Film Focus:
The "Write" Stuff:

Famous Authors on the Silver Screen


The Life of Emile Zola (1937)

dir: William Dieterle
cast: Paul Muni, Gale Sondergaard
synopsis: Explores the life and career of the novelist who championed the cause of France's oppressed, including Jewish army captain Alfred Dreyfus.

The "Write" Stuff

Zola: A Life, by Frederick Brown. FSG, 1995. [B Zola B]
Zola, by Joanna Richardson. St. Martin's, 1978. [B Zola R]

The "Web" Stuff

Wikipedia and Answers.com articles on Emile Zola
Read Zola's works on Project Gutenberg
View Emile Zola's original resting place in Cemetery Montmarte and his tomb in the Pantheon, courtesy of Find-a-Grave


The Barretts of Wimpole Street (1959)

dir: Sidney Franklin
cast: Jennifer Jones, Bill Travers, John Gielgud
synopsis: Invalid poetess Elizabeth Barrett regains her health and spirits after falling in love with poet Robert Browning and elopes with him against the wishes of her domineering and tyrannical father. Note: an earlier film version (1934) starred Norma Sheerer & Fredric March.

The "Write" Stuff!

Robert Browning: A Life After Death, by Pamela Neville-Sington. Phoenix, 2005. [821.8 Browning N]
Elizabeth Barrett Browning: A Biography, by Margaret Forster. Doubleday, 1988. [B Browning F]

The "Web" Stuff!

Wikipedia articles on Elizabeth Barrett Browning and Robert Browning
Read the Brownings' works in Project Gutenberg
Visit Elizabeth Barrett Browning's grave and Robert Browning's tomb at Westminster Abbey.


Beloved Infidel (1959)

dir: Henry King
cast: Gregory Peck; Deborah Kerr
synopsis: Dramatization of the last years of F. Scott Fitzgerald's life and his love affair with Hollywood gossip columnist Sheilah Graham.

The "Write" Stuff!

F. Scott Fitzgerald : A Literary Life, by Andrew Hook. Palgrave, 2002. [B Fitzgerald H]
Sometimes Madness is Wisdom: Zelda and Scott Fitzgerald--A Marriage, by Kendall Taylor. Ballantine, 2001. [B Fitzgerald T]

The "Web" Stuff!

Wikipedia articles on F. Scott Fitzgerald, Zelda Fitzgerald, and Sheilah Graham.
Read F. Scott Fitzgerald's works on Project Gutenberg.
View the Fitzgerald's grave at Find-a-Grave


The Man Who Would Be King (1975)

dir: John Huston
cast: Sean Connery, Michael Caine, Christopher Plummer
synopsis: In 19th-century India, Rudyard Kipling encounters adventurers Danny Dravot and Peachy Carnehan who set out for the primitive land of Kafiristan, where Danny is first crowned king, then, declared a god.


The "Write" Stuff!

The Long Recessional: The Imperial Life Of Rudyard Kipling, by David Gilmour. FSG, 2002. [B Kipling G]
Rudyard Kipling: A Life, by Harry Rickets. C&G, 1999. [B Kipling R]

The "Web" Stuff!

Wikipedia article on Rudyard Kipling
Read The Man Who Would King on Project Gutenberg
The Kipling Society Home Page
The Literature Network entry for Rudyard Kipling
View Rudyard Kipling's tomb in Westminster Abbey's "Poet Corner"


Julia (1977)

dir: Fred Zinneman
cast: Jane Fonda, Vanessa Redgrave
synopsis: Memoir of the friendship between Lillian Hellman and Julia who became involved in the underground movement during WWII to aid the anti-Nazi cause.

The "Write" Stuff!

Lillian Hellman: A Life with Foxes and Scoundrels, by Deborah Martinson. Counterpoint, 2005. [812.54 Hellman M]
Hellman And Hammett: The Legendary Passion Of Lillian Hellman And Dashiell Hammett, by Joan Mellen. HarCol, 1996. [812.52 Mellen]

The "Web" Stuff!

