9:00 a.m. 1949 Film Version of The Great Gatsby
Produced by Paramount Pictures, the now rarely seen 1949 film version of The Great Gatsby will be screened at 9 a.m. on October 26th as the opening event of the 17th annual F. Scott Fitzgerald Literary Festival. The film is directed by Elliott Nugent and produced by Richard Maibaum, with a screenplay by Maibaum and Cyril Hume. The music score is by Robert Emmett Dolan, the cinematography by John F. Seitz, and the costumes by Edith Head. Alan Ladd plays Gatsby, with Betty Field as Daisy, Macdonald Carey as Nick, Ruth Hussey as Jordan, Barry Sullivan as Tom, and Shelley Winters as Myrtle. Two connections between the 1949 and the 1974 films are that Howard da Silva plays George Wilson in 1949 and Meyer Wolfsheim in 1974, and that John Farrow, the father of Mia, who plays Daisy in the 1974 version, was originally scheduled to direct the 1949 film. Gene Tierney was originally slated to play Daisy in 1949 and Tyrone Power had indicated he would plays Gatsby if Tierney was cast, but director Nugent and producer Maibaum felt that Tierney’s beauty would be a distraction, and when she was dropped, Power also left the project.
1:00 p.m. 1974 Film Version of The Great Gatsby
This third film version of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s classic 1925 novel was one of the most hyped movies of the summer of 1974––with a cover story in Time magazine and numerous product tie-ins. The screenplay by Francis Ford Coppola of Godfather fame, an unabashed admirer of Fitzgerald’s novel, is meticulously close to its source. Directed by Jack Clayton, the film stars Robert Redford as Gatsby, Mia Farrow as Daisy, Sam Waterston as Nick Carraway, Bruce Dern as Tom Buchanan, and Karen Black as Myrtle Wilson. The costume designs by Theoni V. Aldredge and the musical score by Nelson Riddle won Academy Awards. The film received decidedly negative to mixed reviews when it opened in 1974, but in recent years it has come to be regarded much more favorably. Typically, Derek Adams has remarked, “Widely trashed by a cabal of critics who didn’t know a good film when they saw it, Jack Clayton’s 1974 rendition of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel beautifully captures its romantic essence and caustic social indictments.” With Baz Luhrmann’s equally hyped very recent film version of The Great Gatsby fresh in everyone’s mind, this 1974 movie deserves to seen again.
Back to top