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George Eliot: A Scandalous Life (2002)

This dishy documentary from the BBC is surprisingly scandalous. In an age where starlets distribute their own sex tapes, it's hard to understand just how shocking Eliot's life was to her Victorian peers. Her decision to live with a married man was enough to brand her as an outcast, but her unconventional views on religion and sexuality were equally unusual.

Middlemarch (1994)

Masterpiece Theatre takes on Eliot's complicated novel, a tapestry of stories centered on protagonist Dorothea Brooke. It's a six-part miniseries. You might as well just read the book.

Middlemarch (2011)

This upcoming film, scheduled for release in 2011, would be the first feature film adaptation of Eliot's epic (other directors have chosen to break the complicated book into the bite-sized pieces of a miniseries). Sam Mendes will direct. Rumor has it that his wife Kate Winslet may star, though Mendes has not announced casting decisions.

Silas Marner: The Weaver of Raveloe (1985)

This Australian made-for-television film tells the story of Eliot's hapless tailor. It stars Ben Kingsley as Silas and won a boatload of awards.

The Mill on the Floss (1937)

One of the earliest film adaptations of Eliot's work, this black-and-white movie may be hard to find now. (FYI, the Floss in Eliot's book is a river, not a dental hygiene tool.)

The Mill on the Floss (1997)

Emily Watson stars as Maggie Tulliver in this Masterpiece Theatre version of The Mill on the Floss. The novel was Eliot's most autobiographical work, reflecting on the tense relationship between desire and social convention. It's an excellent movie.

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