Day 296: The Great Gatsby (1949)

81jfNBbRwOL._SL1500_This 1949 adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s famed book The Great Gatsby opens with two people (MacDonald Carey as Nick Carraway and Ruth Hussey as Jordan Baker) standing next to the tombstone of Jay Gatsby reminiscing about the life of the dearly departed.

Methinks it foreshadows the events to come too quickly, and too on the nose.

There’s a lot wrong with this movie, not least of which is the hideously ham-fisted dialogue, which is about as natural as a Beagle in a jump suit. As a result, the movie plays like a melodramatic soap opera, one that hops, skips, and jumps through Fitzgerald’s book, quickly reaching the end without bothering to develop the characters along the way.

It’s an epic cast:

Alan Ladd … Jay Gatsby
Betty Field … Daisy Buchanan
Macdonald Carey … Nicholas ‘Nick’ Carraway
Ruth Hussey … Jordan Baker
Barry Sullivan … Tom Buchanaan
Howard Da Silva … Wilson
Shelley Winters … Myrtle Wilson
Henry Hull … Dan Cody
Ed Begley … Myron Lupus
Elisha Cook Jr. … Klipspringer

But not even talented character actor Elisha Cook, Jr., can save this film.

A blogger wrote a great review of this version of Gatsby on his site The Ol’ Fish-Eye. I recommend it. I agree with every word. Especially his description of Alan Ladd’s characterization of Gatsby.

The ending of the movie – during and immediately following the car accident – is Continue reading

Day 21: a.k.a. Three Weeks

HaydnCD21You know the old saying that times flies when you’re having fun?

Well, it’s not true.

Time flies whether you’re having fun or not, usually when you’re busy as hell and it becomes, as the late MacDonald Carey used to say at the start of each Days of Our Lives episode, “like sands through the hourglass.”

The older we get, the more those sands fall to the bottom of said hourglass.

I type that because three weeks have already passed since I started this three-year project. I have no idea where those 21 days went. Tell you what, though, if I could stick my finger in that little narrow tube between the top of the hourglass and its bottom I most definitely would. (Hmm, the words “stick my finger in” and “its bottom” in the same sentence don’t necessarily enhance the appeal of this morning’s Asiago bagel. But you know what I mean. )

Symphony No. 70 in D is another delightful composition, one that grabbed me from Continue reading