Madame Bovary at the Movies

Adaptation, Ideology, Context


Some eighteen film directors from France to the United States, Germany to India, have applied themselves to the task of adapting Madame Bovary to the screen. Why has Flaubert’s 1857 classic novel been so popular with filmmakers? What challenges have they had to meet? What ideologies do their adaptations serve? Madame Bovary at the Movies seeks to answer these questions, avoiding value judgments based on the notion of fidelity to the novel. In-depth analyses are reserved for the studio films of Renoir, Minnelli and Chabrol and the small-screen adaptation of Fywell. As the first book-length examination of the Madame Bovary adaptations, this volume, in addition to its pedagogical applications, will be a useful reference for scholars of literature and film and for those interested in the burgeoning field of adaptation studies.

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The author of A Woman’s Revenge: The Chronology of Dispossession in Guy de Maupassant’s Fiction (French Forum Monographs, 1986) and Medical Examinations: Dissecting the Doctor in French Narrative Prose (1857-1894) (University of Nebraska Press, 2000), Mary Donaldson-Evans is Elias Ahuja Professor of Foreign Languages and Literatures at the University of Delaware.
The Theory and Practice of Adaptation
Jean Renoir (1934): Framing Emma
Vincente Minnelli (1949): Hollywood Rediscovers Emma
Claude Chabrol (1991): Keeping the Faith
Tim Fywell (2000): Sex in the Living Room
Adaptation and its Avatars
Appendix A: Synopsis of Novel
Appendix B: Filmography
Appendix C: Glossary of Film Terms