The Great Gatsby (1949)

The Great Gatsby (1949)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

The Great Gatsby Photos

Movie Info

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 old flames results in disillusionment and, ultimately, tragedy. Sidelines observer Nick Carraway, the narrator of the original Fitzgerald novel, is expertly played by MacDonald Carey, while Shelley Winters makes an excellent impression as Buchanan's slatternly mistress Myrtle Wilson. Cast as Myrtle's dour optometrist husband is Howard Da Silva, who essayed a minor role in the 1974 remake of Great Gatsby. That 1974 version has unfortunately kept the 1949 Gatsby from being released to television.
Classics , Drama , Romance
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
Paramount Pictures


Alan Ladd
as Jay Gatsby
Betty Field
as Daisy Buchanan
Ruth Hussey
as Jordan Baker
Macdonald Carey
as Nick Carraway
Barry Sullivan
as Tom Buchanan
Shelley Winters
as Myrtle Wilson
Henry Hull
as Dan Cody
Carole Mathews
as Ella Cody
Ed Begley Sr.
as Myron Lupus
Elisha Cook Jr.
as Klipspringer
Nicholas Joy
as The Guest
Walter Greaza
as Kinsella
Tito Vuolo
as Mavromichaelis
Diane Nance
as Pamela
Ray Walker
as Real Estate Man
Jack Gargan
as Golf Pro
Lynn Romer
as Twin
Show More Cast

Critic Reviews for The Great Gatsby

All Critics (8) | Top Critics (4)

Unfortunately, the movie version misses many of its opportunities.

Full Review… | May 8, 2013
TIME Magazine
Top Critic

Elliott Nugent's direction skips along the surface of the era depicted. The script doesn't give him much substance to work with.

Full Review… | March 25, 2009
Top Critic

Cyril Hume and Richard Maibaum have achieved a dutiful plotting of the novel without the substance of life that made it stick.

Full Review… | March 24, 2006
New York Times
Top Critic

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.

Full Review… | February 8, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

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.

Full Review… | May 3, 2014
Movie Dearest

Elliott Nugent directs with some atmospheric touches, but can't counter screenwriter Richard Maibaum's verbosity.

Full Review… | May 8, 2013
Radio Times

Audience Reviews for The Great Gatsby

Ladd is a excellent choice for Gatsby and Shelley Winters perfect for Myrtle but the film is hampered by miscasting in most every other role. The flat look of the film betrays the luxury settings inherent in the book. Not bad but surely not a definitive version.

jay nixon
jay nixon

Super Reviewer


Seems rather lacking in ambition, skimming lightly through most of the story. Occasional particularly effective scenes stand out; Gatsby displaying his stuff (which brought me to realize that James Franco's character, Alien, in SPRING BREAKERS is modeled on Gatsby), and Gatsby's demise among them.

Michael Harbour
Michael Harbour

good version of this but I still like Redford 1974 version best Ladd is a little too old to play the part.

Gregory Wood
Gregory Wood

The Great Gatsby Quotes

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