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Film / The Great Gatsby (1974)

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The Great Gatsby is a 1974 film adaptation of the 1925 novel by F. Scott Fitzgerald. Directed by Jack Clayton and featuring a screenplay by Francis Ford Coppola, it stars Robert Redford as Jay Gatsby, with Mia Farrow as Daisy Buchanan, Bruce Dern as Tom Buchanan, Sam Waterston as Nick Carraway, Karen Black as Myrtle Wilson, Scott Wilson as George Wilson, and Lois Chiles as Jordan Baker.

The 2013 version has its own page here.

In addition to various tropes shared with the novel, this movie provides examples of:

  • Adaptation Dye-Job: Daisy is blonde and Jordan is brunette. It's the other way around in the book.
  • Adaptational Heroism: Tom is a horrible person that hits Myrtle once but it's also fairly clear he really is THAT dumb and believes Gatsby is a monster, which mitigates some of his actions towards him. He also seems genuinely fond of Nick, his wife, and family despite being a pompous jerk. As a result, he comes off as mostly just spoiled and dim versus an ignorant monster. It's clearly Daisy who is the more evil of the two.
  • Adapted Out: Dan Cody and the section of Gatsby's backstory that included him has been excluded from the film completely.
  • Animal Reaction Shot: After Tom and Myrtle have a fight in the middle of the party, the scene cuts to the dog they bought alert and whimpering.
  • Ate His Gun: After shooting Gatsby dead in the pool, George Wilson turns the gun on himself and shoots himself through the mouth.
  • The Film of the Book: One of five film adaptations of F. Scott Fitzgerald's novel by the same title.
  • Killed Offscreen:
    • Unlike in the book, Myrtle isn't seen running towards Gatsby's car and getting fatally run over by it, as the scene where she tries to leave the Wilsons' garage cuts straight to Nick, Jordan and Tom finding a crowd surrounding her corpse.
    • George Wilson's suicide happens offscreen, with a gunshot and the gun itself falling into a small pool of water to indicate that he killed himself.
  • Kosher Nostra: The film features the character Meyer Wolfsheim, from the original book. He's a Jewish gangster based on Arnold Rothstein who wears human molars as cufflinks and serves as Jay Gatsby's shady business partner.
  • Lonely Funeral: Only Nick Carraway, Henry Gatz and one other man show up at Gatsby's funeral and burial to demonstrate how fair-weather his social circle was.
  • Mood Whiplash: After the prolonged sad Lonely Funeral and Nick monologuing about the life of Gatsby over his deserted home, the credits ironically roll to a chorus of flappers jauntily singing "Ain't We Got Fun?".
  • Wedding Smashers: After the hotel confrontation, Gatsby and Daisy run away from a screaming Tom through the wedding going on downstairs. The book mentions the wedding for Irony but lets it go on without incident.