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Literary Adaptations

by Black Irish
Prospero’s Books (1991) – Peter Greenaway Oddly enough, I’m very interested in literary adaptations when most other book-lovers seem skeptical of them, which is understandable. Naturally, being a different medium, it cannot replicate the experience one gets from reading a text, yet if done well can create a whole new one. To myself, I see essentially two different types of book-to-film transformations. ‘Translations’ which are concerned mainly with adhering to the plot, often with changes, focusing on being faithful to the letter of the book. On the other hand there are ‘adaptations’ which focus on capturing the ‘spirit’ of a work, these… Read more

Prospero’s Books (1991) – Peter Greenaway

Oddly enough, I’m very interested in literary adaptations when most other book-lovers seem skeptical of them, which is understandable. Naturally, being a different medium, it cannot replicate the experience one gets from reading a text, yet if done well can create a whole new one. To myself, I see essentially two different types of book-to-film transformations. ‘Translations’ which are concerned mainly with adhering to the plot, often with changes, focusing on being faithful to the letter of the book. On the other hand there are ‘adaptations’ which focus on capturing the ‘spirit’ of a work, these range from films which generally remain true to the plot but with greater focus on mood or character to ‘liberal’ ones with more radical changes.

Of course, for most of these I’ve not had the opportunity to read the original texts, so my judgment is based more on their cinematic qualities than their literary roots. Though the selection is based on interest in the work and it’s source. Ultimately a reference list [in order to save space on Microsoft Word] and will be continually updated as films are added or removed. I’m definitely open to suggestions for films which may have escaped my notice. The list proper contains the films I have seen and, for now, will be listed alphabetically.

