Thursday, April 11, 2013

Original footage from the first GATSBY film, 1926


My son Russell just showed me the trailer (scroll below) for the very first Great Gatsby movie. He knew I'd be fascinated what with having a whole separate page just to keep all my GATSBY stuff together on this blog!  The first screen adaptation was a silent film, made in 1926, just one year after The Great Gatsby was published!  And somehow, within that relatively short time span there was a successful play, written by Owen Davis in between. The trailer pronounces  ...                                                                                 A record-selling novel ...  A theatre-packed play                                    Now a marvelous picture 
Except the movie wasn't all that marvelous -  the New York Times destroyed it but worst of all Zelda and Scott hated it. Zelda wrote in a letter -


“We saw The Great Gatsby in the movies. It’s ROTTEN and awful and terrible and we left.”

                                                       Zelda Fitzgerald, 1926

What makes the trailer so great is that the movie was basically made during the general period F. Scott Fitzgerald was writing about; which makes it an almost historical document. 
Watch the trailer and I think you'll have to agree...


...the eyes have it.

Like many silent films, most of the actual movie and film footage has been lost or deteriorated so badly as to be as good as gone; thankfully the trailer remains.


Directed by Herbert Brenon for Paramount, The Great Gatsby starred Warren Baxter in the title role with Lois Wilson (Daisy), Neil Hamilton (Nick Carroway), Georgia Hale (Myrtle) and William Powell as George Wilson. The /Film article reports the screenplay as being based on Owen Davis' stage play; IMDB credits the novel, and Elizabeth Meehan for the screenplay with a 'scenario' by Becky Gardiner. I'm not sure what constitutes a 'scenario' - any opinions out there? THAT Dapper Dan on the left is Warren Baxter; he played Gatsby in the movie.


source: /Film, Huffington Post

4 comments:

  1. I saw this article and of course thought of you1

    http://flavorwire.com/383472/10-books-to-read-while-youre-waiting-for-the-great-gatsby-to-come-out

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    Replies
    1. Thanks so much Louise! There are such great suggestions here; especially for anyone antsy to see the film. In fact I've never read Zelda's Save Me the Waltz so perhaps now is the time.
      I love that quote from Oscar Wilde "We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars" Well said!

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  2. I had no idea there was a silent film made in 1926. My gosh, that's quick work. it takes a few years to turn out a made-from-a-book film these days!

    Also, did I hear from you, or did I hear it from somewhere else that A Walk In the Woods is being made into a film by Robert Redford?

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    Replies
    1. Yes A Walk in the Woods is being made into a film with Redford starring - and NO you didn't hear it from me, :)
      I've got a post in my drafts but haven't published yet.

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