"Gatsby? What Gatsby?"

If you follow me on Instagram you probably saw my photo of my copy of The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald.  It is my favorite book of all time.  I feel so lucky that I get to teach it each year and dread the day I can’t.  The novel is a romantic reminder of what true love can be, and what it actually ends up being.  For me, Jay Gatsby represents everything I want in a man…someone who loves me unconditionally is willing to do anything for me.  Is that reality?  Maybe…but the idea of a man being in love with you for his entire life is dreamy.  
My 11th graders probably don’t understand my passion for this great work of art.  If you’ve never read it, please do yourself a favor and read it right away!  You will be sucked in and fall in love more so than something you might have read, like Hunger Games or Twilight.  This is the true classic.  
“He smiled understandingly–much more than understandingly.  It was one of those rare smiles with a quality of eternal reassurance in it, that you may come across four or five times in life.  It faced–or seemed to face the whole external world for an instant, and then concentrated on you with an irresistible prejudice in your favor.  It understood you just as far as you wanted to be understood, believed in you as you would like to believe in yourself.” –Nick Carraway The Great Gatsby Chapter 3

Now do you see why I’m so in love?  Who writes like that? 
What’s really exciting is Baz Luhrmann is working on a new version of the film that stars Leonardo DiCaprio and Carey Mulligan.  Yay!!!  In the meantime, here’s some fun trivia from the 1974 version starring Robert Redford and Mia Farrow.  If you haven’t seen it, trust me…rent it this weekend.  Robert Redford is an angel.
Originally, Truman Capote was the screenwriter, and his draft included making Nick a homosexual and Jordan Baker a vindictive lesbian. Capote was fired, and Francis Ford Coppola finished his draft in three weeks. 

Mia Farrow was pregnant during filming and the director filmed around that by including close up shots of Farrow, and having her wear a lot of flowing costumes. 


The rights for the novel were purchased by producer Robert Evans in 1971 so that his wife at the time, Ali MacGraw, could play the part of Daisy. A shooting script wasn’t ready yet, and MacGraw agreed to star in The Getaway as filler. During the production of The Getaway MacGraw fell in love with co-star Steve McQueen and left Evans for him. Mia Farrow was then picked to play Daisy. 

Many of the male extras in the party scenes were recruited from the Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island because military officers already wore the clean-cut hairstyles that were worn by men in the period of the film. 



According to Robert Evans in his memoirs Warren Beatty was approached to play Gatsby but wanted to direct the film and suggested Evans play the role himself. Jack Nicholson was offered but rejected the role because he didn’t believe Ali MacGraw to be appropriate casting for Daisy (she was later replaced with Mia Farrow) and Steve McQueen was also considered and rejected for the role. 

Supposedly Natalie Wood was an early contender for the role of Daisy but she allegedly became furious when the producers insisted on a screen test since the actress hadn’t been in a movie for over 5 years. She balked and negotiations ended. 

Mia Farrow writes that the main reason she was unable to create on-screen chemistry with co-star Robert Redford was because of Redford’s total absorption in the Watergate scandals that were rocking Washington, D.C. at the time of filming. Farrow says Redford spent all his free time locked in his trailer, watching the political scandal unfold on television. 

And here are some photos of the upcoming film with Leo:
All photos courtesy of Pinterest
All trivia courtesy of IMDB
Don’t forget to get your Fashion Friday posts ready!  The link will be up later this evening!  xoxo
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Join the Discussion!

  1. I am excited about a new movie version of The Great Gatsby. I might have to read the book again before watching it.

  2. Hi Kori. I agree it is a very fascinating book and the film with RR is world class. But honestly, I am not getting Gatsby at all. And his feelings for Daisy are not exactly unconditional love. JMHO of course. Perhaps I would have needed your class to better understand the book.
    Anyway, thanks for the pics of the new movie. The combination of Baz and Leo sounds indeed promissing.

  3. So excited for the new movie! Loved RR as Gatsby though and thanks for all the movie trivia! i didn’t know any of it!

  4. I love Gatsby! I also teach juniors, and while I am a history teacher, I co-teach an American Studies class and I get so excited when the kids read GG. I am SO excited for the movie!

  5. I saw the movie many years ago. I remember crying a lot. I am going to watch it again before the remake come out. I think Leo was diffidently the right pick for the remake.

  6. I saw the movie many years ago. I remember crying a lot. I am going to watch it again before the remake come out. I think Leo was diffidently the right pick for the remake.

  7. I’ve neither read the book or seen the original film but the story already fascinates me so I really do need to get myself a copy of the book and get reading!

    Victoria xxx

  8. I need to re read this book. It’s been a long long time. I’m really excited for this film though! Love the director and the cast, it should be a knock out!

    I never saw the old film, but maybe I should?

  9. I really enjoyed reading the Great Gatsby, and CANNOT WAIT for the new movie to come out. Little Sister and I are going to see it together. :)

  10. I don’t really like the book, but I cannot wait for the movie. Baz? Leo? Carey? Perfection! I should watch the old movie first though!

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