The Only Known Footage of the 1926 Film Adaptation of The Great Gatsby (Which F. Scott Fitzgerald Hated)

Everyone’s getting ready for the release of The Great Gatsby, the new film adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s 1925 classic novel. Directed by Baz Luhrmann, this version stars Leonardo DiCaprio, Tobey Maguire, Carey Mulligan, Isla Fisher and others. It has been shot in 3D.

Undoubtedly, critics will be quick to compare the 2013 adaptation to the 1974 production, which had its own strengths — a screenplay written by Francis Ford Coppola and Vladimir Nabokov for starters. And then a cast with Robert Redford, Mia Farrow, and Sam Waterston in starring roles. (See the original trailer here.)

Fewer comparisons will be made to the less star-studded adaptation of 1949, which came into theaters and then fell into deep obscurity. And nary a word will be said about how Luhrmann’s film stacks up against the first appearance of The Great Gatsby on celluloid. That’s because the 1926 silent film hasn’t been seen in decades. It’s simply lost. All that remains of the original 80 minute film is the one minute trailer above. And the ghost of F. Scott Fitzgerald isn’t complaining. According to Anne Margaret Daniel’s post in HuffPo, when Scott and Zelda saw the film in Hollywood, they gave the Paramount production one big thumbs down. (That’s for you Roger.) Zelda wrote in a letter: “We saw ‘The Great Gatsby’ in the movies. It’s ROTTEN and awful and terrible and we left.” Hemingway couldn’t have said it better.

Related Content:

Seven Tips From F. Scott Fitzgerald on How to Write Fiction

Rare Footage of Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald From the 1920s

F. Scott Fitzgerald in Drag (1916)

Find The Great Gatsby in our Free eBooks Collection

90 Silent Films in Collection of Free Movies Online


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