Cover image for The great American playwrights on the screen : a critical guide to film, video, and DVD
The great American playwrights on the screen : a critical guide to film, video, and DVD
Roberts, Jerry, 1956-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Applause Theatre & Cinema Books ; Milwaukee, WI : Sales and distribution USA, Hal Leonard Corp., [2003]

Physical Description:
573 pages ; 23 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PS338.M67 R63 2003 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area
PS338.M67 R63 2003 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks-Non circulating

On Order



(Applause Books). The Great American Playwrights on the Screen is a complete, up-to-date record of movie and television productions of classic and contemporary works of the great playwrights. Rich in historical value and detail, this reference book not only tracks Tony Award and Pulitzer Prize winners, but also unearths unheralded treasures and forgotten performances by great actors and the great directors they served. To show the ongoing influences and legacies of the great plays, Roberts compares and contrasts the adapted versions, and includes colorful reviews by prominent critics of tv and film (beginning with those of the silent era). The profound expansion of television into American homes in the 1950s brought a flood of adapted plays to the small screen, and resulted in the rebirth of the careers of many significant playwrights. The Great American Playwrights on the Screen provides fans with a video and DVD guide to the adapted works of the playwrights, and shows which versions are available for home viewing and in which media (VHS, Beta, Laser, DVD, Letterbox). Simultaneously, this book is a unique, one-stop source for academics, students of the theatre arts, actors, directors and producers. Organized in an easy-to-use A-Z format, the book features over 200 playwrights including Arthur Miller, Marsha Norman, Eugene O'Neill, Aaron Sorkin, Neil Simon, Wendy Wasserstein, and Tennessee Williams. In addition, The Great American Playwrights on the Screen resurrects the memories of television productions of plays at a critical time, when many of them including Emmy Award winners and nominees are deteriorating in vaults.

Reviews 2

Library Journal Review

Employing a user-friendly, A-to-Z format arranged by author, Roberts, a writer, editor, and critic, compiles a comprehensive, up-to-date listing of English-language movie and television productions of classic and contemporary works by more than 200 of America's greatest playwrights, including Tennessee Williams, Wendy Wasserstein, Lillian Hellman, and Horton Foote. Only productions adapted from the stage are included, from the well known (Foote's The Trip to Bountiful) to the forgotten (William Vaughn Moody's The Great Divide); TV dramas that began as such are excluded. Each entry includes the author's name and a brief biography, followed by each play listed alphabetically. In turn, Roberts features production date and company, quality rating, primary cast, available media format, brief plot synopsis, and production notes. Many entries also include commentary by drama/film critics and other writers from Variety, The New Yorker, and the Los Angeles Times, among other publications. One excellent feature is the inclusion of all productions of a work-the four versions of Inherit the Wind, for example. The writing is uniformly excellent, and users will find this a handy companion to American theater history. Highly recommended for all theater and film collections to complement John C. Tibbetts and James M. Welsh's The Encyclopedia of Stage Plays into Film, which is international in scope.-Anthony J. Adam, Prairie View A&M Univ., TX (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Choice Review

After contributing to many works pertaining to cinema studies, Roberts has now put together a reference resource concerning some 200 American playwrights whose works have been adapted to film or television. Included are not only well-known Tony award and Pulitzer Prize works, but some lesser-known treasures of theater adapted for the screen. The entries, alphabetically arranged, include biographical sketches, cast members, directors, critical reviews of notable plays, and video and DVD versions. The book has an extensive bibliography but no index of any kind--the latter sorely needed, especially to find the more obscure entries. This book will be a source toward which film novices may be drawn, only to find that it is user-unfriendly. Lacking an index, it will be useful only for seasoned graduate students and faculty. ^BSumming Up: Optional. Graduate students; faculty. P. M. Adams Nova Southeastern University