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The Great Gatsby


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Product Details

  • Actors: Mira Sorvino, Toby Stephens, Paul Rudd, Martin Donovan, Francie Swift
  • Directors: Robert Markowitz
  • Writers: F. Scott Fitzgerald, John J. McLaughlin
  • Producers: Antony Root, Craig McNeil, David Roessell, Delia Fine, Jane Tanyer
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: A&E Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: January 30, 2001
  • Run Time: 90 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (120 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0000524FD
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #83,537 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Great Gatsby" on IMDb

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

GREAT GATSBY - DVD Movie

Customer Reviews

Not very modern in the filmmaking sense.
E. Wallace
Judging this movie was difficult, and having read the book in Mr.CM's class made it even more hard.
Mo
The production was well done and the costumes were very accurate.
Spenser Heaton

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

111 of 120 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 16, 2001
Format: VHS Tape
While many of you may turn your nose at a movie version of perhaps the greatest American novel starring Mira Sorvino and Paul Rudd, I assure you the casting was wonderfully done. Sorvino fulfills the character of Daisy, somewhat ditzy, materialistic, and self-centered. And Paul Rudd has always been a wonderful actor (let's just pretend "Clueless" never happened). The rest of the cast is wonderful as well. As I mentioned in my review of the OTHER movie version of the Great Gatsby, I was disappointed that (among other things) there was no narrator. Nick DOES narrate this one. It is brilliantly accomplished as well, because he is only narrator at crucial moments where dialogue would otherwise be lost. This movie also includes the famous last words of the novel: "So we beat on, boats against the current, born ceaselessly into the past" which I feel is a crucial part to include in the movie. Scenes were also accomplished with more tact and finesse than the other. The important ones had more time to sink into your memory. It's shorter than the other one, yet you gain more from this version than the older. A&E does not dissappoint!
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39 of 42 people found the following review helpful By F. S. L'hoir VINE VOICE on March 21, 2008
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I am a great fan of Toby Stephens, who consistently turns in splendid performances (even making the dour Mr. Rochester terribly appealing), but I believe that the actor has been miscast in the role of Jay Gatsby. I don't think that Stephens fits into the shoes of Gatsby as F. Scott Fitzgerald has conceived him--larger than life; a man of mystery, who, in the party scene, remains anonymous in the crowd of what Shakespeare would have called "gilded butterflies" and what Fitzgerald himself seems to portray as moths blustering too close to a guttering candle flame. The dreamlike quality of the novel (which, as I recall was evident in the David Merrick/Jack Clayton/Francis Ford Coppola version), is almost totally missing from this latest production.

Where Fitzgerald suggests, the director of this film states outright. in the novel, for example, Nick's memories of his first encounter with Daisy and Jordan--on a seemingly floating divan--are suffused with light drifting through insubstantial billows of white curtains. In the movie, however, Nick simply walks into the living room of an elegant house in which a couple of beautiful girls are lolling on a white couch. In the novel, Nick's first memory of Gatsby is of a lonely stranger, standing at the edge of the water, gazing across the sound at the distant winking green light on Daisy's pier. In the movie, however, the concept has been reversed, in a closeup of a wistful Daisy standing next to the green light on her own pier looking across the sound in the direction of Gatsby's mansion. The reversal of perspective completely misses Fitzgerald's point that Daisy is Gatsby's dream, not the other way around.

These are not the only differences.
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38 of 44 people found the following review helpful By Billyjack D'Urberville on January 6, 2006
Format: DVD
This wild shot at Fitzgerald's masterpiece sees it all as a sort of proto-Godfather saga, 60 years ahead of its time. Beautifully costumed and with a sharp and accurate period look, this British TV version is a very distanced interpretation (if you can call it an interpretation, rather than an abject misunderstanding) of Gatsby. The take is pure gangland style -- an element certainly in the book, but which hardly subsumes it all -- or ought to, anyway. The story is really about romantic extravagance and earnestness; that takes more than mere costuming and sets, but actors with a lot of heart. The men here have no appeal whatsoever; they're all thugs. Mira Sorvino's Daisy, however weird, is presented as some sort of heroine -- about as far from Fitzgerald's intent as you can get. The dialogue is all accurate, mind you, and the story line is not significantly altered. Simply, this total misunderstanding of Gatsby is an object lesson on how mere "textual faithfulness" is far from enough to properly mount a literary work as film.

You can't blame our cousins across the Atlantic River though. The tight, terse Fitzgerald text is obviously based on the reader sharing certain cultural assumptions; this version exposes that fact about the book, and to that extent is useful. And the Brits never understood Scott Fitzgerald from the get-go, though he has always bugged them. The late great British literary critic Cyril Connelly summed it up perhaps best, "Scott Fitzgerald is an American imposition, and I am beginning to resent him." This was in the 60s, in the heights of the Fitzgerald revival which continues to this day.

The film still rates 3 stars because -- paired off against the more famous Redford Gatsby (which is also quite textually accurate) -- it presents fascinating issues of textual interpretation and personal and cultural orientation. Know the book well though, and see the other film first before coming to this.
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29 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Heather Hadlock on December 3, 2008
Format: DVD
This is a fascinating example of how a movie adaptation can be almost excessively faithful to a book -- transcribing dialogue line for line, including voice-over narration -- and still get the details and nuances almost entirely wrong. The diversity of the novel's social world has been completely flattened out: everybody talks the same, regardless of whether they're from Kentucky, Minneapolis, Chicago, or Queens. Daisy's voice is flat and whiny, with no enticing lilt and sparkle. The costumes are frumpy, especially Daisy's -- Mira Sorvino has been beautiful and sexy in other roles, but in this one she looks like a gawky teenager wearing shapeless cotton dresses and giant unflattering hats. (In the flashbacks, she looks like Rachel on Friends!) The relative ages are all messed up... Tom (30) is supposed to be significantly older than Daisy (23), and Tom's mistress Myrtle is supposed to be significantly older than he is (in her mid-30s).

One thing that bothered me is that the film softened Tom's character significantly. Admittedly, Martin Donovan is a great actor who probably couldn't help making his character sympathetic and nuanced. But the whole plot turns on Tom being an "alpha male," physically domineering and harsh - competitive and contemptuous with men, and instinctively controlling with women. Donovan gets the contempt, but he's too slim and articulate, and he lacks "hulking brute" sex appeal, and he's much too affectionate/respectful with women. I couldn't believe he APOLOGIZED to Myrtle after bloodying her nose -- in the book he deliberately BREAKS her nose (with one blow of his hand) as a punishment for talking back, and then ignores her wails of pain and everyone else freaking out. It's a grim scene and should show his callousness and controlling nature.
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