Tagged: The Great Gatsby (1974)

I’m 30

Today is July 21, which means…

"I just realized..."

"...today is my birthday."

"I'm 30."

 

Hm.

While today is, indeed, my 30th birthday, I’m greeting the day with considerably more enthusiasm than The Great Gatsby‘s despondent narrator Nick Carraway, who rings in “the portentous menacing road of a new decade” during a contentious confrontation between romantic millionaire Jay Gatsby and brutish Tom Buchanan over the affections of Daisy, Tom’s wife and Gatsby’s former flame. (For a more in-depth look at the style of my favorite book and its multiple cinematic adaptations, check out this post from last month!)

Sam Waterston and Lois Chiles in The Great Gatsby (1974)

Sam Waterston and Lois Chiles in The Great Gatsby (1974)

Fellow July 21 birthday celebrators include:

  • Sam Bass (born 1851), an outlaw who died on his 27th birthday following a gunfight with police in Texas
  • Sara Carter (1898-1979), lead singer of the Carter Family
  • Hart Crane (1899-1932), American writer and poet who died by suicide
  • Ernest Hemingway (1899-1961), American writer and adventurer who also died by suicide
  • Marshall McLuhan (1911-1980), the media theorist I know best from his famous cameo in Annie Hall
  • Kay Starr (1922-2016), described by Billie Holiday as “the only white woman who could sing the blues”
  • Norman Jewison (born 1926), director of stylish flicks including The Cincinnati Kid (1965), In the Heat of the Night (1967), and The Thomas Crown Affair (1968), among many others
  • Sonny Clark (1931-1963), jazz pianist who recorded prolifically for Blue Note in the late 1950s
  • Janet Reno (1938-2016), first woman to serve as United States Attorney General
  • Edward Herrmann (1943-2014), actor who famously portrayed FDR (and also appeared in 1974’s The Great Gatsby)
  • Robin Williams (1951-2014), Academy Award-winning actor and comedian considered among the funniest people of all time
  • Jon Lovitz (born 1957), comedian and former Saturday Night Live cast member
  • Brandi Chastain (born 1968), American soccer champion and two-time Olympic gold medalist
  • Godfrey (born 1969), comedian, actor, and 7 Up spokesperson
  • Josh Hartnett (born 1979), actor who starred in Pearl HarborSin City, and 30 Days of Night
  • Paloma Faith (born 1981), eccentric singer-songwriter
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The Great Gatsby: Three Suits in Three Adaptations

Vitals

Robert Redford in The Great Gatsby (1974), Toby Stephens in The Great Gatsby (2000), and Leonardo DiCaprio in The Great Gatsby (2013)

Robert Redford in The Great Gatsby (1974), Toby Stephens in The Great Gatsby (2000), and Leonardo DiCaprio in The Great Gatsby (2013)

Jay Gatsby, romantic millionaire and shady bootlegger

Long Island, NY, Summer 1922

Played by Robert Redford in…

Film: The Great Gatsby
Release Date: March 29, 1974
Director: Jack Clayton
Costume Designer: Theoni V. Aldredge
Clothes: Ralph Lauren

Played by Toby Stephens in…

Film: The Great Gatsby
Release Date: March 29, 2000
Director: Robert Markowitz
Costume Designer: Nicoletta Massone

and played by Leonardo DiCaprio in…

Film: The Great Gatsby
Release Date: May 10, 2013
Director: Baz Luhrmann
Costume Designer: Catherine Martin
Clothes: Brooks Brothers

Background

With its now famous tale of doomed romance, debauchery and death, and the failure of the American dream against a backdrop of riotous parties and scandalous adultery, The Great Gatsby was destined for the screen from the moment it hit shelves in the spring of 1925 at the height of what its author, F. Scott Fitzgerald, coined “the Jazz Age.” Continue reading

Redford’s White Tie in The Great Gatsby

Robert Redford as Jay Gatsby in The Great Gatsby (1974)

Robert Redford as Jay Gatsby in The Great Gatsby (1974)

