Gatsby in Connecticut

Review: Gatsby In Connecticut: The Untold Story (2020)

F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel “The Great Gatsby” is a classic piece of American literature. A staple of school reading lists. It’s been adapted for the screen several times. And it’s the centre of a dispute among literary historians. Gatsby In Connecticut: The Untold Story weighs in on that burning question. “Was The Great Gatsby inspired by Fitzgerald’s life on Long Island? Or the five months he and his wife lived in Westport, Connecticut?”

Gatsby In Connecticut: The Untold Story, takes its inspiration from a 1996 article in The New Yorker by Barbara Probst Solomonm. She claimed that contrary to the accepted theory that the town of West Egg wasn’t based on Long Island. Nor was Jay Gatsby one of the people whose parties the Fitzgeralds attended there.

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She noted that their house in Westport was next to a 175-acre estate, just as Nick Carraway’s house bordered the Gatsby Estate. And its owner Frederick E. Lewis threw extravagant parties, just like Jay Gatsby did. Surely this couldn’t be just a coincidence?

Writer/director Robert Steven Williams interviews literary experts and historians. Events in the writer’s life and passages from his works are compared and pieced together to support the claim. This opens Gatsby In Connecticut: The Untold Story up and widens its scope beyond the strictly academic realm. These biographical segments keep the film from becoming too dry and scholarly.

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Fans of F. Scott Fitzgerald should find the film fascinating. Those with a more general interest in American literature or the 1920s should also be entertained.

Gatsby In Connecticut: The Untold Story is narrated by Keir Dullea (2001: A Space Odyssey, Black Christmas). It also features Sam Waterston who played Nick Carraway to Robert Redford’s Gatsby in the 1974 film. You can check the film’s website and Facebook page for more information.

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