The Many Films of The Great Gatsby

2 Jul

Five times F. Scott Fitzgerald’s classic novel The Great Gatsby has been adapted.  In this article after viewing the trailers we will discuss if the 2013 version should or will be the last time it gets adapted. We hope you will join us for the discussion.

1. 1926The Great Gatsby:  This silent film was the first film version of the novel and this is the only surviving footage.

2. 1949-The Great Gatsby: This film version starred Alan Ladd as Jay Gatsby and Betty Field as Daisy. 

3. 1974-The Great Gatsby: This is the film most remember starring Robert Redford and Mia Farrow.

4. 2000-The Great Gatsby: Have anyone seen this one? 

5. 2013-The Great Gatsby: Directed by Baz Luhrmann

Looking at all the films. Can you imagine this novel being adapted again? Do you think the 2013 film should be the last time?

19 Responses to “The Many Films of The Great Gatsby”

  1. ComicRelief July 2, 2013 at 6:08 PM #


    I’m so glad you moved this discussion over from the editorial! Though the quality of the event may not have been realized, I agree an adapted film from a book of this prominence deserves a decent evaluation.

    • Com1c Relief July 2, 2013 at 6:11 PM #

      I’m sorry, I meant on this site. Otherwise, the most current version has been reviewed a million times. 🙂

    • Open Book July 3, 2013 at 3:57 PM #

      “I agree an adapted film from a book of this prominence deserves a decent evaluation.”

      ITA CR! I believe B.L. should be commended for tackling such a complex novel. I know he’s been criticized for it being more style than substance. However, comparing the 2013 version to the others, one can see B.L. did a better job of depicting the period visually as described by F.Scott. This book is one of my favorites because of its progressiveness and visual richness which can be difficult to cram into 90 min. One has to choose and in this hypermedia age where most audiences haven’t even read or know of F. Scott Fitzgerald I think B.L. made the right decision to focus on the visuals.

      • ozzie20 July 3, 2013 at 10:06 PM #

        I prefere B.L’s version too. I can’t wait for it’s DVD release! So in my opinion there shouldn’t be another adaptation in the future. However this is Hollywood we’re talking about, they’ll probably try it again!

  2. Com1c Relief July 2, 2013 at 6:11 PM #

    I’m curious, in terms of other books of that time, what do you think made “The Great Gatsby” so important. If necessary feel free to refer to other literature of that time?

    • Open Book July 3, 2013 at 4:37 PM #


      Great Q! Here’s some info that describes why TGG was so prolific and important for its day.

      “The historical setting of The Great Gatsby written by F. Scott Fitzgerald and The Sun Also Rises written by Ernest Hemingway is the period known as the roaring twenties. It was an exciting time in American history because the USA was one of the victors in World War I and it enjoyed a great period of prosperity and economic expansion. However, during this period tension arose between a new generation, with liberal and progressive ideas, and a more conservative group, who sided with conventional values and sentimentalism. This social tension was caused by the rapid urbanization, by the revolution of morals and by scientific and technological advancements. The new era was about rejecting the old, rigid rules of society, and it was about spectacular wealth and everything it could buy. Unfortunately, prejudice and racism was also present in many areas of society, with people showing a tolerance for racist views in the media, literature, and science. Scientific articles freely postulated racist theories in Europe as well as in the USA. According to some of these theories, the American way of life was under threat from the Negroes, Catholics, Jews and all immigrants who came to America to find a better life and to benefit from the great prosperity. (Margolies, 1.) Racist elements similar to those surfacing in both The Great Gatsby and The Sun Also Rises, later in history served as the foundation for the most horrible ideology in modern history and “provided the ‘scientific’ backing for the racial policies of the Nazi Party in Germany” (Glass, 130.) which led to World War II and destroyed the life of nearly 60 million people. Racism is clearly one of the most important elements in The Great Gatsby and The Sun Also Rises novels because the bigoted views it describes quickly evolved into a horrible and deadly ideology within a decade from the birth of the story.”

