Jay Gatsby, Red Grant and Richard Maibaum

edited June 2013 in General Movies & TV Posts: 533
What does the character of Jay Gatsby from "THE GREAT GATSBY" have in common with Donovan "Red" Grant of "FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE"?

Richard Maibaum served as one of the screenwriters for the 1949 adaptation of "GATSBY" (with Alan Ladd) and as one of the screenwriters for the 1963 Bond movie. In the screenplay for "THE GREAT GATSBY", the titled character utilized the phrase "old sport" to convey the idea that he was a member of the upper classes. In "FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE", Red Grant used the phrase "old man" to make Bond believe he was a MI-6 agent and well-born Englishman.

I suspect that Maibaum must have recalled the use of "old sport" from "GATSBY" and re-created its use for the Red Grant character in "FRWL".


  • DragonpolDragonpol The Crazy World of David Dragonpol
    Posts: 14,725
    Interesting connection that you've brought to light there. It's also notable that Ian Fleming read Fitzgerald's work and was inspired by it in some of his James Bond novels. I had completely forgotten the Maibaum link to The Great Gatsby, though.
  • 007InVT007InVT Classified
    Posts: 893
    I thought that when reading FRWL recently.

    He could also have chosen "old boy" or "old bean".
  • DragonpolDragonpol The Crazy World of David Dragonpol
    Posts: 14,725
    I think there's an interesting potential article here - but I'd need a lot more!
  • edited June 2013 Posts: 512
    That's fascinating about Maibaum working on Gatsby. The 'Old Sport' thing resonated with me, cos again it's that sense of being a phoney and putting on an act, which gets seen through in Gatsby's case (Tom Buchanan is on to him), and in Bond's case an exploding gas canister, I mean in Bond's case, only too late, as ironically his own English manners prevent him from following up, he wishes to keep the stranger at ease.

    But didn't the 'old man' thing feature in Fleming's novel? I seem to remember a phrase where Bond tries to think of a way of getting Red Grant to stop calling him 'old man' but decided he couldn't think of one. Or was that about something else? Of course Fleming would have read The Great Gatsby too.
  • DragonpolDragonpol The Crazy World of David Dragonpol
    edited January 2018 Posts: 14,725
    Fleming also read The Crack-Up by F. Scott Fitzgerald, where he describes his mental breakdown. I think he was reading a FSF novel when he was writing his FRWL and that this may have inspired him too. This is all mentioned in Lycett's superlative biography of Fleming. It's certainly a subject worthy of more research as an article on the subject would cover some much needed new ground.
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