Most Anticipated
- Abismos de Pasión (Luis Buñuel, 1954)
- L’Amant de Lady Chatterley (Marc Allégret, 1955)
- An American Tragedy (Josef von Sternberg, 1931)
- Amor de Perdição (António Lopes Ribeiro, 1943)
- Amor de Perdição (Manoel de Oliveira, 1979)
- And Then There Were None (René Clair, 1945)
- Anna Karenina (Clarence Brown, 1935)
- Anna Karenina (Julien Duvivier, 1948)
- Antigone (Straub-Huillet, 1992)
- Arrowsmith (John Ford, 1931)
- Aspern (Eduardo de Gregorio, 1982)
- Atonement (Joe Wright, 2007)
- L’Auberge Rouge (Jean Epstein, 1923)
- Au Bonheur des Dames (Julien Duvivier, 1930)
- Au Coeur de la Vie (Robert Enrico, 1963)
- L’Avare (Funès/Girault, 1980)
- The Bad Sleep Well (Akira Kurosawa, 1960)
- Barbe Bleue (Catherine Breillat, 2009)
- Beau Travail (Claire Denis, 1999)
- Bel Ami (Willi Forst, 1939)
- La Belle Endormie (Catherine Breillat, 2010)
- Benito Cereno (Serge Roullet, 1969)
- Bérénice (Raúl Ruiz, 1983)
- The Bespoke Overcoat (Jack Clayton, 1956)
- Brideshead Revisited (Lindsay-Hogg/Sturridge, 1981)
- Brighton Rock (John Boulting, 1947)
- By the Law (Lev Kuleshov, 1926)
- The Canterbury Tales (Pier Paolo Pasolini, 1972)
- Il Cappotto (Alberto Lattuada, 1952)
- La Captive (Chantal Akerman, 2000)
- Catch-22 (Mike Nichols, 1970)
- La Chartreuse de Parme (Christian-Jaque, 1948)
- Le Chien Jaune (Jean Tarride, 1932)
- La Chute de la Maison Usher (Jean Epstein, 1928)
- Le Colonel Chabert (René Le Henaff, 1943)
- La Colonia Penal (Raúl Ruiz, 1970)
- Le Comte de Monte-Cristo (Robert Vernay, 1954)
- Cosmopolis (David Cronenberg, 2012)
- David Copperfield (George Cukor, 1935)
- Il Decameron (Pier Paolo Pasolini, 1971)
- Despair (R. W. Fassbinder, 1978)
- The Devil’s Foot (Maurice Elvey, 1921)
- Dobrý Voják Švejk (Karel Lamač, 1926)
- Dobrý Voják Švejk (Martin Frič, 1931)
- Dodsworth (William Wyler, 1936)
- Don Quijote de la Mancha (Rafael Gil, 1947)
- Edipo Re (Pier Paolo Pasolini, 1967)
- Effi Briest (R. W. Fassbinder, 1974)
- The End of the Affair (Edward Dmytryk, 1955)
- An Enemy of the People (Satyajit Ray, 1989)
- A Farewell to Arms (Frank Borzage, 1932)
- Faust (Aleksandr Sokurov, 2011)
- Il Fiore delle Mille e una Notte (Pier Paolo Pasolini, 1974)
- La Folie Almayer (Chantal Akerman, 2011)
- Great Expectations (David Lean, 1946)
- Great Expectations (Alfonso Cuarón, 1998)
- Hamlet (Laurence Olivier, 1948)
- Hamlet (Grigori Kozintsev, 1964)
- A Handful of Dust (?, 1988)
- The Headless Horseman (Edward D. Venturini, 1922)
- Henry V (Laurence Olivier, 1944)
- The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (Peter Jackson, 2012)
- The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (Peter Jackson, 2013)
- Honor de Cavalleria (Albert Serra, 2006)
- The Hound of the Baskervilles (Sidney Lanfield, 1939)
- The Hound of the Baskervilles (Terence Fisher, 1959)
- The Hound of the Baskervilles (Paul Morrissey, 1978)
- The House of Mirth (Terence Davies, 2000)
- The House of the Seven Gables (Joe May, 1940)
- Der Hund von Baskerville (Karel Lamač, 1937)
- The Iceman Cometh (Sidney Lumet, 1960)
- In Cold Blood (Richard Brooks, 1967)
- Les Inconnus dans la Maison (Henri Decoin, 1942)
- Jane Eyre (Robert Stevenson, 1944)
- Justine (Cukor/Strick, 1969)
- Klassenverhältnisse (Straub-Huillet, 1984)
- Krapp’s Last Tape (Atom Egoyan, 2000)
- Lady Chatterley (Ken Russell, 1993)
- Lady Chatterley (Pascale Ferran, 2006)
- The Last of the Mohicans (Tourneur/Brown, 1920)
- The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby (Alberto Cavalcanti, 1947)
- La Ligne d’Ombre (Georges Franju, 1973)
- Lord of the Flies (Peter Brook, 1963)
- The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (Peter Jackson, 2001)
- The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (Peter Jackson, 2002)
- The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (Peter Jackson, 2003)
- The Lost Moment (Martin Gabel, 1947)
- Macbeth (Béla Tarr, 1982)
- The Macomber Affair (Zoltán Korda, 1947)
- Madame Bovary (Jean Renoir, 1933)
