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The Great Gatsby (1974)

PG | | Drama, Romance | 29 March 1974 (USA)
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3:45 | Trailer
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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4,791 ( 249)
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

Show more on IMDbPro »

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

Natalie Wood was offered the role of Daisy under the condition that she do a screen test first, since she'd only made one movie in the previous 7 years. She balked at the idea and lost her chance. See more »

Goofs

At the first party at Gatsby's house that Nick attends, the song "The Charleston" is heavily featured by the jazz band. The story takes place over the summer of 1922, but the song did not premiere until October 29th, 1923 in the Broadway musical "Runnin' Wild." See more »

Quotes

Daisy Buchanan: Rich girls don't marry poor boys.
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

Referenced in RuPaul's Drag Race: Extra Special Edition (2009) See more »

Soundtracks

The Sheik of Araby
Written by Harry B. Smith, Francis Wheeler, and Ted Snyder
See more »

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User Reviews

How to Mow Down a Millionaire, or, The Worst Waif.
22 October 2001 | by DellySee all my reviews

Looking as if it were plucked from the dreaming ear of an impressionable adolescent with Fitzgerald's novel half-open on his bedstand -- and sometimes sounding, alas, as if it were scored by the guy who did episode #93 of Kojak -- there is no reason why this 1974 adaptation of The Great Gatsby shouldn't be better regarded than it is, or even included among other masterpieces of the fertile period. Well, maybe one: Mia Farrow gives an execrable, vaporish performance as Daisy Buchanan that will make you get down on your knees and thank god that we only have to deal with Gwyneth Paltrow. In a way, though, even Farrow's neuroting fits, because this is Fitzgerald as seen through a Tennesee Williams filter. The character of Myrtle's husband, a cipher in the book, is here a sweaty man in overalls who squeezes an oily rag in his hand whenever he stresses out over his wife's infidelities, which is pretty much all the time. What we film folk might call the Karl Malden character.

Unbeknownst to many, this movie was written by Francis Ford Coppola, and is another crown jewel to add to his annus mirabilis of 1974, when he also wrote and directed The Conversation and The Godfather Part II. And what did you do last year? Here he does a wonderfully subtle job with a thankless task, excising most of the celebrated prose passages and too-famous scenes. There's nothing worse than seeing desperate actors try to bring tension to overly familiar texts -- I can never stifle a groan when any actor says "To be or not to be" -- unless of course it's doing reverent voiceovers of Great American Literature. Both of these fatal errors are mostly avoided, but for anyone who wishes the movie were more faithful, they retain the scene where Daisy weeps over Gatsby's shirts. This episode has an intuitive poetic psychology in the book, but goes over like a lead balloon on screen because we expect clearer motivation from flesh and blood people. Such are the limitations of film. But to keep himself interested, and to prevent the proceedings from feeling too dutiful, Coppola gives strange, heretical tweaks to his notorious source throughout, including an assassination scene that likens Gatsby, brilliantly, to JFK.

I don't know much about director Jack Clayton, except that he also did an ace adaptation of Turn of the Screw, retitled The Innocents... But maybe that's enough. This guy FEELS literature. Nothing in this movie looks less than how you idealized it -- even the sunsets are Jazz Age. Robert Redford, too, perhaps sensing he was born to play this role, doesn't fold under pressure but gives a shrewdly understated performance to match the underwritten character, somehow keeping the myth of Gatsby alive despite his all-too-solid presence. In the scene where we first meet him in his office, his solitude framed by the noises of the revellers down in the garden, he projects both neediness and the intimidating force field that comes with extreme wealth, seemingly without doing anything.

A reviewer below me wondered why the men in this movie would go for the shrill, plain women, and suggested there was a gay subtext. Cool. Then the casting of Mia Farrow is subversive instead of insane. I have to admit, when Sam Waterston as Nick Carraway tells Gatsby "You're better than the whole lot of 'em put together!" his delivery has something, shall we say, flamboyant about it, especially in comparison to his wooden restraint hitherto. It's almost as if he stored up all his energy for that one line, to force us to see what a key moment it is between these two young men, and perhaps what's lost when Gatsby meets his end later the same afternoon. But enough speculation. Here's a movie open to any and all interpretations -- sexual, political, poetical.


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