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The Great Gatsby (1974)

PG | | Drama, Romance | 29 March 1974 (USA)
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A Midwesterner becomes fascinated with his nouveau riche neighbor, who obsesses over his lost love.

Director:

Jack Clayton

Writers:

F. Scott Fitzgerald (novel), Francis Ford Coppola (screenplay)
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3,609 ( 1,053)
Won 2 Oscars. Another 5 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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
Howard Da Silva ... Meyer Wolfsheim
Roberts Blossom ... Mr. Gatz
Edward Herrmann ... Klipspringer
Elliott Sullivan Elliott Sullivan ... Wilson's Friend
Arthur Hughes ... Dog Vendor
Kathryn Leigh Scott ... Catherine
Beth Porter Beth Porter ... Mrs. McKee
Paul Tamarin Paul Tamarin ... Mr. McKee
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Storyline

Nick Carraway, a young Midwesterner now living on Long Island, finds himself fascinated by the mysterious past and lavish lifestyle of his neighbor, the nouveau riche Jay Gatsby. He is drawn into Gatsby's circle, becoming a witness to obsession and tragedy. Written by Cleo <frede005@maroon.tc.umn.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Gone is the romance that was so divine.

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

29 March 1974 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Great Gatsby See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$6,500,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$20,563,273

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$20,563,273
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Stereo

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Many of the male extras in the party scenes were recruited from the Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island, because military officers had the clean-cut hairstyles worn by 1920s men. See more »

Goofs

During the second party scene, as the Charleston begins but before the swimmers run in, Nick can be clearly seen on the left hand side of the screen dancing in his outfit from the first party. See more »

Quotes

Jordan Baker: [about Gatsby] He's an Oxford man.
Tom Buchanan: Like hell he is, he wears a goddamn pink suit!
See more »

Alternate Versions

In the movie's original theatrical release, Tom Ewell played a small part at the cemetery near the end. Several weeks into the run, theaters were sent a new last reel from which Tom Ewell's part had been removed. See more »

Connections

Remake of The Great Gatsby (1926) See more »

Soundtracks

Who?
Written by Otto A. Harbach, Oscar Hammerstein II, and Jerome Kern
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User Reviews

 
Too Faithful Adaptation Dampens the Many Qualities of an Elaborate Production
11 August 2006 | by EUyeshimaSee all my reviews

It seems something of a shame how maligned the extravagant 1974 movie version of F. Scott Fitzgerald's literary masterwork was when it was originally released. So much media hype surrounded the production, including a Scarlett O'Hara-level search for the right actress to play Daisy Buchanan, that it was bound to disappoint, and it did critically and financially. It's simply not that bad. Interestingly, looking at the film over thirty years later, I am taken by how faithful the movie is to the original book both in text and period atmosphere. The central problem, however, is that Jack Clayton's overly deliberate direction and Francis Ford Coppola's literate screenplay are really too faithful to the book to the point where the spirit of Fitzgerald's story becomes flattened and plot developments are paced too slowly. The result is an evocative but overlong 144-minute epic movie based on a novel that is really quite intimate in scope.

The focus of the plot is still the interrupted love story between Jay Gatsby and his object of desire, Daisy. Narrating the events is Nick Carraway, Gatsby's modest Long Island neighbor who becomes his most trusted confidante. Nick is responsible for reuniting the lovers who both have come to different points in their lives five years after their aborted romance. Now a solitary figure in his luxurious mansion, Gatsby is a newly wealthy man who accumulated his fortunes through dubious means. Daisy, on the other hand, has always led a life of privilege and could not let love stand in the way of her comfortable existence. She married Tom Buchanan for that sole purpose. With Gatsby's ambition spurred by his love for Daisy, he rekindles his romance with Daisy, as Tom carries on carelessly with Myrtle Wilson, an auto mechanic's grasping wife. Nick himself gets caught up in the jet set trappings and has a relationship with Jordan Baker, a young golf pro. The characters head for a collision, figuratively and literally, that exposes the hypocrisy of the rich, the falsity of a love undeserving and the transience of individuals on this earth.

Casting is crucial, and surprisingly, most of the actors fulfill the characters well. Robert Redford, at the height of his box office appeal, plays Gatsby with the right enigmatic quality. As Daisy, Mia Farrow captures the romanticism and shallowness of a character that ultimately does not deserve the love she receives. Even if she appears overly breathy and pretentious, her frequently trying performance still fits Fitzgerald's image of the character. Bruce Dern makes an appropriately despicable Tom Buchanan, while Karen Black has scant screen time as the trashy Myrtle. A very young Sam Waterson makes the ideal Nick with his genuine manner and touching naiveté, and Lois Chiles is all throaty posturing as Jordan. As expected, all the exterior touches are luxuriant and feel period-authentic - Theoni V. Aldredge's costumes, John Box's production design, Douglas Slocombe's elegant cinematography, and the pervasive use of 1920's hits, in particular, Irving Berlin's wistful "What'll I Do?" as the recurring love theme. The film is worth a look if you have not seen it and a second one if you haven't seen it in a while. It's actually better if you've already read the book. The 2003 DVD has a nice print transfer but sadly no extras.


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