F. Scott Fitzgerald's masterpiece, often regarded as one of the greatest American novels of the 20th century, is brought to the screen in this made-for-TV feature, produced in collaboration with the A&E Cable Network in the United States, and Granada Entertainment in Great Britain. Nick Carraway (Paul Rudd) is a young bond salesman who rents a ...
F. Scott Fitzgerald's masterpiece, often regarded as one of the greatest American novels of the 20th century, is brought to the screen in this made-for-TV feature, produced in collaboration with the A&E Cable Network in the United States, and Granada Entertainment in Great Britain. Nick Carraway (Paul Rudd) is a young bond salesman who rents a cottage near the mansion of the wealthy but reclusive Jay Gatsby (Toby Stephens). In time, Nick gets to know his neighbor, who has accumulated a vast fortune through vague, suspect means, but has carefully forged an outward image of refinement and charm. Years ago, before he left to fight in World War I, Gatsby was a poor man named Gatz and was in love with a beautiful woman from a wealthy family, Daisy (Mira Sorvino). When he returned, Gatz was determined to remake himself so that he might be seen fit to someday win her hand, even though Daisy had by this time married the socially prominent but boorish Tom Buchanan (Martin Donovan). Gatsby has yet to give up on his romantic dream and enlists Nick, who is distantly related to Daisy, in his plan. This production marked the fourth time that The Great Gatsby had been committed to film -- the best known version being Jack Clayton's 1974 adaptation, featuring Robert Redford as Gatsby and Mia Farrow as Daisy. Mark Deming, Rovi
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TITLE: The Great Gatsby
GENRE: Romantic Drama
CAST: Paul Rudd, Toby Stephens, Mira Sorvino and Martin Donovan
PLOT: Only one of America's finest novelists (Francis Scott Fitzgerald) could take a hit-and-run murder of a low class woman and spin the tale of love lost, regained and lost again by the sophisticated and wealthy society of Long Island's Roaring Twenties crowd. (Not plot but story and characters:) Nick, the narrator of the tale, who is a WW-I veteran encounters a cousin, Daisy Buchanan, who loved before the war another returned veteran but wealthy by new money, one James Gatts (Gatsby), and Daisy's cheating husband (whose paramour was the gas station attendent's wife who gets run down).
RETURN ON INVESTMENT: 7 of 10; It is a period production which was partially produced by the BBC and they do period pieces well. The character development and dialogue is straight from F.S. Fitzgerald, so the movie gets no credit for those. The sets. locations and other background aspects are worth much as they indeed contribute to placing you into the period. There is music but for some reason none typifies the Roaring Twenties, it is orchestra dance music of the period and not the jazz which is central to the era.
DVD BONUS: An episode of A&E's 'Biography' of F S Fitzgerald's life history; brief filmographies of Sorvino, Rudd and Stephens
ADDED NOTES: Along with some of the other 'tween war theatricals I have seen, this really paints a picture of an America gone way off track as far as what we consider social norms; or maybe I'm just not looking hard enough at today's world. If indeed it turns out the 20-30s were a very decadent era in world history, this movie portrays a piece of that image quite well.