Henry James Goes to the Movies

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Why has a nineteenth-century author with an elitist reputation proved so popular with directors as varied as William Wyler, François Truffaut, and James Ivory? A partial answer lies in the way many of Henry James's recurring themes still haunt us: the workings of power, the position of women in society, the complexities of sexuality and desire.

Susan Griffin has assembled fifteen of the world's foremost authorities on Henry James to examine both the impact of James on film and the impact of film on James. Anthony Mazella traces the various adaptations of The Turn of the Screw, from novel to play to opera to film. Peggy McCormack examines the ways the personal lives of Peter Bogdanovich and then-girlfriend Cybill Shepherd influenced critical reaction to Daisy Miller (1974). Leland Person points out the consequences of casting Christopher Reeve — then better known as Superman — in The Bostonians (1984) during the conservative political context of the first Reagan presidency. Nancy Bentley defends Jane Campion's anachronistic reading of Portrait of a Lady (1996) as being more "authentic" than the more common period costume dramas. Dale Bauer observes James's influence on such films as Next Stop, Wonderland (1998) and Notting Hill (1999). Marc Bousquet explores the ways Wings of the Dove (1997) addresses the economic and cultural situations of Gen-X viewers. Other fascinating essays as well as a complete filmography and bibliography of work on James and film round out the collection.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"This collection of sophisticated essays contributes to a growing field that could be labeled 'James film studies.'" — Choice

"The essays enrich a new field of James studies, as well as provide a fascinating account of more than fifty years of film history." — English Literature in Transition

"In this anthology of essays, 16 academics dissect novelist Henry James's seemingly inexhaustible allure to filmmakers ranging from William Wyler to Jane Campion and examine the degrees to which these celluloid versions succeed in translating James's highly uncinematic, psychological prose to the screen." — Entertainment Weekly

"The essay entitled 'Based on the Novel by Henry James: The Golden Bowl 2000' is one of the best I've ever read about the film adaptation of a difficult novel." — Film Quarterly

"A well-informed, well-written book which extends the way we think about Henry James and his work.... Includes the best established and newer voices in James studies." — Greg W. Zacharias

"A comprehensive, impressive collection of essays on film adaptations of Henry James." — Hollins Critic

"Indispensable for anyone interested in James adaptations." — Studies in the Novel

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780813121918
  • Publisher: University Press of Kentucky
  • Publication date: 12/28/2001
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 400
  • Product dimensions: 6.30 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Susan M. Griffin, professor of English at the University of Louisville, is the editor of the Henry James Review.

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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
Introduction: Making Movies with Henry James
Filming James, 1961-1984
"The Story ... Held Us": The Turn of the Screw from Henry James to Jack Clayton
Reexamining Bogdanovich's Daisy Miller
"The Tie of a Common Aversion": Sexual Tensions in Henry James's The Other House
Mourning, Nostalgia, and Melancholia: Unlocking the Secrets of Truffaut's The Green Room
Still Me(n): Superman Meets The Bostonians
Watching Isabel, Listening to Catherine
Conscious Observation: Jane Campion's Portrait of a Lady
"Prospects of Entertainment": Film Adaptations of Washington Square
"Her Ancient Faculty of Silence": Catherine Sloper's Ways of Being in James's Washington Square and Two Film Adaptations
Getting James in the Nineties
Ambassadors from an Imaginary "Elsewhere": Cinematic Convention and the Jamesian Sensibility
Cultural Capitalism and the "James Formation"
"Hallucinations of Intimacy": The Henry James Films
Latest James
"Based on the Novel by Henry James": The Golden Bowl 2000
The Rift in the Loot: Cognitive Dissonance for the Reader of Merchant Ivory's The Golden Bowl
The James Films and the Critical Reactions
A Henry James Filmography
Bibliography of Critical Work on James and Film
List of Contributors
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