Which is the Greater Gatsby? A Panel Discussion
F. Scott Fitzgerald’s iconic 1925 novel has been adapted for film in major studio releases on four occasions. In 1926, a silent version directed by Herbert Brenon starred Warner Baxter, Lois Wilson, and William Powell was produced with a script based on Owen Davis’s 1926 Broadway stage version. It is a classic example of a “lost film”; all that survives is a trailer for the film at the National Archives. In 1949, Paramount Pictures released another version, directed by Elliott Nugent with a script by Richard Maibaum and Cyril Hume, and starring Alan Ladd as Gatsby, Betty Field as Daisy, Macdonald Carey as Nick, Ruth Hussey as Jordan Baker, Barry Sullivan as Tom, and Shelley Winters as Myrtle Wilson. Howard DaSilva, who played George Wilson in the 1949 adaptation, played Meyer Wolfsheim in the 1974 version, which was produced by Robert Evans and starred Robert Redford, Mia Farrow, Sam Waterston, Karen Black, Lois Chiles, and Bruce Dern, with a script by Francis Ford Coppola and directed by Jack Clayton. The 2013 Baz Luhrmann film, directed and co-written by Luhrmann, starred Leonardo DiCaprio, Carey Mulligan, and Tobey Maguire. The Great Gatsby has also been adapted into a 2002 made-for-TV movie with Toby Stephens, Mira Sorvino, and Paul Rudd and as G (2002), a hip-hop version set in the Hamptons.
The 1949 and 1974 versions will both be screened at the 2013 F. Scott Fitzgerald Literary Festival, and this panel will discuss and compare them with the 2013 Luhrmann film.