Meyer Wolfshiem is introduced to readers and described in very unflattering terms that were clearly negative when the author wrote them and might be considered an unacceptable depiction today when viewed through a modern lens. He is a caricature with a “flat nose” and “tiny eyes,” abrupt mannerisms, uneducated intonation and malapropisms when he speaks. Fitzgerald writes that Wolfshiem regarded Nick
with two fine growths of hair which luxuriated in either nostril. After a moment I discovered his tiny eyes in the half darkness.
Moreover, he is a gangster. Gatsby even boasts that Wolfsheim is “the man who fixed the World’s Series back in 1919.” The cuff links that he wears allude to his violent tendencies, despite the somewhat soft-spoken manner with which he greets Gatsby and Nick, his sentimentality, and the pleasantries they exchange over lunch.
The scene from the 2013 film changes the setting when Nick meets Wolfsheim quite a bit. Instead of eating at a small café across from the Metropole, the three men eat at a speakeasy hidden behind a barbershop wall. Nevertheless, Wolfsheim’s appearance in the production of the movie successfully conveys the character of the original text version of Meyer Wolfsheim in chapter 4.
First, much of the dialog is nearly verbatim from the book. Second, the allusion to the cuff links is included in the movie, although it has been replaced by a tie pin, and the camera even provides a close-up of the molar. Third, Gatsby makes the same boast to Nick once Wolfsheim leaves, telling him that Wolfsheim fixed the 1919 World Series. Fourth, Wolfsheim's association with the underworld and the corrupt political system is shown in the numbers of luminaries who are at the speakeasy, including the police commissioner. Moreover, his capacity for violence and for bending the law is also alluded to when Wolfsheim says to an associate as he, Nick and Gatsby enter the speakeasy,
He keeps his mouth shut or he doesn’t get a penny.