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The Great Gatsby 1949

4.2 out of 5 stars 95 customer reviews

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(Jan 01, 2012)
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Editorial Reviews

This movie lavishly takes us on the journey of Jay Gatsby who worked his way from poor fisherman to extravagant millionaire. Travel back in time to the roaring 20s, a time of flappers, bootlegging, art deco architecture, and jazz music, through this classic tale of love and betrayal, deception and mystery. *Special Bonus Feature: 1926 Great Gatsby Silent Film Trailer. (RARE FOOTAGE) Black and White Film. Remastered Picture and Audio.

Product Details

  • Actors: Alan Ladd, Betty Field, Shelly Winters, MacDonald Carey, Barry Sullivan
  • Directors: Elliott Nugent
  • Region: All Regions
  • Studio: Sky Chrome Media
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (95 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00ECN3B98
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #14,938 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By John P. Carsley on September 19, 2002
Format: VHS Tape
The 1949 "Gatsby" is a long buried classic that deserves the commercial video light of day. Produced by Paramount, it has been buried since it's release. The above reference to a Universal Home Video release is inaccurate, as Universal claims to not own the production rights. This film is haunting, and probably Ladd's finest dramatic performance. Macdonald Carey as Nick Carraway, is the moral conscience in a decadent time of any thing goes, as long as you win. NB: I recently encountered a commercial version of this film. It was released in 1980 by "Hollywood Home Theater," in a plastic clamshell case. The quality is very good - the best I've seen for this film. The problem is that this version is very rare and hard to find.
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Format: DVD
DeCaprio's portrayal was better than Redford's polished performance, precisely because it got at the heart of Gatsby's conflicted character and the tortured background he was trying to hide.

Ladd's version is, in my judgment, the best of the three, because it was shot in black-and-white as a film noir, and because Ladd gives the perfect performance as the polished gangster (which barely comes out in either the Redford or DeCaprio version--you know by association that DeCaprio is a gangster, but he does not demonstrate gangster features.). Ladd, though polished in his carriage, does gangster-like stuff himself, like knocking out the guy from his past, Reba, who crashes his party and calls Gatsby "Gatz" (his real name from his poverty-stricken Dakotas past) in front of his guests and friends.

So I have no idea why this film has such a low rating. Alan Ladd was one of America's best actors in the forties and fifties, and anyone who does not believe it should watch "Shane", which has been shown for decades to high-schoolers attempting capture the complexity of the book by that name and its central character. Ladd's performance in Gatsby is at least as good as his performance in "Shane".
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Format: VHS Tape
Make no mistake, this picture was badly reviewed and underpromoted by Paramount Pictures even though it was made during LADD's prime years. Unlike the overstaged and stilted film with Robert Redford, LADD's Jay Gatsby is nearer the character written by Fitzgerald. Paramount may have buried this picture in its vaults, but it has been resurrected via the internet and has sold many times for in excess of ($). I highly recommend this picture, but just don't overpay.
Comment 47 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: VHS Tape
Alan Ladd was often dismissed as a one film wonder in Shane, but every so often he was allowed to break free and act against type. In The Great Gatsby, he plays the central role of Gatsby quite well. I under stand he really wanted the part and he deserved it.
The problem is not Ladd, it is the rest of the film. The central character of Daisy is not well played and it is hard to see anyone throwing their life away on this woman. Some of the other characters are wooden and their interpretation is often stiff. The actor who plays Tom Buchanan just looks wrong. He should be a massive footballer, he looks like a tall thread of a man.
The art direction is very good and the scenes with Ladd looking over the water at the East Egg building of Buchanan is very strong. I have no idea why this film is not on video,but Paramount seems a little slow in releasing their films for some reason.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This movie is adapted from the novel of the same title published in 1925 by F. Scott Fitzgerald. It was preceded by a 1926 silent version and followed by 1974, 2000 and 2013 versions. All versions differ from each other and are worth seeing, but are based on the same structure including a two men, one woman love triangle, a hit-and-run car accident killing the mistress of one of the men with disputes over who was driving and a murder of the other man with links to the car accident and disputes over the choice of the killer's target. For more details on these matters, please see my review of The Great Gatsby 1974, and then consider my comparisons of the 1949 and 1974 versions that appear below as sufficient information to guide someone trying to decide whether to buy the 1949 version or not,

Black & White versus color differences give the 1949 version more dramatic impact and less beauty than the 1974 version. The plot is more explicitly stated and complete in the 1949 version, favoring viewers who want to know what is going on at all times. The plot has more omissions, key information stated in a whisper or delayed revelations in the 1974 version, favoring those who want to be mystified for a time, with revelations falling together late. The 1949 acting reveals people more like they probably were in the 1920s, with the loud staccato male voices and with rottenness selectively revealed as characteristics of individuals. The 1974 acting reveals smoother, less forceful behavior patterns in men living farther the 1920s and rottenness distributed widely as an almost universal characteristic.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Thanks to Sky Chrom for relaesing Ladd's The Great Gatsby with A++++Film & Sound Quality. Don't let the box mislead you..the DVD inside is top quality all the way . Ladd's Gatsby is well defined and one of Ladd's best performances ; although Daisy fall short since Field sleep walks through the film . A not to misssed DVD available for the first time !
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