For my money (an appropriate phrase to use in discussing this topic), the crucial difference between the film and the book is the absence of Nick's voice. This is another way of saying that the language of the book is a kind of poetry that the film simply cannot achieve. Here are four examples:
The wind had blown off, leaving a loud, bright night, with wings beating in the trees and a persistent organ sound as the full bellows of the earth blew the frogs full of life.
We drove over to Fifth Avenue, so warm and soft, almost pastoral, on the summer Sunday afternoon that I wouldn’t have been surprised to see a great flock of white sheep turn the corner.
The moon had risen higher, and floating in the Sound was a triangle of silver scales, trembling a little to the stiff, tinny drip of the banjoes on the lawn.
...he [Gatsby] had never been in such a beautiful house before but what gave it an air of breathless intensity, was that Daisy lived there—it was as casual a thing to her as his tent out at camp was to him. There was a ripe mystery about it, a hint of bedrooms up-stairs more beautiful and cool than other bedrooms, of gay and radiant activities taking place through its corridors, and of romances that were not musty and laid away already in lavender but fresh and breathing and redolent of this year’s shining motor-cars and of dances whose flowers were scarcely withered.
And almost all of the last pages. I could go on quoting and quoting.
These images, with simultaneous satire and wonder, their metaphors, give the book a radiant, celestial magic and depth. How can you put "the silver pepper of the stars" on the screen?
I feel sorry for Hollywood. The makers of that movie wanted to do well but were up against an imagination beyond their own. They SLAVISHLY followed the book when possible and produced a film as long, dull, and dead as a Senate committee hearing. The 1949 version of _The Great Gatsby,_ with Alan Ladd as Gatsby, deviates...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document