Cinematic adaptations

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Cormac McCarthy is the foremost American novelist to have simultaneously inspired and crafted screenplays which are successful in their own right. Beginning with his early script for The Gardener’s Son (1977) and continuing through both the Coen brothers’ film adaptation of No Country for Old Men (2007) and his own screenplay for The Counselor (2013), McCarthy has emerged as a formidable figure on both the page and on screen. Yet the intriguing aspect of this dual career is how fully his cinematic efforts have altered the trajectory of his novelistic creations, with an early verbal style that culminated in the famously baroque Blood Meridian honed decades later into a more elliptical, streamlined novelistic strain. And this becomes most clearly apparent in reviewing the successes (and failures) involved in adapting McCarthy’s astringent novelistic vision for the cinema. The review of seven distinct original screenplays and adaptations suggests that the arc of McCarthy’s novels cannot be adequately understood independent of his strong, developing commitment to cinematic possibilities, which have progressively altered a vision initiated as exclusively verbal and become increasingly tempered by visual and filmic considerations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationCormac McCarthy in Context
PublisherCambridge University Press
Number of pages11
ISBN (Electronic)9781108772297
ISBN (Print)9781108488839
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Arts and Humanities


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