November 17, 2012

Thanksgiving Edition: Films & TV Set in the Colonial Era

Happy Turkey Day, Romancing the Tome readers! In honor of the holiday, we've pulled together some Colonial-related film and TV picks, plus one suggestion for an adaptation that's yet to be made.

The Scarlet Letter
There are a few adaptations of this Nathanial Hawthorne historical novel about Puritans in Boston, Massachusetts during the years 1642 to 1649. Perhaps the most notorious is Demi Moore's steamy 1995 turn as Hester Prynne with Gary Oldman as her illicit lover Reverend Arthur Dimmesdale. Lillian Gish starred in the 1926 version pictured above. 

The Last of the Mohicans
James Fenimore Cooper's novel takes place in 1757 in upstate New York during the French and Indian wars. Daniel Day-Lewis (currently in theaters as Lincoln) famously played a super-hot, Mohican-reared Nathanial Poe (aka Hawkeye) in a 1992 (wow, it's been that long?) adaptation directed by Michael Mann. 

The Crucible
Winona Ryder starred with a somewhat scrawnier Daniel Day-Lewis in the 1996 film adaption of Arthur Miller's 1953 play about the Salem witch trials (symbolic of McCarthy's communist blacklisting). 

Colonial House
Our favorite kind of reality show, and one we sorely miss! Contestants of Colonial House (like Regency House and 1900 House) must survive in the living environment of a particular historical period and location. Historians and archaeologists were on hand to ensure historical accuracy. We still don't understand why no one has taken us up on our offer to create and star in another spinoff of the "House" series: Versailles House...


And, finally, our suggested adaptation: The Refugees: A Tale of Two Continents 
Arthur Conan Doyle's novel spans two continents and tells the story of a French Huguenot family's flight to the New World from the court of Louis XIV. Once they arrive, they must travel through hundreds of miles of untamed wilderness, evading Indians as they flee a malevolent Jesuit priest.

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