The United States has come to know Spain, its people, and its land through its literature and, more recently, through the international distribution of many of its films. This analysis aims to probe the creative Spanish soul in greater depth through the particular prism of the cinematic adaptation. The analysis of the Spanish novels La familia de Pascual Duarte and Los santos inocentes and their cinematic adaptations Pascual Duarte (1975) and Los santos inocentes (1984) is based on the intersection of literary and cinematic theory. The first chapter of this study summarizes various theories whose integration forms a basis for the analysis of the cinematic adaptation. Structuralism, semiotics, deconstruction, reader criticism, and Freudian/Lacanian psychology serve both film and literary criticism in their analysis of texts. The theories examined in this chapter are inflected in later chapters into the criticism and analysis of the novels and films in question. The second chapter provides general background information on agrarian Spain - the historical, economic, and ideological context of both La familia de Pascual Duarte and Los santos inocentes. While in most cases the texts refer only obliquely to the reigning ideology that is responsible for the plight of the rural worker, the history of the province of Extremadura, where rural poverty is and was a social and economic phenomenon, is crucial to the understanding of all four texts whose stories are set in this province.