Aug 22
FOUR MORE DECADES OF THE OSCAR DOMINATED BY FILMS ADAPTED FROM LITERATURE by Jose N. Carreon  |  Posted in Articles  |  on Fri, Aug 22, 2014

Part 3

The decades of the 50s, 70s, 90s and 80s are similarly dominated by films adapted from literature winning the Oscar’s best picture award.

Seven best picture films during the 1950s included the following:

1959—Ben Hur (based on Ben Hur: A Tale of the Christ by Lew Wallace)/directed by William Wyler;
1958—Gigi (based on a novella by Colette)/directed by Vincente Minelli;
1957—The Bridge on the River Kwai by Pierre Boulle/directed by David Lean;
1956—Around the World in 80 Days by Jules Verne/directed by Michael Anderson;
1954—On the Waterfront (Based on a series of New York Sun article series titled On the Waterfront by Malcolm Johnson)/directed by Elia Kazan;
1953—From Here to Eternity by James Jones/directed by Fred Zinnemann; and
1950—All About Eve (based on a short story The Wisdom of Eve by Mary Orr)/directed by Joseph Mankiewicz

Seven best picture films during the 1970s included the following:

1979—Kramer vs. Kramer by Avery Corman/directed by Robert Benton;
1975—One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey/directed by Milos Forman;
1974—The Godfather Part 2 by Mario Puzo/directed by Francis Ford Coppola;
1973—The Sting (based on The Big Con: The Story of the Confidence Man by David Maurer)/directed by George Roy Hill;
1972—The Godfather by Mario Puzo/directed by Francis Ford Coppola;
1971—The French Connection by Robin Moore/directed by William Friedkin; and
1970—Patton (based on Patton: Ordeal and Triumph by Ladislas Farago and A Soldier’s Story by Omar Bradley)/directed by Franklin J. Schaffner.

During the last decade of the 20th century, there were six best pictures adapted from literature. These were:

1996—The English Patient by Michael Ondaatje/directed by Anthony Minghella;
1995—Braveheart (based on the epic poem The Actes and Deids of the Illustre and Vallyant Campioun Schir William Wallace by Blind Harry)/directed by Mel Gibson;
1994—Forrest Gump by Winston Groom/directed by Robert Zemeckis;
1993—Schindler’s List (based on Schindler’s Ark by Thomas Keneally)/ directed by Steven Spielberg;
1991—The Silence of the Lambs by Thomas Harris/directed by Jonathan Demme;
1990—Dances with Wolves by Michael Blake/directed by Kevin Costner.

In the 1980s, five best picture winners were adapted from literature. These were:

1989—Driving Miss Daisy (based on a play by Alfred Uhry)/directed by Bruce Beresford;
1987—The Last Emperor (based on an autobiography of Puyi)/ directed by Bernardo Bertolucci;
1985—Out of Africa by Isak Dinesen/directed by Sydney Pollack;
1984—Amadeus (based on a stage play by Peter Shaffers)/directed by Milos Forman; and
1983—Terms of Endearment by Larry Mc Murtry/directed by James L. Brooks.

Even the listing of the 101 best screenplays ever written for films, the Writers’ Guild of America has 14 films based on literature in the best 25 screenplays of all time. These are the following:

1.CASABLANCA—Screenplay by Julius J. & Philip G. Epstein and Howard Koch. Based on the play “Everybody Comes to Rick’s” by Murray Burnett and Joan Alison
2.THE GODFATHER—Screenplay by Mario Puzo and Francis Ford Coppola. Based on the novel by Mario Puzo
3.CHINATOWN—Written by Robert Towne
4.CITIZEN KANE—Written by Herman Mankiewicz and Orson Welles
5.ALL ABOUT EVE—Screenplay by Joseph L. Mankiewicz. Based on “The Wisdom of Eve,” a short story and radio play by Mary Orr
6.ANNIE HALL—Written by Woody Allen and Marshall Brickman
7.SUNSET BLVD.—Written by Charles Brackett & Billy Wilder and D.M. Marshman, Jr.
8.NETWORK—Written by Paddy Chayefsky
9.SOME LIKE IT HOT—Screenplay by Billy Wilder & I.A.L. Diamond. Based on “Fanfare of Love,” a German film written by Robert Thoeren and M. Logan
10.THE GODFATHER II—Screenplay by Francis Ford Coppola and Mario Puzo. Based on Mario Puzo’s novel “The Godfather”
11.BUTCH CASSIDY AND THE SUNDANCE KID—Written by William Goldman
12.DR. STRANGELOVE—Screenplay by Stanley Kubrick and Peter George and Terry Southern. Based on novel “Red Alert” by Peter George
13.THE GRADUATE—Screenplay by Calder Willingham and Buck Henry. Based on the novel by Charles Webb
14.LAWRENCE OF ARABIA—Screenplay by Robert Bolt and Michael Wilson. Based on the life and writings of Col. T.E. Lawrence
15.THE APARTMENT –Written by Billy Wilder & I.A.L. Diamond
16.PULP FICTION—Written by Quentin Tarantino. Stories by Quentin Tarantino & Roger Avary
17.TOOTSIE—Screenplay by Larry Gelbart and Murray Schisgal. Story by Don McGuire and Larry Gelbart
18.ON THE WATERFRONT—Screen Story and Screenplay by Budd Schulberg. Based on “Crime on the Waterfront” articles by Malcolm Johnson
19.TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD—Screenplay by Horton Foote. Based on the novel by Harper Lee
20.IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE—Screenplay by Frances Goodrich & Albert Hackett & Frank Capra. Based on short story “The Greatest Gift” by Philip Van Doren Stern. Contributions to screenplay Michael Wilson and Jo Swerling
21.NORTH BY NORTHWEST—Written by Ernest Lehman
22.THE SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION—Screenplay by Frank Darabont. Based on the short story “Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption” by Stephen King
23.GONE WITH THE WIND—Screenplay by Sidney Howard. Based on the novel by Margaret Mitchell
24.ETERNAL SUNSHINE OF THE SPOTLESS MIND –Screenplay by Charlie Kaufman. Story by Charlie Kaufman & Michel Gondry & Pierre Bismuth
25.THE WIZARD OF OZ—Screenplay by Noel Langley and Florence Ryerson and Edgar Allan Woolf Adaptation by Noel Langley. Based on the novel by L. Frank Baum

(To be continued)