We also like to watch movies adapted from books, sometimes even more than those from original screenplays.
Here’s a short list of old or older movies that were books before they ever made it to the screen.
- Laura, classic film noir based on Vera Caspary’s Laura, a popular 1943 detective novel, released in 1944, directed by Otto Preminger, starring Gene Tierney, Dana Andrews, Clifton Webb, Vincent Price and Judith Anderson.
Adapted for the screen by Jay Dratler, Samuel Hoffenstein, Elizabeth Reinhardt and Ring Lardner Jr. (uncredited).
The plot concerns a police detective who investigates the murder of the title character and, in the process, falls in love with her portrait.
- Rebecca – a Hitchcock classic, faithfully based on the novel by Daphne DuMaurier (oh that evil Mrs. Danvers…).
- A New Leaf – (1971) a black comedy based on a short story by Jack Ritchie (which can be read in Otto Penzler’s out-of-print but not-too-hard-to-find anthology, The 50 Greatest Mysteries of All Time), starring Elaine May and Walter Matthau. Hilarious!
- The Brothers Karamazov – well directed adaptation from the classic novel by Fyodor Dostoevsky. Complex and incredibly well acted.
- Now Voyager – Bette Davis, classic Davis tear jerker in a fairly faithful adaptation of the novel by Olivia Higgins Prouty. Psychiatrist as savior underlying theme.
- Nuts – Richard Dreyfuss & Barbra Streisand courtroom drama from the 1981 play NUTS by Tom Topor … gritty, disturbing oddly cleansing – we loved Dreyfuss in this film.
- Harvey – the big white rabbit from the Pulitzer prize-winning play by Mary Chase (who by the way it is very difficult to find information about – help us out here please.* This play is amazing and it peeves us that the [female] writer has been so underrated and under covered.) This film/play is a perennial winner.
- The Inn of the Sixth Happiness – Ingrid Bergman plays spinster Englishwoman Gladys Aylward who travels to China on her own to do missionary work. Based on the Alan Burgess novel, The Small Woman which was modeled on Aylward’s life. A wonderful story of hope and determination. Don’t even mind Bergman’s Swedish accented English.