The Deacon's Bench

The Deacon's Bench

Before there was Don Draper…

…there was Jay Gatsby.

With AMC running a “Mad Men” marathon these days–leading up to the series fourth season premiere on July 25–I thought it was a good time to revisit this classic tale of power, passion, secrecy and pink shirts.

This 1974 movie version of “The Great Gatsby” (written by Francis Ford Coppola, of all people) was overproduced and underacted — I never understood the appeal of Mia Farrow to begin with — but it has its sumptuous moments, and a fine performance by a very young Sam Waterston. And F. Scott Fitzgerald’s voice still shines through. (Fun piece of trivia: my bride and I were married at the chapel at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Rockville, Maryland — where Scott and Zelda are buried. It made for some interesting wedding pictures.)


Anyway: “Do you watch for the longest day of the year and then miss it?” Enjoy the clip below, as long days get hotter — and we wait for fresh “Mad Men” to return!

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Dana MacKenzie

posted July 6, 2010 at 11:53 am

A favorite book, but a lousy film. For me, none of the actors (except Waterston) looked or sounded at all comfortable playing the time, Dern particularly. As for Daisy, wouldn’t Grace Kelly in her prime have been wonderful in the role? But by the ’70’s I can’t think of an actress who was not so beholden to her recently-raised consciousness as to be able to portray a woman of that era. Which is why it all feels so anachronisitic and odd.
[Amen! Grace Kelly would have been perfect. The only thing worse than Mia Farrow is pondering the original choice for the part: Ali McGraw. Shudder. Dcn. G.]

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