The Great Gatsby ’49 06/17/23

Viavision [Imprint]

A show seemingly missing forever now surfaces on a Blu-ray from Australia. The elusive Alan Ladd version of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s literary masterpiece is watered-down high art strained through a film noir filter. Ladd embodies the spirit and attitude of Jay Gatsby despite the adaptation’s ‘clarifying’ explanations and laughable moral lesson. Betty Field’s Daisy isn’t as compelling, but we have the compensation of noir regulars Macdonald Carey, Barry Sullivan, Howard Da Silva, Shelley Winters, Ed Begley, Elisha Cook, Jr. and Jack Lambert. It’s fairly well produced — a bit of the decadent ’20s shows through. Excellent extras provide input from experts Alan K. Rode and Jason A. Ney. On Blu-ray from Viavision [Imprint].