A BLACK SCREEN.
The blackness is pierced by a single, pulsing green light...
We drift, as if by boat, across a dark bay toward the light.
Then, we hear a troubled voice.
In my younger and more vulnerableyears my father gave me someadvice: “always try to see the bestin people,” he would say...
A gentle snow begins to fall, obscuring the light...
As a consequence, I’m inclined to
reserve all judgements.
The snow grows heavier.
But even I... have a limit.
EXT. SANITARIUM - WINTER - DAY
Continue drifting, through the snow, across an icy lake...
Back then all of us drank too much.
A stately Victorian building...
The more in tune with the times we
were, the more we drank.
The sign, “The Perkins Sanitarium.”
And none of us contributed anything
INT. SANITARIUM - DOCTOR’S OFFICE - WINTER - DAY
A man shrouded in darkness. He leans against an oldfireplace, hand covering his face.
When I came back from New York I
NICK CARRAWAY (37), unshaven, morbidly alcoholic.
Disgusted... with everyone, andeverything... Only one man wasexempt from my disgust.
A kind, elderly DOCTOR.
One man...? Mr. Carraway?
Was he a friend of yours?
He was... the single most hopefulperson I have ever met... And amever likely to meet again. Therewas something about him...
Nick wanders slowly towards the window, remembering.
A sensitivity. He was like one ofthose machines that registerearthquakes ten thousand miles
Where did you meet him?
Nick stops and stares out the window, haunted.
At a party. In New York.
EXT. NEW YORK CITY - DAY
THROUGH THE CLOUDS: New skyscrapers pierce a clear blue sky.
In the summer of 1922, the tempo ofthe city approached hysteria...
ON WALL STREET:
A fever pitch of buying and selling...
Stocks hit record peaks. And WallStreet boomed, in a steady golden
IMAGES OF DECADENT NEW YORK FADE IN, ILLUSTRATING NICK’S V.O.
Dancing girls, speakeasies, bootleg kings, fat cats countingfresh fortunes, and the stock market climbing up, up, up...!
The parties were bigger; the showswere broader; the buildings werehigher; the morals were looser; andthe ban on alcohol had backfired...
making the liquor cheaper.
A sea of boater hats crowds a Manhattan street.
Wall Street was luring the youngand ambitious.
One of the hats. Its wearer stops, and gazes up.
And I was one of them.
A clear-eyed, hopeful, 29 year old Nick Carraway.
EXT. LONG ISLAND - WEST EGG - DAY
The city is still visible in the distance...
I rented a house twenty miles fromthe city, on Long Island.
A unkempt bungalow, hemmed in by enormous mansions.
I lived at West Egg...
EXT. NICK’S BUNGALOW - DAY
Nick is moving in...
...in a forgotten grounds-keeper’s
cottage squeezed among the mansionsof the newly rich.
INT. NICK’S BUNGALOW - DAY
Nick is unpacking...
To get started, I bought a dozenvolumes on credit, banking andinvestments-
A row of heavy red and gold-bound bonds books. Nickplucks one up.
All new to me...
And turns on the radio.
The stock market hit another record