Australian director Baz Luhrmann’s The Great Gatsby is only the latest in a series of screen adaptations of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s book. From a silent version to, of course, the famous film starring Robert Redford and Mia Farrow, the novel has had several cinematic renditions.
The first attempt to bring the book to the silver screen was by director Herbert Brenon in 1926. The movie was a silent film starring Warner Baxter, Lois Wilson and Neil Hamilton in lead roles. The movie was “rotten”, said Zelda Fitzgerald, wife of Scott Fitzgerald. However, the prints of the movie were lost later and no archives are said to survive.
The next on screen adaptation of the book came in 1945 with director Elliott Nugent wielding the megaphone. The film stars Alan Ladd, Betty Field, Macdonald Carey, Ruth Hussey, and Barry Sullivan. The third adaptation took place in 1974 with director Jack Clayton. It was a star-studded affair with Robert Redford in the title role of Jay Gatsby, Mia Farrow, Sam Waterston, Bruce Dern, Karen Black and Scott Wilson. Redford was the world’s biggest movie star then, and Francis Ford Coppola, a director to reckon with, had written the script. Last, but not the least, was the 2000 version directed by Robert Markowitz, who cast film stars Toby Stephens, Mira Sorvino, Paul Rudd and Martin Donovan in prominent roles.
All the four adaptations of the book were presented with the title The Great Gatsby . However, except the 1974 version, none of them could replicate the success of the novel.
Baz Luhrmann’s version stars Leonardo DiCaprio, Isla Fisher, Toby Maguire and Carrey Mulligan in the lead roles.