Great Films of Great Books

perhaps some of them not so great!?

Let's start with the obvious

Moby Dick - 1956

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What's to Know?

Moby Dick is a 1956 color film adaptation of Herman Melville's 1851 novel Moby Dick. It was directed by John Huston with a screenplay by Huston and Ray Bradbury. The film starred Gregory Peck, Richard Basehart, and Leo Genn.

The Cast

Gregory Peck as Captain Ahab

Richard Basehart as Ishmael

Leo Genn as Starbuck

James Robertson Justice as Captain Boomer

Harry Andrews as Stubb

Bernard Miles as the Manxman

Joseph Tomelty as Peter Coffin

(voice dubbed by John Huston)

Francis de Wolff as Captain Gardiner

Seamus Kelly as Flask

Friedrich von Ledebur as Queequeg

Orson Welles as Father Mapple

Fun Facts

Interesting to see Ray Bradbury credited with at least helping with the screenplay.

[From wikipedia] Peck was initially surprised to be cast as Ahab. Peck later commented that he felt Huston himself should have played the part. Huston had long wanted to make a film of Moby Dick, and had intended to cast his own father, actor Walter Huston, as Ahab, but he had died in 1950. Peck went on to play the role of Father Mapple in the 1998 television miniseries adaptation of Melville's novel, with Patrick Stewart as Ahab.

Orson Welles later used the salary from his appearance to fund his own stage production of Moby Dick, in which Rod Steiger played Captain Ahab.

Gregory Peck, comparing his performances in this film and the 1998 Moby Dick miniseries, said he liked the miniseries better because it was more faithful to the novel.

Far From the Madding Crowd - 1967

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What's to Know?

Far from the Madding Crowd is a 1967 British epic period drama film adapted from Thomas Hardy's 1874 book. The film, starred Julie Christie, Alan Bates, Terence Stamp and Peter Finch, and was directed by John Schlesinger. It was Schlesinger's fourth film (and his third collaboration with Christie).

The Cast

Julie Christie as Bathsheba Everdene

Terence Stamp as Frank Troy

Peter Finch as William Boldwood

Alan Bates as Gabriel Oak

Fiona Walker as Liddy

Prunella Ransome as Fanny Robin

The Cast

The film was shot largely on location in Dorset and Wiltshire.

Roger Ebert (American film critic): Thomas Hardy's novel told of a 19th century rural England in which class distinctions and unyielding social codes surrounded his characters. They were far from the madding crowd whether they liked it or not, and got tangled in each other's problems because there was nowhere else to turn. It's not simply that Bathsheba (Julie Christie) was courted by the three men in her life, but that she was courted by ALL three men in her life.

The film performed well at the box office in the UK but was a commercial failure in the U.S.A.

Fun Facts

The cinematography was by Nicolas Roeg.

The soundtrack was by Richard Rodney Bennett, who also used traditional folk songs in various scenes throughout the film.

Still looking out for some even more fun facts on this one!

There must be some! Especially when you've got Julie Christie, Terence Stamp, Peter Finch and Alan Bates all on set!!

To Kill A Mockingbird - 1962

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What's to Know?

To Kill a Mockingbird is a 1962 American drama film directed by Robert Mulligan. The screenplay by Horton Foote is based on Harper Lee's 1960 Pulitzer Prize–winning novel. The film stars Gregory Peck as Atticus Finch and Mary Badham as Scout. It marked the film debut of Robert Duvall. It gained overwhelmingly positive reception from both the critics and the public, and was a box-office success. The film won three Academy Awards, including Best Actor for Peck, and was nominated for eight, including Best Picture.

The Cast

Gregory Peck as Atticus Finch

Mary Badham as Scout

Phillip Alford as Jem

John Megna as Charles Baker "Dill" Harris

Brock Peters as Tom Robinson

Robert Duvall as Arthur "Boo" Radley

Fun Facts

Always a jolt to be reminded that Robert Duvall played Boo Radley, in what was his screen dubut.