Based on the short story by…

Everything Must Go, starring Will Ferrell, is based on the story “Why Don’t You Dance” by Raymond Carver. It comes out this month.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d2kXUY7SmkE

Often, when movies are based on short stories, it  reminds me of the use of samples in hip-hop. The screenwriter take a memorable nugget, the hook of the story, and builds up around it.

In honor of Short Story Month, here are some more movies based on short stories:

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gl0yPuI7EVs

Based on “It had to be Murder” by Cornell Woolrich

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YzPFMfPPzs0

Based on “Secretary” by Mary Gaitskill

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cWnmCu3U09w

Based on “The Sentinel” by Arthur C. Clark

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rq9eM4ZXRgs

Based on “Memento Mori” by Jonathan Nolan

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ij9LWqwUdZY

Based on “Eisenbein the Illusionist” by Steven Millhauser

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3dJf5rO0-BM

Based on “The Man Who Would be King” by Rudyard Kipling

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tFk0T0eQonw

Based on “Curious Case of Benjamin Button” by F. Scott Fitzgerald

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QH-6UImAP7c

Based on “Minority Report” by Philip K. Dick

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DwCA6tRl1hY

Based on various stories by Raymond Carver

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vbgETu4NH_Y

Based on “The Killing” by Andre Dubus

There are many, many more. What are your favorites?

 

 

8 Comments

  • Seth Marlin says:

    Obviously “Brokeback Mountain” by Annie Proulx. I know it’s a cliche, but it’s damned fine writing and I think it breaks your rule in that the movie is largely true to the narrative. It’s just that the movie is more full of those “pregnant pauses” and long landscape shots so common to Western films. Another classic I think is “Johnny Mnemonic” by William Gibson (yes, I’m a sci-fi nerd; no, I don’t care). Way better than the movie, starting with no Keanu Reeves. Also, why they cut Molly, I have no idea. Still, I’m sure I’ll think of others later. Nice post!

    • Geneva says:

      I thought about including “Brokeback Mountain” in my list of clips, but every time I tried to watch the trailer, I had to turn it off.

      I love the short story. It’s gritty and absent of those “pregnant pauses” – that’s one of the reasons I admire it so much. There’s so much story in so little space and the emotion is so minimal that it packs a much larger punch than the movie ever did.

      Ugh, that movie…

  • Cathie Smathie says:

    So glad you mentioned “The Killing” – fabulous!!

    How about “Oil!” by Upton Sinclair (there will be blood)
    Or how about when they took only the first 3rd or so of “A Widow for One Year” and made the movie the door in the floor?

    • Geneva says:

      Andre Dubus’ stories lend themselves so well to film. I really like “We Don’t Live Here Anymore” as well.

    • Jess Lakritz says:

      “Kneller’s Happy Campers” (technically a novella), written by Israeli writer Etgar Keret, was made into the movie _Wristcutters: A Love Story_, which is phenomenal. The film closely follows the story, but that’s ok because both are seriously worth checking out.

      • Geneva says:

        Great movie. I was happy when it showed back up in my Netflix instant queue and I could watch it again. I haven’t read the novella yet, but I plan to.

  • Jason says:

    Another good one is Rashomon, if you’re into Foreign films, but that’s going pretty far back. There’s Brief Interview with Hideous Men as well based on a series of short stories and though the film seemed to get panned, I think it’s actually worth more than the critics gave it credit for and pretty representative of DFW’s work.

Leave a Reply to Jason Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *