Fitzgerald wrote his first plays as a teenager for the St. Paul stage, but after the success of his first novel This Side of Paradise he only returned to this literary form once more, when he published the play The Vegetable in 1923. It never made it to Broadway. At the end of his life, Fitzgerald became dependent on Hollywood for earning an income and worked as a scriptwriter at MGM. However, he only earned a screen credit once, for the war drama Three Comrades.
1911-1914: Fitzgerald's St. Paul Plays
While he was still in his teens, Fitzgerald wrote four plays that were produced by a local theatre group in St. Paul. These plays - which are mostly romantic adventures - are collected in this edition. The names of the plays are: The Girl from Lazy J, The Captured Shadow, Coward and Assorted Spirits.
1923: 'The Vegetable'
After his teenage successes as the author of plays for the St. Paul stage, Fitzgerald wrote another play in 1922. It was supposed to open on Broadway, but the tryout in Atlantic City was a dismal failure so that it never premiered in New York City. The play is about a postman who by some strange twist of fate ends up in the White House. The Vegetable's open absurdity is astonishingly modern; it would deserve to be rediscovered.
1938: 'Three Comrades'
After the financial failure of Tender is the Night and once the publication of short stories in the "Saturday Evening Post" no longer provided a steady source of income, Fitzgerald finally moved to Los Angeles to work as a script writer at MGM. In 1937 he adapted Erich Maria Remarque's novel about three friends in post-war Germany for the big screen. It was to remain his only screen credit during his four years at Hollywood.
1940: 'Babylon Revisited'
In May 1940 Fitzgerald agreed to rework his short story "Babylon Revisited" into a screenplay for independent producer Lester Cowan. It was never produced, even though the story was finally made into a movie in 1954 - The Last Time I Saw Paris, starring Elizabeth Taylor. The movie is actually closer to the emotional core of the original than Fitzgerald's own adaptation which turned the heart-wrenching story of loss and regret into a cheap melodrama.
F. Scott Fitzgerald - An Annotated Bibliography