Best of Scorsese Book to Film Adaptations
With the release of new film Silence on New Year’s Day (scroll down to watch a trailer), we’re taking a look into Martin Scorsese’s best book to film adaptations.
Martin Scorsese’s Silence tells the story of two Christian missionaries (Andrew Garfield and Adam Driver) who face the ultimate test of faith when they travel to Japan in search of their missing mentor (Liam Neeson) — at a time when Christianity was outlawed and their presence forbidden. The celebrated director’s 28-year journey to bring Shusaku Endo’s 1966 acclaimed novel to life is in UK cinemas from January 1st.
The Wolf of Wall Street
The Wolf of Wall Street is an American biographical black comedy crime film by Martin Scorsese starring Leonardo DiCaprio. This film is adapted from the memoir of the same name by Jordan Belfort (played by DiCaprio). It recounts Belfort's perspective on his career as a stockbroker in New York City and how his firm Stratton Oakmont engaged in rampant corruption and fraud on Wall Street that ultimately led to his downfall.
The Age of Innocence
The Age of Innocence is an American film adaptation of Edith Wharton's 1920 novel of the same name. Newland Archer (played by Daniel Day-Lewis) is a wealthy lawyer who is engaged to sweet socialite May Welland in 1870s New York. They look like the perfect match on the outside but when May's cousin, the beautiful Countess Ellen Olenska, arrives in town, Newland begins to question the meaning of passion and love as he desperately seeks to pursue a relationship with Ellen, even though she has been made a social outcast.
Another film starring Leonardo DiCaprio but this time in a neo-noir psychological thriller which is set in 1954, Shutter Island is based on Dennis Lehane's 2003 novel of the same name. U.S. marshal Teddy Daniels (played by DiCaprio) is assigned to investigate the disappearance of a patient from Boston's Shutter Island Ashecliffe Hospital. Before long he wonders whether he has been brought there as part of a twisted plot by hospital doctors whose radical treatments range from unethical to illegal to downright sinister. Teddy slowly begins to doubt everything the further he investigates into this disappearance - his memory, his partner, even his own sanity.
Raging Bull is a biographical sports drama film starring Robert De Niro and is adapted from Jake LaMotta's memoir Raging Bull: My Story. The film takes place in 1964, Jake LaMotta (played by Robert De Niro) is a prizefighter always beating his opponents in the boxing ring. But he becomes a ticking time bomb when he starts treating his family and friends as opponents in the same way, ready to go off at any moment. LaMotta is constantly striving for his family's love but something always seems to come between them. His violent nature in the ring helped make him a champ, but in real life, he winds up in the ring alone.
This biographical drama film is based on the 1993 non-fiction book Howard Hughes: The Secret Life by Charles Higham. A young Howard (played by DiCaprio) moves to Los Angeles to become a Hollywood film producer after receiving 75% of his father's company's fortune. Hughes produced classics such as Scorsese’s favourite Hell's Angels (1930), The Front Page (1931), Flying Leathernecks (1951), and Scarface (1932), eventually owning RKO Pictures. Hughes branched off into industry after industry eventually landing in aviation where he created the company TWA Airlines and during WWII, he helped in leading the creation of the (infamous) Spruce Goose, a flying boat of immense size.
Making our way back to the great Robert De Niro, Casino is a crime drama film directed by Martin Scorsese and starring Joe Pesci and Sharon Stone. It is based on the non-fiction book by Nicholas Pileggi Casino: Love and Honor in Las Vegas. Nicholas also co-wrote the screenplay for the film along with Scorsese. Sam 'Ace' Rothstein (played by Robert De Niro), is a mob-connected casino operator in Las Vegas who attempts a civilized lifestyle with his wife, Ginger. Nicky Santoro, a boyhood friend and now a Made-Man of the Mafia, arrives in town with an ambitious agenda of his own that soon disrupts Ace's own life.
Gangs of New York
And finally, here we have the epic period drama Gangs of New York, which is based on Herbert Asbury's 1927 history book of the same name, and set in the mid-19th century in the Five Points district of New York City. DiCaprio stars alongside Daniel Day Lewis in this period piece. When his father is killed in New York City, Amsterdam Vallon (played by DiCaprio) returns in 1863 to hunt down his father's killer, Bill 'The Butcher' Cutting (played by Daniel Day Lewis). But this is no easy task for Amsterdam as gangs roam a corrupt New York City, with Bill Cutting ruling over all of them.
SILENCE is in UK cinemas nationwide January 1st
See all the director's films in the Scorsese Season at BFI Southbank in Jan – Feb 2017.