Pop the champagne! Today we are celebrating T.S. Eliot with these adaptations you may not know about. From film to broadway, Eliot’s poetry has stood the test of time.
We’ve all read T.S. Eliot’s poetry. Born September 26, 1888, Eliot is considered one of the most notable 20th-century poets. His work has been adapted over the years into films, plays, and broadway musicals. You may have watched one and didn’t even know it was inspired by T.S. Eliot!
Some notable poems by Eliot include “The Waste Land,” “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock,” “Preludes,” and many more. Let’s look at some adaptations inspired by his life and poetry.
1. Tom & Viv (film, 1994)
This movie doesn’t follow a specific work of Eliots, but rather is about his life. The film was adapted from an earlier play by Michael Hastings that follows the life of T.S. Eliot and his wife Vivienne Haigh-Wood Eliot. Willem Dafoe plays T.S. Eliot in this historical drama about Eliot discovering the darker side of his wife Vivienne after their elopement. Vivienne is Eliot’s muse in most cases, but is her behavior too much for him to bear? You’ll have to watch and see!
2. Cats the Musical (1981-present)
We all know it. We all love it. We’ve all probably seen it live too! Did you know Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Cats the Musical is an adaptation of a collection of poetry by Eliot titled Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats. This collection of light and playful poetry published in 1939 explores feline psychology and sociology. Yes, T.S. Eliot was officially a cat person.
3. Murder in the Cathedral (film, 1951)
Originally a play by T.S. Eliot, the verse drama, directed by George Hoellering, released in 1951. The original play by Eliot portrays the story of the Archbishop of Canterbury, Thomas Becket. The black and white film that focused on static shots and voice overs won the Grand Prix at the Venice Film Festival in 1951!
4. The Waste Land (short film, 1995)
“The Waste Land” is one of T.S. Eliot’s most notable poems. Originally published in 1922, Deborah Warner, director, adapted the poem into a one woman short film in 1995 starring Fiona Shaw. This short film is done in a powerful way that reveals the comedy and tragedy in Eliot’s work.
5. Cats (film, 2019)
We’ve all seen the musical, but have you seen the film? Tom Hooper directed the film adaptation of Eliot’s Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats in 2019 bringing in 75.5 million in the box office. This film adaptation starred some very notable talent including Taylor Swift, Idris Elba, James Corden, Jennifer Hudson, Rebel Wilson, and many more!
Who knew that Eliot’s work took so many forms outside the realm on poetry? Now we do! Make sure to watch one of these films or go see the musical to celebrate T.S. Eliot!
Read more about T.S. Eliot by clicking here!