Jun 11
50 BEST FILM ADAPTATIONS OF WORLD LITERATURE by Jose N. Carreon  |  Posted in Articles  |  on Mon, Jun 11, 2012

With our own Sine Panitik project now hopefully on its launching pad, the adaptation into films of classic Filipino literary works in English, Tagalog and even in the dialects will soon be a dime-a-dozen phenomenon in the local film scene.

Such rosy prediction is borne by research in the internet that underscores the fact that literary works—novels, plays, short stories and graphic novels (or comics)—are constantly adapted into films by American and British producers since the birth of world cinema.

In cinema history, it has been proven many times that literature is the most prolific and expansive wellsprings for adaptation into films.

Surfing through the internet, we came across a 2006 project of The Guardian, a British journal, that came up with the 50 best film adaptations of all time. All films in the list are adaptations of literary works, majority of them novels.

We share you this list, arranged chronologically:

Films of the 1940s:

(1940) Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, directed by Robert Z. Leonard, starring Laurence Olivier, Greer Garson and Maureen O’Sullivan.

(1940) Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier, directed by Alfred Hitchcock, starring Laurence Olivier, Joan Fountaine and Judith Anderson.

(1941) The Maltese Falcon by Dashiell Hammett, directed by John Huston, starring Humprey Bogart, Mary Astor, Gladys George, Peter Lorre and Sydney Greenstreet.

(1947) Brighton Rock by Graham Greene, directed by John Boulting, starring Richard Attenborough.

(1948) Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens, directed by David Lean, starring Kay Walsh, John Howard Davies and Alec Guinness.

Films of the 1950s:

(1951) Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Caroll, a Walt Disney animated film.

(1959) The Hound of the Baskervilles by Arthur Conan Doyle, directed by Terence Fisher, starring Peter Cushing as Sherlock Holmes, Christopher Lee and Andre Morell.

(1959) Les Liaisons Dangeureuses by Pierre Chaderlos de Laclos, directed by Roger Vadim, starring Jeanne Moreau, Gerald Phillipe and Annette Vadim.

Films of the 1960s:

(1961) Breakfast at Tiffany’s by Truman Capote, directed by Blake Edwards, starring Audrey Hepburn, George Peppard, Patricia Neal and Buddy Ebert.

(1962) The Day of the Triffids by John Wyndham, directed by Steve Sekely, starring Howard Keel, Kieran Moore and Janette Scott.

(1962) Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov, directed by Stanley Kubrick, starring James Mason, Peter Sellers, Sue Lyon and Shelley Winters.

(1962) To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, directed by Robert Mulligan, starring Gregory Peck, Mary Badham and Philip Alford.

(1963) Lord of the Flies by William Golding, directed by Peter Brook, starring James Aubray,Tom Chopin and Hugh Edwards.
(1964) Goldfinger by Ian Fleming (third James Bond film), directed by Guy Hamilton, starring Sean Connery, Honor Blacman, Gert Frobe and Shirley Easton.

(1965) Doctor Zhivago by Boris Pasternak, directed by David Lean, starring Omar Shariff, Julie Christie, Rod Steiger and Alec Guinness.

(1965) The Spy Who Came In from the Cold by John Le Carre, directed by Martin Ritt, starring Richard Burton, Oskar Werner and George Voscovee.

(1967) The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling, an animated film of Walt Disney, directed by Wolfgang Reitherman.

(1969) Kes (based on the novel A Kestrel for a Knave by Barry Hines), directed by Ken Loach, starring David Bradley, Freddie Fletcher, Lynne Parrie and Brian Glover.

(1969) The Prime of Miss Jean Bodie by Muriel Spark, directed by Ronald Neame, starring Maggie Smith, Pamela Franklin, Gordon Jackson and Robert Stephens.

Films of the 1970s:

(1970) The Raiding Children by E. Nesbit, directed by Lionel Jefries, starring Dinah Sheridan, Jenny Agutter, Sally Thompson and Bernard Cribbins.

(1971) Catch 22 by Joseph Heller, directed by Mike Nichols, starring Alan Arkin, Bob Balaban, Martin Balsam, Richard Benjamin, Olimpia Carlesi, Art Garfunkel, Bob Newhart, Anthony Perkins, Paula Prentiss, Martin Sheen, Jon Voight and Orson Welles.

(1971) A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess, directed by Stanley Kubrick, starring Malcom McDowall, Patrick Magee and Adienne Corvi.

1972) The Godfather by Mario Puzo, directed by Francis Ford Coppola, starring Marlon Brando, Al Pacino, James Caan, Robert Duvall, John Cazale and Dianne Keaton.

(1975) Jaws by Peter Benchley, directed by Steven Spielberg, starring Roy Scheider, Richard Dreyfuss, Robert Shaw, Maura Hamilton and Lorraine Gary.

(1975) One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey, directed by Milos Foreman, starring Jack Nicholson, Louise Fletcher, Brad Dourif, Danny De Vito and Christopher Lloyd.

(1975) Tess (based on Tess of the D’Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy), directed by Roman Polanski, starring Nastassia Kinski, Peter Firth and Leigh Lawson.

(1978) Watership Down, animated adventure drama based on a novel by Richard Adams, directed by Martin Rosen.

(1979) Apcoalypse Now (based on Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad), directed by Francis Ford Coppola, starring Marlon Brando, Robert Duvall, Martin Sheen.

(Next week: Films from the 1980s to the 2010s in the 50 best list)


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