The Great Gatsby
The Great Gatsby (1949)

This second film version of F. Scott Fitzgerald's definitive jazz-age novel The Great Gatsby stars Alan Ladd in the title role. Jay Gatsby, formerly Jake Gatz, is a successful bootlegger with aspirations of being accepted in the highest… More

Directed By:
Rated: Unrated
Running Time:
Release Date: July 13, 1949
DVD Release Date: May 26, 1998
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Critic Score: 38% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews
TIME Magazine

Unfortunately, the movie version misses many of its opportunities.

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Time Out

This scores over Jack Clayton's lavish and longer 1974 version by the casting of Alan Ladd as Gatsby, so much more convincing as a man with a dark and mysterious past than one-dimensional glamour-puss Robert Redford.

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TV Guide

A large part of what makes this version work is the glacial central presence of Alan Ladd, who's quite convincing as a man with a mysterious past.

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Variety Staff

Elliott Nugent's direction skips along the surface of the era depicted. The script doesn't give him much substance to work with.

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Fr. Chris Carpenter
Movie Dearest

An interesting, film noir-ish take on the novel. The screenplay takes some liberties with the source material but (Alan) Ladd gives an exceptionally sensitive performance as the lovelorn millionaire. Excellent supporting cast.

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Not much is made of the 20s Long Island setting and, like the other film versions, it fails to capture the elusive style of the novel.

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Bosley Crowther
New York Times

Cyril Hume and Richard Maibaum have achieved a dutiful plotting of the novel without the substance of life that made it stick.

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David Parkinson
Radio Times

Elliott Nugent directs with some atmospheric touches, but can't counter screenwriter Richard Maibaum's verbosity.

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More reviews for The Great Gatsby

Flixster Audience Score: 44% Flixster User Reviews
jay nixon
Ladd is a excellent choice for Gatsby and Shelley Winters perfect for Myrtle but the film is hampered by miscasting in most every other role. The flat look of… More
Joseph Eastmond
Not as bad as the 2001 addaption, but not much better.