Movie Review of the Great Gatsby (1974) by Jen Orlandi

     Having read the Great Gatsby, I was very interested to see how the movie would compare. Of course, I didn’t have high expectations being that I found the book rather dull. The beginning of the movie was just as bad as I expected it to be. There was over-dramatic reading of the beginning of the novel, during which the camera panned across Gatsby’s house, lingering over certain things in a way that I’m sure was supposed to be very meaningful and sentimental, but which only succeeded in boring me. My first impression of the actors was that they were all a little overdone, especially Daisy. Thankfully, as the movie progressed, I began to enjoy it more, though this may have been partially due to the fact that I had the foresight to continue watching it while working out at the gym, so that I would be occupied even if the movie got boring.

            The movie’s plot remained surprisingly close to that of the novel, though, naturally, some things were changed, as they always are. At times, I recognized in the movie parts of dialogue and narration that were lifted straight from the book. Because it followed to novel so closely, the movie was a rather lengthy two hours and 24 minutes, and I wouldn’t recommend watching it all in one sitting. However, you may be surprised to note that I would not entirely discourage you from watching it.

            By the end of the movie, I began to appreciate how the characters were portrayed, even Daisy. The Great Gatsby would surely have been a difficult movie to capture on film, and I think it was done reasonably well. The characters were well played, and the set and costumes felt authentic. As a lover of fashion history, I was thrilled with the costumes and the ability of the costumer to dress the women in authentic garb instead of stereotypical “flapper” dresses. After seeing this movie, I would like to see the newer version to see how it compares.  Reviewed by Jen Orlandi


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