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Home:  >Browse Listings   >Authors   >Faulkner, William   >Media Adaptations

William Faulkner:
Media Adaptations

Films Written by Faulkner

Credited Screenplays:

Faulkner received on-screen credit for the following films.
  • Today We Live. Dir. Howard Hawks. Screenplay by Edith Fitzgerald, Dwight Taylor, and William Faulkner; based on the Faulkner story "Turn About." MGM, 1933.
  • The Road to Glory. Dir. Howard Hawks. Screenplay by Joel Sayre and William Faulkner; based on Raymond Bernard's film Les Croix de Bois. 20th Century-Fox, 1936.
  • Slave Ship. Dir. Tay Garnett. Screenplay by Sam Hellman, Lamar Trotti, Gladys Lehman, and William Faulkner; based on the novel The Last Slaver by George S. King. 20th Century-Fox, 1937.
  • To Have and Have Not. Dir. Howard Hawks. Screenplay by Jules Furthman and William Faulkner; based on the novel by Ernest Hemingway. Warner Brothers, 1944.
  • The Big Sleep. Dir. Howard Hawks. Screenplay by William Faulkner, Leigh Brackett, and Jules Furthman; based on the novel by Raymond Chandler. Warner Brothers, 1946.
  • Land of the Pharaohs. Dir. Howard Hawks. Screenplay by William Faulkner, Harry Kurnitz, and Harold Jack Bloom. Warner Brothers, 1955.

Uncredited Screenplays:

Faulkner did some writing work on the following produced films but received no screen credit for them.
  • Lazy River. Dir. George B. Seitz. Screenplay by Lucien Hubbard; based on the play Ruby by Lea David Freeman. MGM, 1934. Faulkner worked on dialogue during shooting.
  • Sutter's Gold. Dir. James Cruze. Screenplay by Jack Kirkland, Walter Woods, and George O'Neill; based on the biography L'Or by Blaise Cendrars and on a story by Bruno Frank. Universal, 1936. Faulkner worked on a treatment (a story-like outline of the film's eventual plot).
  • Banjo on My Knee. Dir. John Cromwell. Screenplay by Nunnally Johnson; based on the novel Banjo on My Knee by Harry Hamilton. 20th Century-Fox, 1936. Faulkner worked on a treatment of the fifth and sixth sequences.
  • Gunga Din. Dir. George Stevens. Screenplay by Fred Guiol; story by Ben Hecht, Charles MacArthur; from the poem by Rudyard Kipling. RKO, 1939. Faulkner worked on treatment and dialogue revision.
  • Four Men and a Prayer. Dir. John Ford. Screenplay by Richard Sherman, Sonya Levien, and Walter Ferris; based on the novel Four Men and a Prayer by David Garth. 20th Century-Fox, 1938. Faulkner commented and made minor revisions to a treatment by Sonya Levien and Wallace Sullivan.
  • Submarine Patrol. Dir. John Ford. Screenplay by Rian James, Darrell Ware, and Jack Yellen; based on the novel The Splinter Fleet of the Otranto Barrage by Ray Millholland. Faulkner wrote a screenplay with Kathryn Scola.
  • Dance Hall. Dir. Irving Pichel. Screenplay by Stanley Rauh and Ethel Mill; based on the novel The Giant Swing by William Riley Burnett. 20th Century-Fox, 1941. Faulkner made minor contributions to a screenplay by Kathryn Scola and Lamar Trotti.
  • Drums Along the Mohawk. Dir. John Ford. Screenplay by Sonya Levien, Lamar Trotti; based on the novel by Walter D. Edmonds. 20th Century-Fox, 1939. Faulkner worked on a treatment.
  • Air Force. Dir. Howard Hawks. Screenplay by Dudley Nichols. Warner Brothers, 1942. Faulkner rewrote two scenes in Nichols' screenplay.
  • Background to Danger. Dir. Raoul Walsh. Screenplay by W.R. Burnett; based on the novel Uncommon Danger by Eric Ambler. Faulkner, A.I. Bezzerides, and Daniel Fuchs made minor revisions on a screenplay by W.R. Burnett.
  • Northern Pursuit. Dir. Raoul Walsh. Screenplay by A.I. Bezzerides; based on the story "Five Thousand Trojan Horses" by Leslie T. White. Warner Brothers, 1943. Faulkner, Bezzerides, Robert Rossen, Frank Gruber, and others wrote a screenplay.
  • Deep Valley. Dir. Jean Negulesco. Screenplay by Salka Viertel and Stephen Morehouse Avery; based on the novel Deep Valley by Dan Totheroh. Warner Brothers, 1947. Faulkner worked on continuity and dialogue.
  • God Is My Co-Pilot. Dir. Robert Florey. Screenplay by Peter Milne; based on the autobiography God Is My Co-Pilot by Col. Robert Lee Scott. Warner Brothers, 1944. Faulkner wrote treatment.
  • The Damned Don't Cry. Dir. Vincent Sherman. Screenplay by Harold Medford and Jerome Weidman; based on a story by Gertrude Walker and on Faulkner's story "The Brooch." Warner Brother, 1950. Faulkner wrote treatment.
  • The Adventures of Don Juan. Dir. Vincent Shermann. Screenplay by George Oppenheimer and Harry Kurnitz; based on a story by Herbert Dalmas. Warner Brothers, 1945. Faulkner revised a screenplay.
  • Escape in the Desert. Dir. Edward A. Blatt. Screenplay by Thomas Job; based on Marvin Borowsky's adaptation of Robert Sherwood's play. Warner Brothers, 1945. Faulkner and A.I. Bezzerides wrote screenplay for "Strangers in Our Midst" marginally based on Archie Mayo's film The Petrified Forest (1936).
  • The Southerner. Dir. and Screenplay by Jean Renoir. United Artists, 1945. Faulkner worked on final screenplay with Renoir.
  • Mildred Pierce. Dir. Michael Curtiz. Screenplay by Ranald MacDougall and Catherine Turney; based on the novel Mildred Pierce by James M. Cain. Warner Brothers, 1945. Faulkner revised a screenplay.
  • Stallion Road. Dir. James V. Kern. Screenplay by Stephen Longstreet. Warner Brothers, 1947. Faulkner wrote treatment based on Longstreet's novel Stallion Road and first and second temporary screenplays; the final screenplay by Longstreet was written in admiration but not imitation of Faulkner's version.
  • Intruder in the Dust. Dir. Clarence Brown. Screenplay by Ben Maddow; based on Faulkner's novel Intruder in the Dust. MGM, 1949. Faulkner looked over and partially revised a screenplay.
  • The Left Hand of God. Dir. Edward Dmytryk. Screenplay by Alfred Hawyes; based on the novel by William E. Barrett. 20th Century-Fox, 1955. Faulkner wrote a screenplay.

