How to Make a Good 'Great Gatsby' Movie: A Guide for Baz Luhrmann

GreatGatsbybookcover.jpg

Scribner

1926: The lost (silent) film

Only a year after the book's release, Fitzgerald sold the rights for the very first version of the film for $45,000. It was a silent film, based on a popular stage adaptation of the book that had opened on Broadway earlier that year. In this first iteration, Jay, Daisy, and Nick were played by rising stars of the silent era: Warner Baxter, Lois Wilson, and Neil Hamilton.

Film scholar Wheeler Winston Dixon has said that this may have been the most "authentic" adaptation, but alas, modern day viewers will never know: all known copies have been destroyed. Although a rare hardcopy of the movie trailer exists, even that is hard to come by. Nevertheless, critics in 1926 gave it mixed reviews, noting that the movie was more popular entertainment than thoughtful art.

Presented by

Adam Eaglin is a New York-based writer and editor. He previously worked in The Atlantic's Boston office.

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register with Disqus.

Please note that The Atlantic's account system is separate from our commenting system. To log in or register with The Atlantic, use the Sign In button at the top of every page.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

A Stop-Motion Tour of New York City

A filmmaker animated hundreds of still photographs to create this Big Apple flip book

Video

The Absurd Psychology of Restaurant Menus

Would people eat healthier if celery was called "cool celery?"

Video

This Japanese Inn Has Been Open For 1,300 Years

It's one of the oldest family businesses in the world.

Video

What Happens Inside a Dying Mind?

Science cannot fully explain near-death experiences.

More in Entertainment

Just In