In This Article Expand or collapse the "in this article" section Film and Literature

  • Introduction
  • General Overviews
  • Journals
  • Bibliographies
  • Associations/Conferences
  • Pedagogy
  • United States
  • France
  • Italy
  • United Kingdom
  • Germany
  • Africa
  • Colonialism/Post-Colonialism
  • International/Transnational
  • Poetry and Film

Cinema and Media Studies Film and Literature
Lucy Fischer
  • LAST REVIEWED: 18 August 2022
  • LAST MODIFIED: 28 June 2016
  • DOI: 10.1093/obo/9780199791286-0204


In general, when scholars have considered the question of literature and film, they have conceived it in a rather narrow fashion as the study of adaptation—from literary to filmic works. In fact, the reader can consult a different entry in this bibliography that focuses on Adaptation and Film. The present entry, however, is not about adaptation. Rather, it attempts to expand the discussion of the study of literature and film by taking a broader approach that examines texts whose central focus is not adaptation but some of the larger (and potentially more interesting) ways in which the two media intersect, for example, stylistic, formal, thematic, or cultural parallels or differences; theoretical links (e.g., similarities or contrasts between word and image); industrial connections (book publishing vs. film distribution); historical ties (the coming of sound in relation to theater); artists who work in both media (e.g., David Mamet, Marguerite Duras, Paul Auster); and the nature of authorship in each form. Of course, in discussing some of these topics, the notion of adaptation will also arise, so there may be crossover between entries in this bibliography and the one previously cited. Because the potential list of books or articles that mention film’s relation to literature in passing is vast and impossible to track, this entry focuses only on those that specifically mention the subject in their title.

General Overviews

Beja 1979, Corrigan 2011, Davidson 1997, and Marcus 1971 are all broad introductions to the study of film and literature, focusing on conceptual issues as well as analyses of various specific cinematic texts. In addition to making general points, Beja 1979 analyzes numerous specific films. Corrigan 2011 is an anthology of works by various authors who concentrate on different subtopics of the film/literature connection. Davidson 1997 focuses on narrative and thematic construction using particular films as case studies.

  • Beja, Morris. Film and Literature: An Introduction. New York: Longman, 1979.

    Designed for undergraduates, this volume explores relationships between the two art forms while preserving the integrity of each. After chapters on narrative literature, narrative film, and film and literature, Beja explores twenty-five canonical films. While some are adaptations, many are not.

  • Corrigan, Timothy, ed. Film and Literature: An Introduction and Reader. 2d ed. New York: Routledge, 2011.

    Divided into three sections. The first takes an historical perspective on the relation between film and literature. The second provides twenty-eight seminal texts on the subject by key theorists. The third provides advice for students charged with writing about film and literature.

  • Davidson, Phebe, ed. Film and Literature: Points of Intersection. Lewiston, NY: Edwin Mellen, 1997.

    Investigates the ties between film and fiction in terms of narrative construction and thematic material. In particular, the book focuses on such issues as the social construction of character, questions of ethics, and feminist approaches. Works discussed include Last Exit to Brooklyn, Angel Heart, Frankenstein, Wise Blood, Rambling Rose, Smooth Talk, Trifles, The Glass Key, Catch 22, Forrest Gump, Silence of the Lambs, and Miller’s Crossing.

  • Marcus, Fred H., ed. Film and Literature: Contrasts in Media. Scranton, PA: Chandler, 1971.

    An early volume in discussions of film and literature, it contains some important essays on the topic by established critics and practitioners like Balazs, Pudovkin, Durgnat, Kael, and Kauffmann. It also excerpts sections of other writings on the question of words versus images by Bluestone, Richardson, and Nicoll.

back to top

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content on this page. Please subscribe or login.

How to Subscribe

Oxford Bibliographies Online is available by subscription and perpetual access to institutions. For more information or to contact an Oxford Sales Representative click here.