Television Screenplays:
  • The Brooch. Final teleplay by Faulkner, Ed Rice, and Richard McDonagh; based on Faulkner's story. Broadcast on Lux Video Theatre, April 2, 1953.
  • Shall Not Perish. Faulkner wrote teleplay; based on Faulkner's story. Broadcast on Lux Video Theatre, February 11, 1954.
  • The Graduation Dress. Teleplay by Faulkner and Joan Williams. Broadcast on General Electric Theatre, October 30, 1960.

The principal source for the above listings detailing Faulkner's screenwriting career is the "Faulkner Filmography" in Bruce Kawin's Faulkner and Film (New York: Ungar Publishing Co., 1977): 165-81.

Film Adaptations of Faulkner

Films based on Faulkner's Fiction:

A listing of big-screen productions based on fiction by Faulkner.
  • Today We Live. See above for details.
  • The Story of Temple Drake. Dir. Stephen Roberts. Screenplay by Oliver H. P. Garrett; based on Sanctuary. Paramount, 1933.
  • Intruder in the Dust. See above for details.
  • The Tarnished Angels. Dir. Douglas Sirk. Screenplay by George Zuckerman; based on Pylon. Universal-International, 1957.
  • The Long Hot Summer. Dir. Martin Ritt. Screenplay by Irving Ravetch and Harriet Frank, Jr.; based on The Hamlet. 20th Century-Fox, 1958.
  • The Sound and the Fury. Dir. Martin Ritt. Screenplay by Irving Ravetch and Harriet Frank, Jr.; based on the novel. 20th Century-Fox, 1959.
  • Sanctuary. Dir. Tony Richardson. Screenplay by James Poe; based on Sanctuary and Requiem for a Nun. 20th Century-Fox, 1961.
  • The Reivers. Dir. Mark Rydell. Screenplay by Irving Ravetch and Harriet Frank, Jr.; bBased on the novel. National General, 1969.
  • Tomorrow. Dir. Joseph Anthony. Screenplay by Horton Foote; based on the short story. Filmgroup, 1972.

