There have been three films made from The Great Gatsby. The silent version of 1926, starring Warner Baxter as Gatsby and Lois Wilson as Daisy, has been lost, but critics generally agree that the direction by Herbert Brenon was competent but uninspired. In addition, the film’s subtitles were often wordy and inappropriate.
The 1949 production featured an interesting cast, including Alan Ladd as Gatsby, Barry Sullivan as Tom, Betty Field as Daisy, MacDonald Carey as Nick, and Shelley Winters as Myrtle Wilson. The film presents many powerful visual correlatives for Fitzgerald’s prose but lacks the authority of a profound directorial vision.
The 1974 production of The Great Gatsby was an ambitious and expensive effort. Francis Ford Coppola wrote the screenplay and Jack Clayton directed, and the cast included Robert Redford as Gatsby, Mia Farrow as Daisy, Bruce Dern as Tom, Sam Waterston as Nick, and Karen Black as Myrtle. Despite some excellent moments, the film is too slow paced and too long, and much of the production looks overwrought.