The essays in this collection analyse major film adaptations of twentieth-century American fiction, from F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Last Tycoon to Toni Morrison's Beloved. During the century, films based on American literature came to play a central role in the history of the American cinema. Combining cinematic and literary approaches, this volume explores the adaptation process from conception through production and reception. The contributors explore the ways political and historical contexts have shaped the transfer from book to screen, and the new perspectives that films bring to literary works. In particular, they examine how the twentieth-century literary modes of realism, modernism, and postmodernism have influenced the forms of modern cinema. Written in a lively and accessible style, the book includes production stills and full filmographies. Together with its companion volume on nineteenth-century fiction, the volume offers a comprehensive account of the rich tradition of American literature on screen.

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