The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald, 1925, first edition, cover by Francis Cugat * (see note below)
F. Scott Fitzgerald, 1937, photo by Carl Van Vechten
The Wisdom of the Heart, Henry Miller, 1941, jacket by Alvin Lustig
Alvin Lustig, 1945
The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald, New Classics 9 / New Directions 1945 edition, jacket by Alvin Lustig
Momentum continued on both scholarly and popular fronts through the end of the decade. Somewhat ironically, Paramount Pictures in Hollywood began a film adaptation production in 1948 directed by Elliott Nugent and starring Alan Ladd which was released in July of 1949. The irony lies in the fact that Fitzgerald spent his last booze-soaked years in Los Angeles trying to eek out a living writing for films. This first film adaptation drew from both the original novel as well as Owen Davis's 1926 short-lived adaptation for the Broadway stage. Incidentally, the screenwriters were Cyril Hume and Richard Maibaum, the latter being the very same Richard Maibaum who wrote the screenplays of the majority of James Bond films from 1962-1989. In the academic world, at least two books were published in 1951 concerning themselves with Fitzgerald's life and importance. This opened the floodgates to several scholarly works at the highest levels of academia, the sum total of which set The Great Gatsby on the pedestal upon which it still rests today.
Alan Ladd, 1948 Paramount Pictures promotional photo
* An entire weblog entry could be devoted to Francis Cugat's somewhat controversial cover art for the original 1925 edition. Here is what purports to be the untouched original painting, although I cannot vouch for its authenticity. Fitzgerald (perhaps influenced by Ernest Hemingway) later claimed he hated the cover and went to great lengths to apologize for it. And yes, Cugat was the brother of the famous New York-based bandleader who popularized the rhumba: Xavier Cugat.