In Memory Of J.D. Salinger, Here Are Five Films That Evoke The ‘Catcher In The Rye’ Author

Yesterday, “The Catcher in the Rye” author J.D. Salinger died of natural causes at the age of 91. I’m surely not alone in saying how appreciative I was of the existence of “Rye” when I read the novel for the first time as an awkward high school student. It’s a testament to the story’s timelessness that almost 60 years later, “Rye” continues to be such a relatable experience for young readers. But Salinger wasn’t just an influence for those suffering through teenage angst — his work was felt throughout the filmmaking world, even if he himself didn’t have a hand in the creation of such projects.

After the jump, read about five films that either drew inspiration from Salinger or utilized his work as a plot point, and be sure to head to the comments section to share your thoughts and memories of the acclaimed author, and any other movies you can feel his presence in.

CHAPTER 27: This 2007 drama stars Jared Leto as Mark David Chapman, the man who assassinated John Lennon. Chapman reportedly modeled his life after “Rye” protagonist Holden Caulfield, and it’s widely noted that he was discovered carrying a copy of the book following Lennon’s murder. The film’s title refers to the potential continuation of “Rye,” which only sports 26 chapters.

CONSPIRACY THEORY: Paranoid taxi driver Jerry Fletcher (Mel Gibson) might be crazy about conspiracies, but there’s one other thing that he’s equally nuts about — his love for “The Catcher in the Rye.” He’s compelled to purchase a copy of the book every time he sees one, often to his own self-detriment. Crazy though he might be, at least Fletcher has good taste in literature.

FIELD OF DREAMS: In “Shoeless Joe,” the novel that “Field of Dreams” is based on, the main character seeks out J.D. Salinger. The Kevin Costner-starring film version saw the role fictionalized in the form of Terence Mann (James Earl Jones). It’s hard to imagine the film any other way, but Salinger’s reclusive nature is certainly encapsulated in Jones’ performance.

FINDING FORRESTER: Not directly based on Salinger’s life, protagonist William Forrester (Sean Connery) nonetheless shares some commonalities with the author, most notably his self-isolation. The movie also happens to boast Connery’s final performance — well, second to last if you count “The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen,” but we’re not going to count it.

THE ROYAL TENENBAUMS: “The Royal Tenenbaums” focuses on a family of intelligent but misanthropic individuals, a group that’s very similar to the Glass Family featured in several of Salinger’s short stories and the novel “Franny and Zooey.” Boo Boo, one of the Glass’s, married into the Tannenbaum family, which isn’t quite the same name as Wes Anderson’s characters, but it’s certainly close.

Head to the comments section and Twitter to share your memories of J.D. Salinger and your reactions to his passing.