Adapting The Outsiders from A History of the Art of Adaptation [Video] (1:14)

You Can Please Some of the People Some of the Time… None of the People All of the Time: A History of the Art of Adaptation in Movies like Dune, The Godfather, Harry Potter and More!

Dr. Rosanne Welch speaks on A History of the Art of Adaptation in Movies like Dune, The Godfather, Harry Potter and More! at the California State University, Fullerton Library

Part of the program series for Dune by Frank Herbert: A 50th Anniversary Celebration.

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Adapting The Outsiders from A History of the Art of Adaptation



The Godfather leads us to The Outsiders which was also done by Francis Ford Coppola and that’s because — this is probably, along with In Cold Blood, one of the most faithful adaptions of a novel ever into a film and that’s because — I love this too, because it’s the power of the audience — a group of fourth graders who loved The Godfather — I don’t know how they quite saw it – but they understood that Francis Ford Coppola was a very important director — they sent him a copy of The Outsiders with a not asking him to direct the movie version and he was like, “Well, I’ve never heard of this book. I suppose I’ll read it.” He read it. HR thought, “Wow this is pretty good. I can do that” and he made sure, because of what the children had written him– he made sure to be as faithful to that book as he could. If you watch that movie with the novel in your hand, nothing happens that doesn’t happen in the novel and he uses almost everything in the novel. There’s nothing that gets left behind. Now it’s a small — it’s a slim little novel, but it’s an amazing piece of adaptation. It is a perfect copy of that novel and it’s funny because people dismiss it because it’s a teen book — a pre-teen book at this stage — but it’s really, really and excellent example of how to do an adaptation properly. So audiences for this are hugely popular.    

About this talk

Dr. Rosanne Welch (RTVF) speaks on the craft of history of film adaptations from the controversy of the silent film Birth of a Nation (protested by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People in 1915) to Breakfast at Tiffany’s (to which author Truman Capote famously said, “The only thing left from the book is the title”) to The Godfather . Naturally, the behemoth in adaptation – Harry Potter (which depended on the relationship created by adapter Steve Kloves and author J.K. Rowling) will be discussed, as will the subject of this month’s celebration: Dune.

Date: Wednesday, October 14, 2015 Time: 1:00pm – 2:00pm

About Dr. Rosanne Welch

Dr. Rosanne Welch is a professor in the Low Residency MFA in Screenwriting Program from Stephens College, California State University, Fullerton, Mount San Antonio Community College and Cal Poly Pomona.  In 2007, she graduated with her Ph.D. in 20th Century U.S./Film History from Claremont Graduate University.  She graduated with her M.A. in 20th Century United States History from California State University, Northridge in 2004.

Welch is also a television writer/producer with credits for Beverly Hills 90210 , CBS’s Emmy winning Picket Fences and Touched By An Angel . She also writes and hosts her own podcasts on, her first one titled “Mindful(I) Media with Dr. Rosanne Welch.”

Her upcoming book, “Why The Monkees Matter: Teenagers, Television and American Pop Culture” will be published in Fall 2016

Three Ring Circus: How Real Couples Balance Marriage, Work and Kids and The Encyclopedia of Women in Aviation and Space are two books she has written. Los Angeles Times and the Journal of Screenwriting hold some of her published articles.

Dr. Rosanne Welch Web Site and Blog

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Dr. Rosanne Welch on YouTube

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