Gatsby on Film

Posted on May 6, 2013 at 3:53 pm

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In honor of this week’s release of the lastest movie version of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s jazz age novel, The Great Gatsby, revisit the book and take a look at four earlier versions:

The Great Gatsby (1949) Alan Ladd and Betty Field star in the earliest surviving version of the story, heavy-handed and missing the lyricism of the book.  (A 1926 film with Warner Baxter has been lost.)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U2jh6XkjrHU

The Great Gatsby (1974) Robert Redford and Mia Farrow star in this sumptuous version that is rather static but better than its reputation.

The Great Gatsby (2000) A TV version starred Mira Sorvino, Paul Rudd, and Toby Stephens and preserves more of the narration from the novel.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RgDQ_aN19NU

gG. Audacious, ambitious, and provocative but uneven and ultimately unsatisfying, this film adapts and updates the story. Instead of Jay Gatsby, the Prohibition-era gangster who can’t forget the girl he lost, we have Summer G, the gangsta, the head of a successful hip-hop recording label.

You might also want to take a look at the only movie credited to Fitzgerald during his brief, unhappy stint in Hollywood:

Three Comrades A tragic love set story in post-WWI Germany starring Robert Young and Margaret Sullavan.

Or watch one of the movie portrayals of Fitzgerald:

Beloved Infidel Gregory Peck plays Fitzgerald in this movie based on the memoir of gossip columnist Sheilah Graham about their years together.

Midnight in Paris Tom Hiddleston and Alison Pill play Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald in Woody Allen’s romantic comedy about a contemporary writer who goes back in time to meet his literary heroes.

Mrs. Parker and the Vicious Circle Malcolm Gets plays Fitzgerald in this movie about the New York writers who gathered at the Algonquin hotel for cocktails and repartee.

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Books Original Version

House of Cards: Original and Remake

Posted on January 28, 2013 at 3:40 pm

The new “House of Cards” series on Netflix starring Kevin Spacey is a remake of the brilliant original series from the BBC about a diabolical and ruthlessly ambitious politician.  Both are worth watching.

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Internet, Gaming, Podcasts, and Apps Original Version Television

“Les Miserables” — Stage and Screen

Posted on December 13, 2012 at 5:06 pm

As we prepare for the release of one of the year’s most anticipated films, “Les Miserables,” starring Hugh Jackman and sure-Oscar-bet Anne Hathaway, take a look at the earlier filmed non-musical movie versions.  Both the 1935 & 1952 versions will be shown on Turner Classic Movies today, and there is also the Liam Neeson version from 1998.

The musical theater version has been performed continuously in more than 42 countries since the concert version opened in France in 1980 and is now the world’s longest-running musical. Yes, it has been running longer than its hero, Jean Valjean. There were memorable 10th and 25th anniversary specials on PBS. Slate has compiled a very thoughtful and well-informed list of the best performances in each of the roles.

 

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Original Version

The Original “Sparkle”

Posted on August 12, 2012 at 8:00 am

The remake of “Sparkle” with Jordin Sparks, Derek Luke, and Whitney Houston opens this week, so it is a good time to revisit the original version with Irene Cara and Lonette McKee and especially the soundtrack: Sparkle: Music From The Warner Bros. Motion Picture, featuring Aretha Franklin singing songs by Curtis Mayfield.

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Original Version
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