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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