Literature to Film

Course Description

This is a film study course with a focus on literature, where students are allowed to explore literature and the direct tie it has to the films of the same title. As an example of format, students can be required or asked to read/explore two novels within the course and could be encouraged to read/explore additional novels of choice. This is an exciting course meant to open up the world of literature to the film buff, and help students truly understand the connection between a great story and a great film. 

Sample Lecture – many of you have asked for a preview of how a lecture appears prior to purchase. Please refer to this free download. Time stamps refer to the BluRay version of the film, and hints to when comments should be made during the lecture.

Lectures and Lesson

12 Years a Slave

12 Years a Slave2012

Based on an incredible true story of one man's fight for survival and freedom. In the pre-Civil War United States, Solomon Northup (Chiwetel Ejiofor), a free black man from upstate New York, is abducted and sold into slavery. Facing cruelty (personified by a malevolent slave owner, portrayed by Michael Fassbender), as well as unexpected kindnesses, Solomon struggles not only to stay alive, but to retain his dignity. In the twelfth year of his unforgettable odyssey, Solomon's chance meeting with a Canadian abolitionist (Brad Pitt) will forever alter his life.

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last updated 02-05-2016

300

3002006

King Leonidas and a force of 300 men fight the Persians at Thermopylae in 480 B.C. Directed by Zack Snyder. Based on the graphic novel 300 by Frank Miller. Resource: Film Terms Overarching Question: How do we make meaning of our world?

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last updated 02-05-2016

About a Boy

About a Boy2002

Based on Nick Hornby's best-selling novel, About A Boy is the story of a cynical, immature young man who is taught how to act like a grown-up by a little boy. Directed by Chris Weitz and Paul Weitz. Based on the novel “About a Boy” by Nick Hornby. Overarching Questions: How do we know what is true?

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last updated 02-05-2016

Amadeus

Amadeus1984

The incredible story of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, told in flashback by his peer and secret rival Antonio Salieri - now confined to an insane asylum.

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last updated 02-05-2016

American Sniper

American Sniper2014

Chris Kyle was nothing more than a Texan man who dreamed of becoming a cowboy, but in his thirties he found out that maybe his life needed something different, something where he could express his real talent, something that could help America in its fight against terrorism. So he joined the SEALs in order to become a sniper. After marrying, Kyle and the other members of the team are called for their first tour of Iraq. Kyle's struggle isn't with his missions, but about his relationship with the reality of the war and, once returned at home, how he manages to handle it with his urban life, his wife and kids.Written by Evandro Martirano 

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last updated 02-05-2016

Angela's Ashes

Angela's Ashes1999

Based on the best selling autobiography by Irish expat Frank McCourt, Angela's Ashes follows the experiences of young Frankie and his family as they try against all odds to escape the poverty endemic in the slums of pre-war Limerick. The film opens with the family in Brooklyn, but following the death of one of Frankie's siblings, they return home, only to find the situation there even worse. Prejudice against Frankie's Northern Irish father makes his search for employment in the Republic difficult despite his having fought for the IRA, and when he does find money, he spends the money on drink. Directed by Alan Parker. Based on the novel Angela's Ashes by Frank McCourt.  Homework: Constructed Response Overarching Questions: How does the part relate to the whole?

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last updated 02-05-2016

Apollo 13

Apollo 131995

True story of the moon-bound mission that developed severe trouble and the men that rescued it with skill and dedication. Directed by Ron Howard. Based on the novel Apollo 13: The Lost Moon, by Jim Lovell. Overarching Questions: How and why do things change?

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last updated 02-05-2016

ARGO

ARGO2012

A dramatization of the 1980 joint CIA-Canadian secret operation to extract six fugitive American diplomatic personnel out of revolutionary Iran.

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last updated 02-05-2016

Atonement

Atonement2007

Fledgling writer Briony Tallis, as a 13-year-old, irrevocably changes the course of several lives when she accuses her older sister's lover of a crime he did not commit. Based on the British romance novel by Ian McEwan. Directed by Joe Wright. Based on the novel Atonement by Ian McEwan.  Homework: Constructed Response Overarching Questions: How does the part relate to the whole?

