Great Plays on Film


Abe Lincoln in Illinois This classic film traces the life of the Civil War-era president. Based on a Pulitzer Prize-winning play by Robert Sherwood. Cast: Raymond Massey, Gene Lockhart, Ruth Gordon.

Ah, Wilderness!
Poignant and warm story, by Eugene O'Neill, set in the early 1900s of a boy breaking through the shackles of adolescence.

Androcles and the Lion
Set in ancient Rome, this satire, by George Bernard Shaw, features bigger-than-life characters.

Anna Christie
A bitter ex-prostitute returns home to her father and soon must face her sordid past. By Eugene O'Neill.

As You Like It
A Shakespeare Comedy. The love story of Orlando and Rosalind.

Cat on a Hot Tin Roof
From a Tennessee Williams play.

The Country Girl
Adapted from a play by Clifford Odets, this is a story of a broken-down actor (Bing Crosby) who leans on his wife (Grace Kelly). William Holden plays a Broadway director. George Seaton won an Oscar for his screenplay.

Desire Under the Elms
A young man falls under the spell of his father's lovely bride. From Eugene O'Neill.

The Devil's Disciple
A comedy about the American Revolutionary War. By George Bernard Shaw.

The Emperor Jones
A pullman porter becomes an emperor. From Eugene O'Neill.

The Fugitive Kind
Valentine Xavier is an "entertainer" in New Orleans, who plays a guitar given to him by Leadbelly; but when he runs afoul of the law one too many times, he vows to quit the scene and start anew elsewhere. From Tennessee Williams. Starring Marlon Brando and Joanne Woodward. Director: Sidney Lumet.

Give 'Em Hell, Harry
A one-man play revealing President Harry Truman as he looks back on his life in Missouri, Washington, and beyond.

The Glass Menagerie
A son longs to escape from his stifling home, where his genteel mother worries about the future prospects of his lame, shy sister. Starring Joanne Woodward and John Malkovich. Directed by Paul Newman. From Tennessee Williams.

Glengarry Glen Ross
Often regarded as a critique of the Reagan administration's impact on the American economy, the play and film focus on a competitive group of real estate salesmen who've gone from feast to famine in a market gone cold. Starring Jack Lemmon, Al Pacino, Ed Harris, Alan Arkin, Kevin Spacey, Alec Baldwin, Jonathan Pryce.

Hamlet
Shakespeare tragedy. The Prince of Denmark is torn with emotions when his father dies and his mother remarries.

The Hasty Heart
Sensitive film based on a play by John Patrick about a Scottish soldier who has a short time to live. Starring Ronald Reagan.

Henry V
By William Shakespeare.

Johnny Belinda
Jane Wyman plays a deaf-mute who is raped and has a baby. From the Broadway play by Elmer Davis. With Agnes Moorehead and Lew Ayres. Irma von Cube and Allen Vincent were Oscar nominees in the Screenplay category.

Julius Caesar
Shakespeare tragedy. Ancient Rome is filled with political intrigue.

King Lear
Shakespeare tragedy. A timeless tale of greed and lust for power.

Long Day's Journey Into Night
The autobiographical story of Eugene O'Neill's early years.

The Long Voyage Home
The saga of Swedish sailors. From Eugene O'Neill.

Macbeth
Shakespeare tragedy. The haunted Macbeth stops at nothing to gain the throne.

Major Barbara
A rich young woman joins the Salvation Army. By George Bernard Shaw.

A Midsummer Night's Dream
Shakespeare comedy. Four young lovers are teased by spirits in an enchanted forest.

The Millionairess
The richest woman in the world can't have the one thing she really desires. From George Bernard Shaw.

Much Ado about Nothing
Shakespeare comedy. A romantic story filled with laughter, mistaken identities, jealousy, and wit.

The Night of the Iguana
By Tennessee Williams. Starring Richard Burton, Ava Gardner, Deborah Kerr, Sue Lyon.

Orpheus Descending
By Tennessee Williams. A drifter in 1940's Mississippi brings new life to an Italian immigrant woman (Vanessa Redgrave) trapped in a loveless marriage.

Othello
Shakespeare tragedy. The wicked Iago plants the seeds of doubt in Othello's mind about innocent Desdemona's fidelity.

Pygmalion
A professor of phonetics wagers he can change a Cockney girl into a princess. Starring Leslie Howard. From Shaw's play. The Oscar winners for the screenplay were George Bernard Shaw, Ian Dalrymple, Cecil Lewis, and W.P. Lipscomb.

Richard III
Shakespeare tragedy. The deformed and evil Richard Gloucester schemes to take over the throne.

The Roman Spring of Mrs. Stone
By Tennessee Williams. Starring: Vivien Leigh, Warren Beatty.

Romeo and Juliet
Shakespeare tragedy. The sad story of star-crossed lovers.

The Rose Tattoo
By Tennessee Williams. Starring: Anna Magnani, Burt Lancaster.

Saint Joan
George Bernard Shaw at his finest.

1776
First-class musical comedy about the Founding Fathers' struggle to create the Declaration of Independence.

Strange Interlude
A complex love story that explores the inner thoughts of the characters. By Eugene O'Neill.

A Streetcar Named Desire
Vivien Leigh as Blanche DuBois and Marlon Brando as Stanley Kowalski. Tennessee Williams was nominated for an Oscar for his screenplay.

Suddenly Last Summer
By Tennessee Williams. Starring: Elizabeth Taylor, Katharine Hepburn. Director: Joseph L. Mankiewicz.

Summer & Smoke
By Tennessee Williams.

Sweet Bird of Youth
By Tennessee Williams. Starring: Paul Newman, Geraldine Page.

The Taming of the Shrew
Shakespeare comedy. Women's liberation in the 16th Century battles male chauvinism.

Waterloo Bridge
Vivien Leigh and Robert Taylor star in this love story about a soldier and a ballet dancer who meet during an air raid and fall in love. Based on a play by Robert E. Sherwood.

Witness for the Prosecution
Billy Wilder cowrote and directed this brilliant 1957 mystery based on Agatha Christie's celebrated play about an aging London barrister (Charles Laughton) who's preparing to retire when he takes the defense in the most vexing murder case of his distinguished career. Cast: Tyrone Power, Marlene Dietrich, Charles Laughton, Elsa Lanchester.

A Front Row Seat

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