Baz Luhrmann directs. Leo Dicaprio, Toby Maguire, and Carey Mulligan star. I really hope this is good. Just look at this trailer:
I enjoyed the 1974 film, but I still don’t think a movie version of Gatsby has been made that rises to the quality of the novel. And I doubt that ever happens.
Your thoughts about any of these versions of Gatsby on film? Will you be going to see the new version next summer?