The Great Gatsby (1974 film)

The Great Gatsby (1974 film)

Infobox Film
name = The Great Gatsby

caption = Theatrical release poster
director = Jack Clayton
producer = David Merrick
Hank Moonjean (associate producer)
writer = Francis Ford Coppola
F. Scott Fitzgerald (novel)
starring = Robert Redford
Mia Farrow
Bruce Dern
Karen Black
Scott Wilson
Sam Waterston
Lois Chiles
music = Nelson Riddle
cinematography = Douglas Slocombe
editing = Tom Priestley
distributor = Paramount Pictures
released = flagicon|USA 26 March 1974
runtime = 144 min
country = United States
awards =
language = English
budget = US $6,500,000 (estimated)
preceded_by =
followed_by =
amg_id =
imdb_id = 0071577

"The Great Gatsby" is a 1974 film made by Newdon Productions and Paramount Pictures. It was directed by Jack Clayton and produced by David Merrick with Hank Moonjean as associate producer, from a screenplay by Francis Ford Coppola based on the novel of the same title by F. Scott Fitzgerald. The music score was by Nelson Riddle and the cinematography by Douglas Slocombe. The production was designed by John Box.

The film stars Robert Redford, Mia Farrow, Bruce Dern, Karen Black, Scott Wilson, Sam Waterston, and Lois Chiles with Howard Da Silva, Roberts Blossom and Edward Herrmann. Patsy Kensit, aged 6, appears in her second film role (her first being in For the Love of Ada two years earlier), while Tom Ewell's (uncredited) minor role was edited out of the published version of the film.

Background and production

The film is the 3rd filmed version of the novel. The previous two, also made by Paramount, were
* "The Great Gatsby" (1926), a silent film, directed by Herbert Brenon and starring Warner Baxter as Gatsby, Lois Wilson as Daisy Buchanan, and William Powell. This film is considered "lost."
* "The Great Gatsby" (1949), directed by Elliott Nugent and starring Alan Ladd as Gatsby, Betty Field as Daisy Buchanan, Shelley Winters, Macdonald Carey, Barry Sullivan, and Howard Da Silva.

The rights to the novel were purchased in 1971 by Robert Evans so that his then-wife, Ali MacGraw, could play Daisy. Other actresses considered for the role were Faye Dunaway, Candice Bergen, Katharine Ross, Lois Chiles, and Mia Farrow. After McGraw left Evans for Steve McQueen, Farrow was cast as Daisy and Chiles was given the role of Jordan. Warren Beatty, Jack Nicholson, and Steve McQueen were all considered for the role of Gatsby, but they were rejected or declined the offer. Beatty wanted to direct producer Evans as Gatsby, and Nicholson didn't think that McGraw was right for the role of Daisy, who was still attached when he was approached. Farrow was pregnant during the shooting and the film was shot with her wearing loose, flowing dresses and in tight close-ups.

Truman Capote was the original screenwriter, but he was replaced by Francis Ford Coppola. On his commentary track for The Godfather DVD, Coppola makes reference to writing the Gatsby script at the time, though he comments: "Not that the director paid any attention to it. The script that I wrote did not get made."

The Rosecliff and Marble House mansions in Newport, Rhode Island, were used for Gatsby's house, and scenes at the Buchanan's home were filmed at Pinewood Studios in Buckinghamshire, England. One driving scene was shot in Windsor Great Park, UK. Other scenes were filmed in New York City.

Relevant commentary about this film

* [ Don Wilmot] , a film reviewer, believes that this film is not a shortcut for reading the novel if it is assigned by your High School English teacher. He then writes, "Sadly, the movie treats Fitzgerald’s flawless novel as little more than a Jazz-age costume drama, and it goes heavy on the costumes, light on the drama." This comment can be appreciated by anyone wanting a quick comparison of this film with the Fitzgerald novel. However, Wilmott does a good job in presenting the plot and some of the complications of the plot, and "It’s only a matter of time before all their worlds start to fall apart." He points out that the story is multilayered.

*Another film reviewer, [ John J. Pucco] ,writes that the film does not match the novel. He writes,that the earlier film versions of 1926, 1949, this 1974 version and the 2001 TV adaptation "...were unable adequately to convey the book's poetic vision." Apparently film makers miss the mark as they focused on the romantic elements of the story, missing the alegorical and life themes. The wealth of symbolism, craft, and art in words in the book is lost in this and the other films. On the surface, the story is about the illicit love affair between Daisy and Gatsby. However, the story uses powerful images to portray the elaborate connections of the characters ( in the book) to the corruption of the American Dream. "... what critics of the late forties finally picked up on and declared as a perfect depiction of the corruption of the American Dream" The author offers an insightful view in that the book shows "story is really about the corrosive forces of wealth, class structures in a classless society..." among other themes universal to being human. The film versions, including this one, fail to pick up on the intricate depth of the story and fail to covey its message. Mr. Pucco also gives a brief overview of the plot in his review.
* [ Roger Ebert] notices differences from the novel, as well. He says that the movie follows the novel faithfully, but "...the feel, mood, and spirit of..." the novel is lost.


* Robert Redford - Jay Gatsby
* Mia Farrow - Daisy Buchanan
* Bruce Dern - Tom Buchanan
* Karen Black - Myrtle Wilson
* Scott Wilson - George Wilson
* Sam Waterston - Nick Carraway
* Lois Chiles - Jordan Baker
* Edward Herrmann - Klipspringer
* Sammy Smith - Comic
* Kathryn Leigh Scott - Catherine
* Vincent Schiavelli - Thin Man
* Roberts Blossom - Mr. Gatz
* Beth Porter - Mrs. McKee
* Howard Da Silva - Meyer Wolfsheim
* Patsy Kensit - Pammy Buchanan
* Tom Ewell - Mourner (uncredited, edited out)
* John Devlin - Gatsby's Bodyguard

Awards and nominations

The film won two Academy Awards, for Best Costume Design (Theoni V. Aldredge) and Best Music (Nelson Riddle). It also won three BAFTA Awards for Best Art Direction (John Box), Best Cinematography (Douglas Slocombe) and Best Costume Design (Theoni V. Aldredge). It won a Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress (Karen Black) and received three further nominations for Best Supporting Actor (Bruce Dern and Sam Waterston) and Most Promising Newcomer (Sam Waterston).

External links

*imdb title|id=0071577|title=The Great Gatsby (1974)
* [ Complete list of actors who were considered for roles]
*1974 in Film including Academy Award winners

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