Yesterday, the VFX supervisor on the film The Great Gatsby released a composite “before and after” reel, showing the sheer amount of special effects it took to re-create the lavish world of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s beloved novel. The Bowery Boys previously dissected the trailer for architectural and historical accuracy last year, and today, we’re adding to the analysis of what’s real and what’s not.
The Great Gatsby takes place in 1922 and the film opens with a view of downtown Manhattan. Battery Park City wasn’t built until 1985, so the shape of the waterfront and the inclusion of piers are roughly correct, but Battery Park is shown much more lush than it was. Here’s a vintage photograph circa 1929:
At this level of resolution, it’s hard to analyze the buildings specifically, but the scale and placement of the buildings along State Street (the eastern border of Battery Park) seem a little off. State Street also wasn’t as angular of a street then as it is now, as you can see from the curvilinear border of Battery Park in the vintage photo.