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J.D. Salinger Movies & TV

My Foolish Heart (1949)

This terrible movie is the reason that there are no other film versions of Salinger's stories. Though the movie claims to be based on Salinger's short story "Uncle Wiggily in Connecticut," it veers so far from the original plot that it's hard to see how the two are related. Salinger was so appalled that he has never allowed any other film adaptation of his work.

The 39 Steps (1935)

In The Catcher in the Rye, Holden's kid sister Phoebe likes this French film so much she knows "the whole goddamn movie by heart." According to his daughter's memoir, it is also one of Salinger's favorite movies.

Pari (1995)

Iranian filmmaker Darioush Mehrjui directed this movie, which is loosely based on the plot of Franny and Zooey. Much to Mehrjui's shock and dismay, Salinger sued to block its showing at Lincoln Center in New York. He can't stop you from watching it on DVD, though!

Field of Dreams (1989)

James Earl Jones plays Terrence Mann, a reclusive yet brilliant writer whose book is banned at the local high school for profanity. The character is based on J.D. Salinger. Shmoop was unable to determine whether Salinger has ever actually been kidnapped in order to help build a baseball field for dead players.

Igby Goes Down (2002)

This movie has been called the closest thing we'll ever see to a film version of The Catcher in the Rye. Kieran Culkin plays Igby Slocumb, a cynical, alienated prep school dropout battling his own hurt and loneliness. Claire Danes is his sometime-girlfriend and Ryan Phillippe is his jackass (but rather attractive) older brother.

J.D. Salinger Doesn't Want to Talk (1999)

It's hard to make a movie about a man who doesn't want to speak or be photographed, but that's what the makers of this documentary set out to do. The filmmakers interviewed Salinger's relatives, friends, and former close associates like Joyce Maynard, to compile this picture of the writer and his chosen life of isolation.

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