I am afraid this is going to be a nerdy post.
As many of you know, I am a big F. Scott Fitzgerald fan, and have read and researched his works and life for several years. However, this summer, it has all turned a bit obsessive. Maybe it was Alison Pill's surprisingly good performance as Zelda Fitzgerald in Midnight in Paris (seriously, Woody should take a risk and do a "spin-off biopic" with Alison and someone dreamy as Scott), or perhaps I became too involved reading Zelda by Nancy Mitford back-to-back with Tender is the Night. Either way, my interest has reached a peak, and I want anything I can get.
Even my NetFlix queue. Honestly, I dislike every film I have seen based on Scott's works. For example, I thought the Elizabeth Taylor/Van Johnson film, The Last Time I Saw Paris missed the point of the original story, "Babylon Revisited." I also did not like the recent The Curious Case of Benjamin Button with Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett for pretty much the same reasons.The script seemed so intent on beefing up Scott's original story, that the whole experience felt tedious and overdone. At least, that is my opinion. I know a lot of critics and and viewers felt differently.
I have not even seen the 1974 version of The Great Gatsby, and the footage I have seen from Tender is the Night looks equally disappointing. Time to give up, right?
But ... I recently saw this scene from the film version of Scott's final novel, The Last Tycoon. I am surprised to admit it looks good. Really good. The Last Tycoon always seemed sad, and easily avoidable to me since Scott passed away in the middle of writing it. However, with Elia Kazan directing, and Robert DeNiro playing scenes like this ... I do not think I will avoid it much longer.
The film also stars many other actors I respect: Tony Curtis, Robert Mitchum, Donald Pleasence, Dana Andrews, Jeanne Moreau, and Jack Nicholson. Basically, I want to see this. Immediately.