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Great Gatsby, The - Midnight in Manhattan

15 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Great Gatsby, The: Midnight in Manhattan (DVD)

Produced in celebration of the 75th Anniversary of the publication of The Great Gatsby, this fascinating documentary explores the turbulent life and dark creative spirit of its writer, F. Scott Fitzgerald. It examines his disappointing college days at Princeton, his disastrous marriage to Zelda, his difficult relationship with Hemingway, and his tendency to sell out and compromise his talent for cash, which led to his turbulent last days in Hollywood. It dispels the age-old mythology surrounding Fitzgerald, largely created by himself, which tends to glamorize the Jazz-Age and his alcoholism. Including contributions by the author's granddaughter Eleanor Lanahan, plus writers Hunter S. Thompson, George Plimpton and Jay McInerney, this program presents a fascinating portrait of this most enduring American icon.

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Special Features

* Includes Private Affairs: A Dream of Living documenting Fitzgerald's life in Paris, the relationship with his wife Zelda and friendship with Ernest Hemingway

Product Details

  • Actors: Various
  • Directors: Various
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Subtitles for the Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.77:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: BBC Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: May 7, 2013
  • Run Time: 50 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00BQ47XKE
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #50,539 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

I knew this might not be a new documentary when the opening scenes showing the Brooklyn Bridge and the New York City skyline still showed the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center. It's not till late in the 41-minute film that you realize that it was made in 2000, before the 9/11 tragedy. This really has not much effect on enjoying the program (produced by the BBC) except when - again late in the program - there is discussion of the financial "bubble" and when it is (actually "was") going to burst.

Being released to catch the interest in F. Scott Fitzgerald and his "Great American Novel" with the release this month of Baz Lurman's 3-D "Musical" version, the program provides observations on the author from such fellow authors (then living in 2000) as George Plympton, William Styron, Norman Mailer, Hunter S. Thompson and Garrison Keillor. We also hear from Fitzgerald's former secretary - who was there when he died in 1939 at age 44. Fitzgerald's granddaughter narrates the program.
To fill in the DVD, BBC has added a TV drama on Fitzgerald and his wife, Zelda, (with David Hemmings playing the author) titled "A Dream of Living". This 1975 program runs 52 minutes, and was a good choice.

I hope you found this review both informative and helpful.

Steve Ramm
"Anything Phonographic"
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Richard Masloski on May 13, 2013
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The title attraction on this DVD is quite disappointing. It is 49 minutes of a variety of literary, luminary talking heads who say, in fact, very little about Fitgerald, his life, his wife, his writing and most particularly the ostensible subject of this documentary, THE GREAT GATSBY. The 75th Anniversary of the publication of this
greatest of 20th century novels surely deserved a much more in-depth and inspired approach than is to be found herein.

The decided delight of this disc is to be found in the little known extra. PRIVATE AFFAIRS: A DREAM OF LIVING is a BBC production from 1975. Late, great David Hemmings plays F. Scott Fitzgerald wonderfully - and looks very much like the writer as well. The drama covers one day and night in the life of Scott and Zelda along with Hemingway and assorted cronies. It is worth the price of purchase and more than makes up for the disappointing main fare.
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THIS WAS REALLY VERY GOOD. I HAVE RECENTLY BEE READING FITZGERALD AND WATCHED ALL 4 MOVIES OF "THE GREAT GATSBY." Also, I have read a lot about what Hemingway had to say about Fitzgerald, who was one of Fitzgerald great admirers. I really enjoyed the book and would recommend it to anyone that likes that period of time.
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While it is slightly out of date (being from 2000), my high school students quite enjoyed it. Plus, with a run time of 49 minutes, I could show it in one class period as a nice wrap-up to my Gatsby series. Interesting points of view, good vistas, and nice and short.
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By Jesse L Breite on February 19, 2014
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Great documentary that came out in the early 2000s. If you teach Gatsby, I recommend it. Use it in class. If you enjoy learning about Scott and Zelda, see how their lives intersect with the novel.
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Not what we expected. Documentary was good with pictures and history of F. Scott's life, but special feature Private Affairs, a Dream of Living, was too intense with arguments and troubles between the author and his wife. It does show the wife's decent into insanity, but ends before she is committed.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Rebecca on March 15, 2014
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This was a good video to play to introduce my 11th graders to Gatsby. They actually enjoyed it! It does have one word of profanity (gd) in case you or your students are bothered by this. Otherwise, totally suitable for this age group.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Matt on December 16, 2013
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I'm thrilled that I bought this, but saddened at what I now know to be true about Fitzgerald's life. That being said, it's good to know the true stories and events leading to the composition of the epic novel, "The Great Gatsby." The product arrived in good condition and on time. I would recommend this to those interested in learning more about the history of the Gatsby novel. It is a rich history.
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