8 Films to Watch Inspired By Classic Literature

You’ve probably read them, are familiar with the story, or have seen an adaptation of the titles included on Fandor’s list of Classic Books - now available to stream on-screen as the newest addition to Fandor’s Criterion Collection (http://bit.ly/1suFsfa). This Classic Books list is the definitive guide to enjoying quintessential novels adapted for the silver screen, featuring the works of literary legends like Tolstoy, Golding, and Kipling. Be sure to check out these films in their original glory.

  1. 1

    Anna Karenina (1948)

    Alexander Korda's 1948 production of ANNA KARENINA had a lot more than star power to justify its existence, though with Vivien Leigh and Ralph Richardson heading the cast it certainly had that, too. MGM had made a celebrated if somewhat static version of the same story in the 1930s, but the combination of Korda film factory's vividly opulent evocation of 19th century Russia, and the hand of renowned French director Julien Duvivier yielded a uniquely striking, vibrant portrayal of Leo Tolstoy's tale of a woman at the edge of a moral, social, and marital precipice.http://bit.ly/1wbmlfa

  2. 2

    Jungle Book (1942)

    This Korda brothers film is the definitive version of Rudyard Kipling's classic collection of fables. Sabu stars as Mowgli, a boy raised by wolves, who can communicate with all the beasts of the jungle, friend or foe, and who gradually reacclimates to civilization with the help of his long lost mother and a beautiful village girl. Deftly integrating real animals into its fanciful narrative, JUNGLE BOOK is a shimmering Technicolor feast, and was nominated for four Academy Awards®, including best cinematography, art direction, special effects, and music.http://bit.ly/1xmMtp2

  3. 3

    Les Misérables (1934)

    Hailed by film critics around the world as the greatest screen adapation of Victor Hugo's mammoth nineteenth-century novel, Raymond Bernard's dazzling, nearly five-hour LES MISÉRABLES is a breathtaking tour de force, unfolding with the depth and detail of its source. Featuring stunning art direction and cinematography and unforgettable performances by the exquisite Harry Baur (who died tragically during World War II), as Jean Valjean, and the legendary Charles Vanel, as Inspector Javert, LES MISÉRABLES is one of the triumphs of French filmmaking.http://bit.ly/1GJuysk

  4. 4

    Lord of the Flies (1963)

    In the hands of the renowned experimental theater director Peter Brook, William Golding's legendary novel about the primitivism lurking beneath civilization becomes a film as raw and ragged as the lost boys at its center. Taking an innovative documentary-like approach, Brook shot LORD OF THE FLIES with an off-the-cuff naturalism, seeming to record a spontaneous eruption of its characters' ids. The result is a rattling masterpiece, as provocative as its source material.http://bit.ly/1wC4E7r

  5. 5

    Tess (1979)

    This multiple Academy Award®-winning film by Roman Polanski is an exquisite, richly layered adaptation of Thomas Hardy's "Tess of the d'Urbervilles". A strong-willed peasant girl is sent by her father to the estate of some local aristocrats to capitalize on a rumor that their families are from the same line. This fateful visit commences an epic narrative of sex, class, betrayal and revenge, which Polanski unfolds with deliberation and finesse. With its earthy visual textures, achieved by two world-class cinematographers, Geoffrey Unsworth and Ghislain Cloquet, TESS is a work of great pastoral beauty as well as vivid storytelling.http://bit.ly/1GJuJUD

  6. 6

    Under the Volcano (1984)

    UNDER THE VOLCANO follows the final day in the life of self-destructive British consul Geoffrey Firmin on the eve of World War II. Withering from alcoholism, Firmin stumbles through a small Mexican village amidst the Day of the Dead fiesta, attempting to reconnect with his estranged wife but only further alienating himself. John Huston's ambitious tackling of Malcolm Lowry's towering "unadaptable" novel gave the incomparable Finney one of his grandest roles and was the legendary THE TREASURE OF THE SIERRA MADRE director's triumphant return to filmmaking in Mexico.http://bit.ly/1GJuZTE

  7. 7

    Watership Down (1978)

    With this passion project, screenwriter-producer-director Martin Rosen brilliantly achieved what was thought difficult, if not impossible: a faithful big-screen adaptation of Richard Adams's classic British dystopian novel about a community of rabbits seeking safety and happiness after their warren comes under terrible threat. With its naturalistic hand-drawn animation, dreamily expressionistic touches, gorgeously bucolic background design, and elegant voice work from such superb English actors as John Hurt, Ralph Richardson, Richard Briers, and Denholm Elliott, WATERSHIP DOWN is an emotionally arresting, dark-toned allegory about freedom amid political turmoil.http://bit.ly/1IVdcN4

  8. 8

    Wise Blood (1979)

    In this acclaimed adaptation of the first novel by legendary Southern writer Flannery O'Connor, John Huston vividly brings to life her poetic world of American eccentricity. Brad Dourif, in an impassioned performance, is Hazel Motes, who, fresh out of the army, attempts to open the first Church Without Christ in the small town of Taulkinham. Populated with inspired performances that seem to spring right from O'Connor's pages, Huston's WISE BLOOD is an incisive portrait of spirituality and Evangelicalism, and a faithful, loving evocation of a writer's vision.http://bit.ly/1wzL8cY

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