Newport's famous Bellevue Avenue is set to star in a new movie produced by Rhode Island locals. Originally a tv show proposal, written to illuminate F. Scott Fitzgerald's famous words, "the rich are different," and rival enormously popular PBS production "Downton Abbey," Ken Dooley, Newport resident and writer, thought why not capitalize on the history and local character right here. The new movie joins a long list of films and books in the Newport, RI setting, which nurture humankind's seemingly insatiable fascination with the wealthy lives and loves of the upper class.
Notable is "The Great Gatsby," 1973 release, starring Mia Farrow, Robert Redford, Sam Waterston, and Bruce Dern and filmed on Bellevue Avenue with its lavish, over-the-top party scenes set at Newport Mansions' Rosecliff; also written to capture that human curiosity with the rich so aptly described by Pulitzer Prize-winning Washington Post book critic, Jonathan Yardley, in his review of Fitzgerald's famous Gatsby, which he considers "the most beautiful, compelling and true [novel] in all of American literature."
"Fitzgerald gives us a meditation on some of this country's most central ideas, themes, yearnings and preoccupations: the quest for a new life, the preoccupation with class, the hunger for riches."
Yardley's late parents, former headmaster father, Bill, and mother, Helen, retired to Newport, after lifelong service in private schools. The book critic's memoir of his own family and parents' 50-year marriage, "Our Kind of People," is a candid look into the WASP experience from a different perspective.
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