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F. Scott Fitzgerald's Birthday: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button & The Last Tycoon

Today, September 24th is the day, back in 1896, that the great F. Scott Fitzgerald was born. How ironic that Fitzgerald never knew success as a screenwriter but to this day his short stories and novels continue to be adapted for the screen? Tender is the Night, The Last Time I Saw Paris (based on Babylon Revisited), The Last Tycoon and of course, The Great Gatsby. While The Last Loves of The Last Tycoon (the full title) is got new life as a television series with Matt Bomer as Irving Thalberg. It was in Thalberg’s Santa Monica beach house that Gatsby began his unfinished novel.

Today in honor of the Great American Novelist’s birthday we’re screening The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. The movie starring Brad Pitt, Cate Blanchett, Tilda Swinton and Taraji P. Henson was nominated for 12 Academy Awards including a Best Actor nom for Pitt and a Best Supporting Actress for Henson. 

Directed by David Fincher, adapted by Eric Roth from F. Scott Fitzgerald's novella, the film took home the Oscars in the technical areas where it really did shine: Visual Effects, Makeup, and Art Direction. There was—it may not be there anymore—a documentary on the making of Benjamin Button—The Birth of Benjamin Button— on Netflix that I really recommend you check out. It’s magnificent.

Anyway, enjoy The Curious Case of Benjamin Button which you can stream on Amazon, YouTube, iTunes, Vudu, Google Play and maybe Netflix. You’ll have to check that out for yourself.

While Fitzgerald was born in the midwest (St Paul, Minnesota) he died here in Hollywood at 1443 Hayworth Avenue. He had suffered a heart attack—at Schwab’s drug store of all places—and moved into his mistress Sheila Graham’s apartment to save himself the stress of climbing the stairs at his own apartment just a block away. His wife Zelda was in a mental institution at the time. 

F. Scott Fitzgerald and gossip columnist Sheila Graham

It made no difference and on December 21st, 1940, F. Scott Fitzgerald had another heart attack. He died leaving The Loves of the Last Tycoon unfinished. You can catch Matt Bomer in the dazzling looking series on Amazon. Much to its fans dismay, Amazon canceled plans for a second season.