Theatre and movies are two completely different media and the actors working in these films have different methods of approaching them. The experience of sitting in a theatre and observing actors performing live might not be equally entertaining when replicated on the big screen. However over the years, there have been some wonderful big screen adaptations of some classic plays.
Suddenly, Last Summer (1959)
This big screen adaptation of Tennessee Williams’ one-act play got both its actresses, Katharine Hepburn and Elizabeth Taylor, Oscar nods in the leading actress category. The story involves a wealthy widow, Violet Venable who hires the service of a talented surgeon, Dr. John Cukrowicz to perform the controversial procedure of lobotomy on her niece, Catherine Holly. The catch being her niece seems to know something about the controversial manner in which Violet’s son died.
A Streetcar Named Desire (1951)
Hollywood seems to have a soft spot for adapting Tennessee Williams’ plays. Aging high school teacher, Blanche DuBois moves to live with her sister, Stella Kowalski who is expecting. Blanche is surprised by the condition in which her sister who once belonged to an aristocratic family is living in, and she also develops a disliking towards Stella’s husband, Stanley Kowalski whom she considers sub-human. The story takes an interesting turn when Blanche has to live alone with her brother-in-law when her sister goes to the hospital for child birth.
A Man for All Seasons (1966)
One of the most famous plays of modern times by Robert Bolt got it big screen adaption in 1966 and is listed as one of the greatest movies of all time. Sir Thomas More to Hampton Court seems to be the only man in England to oppose King Henry VIII of England’s decision to divorce his wife and marry Anne Boleyn. But standing against royalty comes with its own share of problems. What is the fate of this man considered by many as the ultimate man of conscience?
The Importance of Being Earnest (1952)
This movie based on the play by Oscar Wilde is the most fun one in this list. Just imagine two men pretending to be someone else they are not and to spice things up we have two love stricken women who feel that there is nothing more important than being earnest. The movie based on the famous play of errors is definitely a fun watch.
Honourable mentions - Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1966), Doubt (2008), Romeo and Juliet (1968), Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1958)