The Great Gatsby (1949)
Average Rating: 5.7/10
Reviews Counted: 8
Fresh: 3 | Rotten: 5
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Average Rating: N/A
Critic Reviews: 4
Fresh: 1 | Rotten: 3
Average Rating: 3.2/5
User Ratings: 127
This second film version of F. Scott Fitzgerald's definitive jazz-age novel The Great Gatsby stars Alan Ladd in the title role. Jay Gatsby, formerly Jake Gatz, is a successful bootlegger with aspirations of being accepted in the highest social circles of Long Island. Once he's done this, Gatsby devotes his time to winning back the love of his former lady friend Daisy (Betty Field), now married to boorish "old-money" millionaire Tom Buchanan (Barry Sullivan). Gatsby's obsession with rekindling
Jul 13, 1949 Wide
May 26, 1998
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Howard Da Silva
Ed Begley Sr.
Elisha Cook Jr.
Real Estate Man
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Elliott Nugent's direction skips along the surface of the era depicted. The script doesn't give him much substance to work with.
Cyril Hume and Richard Maibaum have achieved a dutiful plotting of the novel without the substance of life that made it stick.
This scores over Jack Clayton's lavish and longer 1974 version by the casting of Alan Ladd as Gatsby, so much more convincing as a man with a dark and mysterious past than one-dimensional glamour-puss Robert Redford.
An interesting, film noir-ish take on the novel. The screenplay takes some liberties with the source material but (Alan) Ladd gives an exceptionally sensitive performance as the lovelorn millionaire. Excellent supporting cast.
Elliott Nugent directs with some atmospheric touches, but can't counter screenwriter Richard Maibaum's verbosity.
A large part of what makes this version work is the glacial central presence of Alan Ladd, who's quite convincing as a man with a mysterious past.
Not much is made of the 20s Long Island setting and, like the other film versions, it fails to capture the elusive style of the novel.
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