The first sound adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald's classic Jazz Age novel, this version is far superior to its silent predecessor and the botched 1974 remake with Robert Redford in the title role. 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. Ladd is the enigmatic Jay Gatsby, a fabulous bootlegger who has used his relentless drive to amass a fortune. That mission accomplished, he turns his attention to wooing back a woman he lost many years earlier to a wealthy man.
Ladd is quite appropriate for Fitzgerald's hero. Embodying youthful disillusionment, false hope, ...