Here’s One From Salon …
… today on movies that you’re likely to never see in the theaters because they're no longer available for public viewing or their prints have vanished or been destroyed.
Included among them is the little-seen 1926 silent version of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s “The Great Gatsby,” which is set for a Baz Luhrman remake with Leonardo DiCaprio in the title role.
Film critic Andrew O’Hehir unearthed the original trailer (thank you, YouTube) and posted it in the story. Even without sound, it’s easy to tell which scenes of the novel are being portrayed.
For my money, no one has ever really been able to successfully capture the essence of this book on film. I still cringe every time I see Mia Farrow’s fatuously overplayed “Daisy Buchanan” in the 1974 version with Robert Redford as Gatsby and Sam Waterston as Nick Carraway.
The early 2000s remake with Timothy Hutton and Mira Sorvino missed the mark as well, mostly because it seemed like Sorvino was channeling Farrow’s Daisy instead of trying to put her own mark on the movie.
DiCaprio has potential as “Gatsby” in the latest re-imagining, as does Carey Mulligan as Daisy, whose British reserve would give the novel’s Golden Girl exactly the right amount of snobbish remove.
I’m still not sold on Tobey Maguire as Nick (perhaps one of my favorite characters in all of American literature). But I’m going into it with an open mind.
Full Disclosure Dept: I’ve re-read “Gatsby” every August since I was 18 years old. I’m now coming up on my 23rd re-reading of the book. And I get something new from the novel every time I revisit it. It really is the quintessential American novel of summer.