The Great Gatsby (1926 film)

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The Great Gatsby
The Great Gatsby 1926.jpg
1926 Lobby card
Directed by Herbert Brenon
Ray Lissner (assistant)
Produced by Jesse L. Lasky
Adolph Zukor
Written by Becky Gardiner (scenario)
Elizabeth Meehan (adaptation)
Based on The Great Gatsby
by F. Scott Fitzgerald
Starring Warner Baxter
Lois Wilson
Neil Hamilton
Georgia Hale
William Powell
Cinematography Leo Tover
Distributed by Paramount Pictures
Release date
  • November 21, 1926 (1926-11-21)
Running time
80 minutes
Country United States
Language Silent (English intertitles)

The Great Gatsby is a 1926 American silent drama film directed by Herbert Brenon.[1] It is the first film adaptation of the 1925 novel of the same name by F. Scott Fitzgerald. Warner Baxter portrayed Jay Gatsby and Lois Wilson as Daisy Buchanan.[2]

The film was produced by Famous Players-Lasky, and distributed by Paramount Pictures. The Great Gatsby is now considered lost.[3][4]


An adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald's Long Island-set novel, where Midwesterner Nick Carraway is lured into the lavish world of his neighbor, Jay Gatsby. Soon enough, however, Carraway will see through the cracks of Gatsby's nouveau riche existence, where obsession, madness, and tragedy await.




The screenplay was written by Becky Gardiner and Elizabeth Meehan and was based on Owen Davis' stage play treatment of The Great Gatsby. The play, directed by George Cukor, opened on Broadway at the Ambassador Theatre February 2, 1926. Shortly after the play opened, Famous Players-Lasky and Paramount Pictures purchased the film rights for $45,000.[5]

The film's director Herbert Brenon, designed The Great Gatsby as lightweight, popular entertainment, playing up the party scenes at Gatsby's mansion and emphasizing their scandalous elements. The film had a running time of 80 minutes, or 7,296 feet.[3]

Preservation status[edit]

Professor Wheeler Winston Dixon, James Ryan Professor of Film Studies at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln made extensive but unsuccessful attempts to find a surviving print. Dixon noted that there were rumors that a copy survived in an unknown archive in Moscow but dismissed these rumors as unfounded.[3] However, the trailer has survived and is one of the 50 films in the three-disc, boxed DVD set More Treasures from American Film Archives, 1894-1931 (2004), compiled by the National Film Preservation Foundation from five American film archives. The trailer is preserved by the Library of Congress (AFI/Jack Tillmany collection) and has a running time of one minute.[3] It was featured on the Blu-Ray released by Warner Home Video of director Baz Luhrmann's 2013 adaptation of The Great Gatsby as a special feature.


  1. ^ The Library of Congress American Silent Feature Film Survival Catalog:The Great Gatsby
  2. ^ Tredell, Nicolas, ed. (2007). Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby: A Reader's Guide. A & C Black. p. 96. ISBN 0-826-49011-5. 
  3. ^ a b c d Winston Dixon, Wheeler (2003). "The Three Film Versions of The Great Gatsby: A Vision Deferred". Literature Film Quarterly. Archived from the original on June 5, 2013. Retrieved March 9, 2013. 
  4. ^ Progressive Silent Film List: The Great Gatsby at
  5. ^ (Tredell 2007, pp. 94–96)

External links[edit]