August 13th, 2013

The Great Gatsby, The Great Gatsby, The Great Gatsby, The Great Gatsby, The Great Gatsby...

~Tuesday~ A month ago, I saw the 2013, Leonardo DiCaprio version of The Great Gatsby, about which I shared my thoughts and observations in my July 20, 2013 blog entry.

Tonight, I met most of our Mostly Social Book Club (Mary couldn't make it) at Janet's house to watch the 1974, Robert Redford, Mia Farrow version of the movie, in HD and in surround sound, in Janet and Beth's "home theater."


Synopsis: A Midwesterner becomes fascinated with his nouveau riche neighbor, who obsesses over his lost love.

My thoughts and observations about this movie:

  • I really enjoyed this version of the movie, in spite of its reception back in the day. According to Wikipedia: "The Great Gatsby received mixed reviews. The film was praised for its interpretation and staying true to the novel, but was criticized for lacking any true emotion or feelings towards the Jazz Age. Based on 30 total reviews collected by Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an overall approval rating from critics of 37%.[4]."

  • Things I liked better in this version than the 2013 version:

    • The costumes (no surprise, I supposed, since it won the Oscar that year for Best Costume Design, and as an aside, Best Music, too)

    • The characterization of the relationship between Nick and Jordan

    • The lack of those painful car-riding/car-racing scenes that were in the 2013 version

    • I much preferred the music in this version, which was more true to the times

    • The depiction of Gatsby's parties (although I totally understand why the parties in the 2013 version were so much more outlandish—because what it takes to be interpreted as "outlandish" by an audience today has kicked up about 1000 notches since 1974)

  • One thing I did like better about the 2013 version, was the depiction of Myrtle's accident

  • I liked seeing all of the famous actors as young people, and it was particularly interesting with the recent death of Karen Black

  • I liked that it was free to watch this version. :-)
A few interesting bits of triva around the movie:

  • They kept having to add ruffles to Mia's outfits, as she was pregnant with her twins during the filming of that movie. (Thanks, Bob!)

  • It won the Oscar for Best Custom Design in spite of that. :-)

  • There have been five movies made of this book:

    1. Silent film version (1926) (Ha! Check out what an "outlandish party" looked like back then!)


    2. Black and white version, starring Alan Ladd as Gatsby (1949) (OMG. Until the very end, I thought this trailer was mislabeled. Could a trailer for The Great Gatsby not even mention Daisy? Is that possible?)


    3. The Robert Redford & Mia Farrow version (1974) (See trailer at the top of this entry.)

    4. Version with Toby Stephens as Gatsby and Paul Rudd as Nick (2000) (Interestingly, I couldn't find a trailer for this version. Though even more interesting perhaps, there are a dozen or so clips from the movie, the first one being the first 11 minutes of it, which gives a good feel for what it was like.)

    5. Version with Leonardo DiCaprio as Gatsby (2013)