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Film / The Great Gatsby (1974)

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The Great Gatsby is a 1974 film adaptation of the novel by F. Scott Fitzgerald. Directed by Jack Clayton and featuring a screenplay by Francis Ford Coppola, it stars Robert Redford as Jay Gatsby, 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.
  • 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: George Wilson.
  • The Film of the Book: Probably the best-regarded of the several film versions, though many criticize it as too literal an adaptation.
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  • 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?".