Wikipedia articles on Lillian Hellman and Dashiell Hammett
Lillian Hellman Timeline from Theater Database
Dashiell Hammett entry on Mystery.Net and Answers.com
View Lillian Hellman's and Dashiell Hammett's graves at Find-a-Grave


Time After Time (1979)

dir: Nicholas Meyer
cast: Malcolm McDowell, Mary Steenburgen
synopsis: A fanciful account of how H.G. Wells ends up in modern-day San Francisco while hunting down the man who stole his time machine—none other then Jack the Ripper.

The "Write" Stuff!

H.G. Wells, Desperately Mortal: A Biography, by David C. Smith. Yale, 1986. [B Wells]
H. G. Wells, Discoverer Of The Future: The Influence Of Science On His Thought, by Roslynn D. Haynes. NYU, 1980. [823 Wells H]

The "Web" Stuff!

H. G. Wells entry on Answers.com and Wikipedia
Read The Time Machine on Project Gutenberg or Bartleby
The H. G. Wells Society Home Page
NOVA on Time Travel


Priest of Love (1981)

dir: Christopher Miles
cast: Ian McKellan; Janet Suzman
synopsis: Concentrates on the later years of the famed author D.H. Lawrence, highlighted by the publication of "Lady Chatterley's Lover" at a villa in Florence and his relationship with his wife.

The "Write" Stuff!

D. H. Lawrence: The Life Of An Outsider, by John Worthen. Counterpoint, 2005. [823.912 Lawrence W]
Lawrence and the Women: The Intimate Life Of D.H. Lawrence, by Elaine Feinstein. HarCol, 1993. [B Lawrence F]

The "Web" Stuff

D. H. Lawrence entries in Wikipedia, Answers.com and The Literature Network
Extended Biography on the University of Nottingham Website
D. H. Lawrence Shrine at Poets' Graves


Reds (1981)

dir: Warren Beatty
cast: Warren Beatty, Diane Keaton, Jack Nicholson
synopsis: The story of the love affair between John Reed, American Communist, journalist and activist and Louise Bryant, writer and feminist, set against the background of the Russian Revolution.

The "Write" Stuff!

Romantic Revolutionary: A Biography Of John Reed, by Robert A. Rosenstone. Knopf, 1975. [B Reed R]
Queen of Bohemia: The Life Of Louise Bryant, by Mary V. Dearborn. HM, 1996. [070.92 Dearborn]
Eugene O'Neill: Beyond Mourning And Tragedy, by Stephen A. Black. Yale, 1999. [812.52 O’Neill B]

The "Web" Stuff!

Wikipedia articles on John Reed, Louise Bryant, and Eugene O'Neill
Information on John Reed and Eugene O'Neill at Books & Writers.

Read some of O'Neill's works on Project Gutenberg
John Reed Internet Archive includes the text of 10 Days that Shook the World
Read Six Months in Russia by Louise Bryant on the Celebration of Women Writers page
Information on the October Revolution from Answers.com
View the grave of Eugene O'Neill.


My Left Foot (1989)

dir: Jim Sheridan
cast: Daniel Day-Lewis; Brenda Fricker
synopsis: Day-Lewis won an Oscar for his portrayal of a man who, although crippled by cerebral palsy, learns to write and paint with his left foot.

The "Write" Stuff!

My Left Foot, by Christy Brown. Mandaun, 1989, 1954.

The "Web" Stuff

Read more about Christy Brown on Wikipedia


Henry and June (1990)

dir: Philip Kaufman
cast: Fred Ward, Uma Thurman
synopsis: The unconventional American author, Henry Miller, a young Parisian writer, Anais Nin, and Henry's sensual wife, June, forge an unforgettable journey into the uncharted territory of human relationships.

The "Write" Stuff!

Henry Miller: A Life, by Robert Ferguson. Norton, c1991. [B Miller F]
Henry and June: From The Unexpurgated Diary Of Anaïs Nin. HBJ, 1986. [B Nin]

The "Web" Stuff!

Learn more about Henry Miller at Wikipedia, Answers.com, and Henry Miller: A Personal Collection (by Valentine Miller)
Visit the Henry Miller Memorial Library
Read more about Anais Nin at Wikipedia, Answers.com, and the Anais Nin Homepage


Impromptu (1991)

dir: James Lapine
cast: Judy Davis, Hugh Grant
synopsis: In spite of universal disapproval, authoress George Sand takes a lover in frail composer Frederic Chopin.