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last updated 02-05-2016

Capote

Capote2004

Truman Capote (Hoffman), during his research for his book In Cold Blood, an account of the murder of a Kansas family, the writer develops a close relationship with Perry Smith, one of the killers. Directed by Bennett Miller, screenplay written by Dan Futterman. Based on the novel In Cold Blood, by Truman Capote and Capote by Gerald Clarke. Overarching Questions: How do we know what is true?

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last updated 02-05-2016

Carrie

Carrie1976

A mousy and abused girl with telekinetic powers gets pushed too far on one special night. Directed by Brian DePalma. Based on the novel Carrie by Stephen King.

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last updated 02-05-2016

Catch Me If You Can

Catch Me If You Can2002

A true story about Frank Abagnale Jr. who, before his 19th birthday, successfully conned millions of dollars worth of checks as a Pan Am pilot, doctor, and legal prosecutor. Directed by Steven Spielberg. Based on the novel Catch Me If You Can, by Frank Abagnale, Jr.

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last updated 02-05-2016

Children of Men

Children of Men2006

In 2027, in a chaotic world in which humans can no longer procreate, a former activist agrees to help transport a miraculously pregnant woman to a sanctuary at sea, where her child's birth may help scientists save the future of humankind. Directed by Alfonso Cuaron. Overarching Questions: How do we make meaning of our world?

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last updated 02-05-2016

Cider House Rules

Cider House Rules1999

A compassionate young man, raised in an orphanage and trained to be a doctor there, decides to leave to see the world. Directed by Lasse Hallstrom. Based on the novel Cider House Rules by John Irving. Homework: Constructed Response Overarching Questions: How do we make meaning of our world?

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last updated 02-05-2016

Cold Mountain

Cold Mountain2003

In the waning days of the American Civil War, a wounded soldier embarks on a perilous journey back home to Cold Mountain, North Carolina to reunite with his sweetheart. Directed by Anthony Minghella. Homework: Constructed Response - Novel Overarching Questions: How do we make meaning of our world?

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last updated 02-05-2016

Dead Man Walking

Dead Man Walking1995

A nun, while comforting a convicted killer on death row, empathizes with both the killer and his victim's families.

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last updated 02-05-2016

Dracula

Dracula1992

The vampire comes to England to seduce a visitor's fiancée and inflict havoc in the foreign land. Directed by Francis Ford Coppola. Based on the novel Dracula, by Bram Stoker.

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last updated 02-05-2016

Drive

Drive2011

A mysterious Hollywood stuntman, mechanic and getaway driver lands himself in trouble when he helps out his neighbor. Director: Nicolas Winding Refn Writers: Hossein Amini (screenplay), James Sallis (book) "Drive" Review and Article "Drive" Movie vs. Book Overarching Questions: How do we make meaning of our world?

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last updated 02-05-2016

Everything Is Illuminated

Everything Is Illuminated2005

A young Jewish American man endeavors to find the woman who saved his grandfather during World War II in a Ukrainian village, that was ultimately razed by the Nazis, with the help of an eccentric local. Directed by Liev Schreiber.

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last updated 02-05-2016

Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close

Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close2011

A nine-year-old amateur inventor, Francophile, and pacifist searches New York City for the lock that matches a mysterious key left behind by his father, who died in the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. Director: Stephen Daldry Writers: Eric Roth (screenplay), Jonathan Safran Foer (novel) Homework: Constructed Response, The Sixth Borough, PowerPoint on Film

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last updated 02-05-2016

Gone Girl

Gone Girl2014

A Missouri couple had a great life in their house with no kid, but it all changed when their 5th wedding anniversary occurs. Nick, the husband now realizes that his wife, Amy has gone missing. He calls the local authorities for reporting the situation. Along with the time and the local searching program, the progress becoming blurred between Nick's version of the story or the new investigation result - that Nick suspected of killing his wife. Now, Nick struggles for convincing the media, telling them if he didn't kill his wife, and probe the cryptic clues from his own wife.

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last updated 02-05-2016

It's a Wonderful Life

It's a Wonderful Life1946

An angel helps a compassionate but despairingly frustrated businessman by showing what life would have been like if he never existed. Directed by Frank Capra.

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last updated 02-05-2016

Life of Pi

Life of Pi2011

A young man who survives a disaster at sea is hurtled into an epic journey of adventure and discovery. While cast away, he forms an unexpected connection with another survivor: a fearsome Bengal tiger.

