The Great Gatsby (1974)

One Book Movie Night: The Great Gatsby (1974)

Thursday, October 24, 2013 - 6:30pm to 8:30pm
  • Library Hall

See the third filmed version of F. Scott Fitzgerald's classic 1925 novelone of the most hyped movies of the summer of 1974.

With Oscar Award victories for its score and costumes, the 1974 film stars Robert Redford, Mia Farrow, Bruce Dern and Sam Waterston, with a screenplay by Francis Ford Coppola. It was directed by Jack Clayton.

Trivia about the 1974 film, courtesy

  • Truman Capote was the original screenwriter. In his draft, Nick was a homosexual and Jordan Baker a vindictive lesbian. When Capote was fired, Francis Ford Coppola finished his draft in three weeks.
  • Mia Farrow was pregnant during filming. The director did a lot of close-up shots, and put her in a lot of flowing costumes.
  • Patsy Kensit who plays Mia Farrow's very young daughter, later portrayed Mia Farrow in Love and Betrayal: The Mia Farrow Story which included a re-enactment of the filming of this picture.
  • Howard Da Silva played Wilson in the 1949 version of The Great Gatsby.
  • Many of the male extras in the party scenes were recruited from the Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island, because military officers had the clean-cut hairstyles worn by 1920s men.
  • Francis Ford Coppola lived in "West Egg," aka Great Neck, former home of F. Scott Fitzgerald, at the time of writing the screenplay for The Great Gatsby,
  • Mia Farrow writes that the main reason she couldn't create on-screen chemistry with Robert Redford was because of Redford's total absorption in the Watergate scandals that were rocking Washington, D.C. at the time. Farrow says Redford spent all his free time locked in his trailer, watching the political scandal unfold on television. Two years later, Redford played Watergate reporter Bob Woodward in All the President's Men.
  • Robert Towne refused a chance to write the screenplay, despite a $175,000 salary, saying "I didn't want to be the unknown Hollywood screenwriter who f--d up a literary classic." Instead, he wrote Chinatown, which earned him an Academy Award and established him as one of the greatest screenwriters of the period.
  • Marlon Brando turned down the role of Jay Gatsby because producers would not submit to his salary demands.

Run time: 144 min.

This is a featured event in the  ONE BOOK STEAMBOAT 2013 community read of F. Scott Fitzgeralds' novel The Great Gatsby.