John Huston's Wise Blood is the most widely known film made from
O'Connor's fiction, there have been numerous others, some are easily
accessible, while some will take a lot of effort to locate.
A Circle in The Fire
Three teenagers shatter the security of the Cope farm when they cruelly destroy what they cannot possess.
Chicago : Perspective Films, 1976. 50 min.
Produced and Directed by Victor Nunez. Starring Betty Miller, Ingred Schweska, Katherine Miller, Mark Hey, Casey Donovan, and Tom
Comforts of Home
The precarious relationship between a mother and son spins out of
control when a young girl arrives at their home.
St. Louis: Phoenix Films. 40 min.
Director, Jerome Shore. Starring Graham Jarvis, Kate Harrington, and Stockard
Available on DVD and VHS for $59.99 from Phoenix
The Displaced Person
When a Polish refugee arrives in Georgia with his family in the 1940s, their integration into southern culture
does not go smoothly.
Chicago: Perspective Films, 1977. 58 min. Part of the series The American Short Story.
Produced by Robert Geller, directed by Glenn Jordan, starring John Houseman and Samuel L. Jackson.
Available on DVD from
Good Country People
When a traveling Bible salesman stops by a rural farm and woos a jaded
scholar, he steals more than her kisses. A favorable review of the
film can be found in Jane Archer's article "This
is My Place". Made through an Independent Filmmaker's Grant
from the American Film Institute the film was originally shot on 16mm
film and is now available on DVD direct from the producer's studio.
According to the producer, Shirley Slater, the actress who portrays
Hulga in the movie, was a friend of O'Connor's.
Burbank: Valley Video, Inc., 1975. 32 min.
Produced by Andy House and Jeffrey Jackson. Director, writer, editor, Jeffrey F.
Jackson. Camera, Jack Epps, Jr. Starring Johnnie Collins III, Shirley Slater, June Whitley
Taylor and Sue Marrow.
Jeffrey Jackson sells DVDs for $30 + $3 S&H, and accepts
either checks or credit cards. You can contact Mr. Jackson either
through his studio website or at the Taos Land and Film Co., 7062
NDCBU (US Mail) 1134 Juniper Rd. Taos, NM 87571.
The Life You Save
O'Connor said of this television adaptation in the Schlitz Playhouse of
Stars series, "a story I sold [will star] a tap-dancer...the
punishment always fits the crime."
Aired March 1, 1957. 30 min.
Starring Gene Kelly, Agnes Moorehead and Janice Rule.
Available for $24.99 + $3.05 shipping from Dee
Sloan's Radio Video Archive.
A boy, neglected by his parents and left in the hands of a deeply religious
Southern fundamentalist babysitter who takes him to a "healing"
service on a riverbank. The boy is handed over to the preacher to be
baptized in the churning waters, and as the preacher lifts him from
the water, he tells him that from now on, "he counts, he is
somebody." The next morning when he is home again, surrounded by the
empty whiskey bottles and cigarette butts from his parents' party
the night before, the boy remembers how it felt to be "somebody."
He leaves the house, determined to get back to the river and relive
the experience of the day before.
Beverly Hills: The Institute, 1976. 29 min.
Producer and director, Barbara Noble. Starring Robby Paris, Dran Hammilton,
Shelby Leverington, James Eric, Martin Nicholson, and Tiger Jo Marsh.
Available on DVD and VHS $59.99 from
Phoenix Learning Group.
In this satirical adaptation of O'Connor's most famous novel, Hazel
Motes vows to fill his life with sin, only to be mistaken for a preacher,
which he takes as an opportunity to found his Church Without Jesus
Christ. "Huston’s translation of Flannery O'Connor's Southern Gothic novel brings
O’Connor’s peculiar violence and grace to life on screen." Leonard
Maltin's Movie & Video Guide (1998)
Universal Studios, 1979. 106 min.
If you're wondering what makes this film such a big deal, read Francine Prose's
film essay, Wise
Blood: a Matter of Life and Death. There's also a review of the
Wise Blood DVD at Slant.
Directed by John Huston. Starring Brad Dourif, Ned Beatty, Harry Dean Stanton, Dan Shor, and Amy Wright.
Recently re-released on a Criterion Collection DVD $29.99 from
Mostly an interview with a short live-action dramatization of the
opening of "The Life You Save May be Your Own". Hosted by
Paul Breit, the book editor for the New York Times, O'Connor described
it in her letters as "mildly ghastly".
New York : WRCA-TV, May 31, 1955. 30 min.
Host: Harvey Breit. Guest: Flannery O'Connor. Produced by Ann Keeley, directed
by James Elson. Starring Sandy Kenyon, Mary Perry and Mildred Cook.
Transcript available in
Conversations with Flannery O'Connor.