Faulkner's novels have inspired big screen hits for decades, and in the 1940s, he tried his hand at screenwriting. One evening director Howard Hawks introduced Faulkner to Clark Gable. When Gable asked Faulkner which authors he recommended, he replied, "Hemingway, Cather, Mann, Dos Passos, and William Faulkner." Gable then inquired, "Oh, do you write?" To which Faulkner replied, "Yes, Mr. Gable. What do you do?
Learn more about the movies that came out of Faulkner's "Hollywood binge."
Today We Live (1933) Based on the William Faulkner story Turn About; dialogue also written by Faulkner
Starring Joan Crawford and Gary Cooper
This movie follows the entanglement of three characters set during World War I: the young American Richard Bogard (Gary Cooper), the aristocratic English girl Diana Boyce-Smith (Joan Crawford), and her childhood sweetheart Claude Hope (Robert Young).
Interesting enough, Faulkner's original story did not have a female character. Adding the romantic triangle shifted Faulkner's original intent from a story about men at war into a melodrama. Nonetheless, creating the dialogue proved to be an interesting challenge for the writer. To Have and Have Not
(1944) Screenplay written by Faulkner; based on the novel by Ernest Hemingway
Starring Lauren Bacall and Humphrey Bogart Directed by Howard Hawks
Faulkner's collaboration with Ernest Hemingway in making To Have and Have Not marks the only time in film history that two Nobel Prize-winning authors were associated with the same motion picture.
The movie showcases the talents of Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall. Bogart plays a boat captain, Harry Morgan, who reluctantly agrees to help the French Resistance while wooing sassy singer Marie "Slim" Browning, played by Bacall.
The stars are said to have fallen in love during production. Their palpable chemistry made the film an instant classic and the high point of Faulkner's career in Hollywood. The Big Sleep (1946) Screenplay written by William Faulkner Starring Lauren Bacall and Humphrey Bogart Directed by Howard Hawks
Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall made screen history together more than once, but they were never more popular than in this 1946 adaptation of Raymond Chandler's novel. Bogart plays private eye Philip Marlowe, who is hired by a wealthy socialite (Bacall) to investigate troubles surrounding her untamed young sister (Martha Vickers). William Faulkner wrote the notoriously complicated detective-style screenplay.
Although Faulkner didn't consider himself to be any good at writing screenplays, not everyone agreed. Director Howard Hawks, who collaborated with Faulkner on many films, said that Faulkner revealed "inventiveness, taste, and great ability to characterize the visual imagination, to translate those qualities into the medium of the screen." The Long, Hot Summer
(1958) Based on a variety of works by William Faulkner Starring Orson Welles, Paul Newman, Joanne Woodward, Lee Remick, Angela Lansbury Directed by Martin Ritt
Paul Newman plays a drifter who catches the eye of schoolmarm Woodward and her father, a rural Mississippi bigshot (Orson Welles). Newman and Woodward shared romance off the set as well; they married after shooting ended.
The script draws from many Faulkner works, including the short stories Barn Burning and The Spotted Horses, as well as his novel The Hamlet. These writings served as the basis for the 1985 made-for-TV movie also entitled The Long Hot Summer, starring Don Johnson, Jason Robards, Judith Ivey, Cybill Shepherd, and Ava Gardner. The Sound and the Fury
(1959) Based on the novel by the same name Starring Yul Brynner as Jason Compson and Joanne Woodward as Miss Quentin Directed by Martin Ritt
Loosely based on the novel, this movie follows the lives and passions of the Compsons: a once-proud Southern family now just barely scraping by both financially and emotionally.
Films such as this garnered Faulkner constant attention from Hollywood, but he showed little interest in anything beyond the much-needed revenue they provided him. Generally disinterested in Tinseltown, he avoided premieres and refused to do interviews in connection with the films. Two Soldiers Academy Award Winner - 2004 - Best Short Film (Live Action) Based on the short story by William Faulkner
Two Soldiers is the story of two otherwise inseparable brothers, pulled apart by war. Set on the eve of America's involvement in WWII, Faulkner's story of love, loyalty and duty, resonates as meaningfully today as it did in 1942, when it was originally published in the Saturday Evening Post. Two Soldiers and its heroic protagonists are Faulkner's loving homage to those who would sacrifice their lives and family ties for the freedoms that America enjoys today.
Visit www.cineville.com/twosoldiers to learn more.