Six Classic Novels by Women that Made It to The Big Screens

Little women
It really is heartwarming to see our all time favourite classic novels written by women on the big screen. In many cases these have been made, and remade. Many of the most successful award-winning movies originate from classic literature novels. Little women is a good example. Here are more.

1. Pride and Prejudice- Jane Austen, 1813

The film adaptation of the absolute classic novel was released in 2005, starring Keira Knightley and Matthew Macfayden. The film absolutely did justice to every aspect of the novel- the Victorian set up, the costumes, the roles (Mr. Darcy seemed straight out of the book). The movie very beautifully depicts the social contrast that makes a chasm between Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy.

While there were some interpretations, that came out differently, as compared to the novel; the beauty of the story, the power and confidence that was never seen before in a female lead, was kept intact. Every element that touched us while reading the book, we certainly had goosebumps when it was on the big screen- love truly won the game- in word and in motion.

2. Color Purple- Alice Walker, 1982

This movie won a Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1985. The film cast was fit the characters from the classic novel like a sock-Whoopi Goldberg, Danny Glover, Oprah Winfrey, Adolph Caesar, Rae Dawn Chong, Akosua Busia, and Willard Pugh.  From the backdrop to the story shot in North Carolina, if you’ve read the book or not, the presence of such real world women issues, and how one deals with it, will touch your heart. The imaginative imagery added to the beautiful narration brings out minute details of how the book was given so much of time and love to progress naturally in its absolute raw form.


3. Rebecca- Daphne du Maurier’s, 1938

It is one of the closest adaptation from a classic novel to a film. The first time, the novel was taken out of print was in 2020, starring Lily James, Armie Hammer, Kristin Scott Thomas, Keeley Hawes, Ann Dowd, and Sam Riley. The novel itself takes a very Gothic monstrous route; the film preserves the sanctity of these themes and the psychological torment. The emotions are fever-pitched and embraces a rare theme of Gothic romance.


A still from Netflix film Rebecca.

Read Also: Rebecca By Daphne Du Maurier: Gender, Gothic Haunting And Gaslighting

4. Gone With The Wind- Margret Mitchell, 1935

The film, Gone With The Wind was appeared on the big screens in 1939. The film also broadly follows the novel- set in the midst of the Civil War and in the heart of Fitzgerald’s Jazz era. The film embraces the tarnished version of the characters in all its virtue and it did justice to the roles women played in the time of the Depression. It put the woman on the forefront of public gaze because it was probably the start of when the voices, desires and yearnings of women were finally heard and shown.

Gone with the wind

Gone with the wind

5. Wuthering Heights- Emily Bronte, 1846

The adapted version of the book, as a film came out for the first time in 2011. More than a female character, this is a point in history where a woman had heroic traits. The elegance and grace that is portrayed in the classic novel, is seen with even more charisma in the film. The transformation of Cathy (Shannon Beer, Kaya Scodelario) is shown very naturally and performed with ease and the appropriate balance of reality and the fictional element of the novel.

6. Mansfield Park- Jane Austen, 1813

Mansfield Park, the film was released in 1993, which had a versatile cast-  Frances O’Connor as Fanny Price ; Jonny Lee Miller as Edmund Bertram; James Purefoy as Thomas Bertram Jr.; Embeth Davidtz as Mary Crawford. The film goes beyond the classic novel and adds on to its magic by more elements. It does to justice of giving precedence to Jane Austen’s ingrained values in the film, before carrying on with the romance and melodrama. The relationship and history of women and education portrayed in the novel, brings out such a sense of the eagerness to be somewhere and this underlying sense of protest.

Read Also: 6 Must-Read Books With Queer Character Leads