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last updated 02-05-2016

Marley and Me

Marley and Me2008

A family learns important life lessons from their adorable, but naughty and neurotic dog. Directed by David Frankel.

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last updated 02-05-2016

Million Dollar Baby

Million Dollar Baby2004

A hardened trainer/manager works with a determined woman in her attempt to establish herself as a boxer. Directed by Clint Eastwood. Based on the novel Rope Burns: Million Dollar Baby by F.X. Toole. Homework: Constructed Response

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last updated 02-05-2016

Notes on a Scandal

Notes on a Scandal2007

A veteran high school teacher befriends a younger art teacher, who is having an affair with one of her 15-year-old students. However, her intentions with this new "friend" also go well beyond platonic friendship. Directed by Richard Eyre. Based on the novel Notes on a Scandal, by Zoe Heller.

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last updated 02-05-2016

Philomena

Philomena2013

A world-weary political journalist picks up the story of a woman's search for her son, who was taken away from her decades ago after she became pregnant and was forced to live in a convent.

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last updated 08-18-2014

Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire

Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire2009

In New York City's Harlem circa 1987, an overweight, abused, illiterate teen who is pregnant with her second child is invited to enroll in an alternative school in hopes that her life can head in a new direction. Directed by Geoffrey Fletcher. Based on the novel by Sapphire.

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last updated 02-05-2016

Psycho

Psycho1960

A young woman steals $40,000 from her employer's client, and subsequently encounters a young motel proprietor too long under the domination of his mother. Directed by Alfred Hitchcock. Please note this is only the tip of the iceberg, there is a wealth of information available on this film. Based on the novel Psycho by Robert Bloch. Homework: Constructed Response

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last updated 02-05-2016

Rosewater

Rosewater2014

Based of a true story about a journalist who gets detained and brutally interrogated in prison for 118 days. The journalist Maziar Bahari was blindfolded and interrogated for 4 months in Evin prison in Iran, while the only distinguishable feature about his captor is the distinct smell of rosewater. An interview and sketch that Maziar did with a journalist on The Daily show was used as evidence that Maziar was a spy and in communication with the American government and the CIA.

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last updated 06-22-2015

Sideways

Sideways2004

Two men reaching middle age with not much to show but disappointment, embark on a week long road trip through California's wine country, just as one is about to take a trip down the aisle. Directed by Alexander Payne. Based on the novel by Rex Pickett.

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last updated 02-05-2016

Silver Linings Playbook

Silver Linings Playbook2012

Pat Solitano upon discovering his wife with another man beats him. He would be sent to a mental hospital where he would be diagnosed as suffering from bipolar disorder. He would get released and would go live with his parents. But he is reluctant to take his meds because he doesn't like how they make him feel or go to mandated therapy. The only thing he wants is to try and get back together with his wife but she already wrote him off and got a restraining order on him. He goes around trying to find someone who might know where she is but doesn't. His friend, Ronnie invites him to dinner and he meets Ronnie's sister-in-law, Tiffany who's also reeling from a personal loss. They make a connection but Pat is devoted to his wife refuses to do anything. When he learns she sees his wife, he asks her to give his wife a letter. She agrees on the condition that he be her dance partner at upcoming competition. He agrees and they establish a rapport.

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last updated 02-05-2016

Slumdog Millionaire

Slumdog Millionaire2008

A Mumbai teen who grew up in the slums, becomes a contestant on the Indian version of "Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?" He is arrested under suspicion of cheating, and while being interrogated, events from his life history are shown which explain why he knows the answers. Directed by Danny Boyle.

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last updated 02-05-2016

Snow Falling on Cedars

Snow Falling on Cedars1999

A Japanese-American fisherman may have killed his neighbor Carl at sea. In the 1950's, race figures in the trial. So does reporter Ishmael. Directed by Scott Hicks. Based on the novel Snow Falling on Cedars by David Guterson.

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last updated 02-05-2016

Sophie's Choice

Sophie's Choice1982

Sophie is the survivor of Nazi concentration camps, who has found a reason to live in Nathan, a sparkling if unsteady American Jew obsessed with the Holocaust. They befriend Stingo, the movie's narrator, a young American writer new to New York City. But the happiness of Sophie and Nathan is endangered by her ghosts and his obsessions. Directed by Alan J. Pakula. Based on the novel Sophie's Choice by William Styron.

