The Great Gatsby

Zack Bennett

The Great Gatsby (1974)

The 1974 version of The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, was directed by Jack Clayton, and stars Sam Waterson, Robert Redford, and Mia Farrow. This version closely follows the events in the original novel, and gives the feel of the "roaring '20s" pretty realistically. It is almost as if a viewer could follow along with the book in hand. This film also maintains all of the symbols in the novel, including the green light flashing at the end of the Buchanan's dock, as well as TJ Eckleburg's eyes watching over the valley of ashes. Clayton keeps the idea of the narrator, Nick Carraway, being sort of stuck in the middle of the madness between Daisy, Gatsby, Tom, Myrtle, and Wilson, and tells the audience the story along the way. Although the director did not seem to take many artistic risks in the making of it, this film is seemingly the closest possible rendering of the 1925 novel, The Great Gatsby.

1920's Music

"The Charleston" written by Cecil Mack and James P. Johnson in 1923 gives the 1920's feel in the 1974 rendering of The Great Gatsby. This "music of the time" gives a more realistic take on the novel, which may not necessarily entertain the modern audiences of 2013. The effect that this style of music in the 1974 version of the book is a more authentic feel, with a little less excitement than the 2013 rendering.

Daniel Michael (P.52.S)

Charleston by Daniel Michael (P.52.S)


The Great Gatsby (2013)

The 2013 rendering of The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald, was directed by Baz Luhrmann and stars Leonardo DiCaprio, Tobey Maguire, Carey Mulligan, and Isla Fisher. This film, like the 1974 version, also does a good job following the events of the novel pretty closely, although there are some minor deviations. First, the main character and narrator, Nick Carraway, is seen retelling the events of the summer from an insane asylum where he suffers from mental illnesses. Another part that is different in the film is when Nick attends Gatsby's party. In the novel, Nick is wanted up in Gatsby's mansion where he is asked to invite Daisy to tea for Gatsby's reunion with her. However in the film, Jordan is wanted and the message is relayed through her to Nick instead of directly. Although these minor changes along with the modernized soundtrack and setting deviate from the original ideas of F. Scott Fitzgerald, they make for an extra boost of entertainment for the 2013 audiences.

Modernized Music

This song by Jay-Z and Kanye West ft. Flux Pavillion, Who Gon Stop Me, is played during the party at Tom and Myrtles apartment. This song is clearly more modern than the times that this movie is trying to represent. The effect of this causes a more drunken feel, taking the audience with Nick and his second experience being drunk.

Jay-Z & Kanye West - Who Gon Stop Me (Ft. Flux Pavillion) by