Stage to Screen

At Criterion, cinema is king, but the play is also the thing. Here’s a selection of films that adapt great works of theater for the screen.

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Spine # Title Director Country Year
Androcles and the Lion Androcles and the Lion Chester Erskine United Kingdom, 1952
1153 Arsenic and Old Lace Arsenic and Old Lace Frank Capra United States, 1944
740 The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant Rainer Werner Fassbinder West Germany, 1972
606 Blithe Spirit Blithe Spirit David Lean United Kingdom, 1945
305 Boudu Saved from Drowning Boudu Saved from Drowning Jean Renoir France, 1932
773 Breaker Morant Breaker Morant Bruce Beresford Australia, 1980
76 Brief Encounter Brief Encounter David Lean United Kingdom, 1945
294 The Browning Version The Browning Version Anthony Asquith United Kingdom, 1951
Caesar and Cleopatra Caesar and Cleopatra Gabriel Pascal United Kingdom, 1945
830 Chimes at Midnight Chimes at Midnight Orson Welles Spain, 1966
464 Danton Danton Andrzej Wajda France, 1983
Désiré Désiré Sacha Guitry France, 1937
1096 Don’t Play Us Cheap Don’t Play Us Cheap Melvin Van Peebles United States, 1972
370 The Emperor Jones The Emperor Jones Dudley Murphy United States, 1933
An Enemy of the People An Enemy of the People Satyajit Ray India, 1989
515 The Fugitive Kind The Fugitive Kind Sidney Lumet United States, 1960
127 Gertrud Gertrud Carl Th. Dreyer Denmark, 1964
The Girls The Girls Mai Zetterling Sweden, 1968
242 The Golden Coach The Golden Coach Jean Renoir France, 1953
618 Gray’s Anatomy Gray’s Anatomy Steven Soderbergh United States, 1997
82 Hamlet Hamlet Laurence Olivier United Kingdom, 1948
982 Hedwig and the Angry Inch Hedwig and the Angry Inch John Cameron Mitchell United States, 2001
974 The Heiress The Heiress William Wyler United States, 1949
41 Henry V Henry V Laurence Olivier United Kingdom, 1944
158 The Importance of Being Earnest The Importance of Being Earnest Anthony Asquith United Kingdom, 1952
India Song India Song Marguerite Duras France, 1975
566 Insignificance Insignificance Nicolas Roeg United Kingdom, 1985
Katzelmacher Katzelmacher Rainer Werner Fassbinder Germany, 1969
721 Love Streams Love Streams John Cassavetes United States, 1984
The Lower Depths The Lower Depths Jean Renoir France, 1936
726 Macbeth Macbeth Roman Polanski United Kingdom, 1971
71 The Magic Flute The Magic Flute Ingmar Bergman Sweden, 1975
Major Barbara Major Barbara Gabriel Pascal United Kingdom, 1941
882 Marius Marius Alexander Korda France, 1931
762 A Master Builder A Master Builder Jonathan Demme United States, 2014
706 Master of the House Master of the House Carl Th. Dreyer Denmark, 1925
559 The Mikado The Mikado Victor Schertzinger United Kingdom, 1939
416 Miss Julie Miss Julie Alf Sjöberg Sweden, 1951
1106 One Night in Miami . . . One Night in Miami . . . Regina King United States, 2020
870 Othello Othello Orson Welles United States, 1952
358 Pandora’s Box Pandora’s Box G. W. Pabst Germany, 1929
901 The Philadelphia Story The Philadelphia Story George Cukor United States, 1940
Quadrille Quadrille Sacha Guitry France, 1938
945 A Raisin in the Sun A Raisin in the Sun Daniel Petrie United States, 1961
213 Richard III Richard III Laurence Olivier United Kingdom, 1955
1171 Romeo and Juliet Romeo and Juliet Franco Zeffirelli Italy, 1968
443 La ronde La ronde Max Ophuls France, 1950
132 The Ruling Class The Ruling Class Peter Medak United Kingdom, 1972
949 A Story from Chikamatsu A Story from Chikamatsu Kenji Mizoguchi Japan, 1954
22 Summertime Summertime David Lean United States, 1955
317 The Tales of Hoffmann The Tales of Hoffmann Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger United Kingdom, 1951
829 A Taste of Honey A Taste of Honey Tony Richardson United Kingdom, 1961
605 This Happy Breed This Happy Breed David Lean United Kingdom, 1944
405 The Threepenny Opera The Threepenny Opera G. W. Pabst Germany, 1931
190 Throne of Blood Throne of Blood Akira Kurosawa Japan, 1957
599 Vanya on 42nd Street Vanya on 42nd Street Louis Malle United States, 1994