The "Write" Stuff!

Naked In the Marketplace: The Lives Of George Sand, by Benita Eisler. Counterpoint, 2006. [843.7 Sand E]
Chopin In Paris: The Life And Times Of The Romantic Composer, by Tad Szulc. Drew, 1998. [B Chopin S]

The "Web" Stuff!

Wikipedia articles on George Sand, Frederic Chopin and Alfred de Musset
Answers.com information on George Sand, Frederic Chopin and Alfred de Musset

The George Sand Association (Hofstra University)

Works by George Sand at Project Gutenberg
The Chopin Society (Warsaw)
Read de Mussett's Confessions of a Child of a Century at Project Gutenberg


Shadowlands (1993)

dir: Richard Attenborough
cast: Anthony Hopkins, Debra Winger
synopsis: C.S. Lewis is a world-renowned writer and professor who has remained untouched by passion until he meets and falls in love with Joy Gresham, a feisty New York divorcée.

The "Write" Stuff!

The Narnian: The Life And Imagination of C.S. Lewis, by Alan Jacobs. HarSF, 2005. [823.912 Lewis J]
C. S. Lewis: A Life, by Michael White. C&G, 2004. [B Lewis W]

The "Web" Stuff!

C. S. Lewis on Wikipedia, Answers.com
The C. S. Lewis Foundation
The C. S. Lewis Society of California
The Chronicle of the Oxford University C. S. Lewis Society


Mrs. Parker and the Vicious Circle (1994)

dir: Alan Rudolph
cast: Jennifer Jason Leigh, Campbell Scott, Matthew Broderick
synopsis: Dorothy Parker, a brilliant writer with a razor-sharp tongue, shares a professional but intimate relationship with comic genius Robert Benchley. But when she meets Charlie McArthur, she falls hopelessly in love.

The "Write" Stuff!

Dorothy Parker: What Fresh Hell Is This?, by Marion Meade. Villard, 1988. [B Parker]
Robert Benchley: His Life and Good Times, by Rosmond Babette. Doubleday, 1970. [B Benchley R]
Front Page Marriage, by Jhan Robbins. Putnam, 1992. [B Hayes R]

The "Web" Stuff!

Wikipedia entries on Dorothy Parker, Robert Benchley, and Charles McArthur
The Dorothy Parker Society of New York
Dorothy Parker quotes from The Quotations Page
Read Dorothy Parker's poetry at Poem Hunter
The Robert Benchley Society


Tom and Viv (1994)

dir: Brian Gilbert
cast: Willem Dafoe, Miranda Richardson
synopsis: Although she is the inspiration for his greatest works, T. S. Eliot is forced to make a choice between staying with his beautiful but emotionally troubled wife, Vivienne, and letting her go.

The "Write" Stuff!

T.S. Eliot: An Imperfect Life, by Lyndall Gordon. Norton, 1999. [B Eliot G]
T.S. Eliot: A Life, by Peter Ackroyd. S&S, 1984. [B Eliot A]
Painted Shadow: The Life of Vivienne Eliot, First Wife of T.S. Eliot, and the Long-suppressed Truth about Her Influence on his Genius, by Carole Seymour-Jones. Doubleday, 2002.

The "Web" Stuff!

T. S. Eliot on Wikipedia
The Works of T. S. Eliot on Bartleby and Project Gutenberg
Open Access Article on T. S. Eliot


Wilde (1997)

dir: Brian Gilbert
cast: Stephen Fry, Jude Law
synopsis: When notorious poet and playwright Oscar Wilde delves into a taboo world of unrealized homosexual desire, he cannot escape the repercussions wrought by a "pure" society.

The "Write" Stuff!

The Secret Life of Oscar Wilde: An Intimate Biography, by Neil McKenna. Basic, 2005. [828.809 Wilde M]
Oscar Wilde: A Certain Genius, by Barbara Belford. RH, 2000. [828.809 Wilde B]

The "Web" Stuff!

