Compare the movie version of The Great Gatsby to the book.Did the movie change your perception of the characters?

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mstultz72 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I assume you mean the 1974 film The Great Gatsby, starring Robert Redford as Jay Gatsby?

The movie, I thought, was a faithful adaptation.  After all, it is written by Francis Ford Coppola, who was coming off perhaps the two greatest back-to-back films ever made in The Godfather I & II.  Apparently, there was a "Scarlet O'Hara-type" search for Daisy, and I thought the wispy Mia Farrow was a good match.  She's naive without being ditzy.

Redford and Sam Waterston, as Nick, are likewise perfect for their roles.   Redford was at the pinnacle of his movie stardom, and Waterston was a fresh face.  They have good chemistry on the screen, and they look like the foils I imagined.

The character adaptation isn't the greatest I've seen: I don't see the movie faces when I re-read or teach the novel, like I do when I re-read and watch The Color Purple or 1984.  Still, this production is much better than the 2000 TV production starring Mira Sorvino as Daisy and Paul Rudd as Nick.

Here's another critic's opinion of the cast:

Casting is crucial, and surprisingly, most of the actors fulfill the characters well. Robert Redford, at the height of his box office appeal, plays Gatsby with the right enigmatic quality. As Daisy, Mia Farrow captures the romanticism and shallowness of a character that ultimately does not deserve the love she receives. Even if she appears overly breathy and pretentious, her frequently trying performance still fits Fitzgerald's image of the character. Bruce Dern makes an appropriately despicable Tom Buchanan, while Karen Black has scant screen time as the trashy Myrtle. A very young Sam Waterson makes the ideal Nick with his genuine manner and touching naiveté, and Lois Chiles is all throaty posturing as Jordan.

Read the study guide:
The Great Gatsby

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