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last updated 02-05-2016

Stuart Little

Stuart Little1999

The Little family adopt a charming young mouse named Stuart, but the family cat wants rid of him. Directed by Rob Minkoff. Based on the children's novel Stuart Little, by E.B. White.

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last updated 02-05-2016

The Book Thief

The Book Thief2013

While subjected to the horrors of World War II Germany, young Liesel finds solace by stealing books and sharing them with others. In the basement of her home, a Jewish refugee is being sheltered by her adoptive parents.

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last updated 08-22-2014

The Ghost Writer

The Ghost Writer2010

A ghostwriter hired to complete the memoirs of a former British prime minister uncovers secrets that put his own life in jeopardy. Directed by Roman Polanski. Novel written by Robert Harris.

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last updated 02-05-2016

The Graduate

The Graduate1967

Recent college graduate Benjamin Braddock is trapped into an affair with Mrs. Robinson, who happens to be the wife of his father's business partner and then finds himself falling in love with her daughter, Elaine. Directed by Mike Nichols. Homework: Constructed Response

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last updated 02-05-2016

The Hunger Games

The Hunger Games2012

Set in a future where the Capitol selects a boy and girl from the twelve districts to fight to the death on live television, Katniss Everdeen volunteers to take her younger sister's place for the latest match.

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last updated 02-05-2016

The Kite Runner

The Kite Runner2007

After spending years in California, Amir returns to his homeland in Afghanistan to help his old friend Hassan, whose son is in trouble. Directed by Marc Forster. Based on the novel by Khaled Hosseini.

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last updated 02-05-2016

The Notebook

The Notebook2004

A poor and passionate young man falls in love with a rich young woman and gives her a sense of freedom. They soon are separated by their social differences. Directed by Nick Cassavetes. Based on the novel The Notebook, by Nicholas Sparks. Homework: Constructed Response

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last updated 02-05-2016

The Perks of Being a Wallflower

The Perks of Being a Wallflower2012

Charlie is a shy teenager without friends that has just joined the high-school. He misses his best friend, who had committed suicide, and he writes letters to an imaginary friend telling his feelings. Further, Charlie has a mental illness problem in his past. Soon Charlie befriends the veterans Patrick, who is gay, and his stepsister Sam and they become best friends. Charlie wants to be a writer and he also becomes the favorite student of his teacher of literature, Mr. Anderson, who lends him books. Sam and Patrick introduce Charlie to their friends and Charlie falls in love with Sam, but he does not have self-confidence to date her. Charlie discovers a new world and feels happy with his friends, and he dates their common friend Mary Elizabeth. But when they end their relationship, Patrick asks Charlie to stay away from them for a while and soon he triggers his mental illness again. He goes to the hospital where a doctor finally discloses the origin of his problem.

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last updated 02-05-2016

The Silence of the Lambs

The Silence of the Lambs2004

A young FBI cadet must confide in an incarcerated and manipulative killer to receive his help on catching another serial killer who skins his victims. Directed by Jonathan Demme. Based on the novel by Thomas Harris.

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last updated 02-05-2016

The Social Network

The Social Network2010

Harvard student Mark Zuckerberg creates the social networking website that would become known as Facebook, but is later sued by two brothers who claimed he stole their idea, and the co-founder who was later squeezed out of the business. Directed by David Fincher. Based on the novel by Aaron Sorkin.

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last updated 02-05-2016

The War of the Roses

The War of the Roses1989

A married couple try everything to get each other to leave the house in a vicious divorce battle. Directed by Danny DeVito.

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last updated 02-05-2016

Trumbo2015

In 1947, Dalton Trumbo (Bryan Cranston) was Hollywood's top screenwriter until he and other artists were jailed and blacklisted for their political beliefs. TRUMBO (directed by Jay Roach) recounts how Dalton used words and wit to win two Academy Awards and expose the absurdity and injustice under the blacklist, which entangled everyone from gossip columnist Hedda Hopper (Helen Mirren) to John Wayne, Kirk Douglas and Otto Preminger.

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last updated 05-31-2016

Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf

Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf1966

A bitter aging couple with the help of alcohol, use a young couple to fuel anguish and emotional pain towards each other. Directed by Mike Nichols. Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf is based on the stage play by Edward Albee.  Resource: Film Terms

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last updated 02-05-2016