My Fair Lady (1964)
This classic musical has its roots in one of Ovid’s best known tales from the Metamorphoses: that of Pygmalion. In the tale, an artist falls in love with the statue he is carving and it comes to life. George Bernard Shaw famously turned this into a stage version (musically adapted here) in which a professor takes in an unpolished girl and trains her in order to make her presentable to society. Winner of eight Academy Awards, including Best Picture.
Although it may not be the most accurate representation of the tales of Hercules, it certainly is one of the more entertaining. Disney’s animated film loosely bases its storyline off the Greek version of the myths which were borrowed by Ovid and tweaked for inclusion in the Latin Metamorphoses. This family friendly crowd pleaser tells the story of a young boy born to the god Zeus who is kidnapped by the minions of the evil god Hades and then lives on earth, only to figure out he is of divine descent.
Acclaimed French director Jean Cocteau translates Ovid’s myth of Orpheus and Eurydice to the screen in an early, visually intriguing adaptation set in the 1940s. Orpheus is a poet shunned by the Left Bank artists. He becomes torn between two loves: his wife, Eurydice, and a mysterious princess. When Eurydice dies, Orpheus follows the princess into the dark underworld to search for her and hopes to bring her back to the land of the living.