Nick Carraway, a young Midwesterner now living on Long Island, finds himself fascinated by the mysterious past and lavish lifestyle of his neighbour, the nouveau riche Jay Gatsby. He is ... See full summary »
Nick Carraway, a young Midwesterner now living on Long Island, finds himself fascinated by the mysterious past and lavish lifetyle of his landlord, the nouveau riche Jay Gatsby. He is drawn into Gatsby's circle, becoming a witness to obsession and tragedy. Written by
ALAN LADD was the perfect actor for THE GREAT GATSBY, and his performance in this film captures F. Scott Fitzgerald's tragic hero with every nuance, every movement, every hidden torment. Ladd wanted to do this role, although he had his anxieties (as was noted by my friend Geraldine Fitzgerald). Nonetheless, he succeeds splendidly as Gatsby - a definitive characterization that should be seen. Redford had the right stuff, to a large extent, but the Redford-Farrow version is far too overblown with far too many missing, and important, elements in the plot. As for the Ladd version, it is true that Betty Field, a superb actress, was not right for Daisy -- there is far too much intelligence in her interpretation. Nor are Barry Sullivan, Ruth Hussey, and Macdonald Carey altogether satisfactory either. BUT the adaptation is closest to Fitzgerald, and the Ladd, of the later scenes in particular, is a tragic figure - truly reaching the heights of one of America's finest novels. And one that is ageless...
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