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Stage to Screen

Stage to Screen

At Criterion, cinema is king, but the play is also the thing. Look at the lineup of theater legends from whose work films in the collection were adapted: Bertolt Brecht (The Threepenny Opera), Noël Coward (Brief Encounter), Maxim Gorky (The Lower Depths), Eugene O’Neill (The Emperor Jones), Terence Rattigan (The Browning Version), Arthur Schnitzler (La ronde), George Bernard Shaw (Pygmalion), August Strindberg (Miss Julie), Oscar Wilde (The Importance of Being Earnest), Tennessee Williams (The Fugitive Kind)—and, of course, the Bard himself, whose Henry V, Hamlet, and Richard III became grandiose film spectacles thanks to that towering thespian Laurence Olivier. We also have a cracking selection of films made from lesser known works, including Danton, Andrzej Wajda’s adaptation of Stanisława Przybyszewska’s 1931 play The Danton Affair injected with the fervor of the Solidarity liberation movement, and Nicolas Roeg’s radically exploded version of Terry Johnson’s Insignificance.