Information on Oscar Wilde from Wikipedia and Victorian Web
Read the works of Oscar Wilde at the Oscar Wilde Collection and Project Gutenberg
View Oscar Wilde's Grave at Find-a-Grave


Shakespeare in Love (1998)

dir: John Madden
cast: Joseph Fiennes; Gwyneth Paltrow
synopsis: In this romp worthy of the Bard himself, Will Shakespeare finds that he needs passionate inspiration to break a bad case of writer's block. When he enters a secret romance with the beautiful Lady Viola starts the words flowing like never before!

The "Write" Stuff!

Shakespeare: The Biography, by Peter Ackroyd. Talese, 2005. [822.33 Ackroyd]
Shakespeare, by Michael Wood. Basic, 2003. [822.33 Wood]

The "Web" Stuff!

Read about William Shakespeare and his works at Wikipedia, Shakespeare Online, and Online-Literature
Read the works of William Shakespeare at Project Gutenberg
Find more Shakespeare links at The Shakespeare Resource Center and The Shakespeare-Oxford Society
Visit Shakespeare's Grave at Find-a-Grave


Angela's Ashes (1999)

dir: Alan Parker
cast: Emily Watson, Robert Carlyle
synopsis: Dramatization of McCourt's best-selling memoir that tells how he was born in Depression-Brooklyn to recent Irish immigrants and raised in the slums of Limerick, Ireland.


The "Write" Stuff!

Angela's Ashes: A Memoir, by Frank McCourt. Scribner, 1996. [929.2 McCourt M]

The "Web" Stuff

Learn about Frank McCourt at Wikipedia, The Academy of Achievement, and Book-Reporter


Nora (2000)

dir: Pat Murphy
cast: Susan Lynch; Ewan McGregor
synopsis: As a young man trying to get his first book published, James Joyce meets a maid named Nora Barnacle. Together they leave the dark streets of Dublin for the sun-kissed Italian coast where she becomes the inspiration for his writings amidst a turbulent but passionate relationship.

The "Write" Stuff!

Nora: The Real Life of Molly Bloom, by Brenda Maddox. HM, 1988. [B Joyce]
James Joyce: A Passionate Exile, by John McCourt. St. Martin's, 1999. [B Joyce M]

The "Web" Stuff!

James Joyce and Nora Barnacle in Wikipedia
More Joyce biographies at World Authors Series and Online-Literature
The James Joyce Centre
Read works by James Joyce at Project Gutenberg
The James Joyce Quarterly
Visit James Joyce's Grave at Find-a-Grave


Quills (2000)

dir: Philip Kaufman
cast: Geoffrey Rush, Kate Winslet
synopsis: The Marquis de Sade, history's most infamous sexual adventurer lives in a madhouse, where a beautiful laundry maid helps him smuggle his erotic stories to the printer.

The "Write" Stuff!

The Marquis De Sade: A Life, by Neil Schaeffer. Harvard, 2000. [B Sade S]
At Home With The Marquis De Sade: A Life, by Francine Du Plessix Gray. Penguin, 1999. [B Sade G]

The "Web" Stuff

Wikipedia and The Literary Encyclopedia entries on the Marquis de Sade
A Brief Account of the Life of the Marquis de Sade


Iris (2001)

dir: Richard Eyre
cast: Judi Dench, Kate Winslet
synopsis: Tells the story of British novelist Iris Murdoch and her relationship with John Bayley, a fellow student at Oxford. When later in life, Iris begins exhibiting the first signs of Alzheimer's Disease, John struggles with his transition from doting husband to caretaker.

The "Write" Stuff!

Iris Murdoch: A Life, by Peter J. Conradi. Norton, 2001. [823.914 Murdoch C]
Iris and her Friends: A Memoir Of Memory And Desire, by John Bayley. Norton, 2000. [823.914 Murdoch B]

The "Web" Stuff!

