WEIRDLAND: "The Great Gatsby" (1949) starring Alan Ladd

Friday, November 21, 2014

"The Great Gatsby" (1949) starring Alan Ladd

F. Scott Fitzgerald's classic story of the "prohibition crowd," which he told with real irony and pity in "The Great Gatsby" back in 1925, has been brought to the screen by Paramount with particular emphasis upon the aspects of the sentimental romance that formed the thread of the novel's fragile plot. Indeed, there are reasons for suspecting that Paramount selected this old tale primarily as a standard conveyance for the image of its charm boy, Alan Ladd. For most of the tragic implications and bitter ironies of Mr. Fitzgerald's work have gone by the board in allowing for the generous exhibition of Mr. Ladd. The period of the Nineteen Twenties is briefly and inadequately sketched with a jumble of gay Long Island parties, old clothes, old songs and old cars. The baneful influence of prohibition and the disillusionment of post-World War I are not in the least integrated into the projection of the man.

A bit of illumination of the brittle and faithless jazz-age type is delivered in irritating snatches by our old friend, Betty Field, playing the married woman whom Gatsby loves in vain. And Barry Sullivan turns in a moderately sturdy account of the lady's Yale-man husband who is rotten at the core. As the pious observer and narrator of all that happens in this film. Macdonald Carey does a fair imitation of a youthful Father Time, and Ruth Hussey is mainly scenery as a wise-cracking golfing champ. Howard da Silva, Shelley Winters and Elisha Cook Jr. have secondary roles which they fill without any distinction or significance to the Fitzgerald tale. Source:

"The Great Gatsby" (1949) directed by Elliott Nugent, starring Alan Ladd and Betty Field

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