Paramount Pictures | Release Date: March 29, 1974
6.1
USER SCORE
Generally favorable reviews based on 19 Ratings
USER RATING DISTRIBUTION
Positive:
9
Mixed:
6
Negative:
4
WATCH NOW
Stream On
Stream On
Review this movie
VOTE NOW
0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Check box if your review contains spoilers 0 characters (5000 max)
5
SpangleApr 15, 2017
The Great Gatsby is a clunky adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald's classic high school reading list novel that really lacks any sort of inspiration. Though handsomely shot with excellent costume design, while capturing the extravagance ofThe Great Gatsby is a clunky adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald's classic high school reading list novel that really lacks any sort of inspiration. Though handsomely shot with excellent costume design, while capturing the extravagance of Gatsby's lifestyle, as well as nicely handling its portrayal of high society and the green light, there are flaws here. From being stodgily paced and being over-written, as well as some sketchy acting, Jack Clayton's take on The Great Gatsby lacks the impact that the novel has and, as a result, is largely quite dull to watch unfold and feels simultaneously rushed and too drawn out. This is an odd feeling and the end result is an odd film that never truly justifies its existence. Though Baz Luhrmann's 2013 take on the story may be a bit too poppy, it is definitely a better take on the novel that captured the spirit of everything depicted.

The problems with this spirit come in scenes where Jay Gatsby (Robert Redford) and Daisy Buchanan (Mia Farrow) are together. Scenes of him tossing clothes at her or sharing the work he has done stalking her over the years come of as stiff and undercooked. They lack a strong romantic tone and instead feel thrown in with neither Redford nor Farrow seeming entirely convinced they are in love with one another. Yet, as this film is incredibly mixed, some of these scenes come off incredibly well. For example, when they first see each other and their eyes light up, it is undeniable that the film has reached a romantic peak. The two stand in silence as they gaze into one another's eyes, underscoring the depth of their love for one another, as well as showing a rare moment where the film allowed non-verbal cues to tell the tale.

Some of these scenes do similarly feel rushed, however. In particular, the handling of the killing of Myrtle Wilson (Karen Black) is just off. Scenes immediately beforehand go far too quickly with Farrow over-acting and pouring on the melodrama, only for her to do the same afterwards. This not comes off as lacking authenticity, but it violently uproots the emotional toil of everything and turns the film into a cheesy rendition of a soap opera. Along the same lines, scenes at the parties held by Gatsby, particularly when Nick Carraway (Sam Waterston), seem to cut too soon. They may be the right length, but pick awkward times to cut away to a new scene, harming the overall flow of the film and turning it into quite a choppy mess.

However, the film's most egregious misstep deals with the dialogue. As with every bad to mediocre adaptation of a novel, The Great Gatsby had an allegedly beautiful script from writer Francis Ford Coppola that was botched in the production process. Whether that is true or not, the general feeling that the film is both too rushed and too long is likely due to the dialogue. Far too verbose with many scenes playing out exactly how they are depicted in the book with the same dialogue, The Great Gatsby shows why film language is different from what can be found in a novel. What is poetic and beautiful to read sounds awkward when heard as the actors stumble over lines and try to capture the dense language found in the script accurately. The film's rushed portion comes from how it tosses in exact lines from the novel like a student turning in a book report on a book they never read. Dragging in between and then having a character utter one of those verbose lines and trip over themselves in the process, the film just never really captures the essence of the novel or the characters. Instead, it goes for a few keys scenes that it tries to cram in to spruce things up, while filling it with fluff in between.

That said, the cinematography and costume design do really capture the imagination. With it appearing more akin to a dream than reality with the characters all dressed in white, the film really captures this other worldly nature of the film. None of the characters operate in the real world, due to how unconcerned they are with others and how focused upon their own lives they are. As such, they indulge in fantasy and these lavish lifestyles that are uncommon to the average person and are a direct result of their extreme wealth. These are people that exist around the real world, not in it due to how audacious and unique their life and lifestyle is, which is what Nick Carraway really captures. He is shocked to see these events play out and is like a kid having a dream about some far off place that he would never be able to reach. It is this general dream-like aesthetic that really bolsters director Jack Clayton's film, no matter the flaws under the hood. Its outside appearance is so gorgeous and handsomely constructed that it is impossible to look away.
Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful00
All this user's reviews
2
ScorpionMay 8, 2013
The screenplay is cluttered with parts that are expendable scenographically, giving the impression that everything in this book should be put on the screen, the party scenes that could be more attractive, are visually monotonous and poor, andThe screenplay is cluttered with parts that are expendable scenographically, giving the impression that everything in this book should be put on the screen, the party scenes that could be more attractive, are visually monotonous and poor, and does not follow the line of book, with the performances exeção Redford are ridiculous, Nick seems a foolishly, daysi seems to have mental disorders, and others are always hidden, Redford can only liken it to your character, but with this script it horrible little you can do, really if Sr.Fitzgerald tremedamente saw this film would be disgusted, and one would find outrageous affront to the quality of his book. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful00
All this user's reviews
10
Gatsby123May 11, 2013
Shuld see!!!
0 of 0 users found this helpful00
All this user's reviews
10
JohnnyStephensAug 31, 2013
A classic heartbreaking romance!! One of the best dramas in cinema history!! Robert Redford is one of the best actors in the world!! Must see!!! Don't miss it!!!
0 of 0 users found this helpful00
All this user's reviews
5
FilmQueenOct 27, 2015
I couldn't say this adaptation is not true to it's source material. (Which I absolutely love.) The plot is the same, really, everything is probably the same, yet somehow it failed to capture the spirit and the meaning behind the story. II couldn't say this adaptation is not true to it's source material. (Which I absolutely love.) The plot is the same, really, everything is probably the same, yet somehow it failed to capture the spirit and the meaning behind the story. I would rather recommend the 2013 adaptation of The Great Gatsby. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful00
All this user's reviews