The Great Gatsby (1949) - Rotten Tomatoes

The Great Gatsby1949

The Great Gatsby (1949)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

The Great Gatsby Photos

Movie Info

This second film version of F. Scott Fitzgerald's definitive jazz-age novel The Great Gatsby stars Alan Ladd in the title role. Jay Gatsby, formerly Jake Gatz, is a successful bootlegger with aspirations of being accepted in the highest social circles of Long Island. Once he's done this, Gatsby devotes his time to winning back the love of his former lady friend Daisy (Betty Field), now married to boorish "old-money" millionaire Tom Buchanan (Barry Sullivan). Gatsby's obsession with rekindling old flames results in disillusionment and, ultimately, tragedy. Sidelines observer Nick Carraway, the narrator of the original Fitzgerald novel, is expertly played by MacDonald Carey, while Shelley Winters makes an excellent impression as Buchanan's slatternly mistress Myrtle Wilson. Cast as Myrtle's dour optometrist husband is Howard Da Silva, who essayed a minor role in the 1974 remake of Great Gatsby. That 1974 version has unfortunately kept the 1949 Gatsby from being released to television.


Alan Ladd
as Jay Gatsby
Betty Field
as Daisy Buchanan
Ruth Hussey
as Jordan Baker
Macdonald Carey
as Nick Carraway
Barry Sullivan
as Tom Buchanan
Shelley Winters
as Myrtle Wilson
Henry Hull
as Dan Cody
Carole Mathews
as Ella Cody
Ed Begley Sr.
as Myron Lupus
Elisha Cook Jr.
as Klipspringer
Nicholas Joy
as The Guest
Walter Greaza
as Kinsella
Tito Vuolo
as Mavromichaelis
Ray Walker
as Real Estate Man
Jack Gargan
as Golf Pro
View All

Critic Reviews for The Great Gatsby

All Critics (9) | Top Critics (5)

The F. Scott Fitzgerald characters never come entirely to life. Alan Ladd tries hard as the fated young opportunist.

July 25, 2019 | Full Review…

Unfortunately, the movie version misses many of its opportunities.

May 8, 2013 | Full Review…
Top Critic

Elliott Nugent's direction skips along the surface of the era depicted. The script doesn't give him much substance to work with.

March 26, 2009 | Full Review…

Cyril Hume and Richard Maibaum have achieved a dutiful plotting of the novel without the substance of life that made it stick.

March 25, 2006 | Rating: 1.5/5 | Full Review…

This scores over Jack Clayton's lavish and longer 1974 version by the casting of Alan Ladd as Gatsby, so much more convincing as a man with a dark and mysterious past than one-dimensional glamour-puss Robert Redford.

February 9, 2006 | Full Review…
Top Critic

An interesting, film noir-ish take on the novel. The screenplay takes some liberties with the source material but (Alan) Ladd gives an exceptionally sensitive performance as the lovelorn millionaire. Excellent supporting cast.

May 3, 2014 | Rating: B | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Great Gatsby

Ladd is a excellent choice for Gatsby and Shelley Winters perfect for Myrtle but the film is hampered by miscasting in most every other role. The flat look of the film betrays the luxury settings inherent in the book. Not bad but surely not a definitive version.

jay nixon
jay nixon

Super Reviewer


Not as bad as the 2001 addaption, but not much better.

Joseph Eastmond
Joseph Eastmond

Super Reviewer

The Great Gatsby Quotes

There are no approved quotes yet for this movie.

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