In 1978 a film adaptation was made by Volker Schlöndorff. It covers only Books 1 and 2, concluding at the end of the war. It shared the 1979 Cannes Film Festival Palme d'Or with Apocalypse Now. It also won the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film of 1979 at the 1980 Academy Awards.
In 1996 a radio dramatisation starring Phil Daniels was broadcast by BBC Radio 4. Adapted by Mike Walker, it won the British Writers Guild award for best dramatisation.