- Madame Bovary (Claude Chabrol, 1991)
- Die Marquise von O. ‘vom Süden in den Norden Verlegt’ (Hans-Jürgen Syberberg, 1990)
- Medea (Pier Paolo Pasolini, 1969)
- A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Dieterle/Reinhardt, 1935)
- The Million Pound Note (Ronald Neame, 1954)
- Les Misérables (Raymond Bernard, 1934)
- The Moon and Sixpence (Albert Lewin, 1942)
- Mournful Unconcern (Aleksandr Sokurov, 1987)
- Murder in the Cathedral (George Hoellering, 1951)
- The Mystery of Edwin Drood (Stuart Walker, 1935)
- The Naked and the Dead (Raoul Walsh, 1958)
- The Name of the Rose (Jean-Jacques Annaud, 1986)
- Native Son (Pierre Chenal, 1951)
- Le Nez (Alexeieff/Parker, 1963)
- Night Flight (Clarence Brown, 1933)
- Northanger Abbey (Jon Jones, 2007)
- Le Notti Bianche (Luchino Visconti, 1957)
- Oliver Twist (David Lean, 1948)
- One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich (Caspar Wrede, 1970)
- Orlando (Sally Potter, 1992)
- Osudy Dobrého Vojáka Švejka (Trnka/Látal, 1955-87)
- Our Man in Havana (Carol Reed, 1959)
- The Overcoat (Kozintsev/Trauberg, 1926)
- La Parure (Claude Chabrol, 2007)
- Pierre ou les Ambiguïtés (Léos Carax, 2000)
- Pola X (Leos Carax, 1999)
- Pride and Prejudice (Simon Langton, 1995)
- Prospero’s Books (Peter Greenaway, 1991)
- Le Puits et le Pendule (Alexandre Astruc, 1964)
- Pyshka (Mikhail Romm, 1934)
- The Queen of Spades (Yakov Protazanov, 1916)
- The Queen of Spades (Thorold Dickinson, 1949)
- Querelle (R. W. Fassbinder, 1982)
- The Quiet American (Joseph L. Mankiewicz, 1958)
- Ragtime (Miloš Forman, 1981)
- The Rainbow (Ken Russell, 1989)
- Ran (Akira Kurosawa, 1985)
- Le Rat de Ville et le Rat des Champs (Wladyslaw Starewicz, 1927)
- The Red Badge of Courage (John Huston, 1951)
- Regarder les Morts (Jean-Gabriel Périot, 2011)
- La Religieuse (Jacques Rivette, 1966)
- Richard III (Laurence Olivier, 1955)
- Richard III (Raúl Ruiz, 1986)
- Le Roman de Werther (Max Ophüls, 1938)
- Le Rosier de Madame Husson (Dominique Bernard-Deschamps, 1932)
- Le Rouge et le Noir (Claude Autant-Lara, 1954)
- Le Rouge et le Noir (Jean-Daniel Verhaeghe, 1997)
- Sanctuary (Tony Richardson, 1961)
- Save and Protect (Aleksandr Sokurov, 1990)
- Der Scharlachrote Buchstabe (Wim Wenders, 1973)
- Das Schloß (Rudolf Noelte, 1968)
- The Sea Gull (Sidney Lumet, 1968)
- The Shadow Line (Andrzej Wajda, 1976)
- She (Holden/Pichel, 1935)
- The Sign of Four (Graham Cutts, 1932)
- Slaughterhouse-Five (George Roy Hill, 1972)
- Sons and Lovers (Jack Cardiff, 1960)
- Les Sorcières de Salem (Raymond Rouleau, 1957)
- The Story of Temple Drake (Stephen Roberts, 1933)
- Strange Interlude (Robert Z. Leonard, 1932)
- Lo Straniero (Luchino Visconti, 1967)
- Swain (Gregory J. Markopoulos, 1950)
- The Tarnished Angels (Douglas Sirk, 1957)
- A Taste of Honey (Tony Richardson, 1961)
- Telegrafisten (Erik Gustavson, 1993)
- The Tell-Tale Heart (Jules Dassin, 1941)
- Tender is the Night (Henry King, 1962)
- Tess (Roman Polanski, 1979)
- La Tête d’un Homme (Julien Duvivier, 1933)
- Three Sisters (Laurence Olivier, 1970)
- The Time Machine (George Pál, 1960)
- Tom Sawyer (William Desmond Taylor, 1917)
- Treasure Island (Raúl Ruiz, 1985)
- Ulysses (Joseph Strick, 1967)
- Unheimliche Geschichten (Richard Oswald, 1932)
- Une Vie (Alexandre Astruc, 1958)
- Waiting for Godot (Michael Lindsay-Hogg, 2001)
- War and Peace (King Vidor, 1956)
- War and Peace (Sergei Bondarchuk, 1967)
- Women in Love (Ken Russell, 1969)
- Der Zauberberg (Hans W. Geissendörfer, 1982)
- Zamok (Aleksey Balabanov, 1994)

To Rewatch:

- Ah, Wilderness! (Clarence Brown, 1935)
- Long Day’s Journey Into Night (Sidney Lumet, 1962)
- Murder on the Orient Express (Sidney Lumet, 1974)
- Othello (Orson Welles, 1952)
- Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy (John Irvin, 1979)

NOTE: Bolded titles represent new additions.

Added:

- The Immortal Story (Orson Welles, 1968)

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