Television films based on Faulkner's Fiction:
  • Tomorrow. Dir. Robert Mulligan. Screenplay by Horton Foote; based on the short story. CBS-TV, first telecast March 7, 1960.
  • Barn Burning. Dir. Peter Werner. Screenplay by Horton Foote; based on the short story. The American Short Story Collection. PBS-TV, first telecast March 17, 1980.
  • The Bear. Dir. Bernard Wilets. Based on "The Bear" in Go Down, Moses. BFA Educational Media, 1980.
  • A Rose for Emily. Dir. Lyndon Chubbuck. Screenplay by H. Kaye Dyal. Based on the story. Pyramid Films, 1982.
  • The Long Hot Summer. Dir. Stuart Cooper, Screenplay by Rita Mae Brown and Dennis Turner; based on The Hamlet and previous screenplay by Irving Ravetch and Harriet Frank, Jr. NBC-TV, first telecast October 6-7, 1985.
  • Two Soldiers. Dir. Christopher LaPalm. Screenplay by Albert Black and Lily Trayes. The American Short Story Collection II. The American Film Institute, 1985. First broadcast on A&E-TV.
  • Old Man. Dir. John Kent Harrison. Screenplay by Horton Foote; based on the novella "Old Man" in The Wild Palms (If I Forget Thee, Jerusalem). CBS-TV, first telecast February 9, 1997.

Note to educators: The American Short Story Collection film adaptations of "Barn Burning" and "Two Soldiers" are available on video from the Monterey Movie Company and can be purchased from Brookside Media, telephone 800-934-4336.

Faulkner on Stage

Plays by Faulkner:

One of Faulkner's earliest works was a play, The Marionettes, which was never produced. His later Requiem for a Nun, a novel which consists of three dramatic scenes, each of which is prefaced by a prose narrative applicable to the setting of the ensuing scene, was first adapted for the stage and produced in France by Albert Camus in 1956. The play would premiere in the United States at New York's John Golden Theatre in January 1959, after having been staged in twelve other nations. The New York production, directed by Tony Richardson, starred Ruth Ford as Temple, Zachary Scott as Gavin Stevens, and Beatrice Reading as Nancy Mannigoe.

Stage Adaptations of Faulkner:

John Maxwell as William Faulkner
John Maxwell wrote and stars in the one-man play Oh, Mr. Faulkner, Do You Write?

Several of Faulkner's novels and short stories have been adapted into stage and even musical productions. As I Lay Dying has been adapted and staged several times by theater groups, including productions by Chicago's Steppenwolf ensemble and Kingston, Ontario's, Threshold Theater. An adaptation of Faulkner's story "A Rose for Emily" by Katherine Lemke Waste was part of Southern Gothic, a production by the Chico Creek Theatre Festival in California which also included Twenty-Seven Wagons Full of Cotton by Tennessee Williams.

One of the most highly acclaimed stage adaptations of Faulkner is the one-man show Oh, Mr. Faulkner, Do You Write?. Based on the life of Faulkner, the play was written by and stars John Maxwell, a native of Pickens, Mississippi, and blends theatre and literature in a show that has been acclaimed throughout the world since its opening by the New Stage Theatre in Jackson, Mississippi, in 1981. Along with productions of the play, Maxwell also will hold acting workshops, a Faulkner workshop, and a lecture and question-and-answer session on the writing of the play. For booking information, contact "Oh, Mr. Faulkner, Do You Write?" at 3525 Hawthorne, Jackson, MS 39216, telephone 601-981-0777.

For more information about films written by or based upon stories by Faulkner, visit The MovingPicture House section of William Faulkner on the Web.

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