Wednesday, March 3, 2010
It's that time of year again for my 11th graders to learn all about F. Scott Fitzgerald. The Great Gatsby is definitely my favorite novel to teach. Fitzgerald's gift of language is amazing, and I love the 1974 version of the film.
Here are some pics from the film, and of course some trivia. What do you think of the novel and/or film?
--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.
-- 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 (1972) as filler. During the production of The Getaway (1972) MacGraw fell in love with co-star Steve McQueen and left Evans for him. Mia Farrow was then picked to play Daisy.
--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.
--Patsy Kensit who plays the very young daughter of Mia Farrow's character in this movie, later portrayed Mia Farrow herself in Love and Betrayal: The Mia Farrow Story (1995) (TV) which included a re-enactment of the filming of this picture.
--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.
--According to Robert Evans the final 5 names considered for the role of Daisy Buchanan were Mia Farrow, Faye Dunaway, Candice Bergen, Katharine Ross and Lois Chiles. Farrow eventually beat off Bergen for the role and Chiles was given the smaller role of Jordan Baker.
--Francis Ford Coppola lived in "West Egg," aka Great Neck, former home of F. Scott Fitzgerald, at the time of writing the screenplay for The Great Gatsby (1974).
--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.