Cinema: The New Pictures, Jul. 25, 1949

The Great Gatsby (Paramount] might have been a fine picture. F. Scott Fitzgerald's novel had almost everything a moviemaker could ask for: a strong love story, natural dialogue, an emotional climate as supercharged with violence as a summer storm, and a sensitive perception of period and place. Unfortunately, the movie version misses many of its opportunities.

The story of Jay Gatsby—World War I hero, millionaire bootlegger, and misguided idealist—is the story of a fabulous epoch, the 1920s. As Fitzgerald told it, it was also a spiritual history of those young Americans who from...

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