  3. ozzie20 July 2, 2013 at 7:33 PM #

    Hello everyone! 🙂

    I’ll be jumping in and out for a while. Just writing the paragraph thingy!

    • Open Book July 3, 2013 at 4:40 PM #

      Hahaha! No worries Oz! BTW great paragraph thingy!

  4. littlebells July 2, 2013 at 7:53 PM #

    Hi everyone!

    Well from watching the first youtube clips, I think Baz really did his homework on rhat the 20s were really about.

    Ya’ll know how I feel about the ’74 version, and whoa, what was that 2000 adaptation. Tom and Daisy killed it for me in the fist 5 min and I had to turn it off.

    I think the latest version is the most accurate and dont feel there should be a remake. But who are we kidding? That’s all HW seems to know what to do next to franchises.

    • Open Book July 3, 2013 at 4:06 PM #


      Please read our discussion of “The Great Gatsby” on Page to Silver Screen. LB has made a great argument for why this film should be given more appreciation.

      “what was that 2000 adaptation. Tom and Daisy killed it for me in the fist 5 min and I had to turn it off.”

      Hahaha! Yeah, that 2000 film looks like a Lifetime movie nightmare. Makes B.L. version look Oscar worthy. Don’t u think?

      • ozzie20 July 3, 2013 at 10:01 PM #

        I don’t know why but I just watched the entire 2000 version. I’d describe it as a Lifetime movie nightmare too! I don’t think it captured any of the opulence of the time.

  5. ComicRelief July 2, 2013 at 8:01 PM #

    I can’t believe there’s a movie from the 20’s.

    • Open Book July 3, 2013 at 4:07 PM #

      Yep! I could not believe it either.

      • ozzie20 July 3, 2013 at 10:09 PM #

        It’s a shame it was lost. I would of watched!

  6. ComicRelief July 2, 2013 at 8:50 PM #

    All attendees; I think Openbook isn’t feeling well and probably will not be able respond until later.

    • Open Book July 3, 2013 at 4:39 PM #

      All better. Thanks CR! Sorry I missed the discussion.

  7. Jamaal K. Wong July 9, 2013 at 11:23 PM #

    But it’s the cinematic quality of the book that is exactly why we can’t come up with a totally satisfactory Gatsby movie, a great film to match the great book. Because the fact of the matter is, Fitzgerald’s words paint the pictures and play the scenes so vividly that most readers have already seen the movie, in their heads. Thanks to the skill of the prose, we’ve already brought the story of Gatsby and Daisy to life, perfectly designed and impeccably cast and splendidly performed. And any movie version, hamstrung by unforgivable exclusions or peculiar additions or miscast actors or stylistic overindulgence, can only disappoint.

  8. Millard N. Chandler July 13, 2013 at 4:14 AM #

    Luhrmann has said the character of Gatsby is just as elusive as trying to turn prose into film. And the story, all about capturing the essence of the jazz age in American history, is also a tall order to condense into movie length. Luhrmann’s version was initially announced to open last year, in time for Oscar season, but was delayed.

  9. Yolanda Cline July 14, 2013 at 1:40 AM #

    This version of Scott Fitzgerald’s short novel is remarkably faithful to the original and infinitely more successful as a film than the big budget version which appeared two decades later, starring Robert Redford. Alan Ladd puts in an excellent performance in the title role simply by playing the usual Ladd persona. The character of Gatsby in the novel is not fully fleshed out, nor did the author intend him to be more than an illusive figure fired by an obsession. Ladd, who was not an actor of any great talent, seems to be particularly suited to the part. Redford, a much greater actor, added a dimension, the aura of the ‘glamorous’ leading male star, which the reader does not associate with the Gatsby of the novel and as a consequence, is not convincing. The 1949 version, in monochrome, captures much of the atmosphere of the ‘jazz age’ which strangely does not come over in the lavish period detail of the later version. The gallery of supporting players contributes significantly to the success of the film. There are a few minor faults, such as the montage shots in the opening sequences which border on cliché. Nick Carraway is less prominent than the author might have intended. But the essence of the novel is there.

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