05/31/2011 07:31 am ET Updated Jul 31, 2011

Timeless Taboos In Book Adaptations: Why 19th-Century Novels Appeal To Film-Makers

At press previews, to which movie critics are lured on weekday mornings by platters of complimentary croissants and fruit segments, a special mood of resentment greets the unspooling of a franchise in its later instalments: the ninth Nightmare on Elm Street, say, or the 12th Friday the 13th. Relentless repetition of the same characters or set-up is viewed as proof of imaginative poverty and commercial opportunism.

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