French novels, plays, poems and short stories, however temporally or culturally distant from us, continue to be incarnated and reincarnated on cinema screens across the world. From the silent films of Georges Méliès to the Hollywood production of Gustave Flaubert's Madame Bovary directed by Sophie Barthes, The History of French Literature on Film explores the key films, directors, and movements that have shaped the adaptation of works by French authors since the end of the 19th century. Across six chapters, Griffiths and Watts examine the factors that have driven this vibrant adaptive industry, as filmmakers have turned to literature in search of commercial profits, cultural legitimacy, and stories rich in dramatic potential. The volume also explains how the work of theorists from a variety of disciplines (literary theory, translation theory, adaptation theory), can help to deepen both our understanding and our appreciation of literary adaptation as a creative practice. Finally, this volume seeks to make clear that adaptation is never a simple transcription of an earlier literary work. It is always simultaneously an adaptation of the society and era for which it is created. Adaptations of French literature are thus not only valuable artistic artefacts in their own right, so too are they important historical documents which testify to the values and tastes of their own time.