CLASSIC LITERATURE ADOPTED FOR FILM OR TV

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I have watched a couple of costume dramas (based on classic literature/books) on TV recently: Madame Bovary, The Tenant Of Wildfell Hall (Anne Bronte), and In Search Of The Brontes. This inspired me, together with the fact that some of my favourite movies fall into this category (Emma with Gwyneth Paltrow, Sense and Sensibility with Emma Thompson, Remains Of The Day with Anthony Hopkins), to check out what else is available.

I have tried to limit it to TV series or movies based upon classic literature (Gosford Park is therefore not included). Nevertheless, there are so many that I have also separated them into various categories: BBC TV costume dramas, Jane Austen, The Brontes, Charles Dickens, Thomas Hardy, and 'The Others'. Many of the BBC dramas fall into two categories, so I have listed them under both for completeness.

See also a separate list/category for Shakespeare:
CLASSIC LITERATURE ON FILM - SHAKESPEARE

See also a separate list/category for classic American Literature:
'CLASSIC AMERICAN LITERATURE ON FILM'

More to come - please remind me of what I have missed (I know there will be lots), as I realise that this is a major task I have taken on.

UPDATED: Added some more: 10-November-2003

UPDATED: Added some more: 01-Feb-2004

UPDATED: Added Where Angels Fear to Tread by E. M. Forster: 10-Oct-2004
I've also added two new categories (Agatha Christie, and Arthur Conan-Doyle).

UPDATED: Added a separate sectiion for Thomas Hardy and added some more of his: 06-Feb-2005

- - the
professor
- -

I watched 1997's Mrs. Dalloway last night, so I'll throw that one in here as a suggestion.

Shalom, y'all!

L. Bangs


Yep - I've added that one now - Many thanks. I'd not come across that before - hope you enjoyed it !


Reference to Mrs Dalloway starring Rupert Graves, I have just ordered tickets to a play in the West End (London) starring Rupert Graves (and Prunella Scales):

A Woman Of No Importance by Oscar Wilde

For anyone who doesn't know her, Prunella Scales was 'Sybil' in Fawlty Towers.

That link seems to have changed - try this alternative link.
A Woman Of No Importance.


A Woman of No Importance - I have tickets for tonight - fourth row - starring Prunella Scales (Sybil from Fawlty Towers), Samantha Bond (Miss Moneypenny, since Goldeneye), Rupert Graves (Room With A View, Maurice, Intimate Relations, Handful of Dust).


I've added &nbsp "Great Expectations" by Charles Dickens (1974), &nbsp "A Tale of Two Cities" by Charles Dickens (1991), &nbsp "The Man In The Iron Mask" by Alexandre Dumas (1976), &nbsp and &nbsp "The Scarlet Pimpernel" by Baroness Orczy (1982).

I watched Gosford Park on UK satellite TV tonight - very good, although not strictly in this category of having been adopted from classic literature.

I am currently reading the book Jude The Obscure by Thomas Hardy. I watched this movie on TV a couple of years ago which I loved, and which inspired me to buy both the book and the DVD. I shall watch the DVD again as soon as I finish the book. The writing is very engaging, but the story (as I remember it from the movie) is very tragic.

I have also updated my list for CLASSIC LITERATURE ON FILM - SHAKESPEARE.

Professor, Looking for more films based on "classics" for teaching assignment for High School seniors. Have most of what you've posted. What about Pygmalion, Mourning becomes Electra? Would they qualify?


Mourning Becomes Electra by Eugene O'Neill can certainly be classified as 'classic literature' - good call. Your prompt lead me to The Iceman Cometh which I will also add - thanks.

Pygmalion by George Bernard Shaw is also a good call. I did have it in mind at one point to add 'My Fair Lady' but it went out again very quickly (I forgot). Now added. Thanks again.

I hope that I helped with your assignment.

Did you spot my link to
'CLASSIC LITERATURE ON FILM - SHAKESPEARE' ?

See also my list of
'CLASSIC AMERICAN LITERATURE ON FILM' (not yet finished).


I have now transferred the two Eugene O'Neill items, 'Mourning Becomes Electra' and 'The Iceman Cometh', to my separate listing 'CLASSIC AMERICAN LITERATURE ON FILM' (see above link).

Indeed a lot of books have been made in movies, and many children books have been transformed into films for the kids and parents alike.


I watched Wuthering Heights (Juliet Binoche and Ralph Fiennes) on Sunday afternoon TV, and tonight The Wings Of The Dove by Henry James (Helena Bonham-Carter and Linus Roache) is showing on satellite TV.

They showed over the last two evenings on (UK) terrestrial TV:
The Mayor of Casterbridge by Thomas Hardy (2003),
starring Ciaran Hinds, Juliet Aubrey, Jodhi May.
Excellent.


I watched yesterday:
Mansfield Park (1999) by Jane Austen, starring Hugh Bonneville, Frances O'Connor, Jonny Lee Miller. Very good, as expected from the BBC.

I also watched yesterday:
Anna Karenina (1997) by Leo Tolstoy , starring Sophie Marceau and Mr Bean (Sean)
which was OK but not great.

I also switched around the sequences so that those I have seen are at (or near) the top of the categories, and added a few others.

I'm wondering what you think of David Lean's film of Forster's A PASSAGE TO INDIA, if you've seen it.


Yes I have seen it a couple of times. Good but not great in my view - it never really grabbed me - not a patch on Remains of the Day or Howard's End.

I cannot believe I left it off the list.

I absolutely loved your Shakespeare paraphrases series !

Happy someone liked the paraphrases. Doing them takes a lot of work (I have completely paraphrased more than a dozen of the plays), but is a good way to ensure one has a reasonably accurate understanding of the text. If you have any suggestions of other scenes, I might (only might) be able to come up with them.

Have you seen Rosencrantz And Guildenstern Are Dead?. &nbsp It is a film adaptation of the play by Tom Stoppard of two of the minor characters from Hamlet - their story is brilliantly told in the spaces between the Shakespeare play, with amazing performances from Gary Oldman and Tim Roth, and directed by Tom Stoppard himself. &nbsp And no, I'm not suggesting you paraphrase it. &nbsp I just wondered if you had a view.

Yes, I have, and my view is here.

Btw, I wonder if you would like to contribute some suggestions for this list.

The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby by Charles Dickens (1982)
Nine hours of the RSC, Robin Colcord is trem-effen-endous surrounded by a cast of thirty odd players performing 150 even odder characters all pulled straight from the pages of Cruikshank . Sheer delight.

The Muppet Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens (1992)
Tragically somber in tone, it was the first Muppet project to make it to the screen following the death of Jim Henson.

I've added them both - many thanks.