Simply Genre Films: Extracting “King Lear” from “House of Strangers” and “Broken Lance" Thesis

thesis or dissertation chair

fiu authors

  • Funk, Sophia G. I.


  • The purpose of this thesis is to evaluate and refute Yvonne Griggs’ claims that the films “House of Strangers” (1949) and “Broken Lance” (1954) are as Griggs deems “genre-based adaptations” of William Shakespeare’s “King Lear. I argue that the films, although they have some essential elements of “King Lear, lack intentionality and reception, pivotal components in determining viability as a Shakespearean film adaptation. Using Griggs’ book as my critical background, I will show that these films are better classified under their respective genre categories, Western and film noir, not as “King Lear” genre adaptations. I will also suggest criteria for determining the level of canonicity of a “King Lear” film adaptation. Popularity of films does not determine validity, and a film does not need purported Shakespearean provenance to validate its ratings. Some films, like these, merely reference or pay homage to Shakespeare through use of essential elements of “King Lear”; here, I deem such affinities to be more unintentional than intentional.

publication date

  • September 25, 2014


  • Broken Lance
  • English
  • Film Noir
  • House of Strangers
  • King Lear
  • Shakespeare
  • Western
  • Yvonne Griggs
  • adaptation studies
  • film
  • film adaptation
  • film studies
  • genre films
  • literature

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)