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Monday, September 22, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 69.0° F  A Few Clouds
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The Last Tycoon
Rated
Elia Kazan and Harold Pinter's adaptation of the unfinished Scott Fitzgerald novel was perhaps the best American film of 1976. It preserves the tone and spirit of this quintessential backstage Hollywood story, and offers a superb gallery of performances, topped by Robert DeNiro as the Irving Thalberg surrogate. The only thing the film seems to be missing is a certain physical sensuousness, the reality of ironic splendor that infuses Fitzgerald's writing. The Great Gatsby, did have that quality and also failed with audiences, so perhaps it's simply the anti-fairy-tale tone they object to, just as earlier audiences rejected the novels.
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