|dc.description.abstract||Hella Wuolijoki (1886-1954) is one of the best known Finnish playwrights. Estonian by birth, she started her literary career in her native language, and it was not until 1936 that she made a
definite decision to write only in Finnish. Hella Wuolijoki is a central figure also in the history of Finnish film making, as all the nine plays which she wrote using the pen name Juhani Tervapää and which all enjoyed great popularity in Finland have been made into films.
In the present study a comparison is made between five Hella Wuolijoki plays and their screen adaptations. The plays date from her most productive years 1936 - 1940, and the person most often responsible for the film versions was Valentin Vaala (1904-1976), one of the most famous Finnish film directors.
The object of this study is to examine how the text of each stage play relates to its corrensponding film version. The adaptation work was greatly facilitated by the fact that Hella Wuolijoki's dramatic texts are naturalistic and full of illusions and imagery and that her plays portray strong heroines. The present study is thus much focused on how the dramatic characters of the heroines are treated in the screen versions. Key points of departure are furnished by certain passages in the plays where the dramatist most cleary expresses the strong will-power aspect and ambitions in the characters of her heroines. The stage play dialogue is analyzed using the method of Roman Ingarden, and special attention is drawn to passages where the expressive function (Ausdruck) is particulary dominant. These passages proved to be central dramatic climaxes, in which the stage dialogue as a form of dramatic gesture, as a 'nucleus of expression' emphasized the heroine's strong-willed and active character. The study showed that these dramatic climaxes had been problematic to the film makers, but that the adaptations had been successful if the director had fully exploited the propositional nature of the image in each dramatic situation.
If the film director is to avoid, in the dramatically central passages, the pitfalls of 'filmed theatre', he needs to have the courage to divert from the original dramatic text. In the passages of Hella Wuolijoki film adaptations where this had been done successfully the result was an 'intersecting', using Dudley Andrew's terminology. A particulary fruitful way of breaking the structure of a play was a bold adaption of the evocative stage language (Ingarden: Darstellung) into film language, whereby the film directors were able to create new, sometimes quite long passages in which the expressive climaxes of the original stage plays were rendered in a suitable cinematographic language. However, a very popular play often proved to be sacrosanct to its producers, who then closely followed the original text at the expense of more cinematographic solutions, which led to barren cinematic art.||en