The Great Fitzgerald
by Jared Friedrich, Staff Writer
Scott Fitzgerald is one of the most celebrated novelists of all time, but his days writing and rewriting screenplays were much less fruitful. The Great Gatsby, which came out May 10th, is the fourth big screen adaptation of Scott Fitzgerald’s novel. The film is directed by Baz Luhrmann and stars Leonardo DiCaprio as the main character, a mysterious millionaire who attempts to lure his now-married ex-girlfriend Daisy (Carey Mulligan) back into his life by hosting lavish parties at a Long Island mansion. This film’s fame marks a rare success story between Fitzgerald and Hollywood.
Born in St. Paul in 1896, Fitzgerald loved the movies. In the early 20’s, he began to write stories, many of which ended up on screen. The Great Gatsby was published in 1925 and had its first film adaptation a year later. The next year, Fitzgerald headed for Hollywood, so he could write original screenplays for the industry. Many of his screenplays were giant flops that never made it on the screen. Other screenplays Fitzgerald wrote he wouldn’t get credit for, such as Gone with the Wind, because he would often get fired for drunken episodes.
It’s been 39 years since Jay Gatsby was on screen, in a Robert Redford-starring adaptation that was found by critics as “lifeless” and “dead.” Luhrmann wants to give his adaptation of this movie flare and life that will hopefully make the movie version as compelling as it should be.