By John Ostapkovich
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – A new version of the classic novel, The Greast Gatsby, opens tomorrow, the latest in a line of flicks to try to capture what makes F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel an enduring classic.
“Gatsby? What Gatsby?”
That question from the new Leonardo DeCaprio vehicle may sum up the whole endeavor of trying to film this classic.
LaSalle 20th Century Literature professor Margot Soven says the novel is an interior book, little concerned with externals while the movies, especially it appears this one, are by their nature very visual. She hopes the new film conveys the central drama, of wanting something money can’t buy.
“I think that’s what the ’74 movie did. Fitzgerald did walk out on the Alan Ladd movie, and we don’t know much about his own screen play so I have a hunch that he’d walk out on this movie, too.”
Professor Soven says she plans to see the new movie but is not hopeful. Early reviews have generally been unkind, but even Dr. Soven’s 1974 fave with Robert Redford as Gatsby got some negative press.