"There is more treasure in books than in all the pirate's loot on Treasure Island." - Walt Disney

Monday, December 12, 2011

Movies about Writers and Writing

As writers, we spend most of our free time either writing or reading. Sometimes it’s nice to just relax with a good movie and a bowl of popcorn. Perhaps you’re looking to do so, but want to stay with the writing theme. Whether you are a poet, novelist or playwright there are plenty of movies out there for you. Below are eleven movies in my collection (I actually have several dozen writing related movies, but for your sanity, I just picked these ;-).

1)      The Shining - This film combines the talents of Stanley Kubrick and Stephen King to bring to life the madness and personal creative hell of writer Jack Torrance. This is good to watch when suffering writers block.
2)      Misery - Beware of Number One Fans! This film strikes fear into the heart of every serial novelist out there, with Kathy Bates playing a crazed fan unhappy that her favorite writer has decided to kill off her beloved character.
3)      Secret Window - Don’t go to an isolated cabin in the woods to finish your novel – trust me on this one!
4)      Finding Forrester - A teenager from the wrong side of the tracks befriends a reclusive writer played by Sean Connery. This film explores the sometimes tumultuous relationship that develops between a teen writing prodigy and a reclusive author.
5)      Finding Neverland – Johnny Depp is playwright J.M. Barrie who during the writing of his play, Peter Pan, befriends Sylvia Llewelyn Davies (Kate Winslet) and her young sons, who inspire the story. Have Kleenex handy – this one’s a tear jerker!
6)      Quills – Learn more about the banned books and suppression faced by the notoriously scandalous writer (even by today’s standards) the Marquis de Sade. WARNING – extremely explicit language and graphics.
7)      Shakespeare in Love – This film won an Oscar for best picture for its sad depiction of writing success in the face of lost love and sacrifice. Pain is often the catalyst to some of our best writing.
8)      Miss Potter - While today we regard Beatrix Potter’s cute animal tales with admiration as children’s classics, in her time she had to struggle against family, prejudices and unwilling publishers to find success, as you can see in this film.
9)      Deathtrap - written by Jay Presson Allen.   Based on the play by Ira Levin.  Directed by Sidney Lumet. Sidney Bruhl (played by Michael Cane) is a famous writer of mystery plays but hasn’t produced anything good for awhile.  When he reads a play by an old student (played by Christopher Reeve), Sidney instantly recognizes it as a surefire hit.  He cooks up a theme to invite his student over, murder him, then steal the play as his own.  But when the student finally arrives, things are far from what they seem.
10)  Dead Poets Society – One of the most memorable and moving tales about a teacher sharing his love of writing with his students.
11)   Capote - This depiction of writer Truman Capote garnered actor Philip Seymour Hoffman an Oscar for his performance and will have viewers both fascinated and repelled by the lengths Capote goes to in order to ensure he gets the story he wants.

To see a more detailed list, 200 Movies about Writer’s and Writing: http://www.susantaylorbrown.com/movies.html

What are some of your favorite movies about writers and writing?


Anonymous said...

Your 1, 2, and 3 are three of my favorites. I haven't seen the others! Will have to look out for them. And yes, I like to relax away from the keyboard every so often.

Paula Martin said...

You missed out one of my favourites, Sylvia - Paperback Hero, with the gorgeous Hugh Jackman as a rough, tough Australian - who writes romantic novels!

LM Preston said...

My goodness I'm a movie hound and have seen all of these :-D Great list.

Halli Gomez said...

You definitely picked my favorites! There is a little bit to learn from each of those. I think the messages are clear in The Shining and Misery.

And another Stephen King book turned into movie "Bag of Bones" is about a writer. It is on A&E tonight.

L.G.Smith said...

LOVE Finding Neverland. Makes me cry every time. Another movie I like about a writer is Out of Africa. Hmm, that one makes me cry too. I'm seeing a pattern.

Angeline said...

My favourite has to be 'Bright Star' about the poet John Keats.

mooderino said...

Woody Allen's latest, Midnight in Paris, was pretty good and was about a writer meeting writers.

Great post, cheers.

Moody Writing
The Funnily Enough

Sylvia Ney said...

Paula and Angeline - I've never seen the ones you mentioned. I'll have to check them out!

Tasha Seegmiller said...

I loved Finding Forrester and it is kind of writing related, but I love Little Women too. Jo is one of my favorites ever.

Sylvia Ney said...

Tasha - I absolutely LOVE Little Women and I watched part of Shattered Glass today after posting this. I didn't even list any of my journalism movies!

Kittie Howard said...

A great list, wish I'd seen more so will make notes to get going on that. But "Dead Poets Society" is my absolute fav, with big applause for "Little Women" (Jo was my fav there.)

Southpaw said...

Wow what a hodgepodge list. Good stuff there and a few I haven't seen yet.

Christine Rains said...

Stephen King does write the best stories about writers. :) He understands something about the very nature of being a writer that gets to all of us.

Please stop by my blog. I'm having a holiday book giveaway. :)

Shereese Maynard said...

Finding Neverland is my absolute favorite but I also enjoyed Becoming Jane.