The Great Gatsby (1974) / Paramount Pictures
Directed By: Jack Clayton
Starring: Robert Redford, Mia Farrow, Karen Black,
Scott Wilson, & Same Waterson
~ One of the biggest hits and most awaited during the summer of 1974.
~ Based upon the novel by F. Scott Fitzgerald
A young fellow arrives Nick Carraway (Waterson) comes via a small boat and decides to visit family his cousin Daisy Buchanan (Farrow) now resides with her wealthy husband who spends his time playing polo. The young cousin arrives with nothing but what he has on and jumps off his little motor boat to be greeted by his brother-in-law; Tom Buchanan (Bruce Dern) in the Long Island Sound. They arrive to the Buchanan's lush and luxurious mansion where one can see that Daisy has most definitely married up. Nick and Daisy embrace and are very happy to see one another. He mentions in their little town how the people miss her and how she adores her new comfortable way of life, never wanting to be part of the poor/wrong side of town.
Along with Daisy's good friend Jordan Baker a famous tennis player (Lois Chiles) they all go out to
Now we meet on Nick's arrival home from visiting his cousin he sees Jay Gatsby (Redford) who is his neighbor where every other evening in their grand lawn they always had new tents risen and grand parties put together. Meanwhile, Nick lives beside this lovely home and just watches from his small cottage's porch all the jazz music being played and all the rich and beautiful being carried off in the best motor vehicles all over.
Later, Nick and Tom go away and meet at this small beat up garage Tom's mistress the beauty Myrtle Wilson (Black) whose husband George (Scott Wilson) runs the garage. Tom and George are friendly and do business together and there is no idea that Myrtle is seeing Tom on the side. The day is now spent between the three. They go to Myrtle's sister's apartment named Catherine (Kathryn Lee Scott).
We see at sunset Jay Gatsby's outline looking over to the other side where there is a light the flashes twice while he motions to come. And now we are off to the Buchanan's estate where they are having a luncheon where Daisy thinks the marriage arrangement between Nick and Jordan is absolute perfection. Then we are off to a grand evening party where Nick runs into Jordan looking define in her flapper wear. The whole evening both Nick and Jordan are side by side at the party. They overhear at the table they are sitting about interactions with Gatsby where rumors are all over saying he is a killer, spy, you name it. Oddly enough this party is at the Gatsby estate where Nick wonders where he is and Jordan clarifies that he never attends his own parties but overlooks them from a far and that is it. During the evening a gentleman asks Nick to follow him and he has no idea why and where this is taking him just that he is going in a elevator with a man carrying inside his jacket a loaded gun. Nick states he was invited and thinks perhaps he was taken by mistake. Nick enters into a dark hallway and enters a room where he sees Jay Gatsby "Gatsby" (Redford) and they start to talk. They have introductions and finally meet one another since being neighbors and never speaking to one another before.
Neither truly knows much to say to one another. Gatsby thinks this should have been arranged since they needed to meet and of course Nick agrees. A very odd beginning for the two. And now a phone
The next day both Nick and Gatsby meet. Gatsby shows him the wealth of cars he has as they jump in he goes into his background. His parents have died and moving from Europe due to a sad event that he does not want to talk about and then turning into a Major in the war everyone wanted to do nice things where he was awarded for his military endeavors. Gatsby offers Nick a job opportunity to make some good money. Off they go to a restaurant to meet and get more information on the possible work. Nick also finds out that Gatsby went to Oxford College and that the businessman met when Gatsby was poor. A self made millionaire is what Gatsby is.
The businessman is a gambler who according to Gatsby fixed the 1919 World Series. Tom actually is at the same restaurant and is stunned and jealous how Nick so poor could afford to be at the same
After quite some time Nick walks back in and the rain has stopped and Gatsby invites them both to
Jordan and Nick enjoy a lovely drive and stop off at the Wilson's garage to fill up on gas. Then off they go! George then goes upstairs to their apartment above the garage to find Myrtle who is nowhere to be found and that is due to the fact she is in the city enjoying new clothing and love from her married beau Tom. Same day we see that Daisy and Gatsby are together again alone and
Another lavish party held at Gatsby's home where Tom actually brings Daisy there. Jordan is along with them to enjoy the party. Jordan and Tom are people watching and ten notices Nick once again at this important people party where he perhaps does not belong. Gatsby then steps into the picture and starts to speak to Daisy and starts to introduce the Buchanan's to all the people in
The party as they went back in the 1920's went all night and into the morning. Daisy is dragged off by her mad and very curious husband wanting to learn more about Gatsby. The home finally is at peace and looks so charming with the ocean as it's view. Tom later asks someone to find out about Gatsby especially "his women" and what he does. The mystery and perhaps jealousy sets in. More time is spent between Gatsby and Daisy with having a lovely dinner together. After a lovely dinner and dancing in the clothing the wore years before the kiss and know that they belong to one another. The memories they share and the love they still burn for one another is undeniable. Gatsby bought as he tells Daisy now the particular mansion to be just across the bay from her home.
A journalist all of a sudden shows up from the New York Journal and wants to know from Nick what is going on next door with the man named Gatsby. This seems to be the guy that was hired to snoop around from Tom. The curiosity about Gatsby was at a feverish height and that Saturday evening
Gatsby is invited to the Buchanan's mansion to eat and relax. It is very crazy but while Tom steps out for one of his calls, Daisy runs over and kisses Gatsby in front of Jordan and Nick not caring. Daisy's daughter then runs in and gets to meet Gatsby.
On a joy ride with Gatsby/Daisy in one car and Jordan, Nick and Tom in the other they go and Tom needs to stop at the local garage to get gas. Wilson mentions to Tom if there would be a way for him to borrow the blue car and get away for a bit with his wife. He found out about something going on with his wife and needing to go away with his wife fast and to borrow the car. Tom of course has the car being sent over the next day. Myrtle knocks and breaks the glass hurting herself badly to get
Myrtle and her husband have an argument about his lack of being able to take care of her. George wants to stay with her and Myrtle thinks he is simply dumb. She falls and he keeps her from leaving the garage. On their way home Tom notices that the garage is full of people so he decides to go in and have a look. Upon going in Tom enters and sees police and sees that Myrtle is dead. Myrtle supposedly ran out of the garage to get away and got hit by a vehicle passing by and got killed. Her husband is ruined from this news. Tom sees the body and decides to quietly leave with no more attention being put on him.
Finally, they all get back and Tom notices that Daisy bedroom lights are on. Nick decides to leave and take the car back to his house. While leaving he sees Gatsby and they talk. Gatsby states Daisy is going to be leaving and wants to make sure that nothing goes wrong since he does not trust Tom
Next morning Gatsby visits Nick and tells him he waited until 4 am for Daisy where she went to her balcony to only go back in, turn the light off and go to sleep. Gatsby is now heartbroken and confides all this in Nick. Nick finds out that Daisy was driving on the way back and actually killed Myrtle. Myrtle apparently recognized the car as being Tom's perhaps and ran out and Daisy was the one that ended up doing a hit and run.
Drama is getting ready to ensue even more for Daisy, Gatsby and others. What is going to come of them all and the love triangle that is going on? This very well done classic is a not miss!