Watch It: The Great Gatsby (1926)

Posted by Brandy Dean May 8, 2013 3 Comments 7869 views

Speaking of The Great Gatsby, I thought we could take a minute to talk about the first film adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel The Great Gatsby from 1926. The film was directed by Herbert Brenon, produced by Adolph Zukor and Jesse Lasky, and distributed by Paramount. Warner Baxter starred as Jay Gatsby, Lois Wilson as Daisy Buchanan, Neil Hamilton as Nick Carraway, Georgia Hale as Myrtle Wilson, and William Powell as George Wilson.

Originally 80 minutes, or 7,296 feet, The Great Gatsby was meant to be a seat filler, focusing on the lavish parties at Gatsby’s mansion and the more scandalous elements of the roaring 20’s.

Here’s the bad news: The Great Gatsby is good and lost. Despite a lot of effort, no copy has ever been found. The good news, slight as it is, is that the trailer for the movie survives. Even brighter news is that you watch it right now.


About Brandy Dean

Social media consultant, blogger for hire, and lover of classic movies and silent films.

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There are 3 Comments

  1. - May 8, 2013
      -   Reply

    You know, come to think of it, The Great Gatsby would probably work best as a silent — the intertitles could come from Fitzgerald’s text, and the dialogue between Gatsby and Daisy, which we don’t read in the book, we don’t have to listen to on screen.

  2. - May 9, 2013
      -   Reply

    Too bad it’s lost! But thanks for showing the trailer. I had a chance to watch the 1949 version starring Alan Ladd sometime last year. Not a great print, but a good film. And Shelley Winter plays a wicked Myrtle.

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