Friday, May 10, 2013

Gold Coast Influences in Baz Luhrmann's The Great Gatsby

While at the Long Island premiere of The Great Gatsby on Wednesday I had the chance to see Baz Luhrmann’s remake of the classic novel.
Before the film started, Luhrmann discussed his influences and the research he did on the North Shore, visiting surviving estate houses and walking the shores of East and West Egg (Sands Point and Great Neck).

The overall film had a lot of recognizable North Shore details. Well-researched, Luhrmann, like Fitzgerald, took influence from a number of North Shore houses both surviving and long razed.  

Most recognizable were the similarities of Gatsby’s house to Beacon Towers, which included overall style, rooflines, portions of the gatehouse, and even minute details like the dragon head finials on the Beacon Towers’ gates.

The Great Gatsby © Warner Bros.

Beacon Towers © North Shore Long Island Country Houses
Eagle's Nest © North Shore Long Island Country Houses

The swimming pool in the movie is a cross between that at Willie K. Vanderbilt’s Eagle's Nest and DeLamar’s Pembroke. 

Inside Gatsby’s lavish home, the floating staircase of La Selva was incorporated into the larger than life Gatsby set.

La Selva © Paul J. Mateyunas
La Selva © Paul J. Mateyunas
The Great Gatsby © Warner Bros.
Luhrmann's attention for detail further impressed me with the view from the Plaza suite window, which included the tower of 1 West 57th Street (Cornelius Vanderbilt’s townhouse) that has long been replaced by Bergdorf Goodman.