I've always like this film. Reviews at the time, didn't treat it particularly well, but I like it regardless. Is the book better?
Published in 1925, the book is a masterful tome, that not only stands the test of time, but invites new readership.
From the website of The Manhattan Rare Book Company:
[color=rgb(113,113,113);font-family:Verdana, Arial, Helvetica;font-size:13px;]In 1925, "Scribners published The Great Gatsby, the novel that secured Fitzgerald's enduring fame. He had reached his full maturity as a writer. The work is often described in terms of a meditation or vision of America because of its judicious use of myth, metaphor, and history. When Fitzgerald was first thinking about his third novel in July 1922, he wrote Perkins that he wanted 'to write something new--something extraordinary and beautiful and simple [and] intricately patterned' (qtd. in Bruccoli, Grandeur, p. 170). He knew that he was working near his peak--his artistic conscience was pure during the ten months of writing Gatsby. In April 1924 he wrote to Perkins from Great Neck, Long Island, 'I feel I have an enormous power in me now, more than I've ever had in a way. . . . This book will be a consciously artistic achievement and must depend on that as the first books did not' (Turnbull, Letters, p. 163)" (American National Biography). [/color]
[color=rgb(113,113,113);font-family:Verdana, Arial, Helvetica;font-size:13px;]- See more at: http://www.manhattan...h.U65cbW58.dpuf[/color]
The book has been brought to cinema several times. First in 1926, also by Paramount, starring Warner Baxter, Lois Wilson, Neil Hamilton, Georgia Hale and William Powell. Later in 1949, as a vehicle for Alan Ladd, Betty Field, and a superb cast. And most recently by Baz Luhrmann in 3D.
Paramount has prepared a gorgeous master for WB, and the resultant Blu-ray is not only drop-dead gorgeous, but technically perfect.
Shot both in the UK and the US, the imagery as captured on the Blu-ray beautifully replicates the information held on the original elements.
And it better, as top talent created the film.
Take a look at the production credits of the 1974 version, and you'll quickly realize why this film looks as incredible as it does.
Jack Clayton directed from a screenplay by Francis Ford Coppola. David Merrick produced.
Cinematography was by the great Douglas Slocombe, probably best known on this side of the Atlantic for the Indiana Jones films. Mr. Slocombe turned 100 in February! Production design by John Box.
Anyone unfamiliar with Mr. Box's credits needs to do a bit of research.
Currently, under $15 on Amazon, with the new version waiting in the wings, and to be released on August 27.
A couple of final thoughts on the book, and by that I mean the thing of paper, ink and binding.
Apparently, the original is very hard to locate with its original dust jacket. While a nice copy will run between five and eight thousand dollars, if you want to go to the beach with something really special, a clean copy with dust jacket begins at around $85,000, and can hit over $200,000.
Actually not a bad deal, considering a a nice original printing of the first Harry Potter will set you back around $30,000.
Just a suggestion. If you go for it, and decide to take it to the beach, leave the dust jacket somewhere safe.
For those who might ask, I don't have a copy.
Image - 5
Audio - 5 (DTS-HD MA 5.1)