Iris Murdoch in Wikipedia
The Iris Murdoch Society
Centre for Irish Murdoch Studies (Kingston University, London)


The Hours (2002)

dir: Stephen Daldry
cast: Nicole Kidman; Julianne Moore
synopsis: In 1929, an emotionally fragile Virginia Woolf is writing her novel, Mrs. Dalloway. In 1951, Laura Brown is planning for her husband's birthday, but is preoccupied with reading Woolf's novel. In 2001, Clarrisa Vaughn is planning an award party for her friend, an author dying of AIDS. Taking place over one day, all three stories are interconnected with the novel: one is writing it, one is reading it, and one is living it.

The "Write" Stuff!

Virginia Woolf: An Inner Life, by Julia Briggs. Harcourt, 2005. [823.912 Woolf B]
Art And Affection: A Life Of Virginia Woolf, by Panthea Reid. Oxford, 1996. [823.912 Reid]

The "Web" Stuff!

Wikipedia, Answers.com, and The Literature Network entries on Virginia Woolf
The Virginia Woolf Society of Great Britain
Works by Virginia Woolf at Project Gutenberg


Sylvia (2003)

dir: Christine Jeffs
cast: Gwyneth Paltrow, Daniel Craig
synopsis: Talented but plagued by inner demons, poet Sylvia Plath’s troubled marriage to fellow poet Ted Hughes ends with her her suicide.

The "Write" Stuff!

Sylvia Plath: A Literary Life, by Linda Wagner-Martin. St. Martin’s, 1999. [811.54 PlathW]
Her Husband: Hughes and Plath-- A Marriage, by Diane Middlebrook. Viking, 2003. [821.914 Hughes M]

The "Web" Stuff!

Wikipedia on Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes
Read Poems by Sylvia Plath at American Poems
Read Poems by Ted Hughes at Poem Hunter

Sylvia Plath's Grave at Find-a-Grave
Earth-Moon: A Ted Hughes Website


Finding Neverland (2004)

dir: Marc Forster
cast: Johnny Depp, Kate Winslet
synopsis: Well-known playwright James M. Barrie finds his career at a crossroads when his latest play flops and doubters begin to question his future. Then by chance he meets a widow and her four adventurous boys. Together they form a friendship that ignites the imagination needed to produce Barrie's greatest work, Peter Pan.


The "Write" Stuff!

Barrie: The Story of J. M. B., by Denis Mackail. Books for Libraries Press, 1972, 1941. [B Barrie M]
J. M. Barrie: The Man Behind the Image, by Janet Dunbar. Collins, 1970. [828.912 Barrie]

The "Web" Stuff

Biographical material at Wikipedia and Books and Writers
J. M. Barrie's works at Project Gutenberg
The J. M. Barrie Society

Visit J. M. Barrie's Birth Place


Capote (2005)

dir: Bennett Miller
cast: Philip Seymour Hoffman; Clifton Collins, Jr.
synopsis: While researching his book In Cold Blood, Truman Capote develops a close relationship with Perry Smith, one of the killers of a Kansas family.

The "Write" Stuff!

Truman Capote : In Which Various Friends, Enemies, Acquaintances, And Detractors Recall His Turbulent Career, by George Plimpton. Talese, 1997. [813.54 Capote P]
Capote: A Biography, by Gerald Clarke. S&S, 1988. [B Capote C]
In Cold Blood: A True Account Of A Multiple Murder And Its Consequences, by Truman Capote. RH, c1965.

The "Web" Stuff!

Truman Capote info at Wikipedia, Answers.com, and Books & Writers
Read more about Truman Capote
Capote's final resting place at Find-a-Grave


Miss Potter (2006)

dir: Chris Noonan
cast: Renee Zellweger; Ewan McGregor
synopsis: Spinster Beatrix Potter lives in London with her social-climbing parents, who are exasperated that she has turned down any number of eligible young men. Worse, she spends most of her time scribbling nonsensical pictures of bunnies and ducks. When she decides to publish one of her books, she finds unexpected love with Norman Warne, her publisher. But there are dark clouds ahead

The "Write" Stuff!

Beatrix Potter: A Life in Nature, by Linda Lear. St. Martin’s, 2007. [823.912 Potter L]

The "Web" Stuff!

Wikipedia and Answers.com on Beatrix Potter
Works by Beatrix Potter at Project Gutenberg
Information on Hill Top Farm (The National Trust)
Victoria and Albert Museum


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