Baz Luhrmann's new 3D version of The Great Gatsby is about to be released. What better time to revisit the highly underrated 1974 film starring Robert Redford and Mia Farrow.

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  • Comment number 34. Posted by Enda_Neu

    on 24 May 2013 20:37

    It really pains me to say it, but I think the Baz Luhrmann version was better than this version. It just felt a bit too televisual rather than cinematic. The Luhrmann version was very flawed and ridiculously over the top while the Clayton version was, on the other hand, well under the top, but if you're going to try and capture the spirit of the "Roaring" Twenties surely it's better to be over the top rather than understated. The score was also underwhelming and fit less well to the story than the pop music selected by Luhrmann. The performances were also very jarring; whereas Di Caprio was mysterious and charismatic, Redford's Gatsby just came across as odd, while it was hard to believe that anyone could pine for Daisy for 8 years as she was portrayed by Mia Farrow. All in all, I think we're still waiting for the definitive version of The Great Gatsby on screen.

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  • Comment number 33. Posted by babyfacemichael

    on 20 May 2013 20:45

    I remember trying to watch this as a teenager, and giving up after about twenty minutes. So it was was with trepidation that I eventually sat down to watch it. I tried to shop local as they say in Royston Vasey, but neither Phase 2 or Jurby Junk could supply my need. So the Net delivered today.
    Once again you have to say the beginning is unbelievably empty, false and shallow.You do have to force yourself to keep watching. It would have been very easy to just stop it but in the spirit of Film Club I bravely soldiered on. And I`m very gad I did. At the beginning Mia and Robert reminded me of Barbie and Ken.`I`m a Barbie Girl in a Barbie World, Life in Plastic Its Fantastic .` But then slowly a very really interesting human drama grows much to my surprise, and the film in the second half really matures into fine cinema and acting. It is a curious mix of empty nothing then real drama. In a strange way it reminded me of `A Royal Affair`which is a far deeper , better made and more deeply satisfying work, but their are many similarities. Gatsby is A Royal Affair for the shallow Idle rich. They would make a fine strange double bill.

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  • Comment number 32. Posted by redrhinoclan

    on 18 May 2013 15:35

    I've just seen the new version and revisited the 74 film and it strikes me that both Clayton and Baz miss the mark somewhat and present Gatsby as a Charles Forster Kane figure for whom Daisy is Rosebud, Neither Director seems able to actualize the hope of the Gatsby that Nick Carraway sees in the book, or why Nick would be so loyal or protective of Gatsby in his reminisce, in fact DiCaprio is at times presented as Orson Welles as either Kane or Harry Lime or as a winsome schoolboy, so again I feel we've truly yet to see a truly original Gatsby on the big screen, although Redford and DiCaprio do look the part. But is Baz's version really all that radical a departure from this one? All it did was put on a new soundtrack and add a pop up book aesthetic to Clayton and Coppola's version... Exhibit A: Look up The Great Gatsby as The Great Gatsby on you tube for a great mash up of Clayton and Baz.

    All in all, I didn't mind either, both seemed worthwhile grand follies.

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  • Comment number 31. Posted by RichardE

    on 15 May 2013 08:29

    Hi Mark - enjoy your blogs

    Having just watched the 74 film on DVD dare I be so bold as to correct you with regard to Robert Redford's hat. He does wear it in the film - during the scene where the 5 leads head off to the city and Tom and Gatsby swap cars (Tom in Gatsby's yellow rolls royce, Gatsby in Tom's blue car). As Redford and Farrow get in the blue car, Redford puts on the infamous white cap.

    Apart from that, film was ok, not read the book so can't compare (normally prefer to read book before seeing film). Performances were ok but slightly disappointed with Bruce Dern. Suspected he needed more menace which he normally does so well.

    Didn't make me want to rush out to cinema to see new BL version.

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  • Comment number 30. Posted by David M Gullever

    on 12 May 2013 20:51

    "the highly underrated 1974 film starring Robert Redford and Mia Farrow" - er... who is underrating it - Robert Redford and Mia Farrow were brilliant. While Leonardo Di Caprio is currently my favourite actor I think this film is superfluous.

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  • Comment number 29. Posted by ashley wetherall

    on 12 May 2013 19:40

    I've just finished watching The Great Gatsby 1974 version for the first time, having never read the book or seen any previous versions. I must admit I was surprised by this movie and my reaction to it. I found the look of the film and its characters both Beautiful and repellent. Two other films have had this effect on me and both were made around the same time as Claytons film. One was Chinatown and the other was Day of the Locust.
    I thought Robert Redford looked the part but really had personality of plaster board.

    Mia farrow seemed to be playing a 20's version of her Rosemary Woodhouse character up until the part when I worked out that Daisy Buchanan (Spoiler Alert) was in fact the devil in this movie.

    I must say I really liked the supporting cast. Many people seem to knock Bruce Dern in this movie, but I thought his performance was the films most interesting and layered character. I actually began to feel sorry Tom Buchanan by the end of the movie.

    The always brilliant Scott Wilson was also sadly affecting as George Wilson its a shame the film didn't give him and Karen Black more screen time.
    Sam Waterstone also did a first class job a the films anchor It was though his eyes we really saw the good and bad in F. Scott Fitzgerald and Jack Claytons world.

    To sum up as the credits rolled I found myself sitting on the fence of whether the Clayton version of the Great Gatsby was a great movie or just a noble but interesting failure. It is film that I will return to. I just wish the two leads were as good as the supporting cast.

    One final request. Scott Wilson gave a great performance in The Great Gatsby. For a future film club presentation could we please re-visit one of Scott Wilson best performances in William Peter Blatty's The Ninth Configuration. Thank you.

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  • Comment number 28. Posted by markw

    on 12 May 2013 11:22

    watched it for the first time this morning. Agree with Mark's comments about a top notch support cast, and was disappointed with Mia Farrow who seemed all over the place, most unlike her. On that basis, Lois Chiles WOULD have been a better Daisy. Got to be impressed with the decadence of the thing, you could see the dollar signs racking up in every scene. Thought Redford was a little too impassive, and some of the sequences were a bit hit and miss, but overall ok.

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  • Comment number 27. Posted by David Beckett

    on 11 May 2013 13:46

    I watched this just over a week ago, on the newly released on Blu-ray Disc, and found it had exactly the same problems as when I first saw it a year or so earlier. It looks great and it's no wonder the costumes were so influential and critically applauded, but the film really plods along, occasionally at a glacial pace, with Frances Ford Coppola's script hamstrung by some leaden direction and editing.

    The book is a masterpiece and I look forward to seeing what Baz Luhrmann does with the material, but my hopes of it doing justice to F Scott Fitzgerald's brilliant prose are far from high.

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  • Comment number 26. Posted by Emma

    on 10 May 2013 16:21

    I often feel those who criticise Mia Farrow's Daisy miss the point. Farrow is perfect in the role of a woman whose entire life is an act and she knows it. Every affectation adds to that effect and that's why the lack of chemistry makes sense; Gatsby isn't in love with Daisy, he's in love with what she symbolises.

    I do feel the film, despite its style, lacks a little life but again that makes sense; the past is never as vibrant when we try to live it again.

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  • Comment number 25. Posted by Going_once

    on 9 May 2013 19:54

    I really like the original screen version for the tone. The whole point of Daisy is that she is essentially shallow but tragic, Gatsby's adoration is misplaced but heroic, the times are vapid and tiresome and that's what the film portrays - doesn't make for rollercoaster viewing but was made when film took its time. Won't be doing Baz - ennervating in a totally different way. Trailer looks loud.

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