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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.

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

"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

Publication Date



The University Press of Kentucky

Place of Publication

Lexington, KY






Henry James, Film adaptations


Literature in English, North America

Henry James Goes to the Movies
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