The Great Gatsby – Midnight in Manhattan is a 2000 BBC documentary on F. Scott Fitzgerald and the great American novel, The Great Gatsby. The DVD is being released to coincide with the release of Baz Luhrmann's remake of the movie. Any schoolteacher worth his or her salt will want to include this documentary as part of the curriculum associated with Gatsby because it is all there. The DVD also includes the 1975 made for BBC TV presentation of Private Affairs, A Dream of Living, a very minor play about F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, and Zelda Hemingway in set in 1925 Paris.
Midnight in Manhattan features a who's who of American literature: critic Harold Bloom, George Plimpton, Hunter S. Thompson, William Styron, Garrison Keillor, and Jay McInerney. This very varied bunch all have the same fascination with The Great Gatsby. The documentary also features British writer Christopher Hitchens who also has very interesting things to say about Gatsby. This gallery of experts is completed with Fitzgerald biographer Matthew Bruccoli.
There are quite a few very interesting facts about The Great Gatsby and / or Fitzgerald revealed here. Gatsby did not sell well during Fitzgerald'd lifetime but now sells some 750,000 copies a year. More copies a month than in the author's life.
The Great Gatsby is most popular in times of economic boom such as when this documentary was made but it is about the inevitable downfall to come. The parallels between the character and the author are plentiful, leading one expert to say that Fitzgerald was Gatsby and Gatgsby was Fitzgerald. It is also interesting to note that Fitzgerald became rich to get Daisy Buchanan, Fitzgerald became successful to get Zelda.
Like most BBC documentaries, The Great Gatsby – Midnight in Manhattan features some absolutely exquisite shots and they are usually quite apropos.
Anybody with an interest in The Great Gatsby will enjoy Midnight in Manhattan.