Movies based on Oscar Wilde’s books

Here are some movies based on Oscar Wilde’s stories.

The Canterville Ghost is a 1944 fantasy/comedy film directed by Jules Dassin, loosely based on the short story of the same title by Oscar Wilde. It starred Charles Laughton as a ghost doomed to haunt an English castle and Robert Young as his American descendant called upon to perform an act of bravery to redeem him. This movie was remade in the year 1985, 1986, 1995.

The Picture of Dorian Gray
The Picture of Dorian Gray

Dorian Gray is a 1970 movie adaptation of Oscar Wilde’s novel The Picture of Dorian Gray starring Helmut Berger. Directed by Massimo Dallamano, the film stresses the decadence and eroticism of the story and changes the setting to early 1970s London. The sexual liberation of the late 1960s and early 1970s provides a fitting backdrop for Dorian’s escapades in this version, and also the general clothing and fashion style of the era is extrapolated into a 1970s version of the aesthetic, decadent world of the 1890s novel. This movie was remade in the year 2009.

The Fan is a 1949 American drama film directed by Otto Preminger. The screenplay by Dorothy Parker, Walter Reisch, and Ross Evans is based on the 1892 play Lady Windermere’s Fan by Oscar Wilde. The play had been filmed at least twice before, a 1916 silent film and a later adaptation by Ernst Lubitsch in 1925.

Flesh and Fantasy is a 1943 American anthology film directed by Julien Duvivier, starring Edward G. Robinson, Charles Boyer, and Barbara Stanwyck. The making of this film was inspired by the success of Duvivier’s previous anthology film, the 1942 Tales of Manhattan. Flesh and Fantasy tell three stories, unrelated but with a supernatural theme, by Ellis St. Joseph, Oscar Wilde, and László Vadnay.

A Good Woman is a 2004 drama film directed by Mike Barker. The screenplay by Howard Himelstein is based on the 1892 play Lady Windermere’s Fan by Oscar Wilde. It is the third screen version of the work, following a 1925 Ernst Lubitsch silent film and Otto Preminger’s 1949 adaptation entitled The Fan.

The Happy Prince is an animated short film adaptation of the short story by Oscar Wilde. The film was produced in 1974 by the Canadian-based Potterton Productions as a follow-up to its 1971 film The Selfish Giant.

An Ideal Husband is a 1998 film based on the play of the same name by Oscar Wilde. While the film retains the premise of Wilde’s play and much of the original dialogue, it updates the action to the present-day. The external scenes of the film were shot at various locations in the English ‘home counties’, principally in Buckinghamshire. This play was also converted into a movie in the year 1947 and 1999.

The Importance of Being Earnest (1952) is a British film adaptation of the play by Oscar Wilde. It was directed by Anthony Asquith, who also adapted the screenplay, and was produced by Teddy Baird. This was remade in the year 2002.

Lady Windermere’s Fan is a 1925 American silent film directed by Ernst Lubitsch. It is based on Oscar Wilde’s 1893 play Lady Windermere’s Fan which was first played in America that year by Julia Arthur as Lady Windermere and Maurice Barrymore as Lord Darlington.

The Picture of Dorian Gray is a 1916 British silent fantasy film directed by Fred W. Durrant and starring Henry Victor, Pat O’Malley and Sydney Bland. It is based on the novel The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde. This was a very famous play and was converted into a movie in the years 1917, 1918, 1945.

Salomé (1923), a silent film directed by Charles Bryant and starring Alla Nazimova, is a film adaptation of the Oscar Wilde play of the same name. The play itself is a loose retelling of the biblical story of King Herod and his execution of John the Baptist at the request of his stepdaughter, Salomé, whom he lusts after.

A Woman of No Importance is a 1921 British drama film directed by Denison Clift. It is based on the play A Woman of No Importance by Oscar Wilde.

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