Gatsby's Heirs

An American classic, ceaselessly reborn

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In the 88 Years since the publication of F. Scott Fitzgerald's seminal novel, many artists have tried to adapt, replicate or emulate its lush tragedy of Roaring '20s excess and class striving. With Baz Luhrmann's screen version out May 10, here's a history of great and not-so-great Gatsbys.



The Great Gatsby is published to positive reviews but poor initial sales.


A silent adaptation of Gatsby hits theaters--the cast includes William Powell, later of the Thin Man series--but the film eventually goes missing and is now considered lost.


Gatsby's hard-drinking party guests had nothing on his creator, F. Scott Fitzgerald, whose lifestyle takes its final toll when he dies of a heart attack at 44.


Orson Welles unveils his Gatsby-indebted masterpiece, Citizen Kane, which--like its model--premieres to solid reviews but weak receipts.


The latest screen Gatsby, Alan Ladd, "looks about as comfortable as a gunman at a garden party," TIME's critic sniffs.


Breakfast at Tiffany's, Fitzgerald fan Truman Capote's flinty riff on Gatsby, is a sensation; Paramount later rejects Capote's attempt at a Gatsby screenplay.


Richard Yates' novel Revolutionary Road appears. Kurt Vonnegut calls it "The Great Gatsby of my time," but it vanishes from print for years. (Future Gatsby Leonardo DiCaprio later stars in the film version.)


Just as The Godfather is becoming a massive hit, Francis Ford Coppola does a fast-turnaround rewrite of Paramount's ill-fated Gatsby--the auteur's last script-for-hire job.


Designer Kenzo Takada's spring collection, featuring V-neck tennis sweaters and boxy white trousers, is dubbed "the Gatsby look" in Women's Wear Daily, providing advance publicity for the film starring Robert Redford ...


... which opens to tepid box office and reviews--though Ralph Lauren's costumes are a hit, inspiring a jazz-age fashion wave.


"The movie ends where The Great Gatsby begins," says Kris Kristofferson on the set of Heaven's Gate--one of cinema's biggest fiascoes.


Dreary is a word the New York Times uses for John Harbison's The Great Gatsby at the Metropolitan Opera, starring Dawn Upshaw as Gatsby's love, Daisy.


Mad Men's mysterious, self-invented, sharp-dressed Don Draper is a Gatsby for the 1960s.


Host of Gatsby-inspired "white parties," P. Diddy advises Hamptons arrivistes to pursue lawn sports: "I liked the idea of croquet because it's a very Gatsby-type activity, and I take pride in being a Gatsby figure."


On Entourage, Vincent Chase finds a successful comeback vehicle in the form of a Gatsby directed by Martin Scorsese.


The Public Theater in New York City premieres Gatz, a dramatic reading of all 48,000-odd words of the novel with a run time of 6½ hours.


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