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Echoes of the Silent Movie Age: F. Scott Fitzgerald on the Silver Screen (1920-1926)

Citation: Mastandrea, Martina (2018) Echoes of the Silent Movie Age: F. Scott Fitzgerald on the Silver Screen (1920-1926). Doctoral thesis, University of London.

Mastandrea, M - PhD Thesis - IES - 2018.pdf

Creative Commons: Attribution-No Derivative Works 4.0

This thesis is the first full-length study of the six silent film adaptations based on F. Scott Fitzgerald’s work and the many ways in which they contributed to the construction of his celebrity persona. Between 1920 and 1926, four of Fitzgerald’s short stories and two of his novels were filmed and shown on the silver screens of the United States and the world. Each of the chapters of this thesis explores an aspect of Fitzgerald’s persona as represented in the six cinematic adaptations, of which four are presumed lost. Additionally, the chapters focusing on the four missing movies give a provisional scene-by-scene reconstruction of the films and their production by using a plurality of multimedia and multi-lingual sources, such as reviews, stills, novelizations, advertisements, treatments, pressbooks, and music cue sheets. In spite of the reams of paper devoted to the film and literary work Fitzgerald produced in California in the 1930s, or on the sound-film adaptations based on his works, only a few pages examine his relationship with the movies at the beginning of his professional career. By focusing on how filmmakers interpreted Fitzgerald in the 1920s, this thesis contributes to a more comprehensive understanding of the author’s early reputation and his relationship with Hollywood long before he worked there. By treating the readers’ and moviegoers’ responses to these six films as public, and by reconstructing the context in which their reception acts occurred, this thesis provides a more well-rounded perspective of the construction of Fitzgerald’s popular image. The reception materials of these six films reveal invaluable information on how Fitzgerald’s contemporaries received and interpreted six of his works as well as on the global exhibition and distribution of their filmic transposition. By re-reading these literary texts and their cinematic adaptations almost a century after their production and first reception, this thesis strikes echoes of the silent movie age, in an effort of recapturing those fleeting images of F. Scott Fitzgerald that silently flashed on the silver screens around the globe in the 1920s.

Creators: Mastandrea, Martina and
Subjects: Culture, Language & Literature
Divisions: Institute of English Studies
Collections: Theses and Dissertations
  • 15 June 2018 (submitted)


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