Film and Theatre

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Module code


  • Level 4
  • Semester 2
  • 24 places
  • English - School of Humanities
  • Coursework 100%


This module will appeal to students with an interest in literature, creative writing and performance as well as those with an interest in cinema and twentieth century visual culture.

The module will focus on the work of 20th Century British and American playwrights who have adapted their own work for the cinema and will examine the collaboration between writer and director.

The module will also engage with the art of screenwriting, film and theatre censorship in Britain and America; and how the ideas of dramatic theorists such as Brecht and Stanislavski have influenced cinema.

Students will also be able to examine the role of the film director in these works and address what is meant by the terms “theatrical” and “cinematic”.


Dr Brian Hoyle


As this is a 20 credit module there will be a 2 hour seminar every other week, as follows:

  • Week 1: Introduction: Terrence Rattigan and Anthony Asquith: The Browning Version + Ronald Harwood and Istvan Szabo: Taking Sides
  • Week 2: Peter Schaffer and Milos Foreman Amadeus + David Storey and Lindsay Anderson: In Celebration
  • Week 4: Noel Coward and David Lean: Brief Encounter + Lillian Hellman and William Wyler: The Little Foxes
  • Week 6: Tennessee Williams and Elia Kazan: A Streetcar Named Desire + Robert Bolt and Fred Zinnemann: A Man for All Seasons
  • Week 8: Shelia Delaney and Tony Richardson: A Taste of  Honey+ Charles Wood and Richard Lester: Dingo / How I Won the War
  • Week 10: Sam Shepherd and Robert Altman: Fool For Love + David Mamet and James Foley: Glengarry Glen Ross
  • Week 12: Ariel Dorfman and Roman Polanski: Death and the Maiden + Terry Johnson and Nicholas Roeg: Insignificance
  • Week 13: End of term screenings and discussion: Moira Buffini and Neil Jordan: Byzantium+ Tracey Letts and William Friedkin: Bug


  • Robert Knopf (ed), Theatre and Film: A Comparative (Yale U.P., 2004)
  • Ronald Harwood, Adaptations: From Other Works into Film (Guerrilla, 2007)