Vitals

Robert Redford as Jay Gatsby, enigmatic millionaire and eager romantic

Long Island, New York, Summer 1925

Film: The Great Gatsby
Release Date: March 29, 1974
Director: Jack Clayton
Costume Designer: Theoni V. Aldredge
Clothes by: Ralph Lauren

Background

Things are looking good for Jay Gatsby by the end of this hot roaring ’20s summer. He’s reunited with his former love, Daisy Buchanan (Mia Farrow), and—for better or worse—he’s established himself as the party king of West Egg. Sure, no one knows where his curiously vast fortune came from, but as long as he keeps the champagne flowing and hot jazz booming, no one cares either. Continue reading

Jay Gatsby’s Brown Suit and Yellow Rolls-Royce (1974 Version)

Robert Redford as Jay Gatsby in The Great Gatsby (1974), posing with his yellow 1928 Rolls-Royce Phantom I convertible.

Robert Redford as Jay Gatsby in The Great Gatsby (1974), posing with his yellow 1928 Rolls-Royce Phantom I convertible.

Vitals

Robert Redford as Jay Gatsby, romantic millionaire and shady bootlegger

New York City, Summer 1925

Film: The Great Gatsby
Release Date: March 29, 1974
Director: Jack Clayton
Costume Designer: Theoni V. Aldredge
Clothes by: Ralph Lauren

Background

Well, it’s the arbitrarily-chosen second week of June, which means it’s time for the third semi-annual Car Week!

I’m kicking off this week by focusing on a very iconic car in both literature and film – Jay Gatsby’s big yellow Rolls-Royce tourer, a symbol of the era’s destructive opulence. Continue reading

Redford in Gatsby’s White Three-Piece Suit

Robert Redford as Jay Gatsby in 1974's The Great Gatsby.

Robert Redford as Jay Gatsby in 1974’s The Great Gatsby.

Vitals

Robert Redford as Jay Gatsby, enigmatic millionaire and eager romantic

Long Island, New York, Summer 1925

Film: The Great Gatsby
Release Date: March 29, 1974
Director: Jack Clayton
Costume Designer: Theoni V. Aldredge
Clothes by: Ralph Lauren

Background

According to tradition passed down to us from generations of snobs, Labor Day is the last socially acceptable day for Americans to wear white prominently. If you’re scrambling to get your white in before your country club bars you for showing up in October with your favorite ivory sports coat, follow Gatsby’s example to make a solid impression.

In his 1925 book, F. Scott Fitzgerald describes Gatsby’s attire as:

…Gatsby, in a white flannel suit, silver shirt, and gold-colored tie, hurried in.

Continue reading

Real Men Wear Pink: Redford as Gatsby

Robert Redford as Jay Gatsby in the 1974 adaptation of The Great Gatsby. The little girl on his left is Patsy Kensit, who would later play Mel Gibson's ill-fated love interest in Lethal Weapon 2.

Robert Redford as Jay Gatsby in the 1974 adaptation of The Great Gatsby. The little girl on his left is Patsy Kensit, who would later play Mel Gibson’s ill-fated love interest in Lethal Weapon 2.

Vitals

Robert Redford as Jay Gatsby, enigmatic millionaire and eager romantic

Long Island, New York, Late Summer 1925

Film: The Great Gatsby
Release Date: March 29, 1974
Director: Jack Clayton
Costume Designer: Theoni V. Aldredge
Clothes by: Ralph Lauren

Background

Today is the day that Baz Luhrmann is releasing his interpretation of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s great American novel The Great Gatsby. Saving any comment on that for the end, it only seems appropriate to look at some of the iconic suits that Robert Redford donned for his portrayal of Gatsby almost forty years ago.

By the early to mid 1970s, men’s suits were beginning to revert back to styles popular during the height of the Roaring Twenties: bright three-piece suits with wide lapels, double-breasted waistcoats, and flared legs. Some credit the fact the coke-and-disco fueled ’70s were a replication of the booze-and-jazz fueled ’20s and that the style would naturally gravitate towards excess. Others point to the award-winning costumes made by Theoni V. Aldredge for 1974’s The Great Gatsby. Continue reading