30 best movies based on plays

by vinsond21 | created - 15 Dec 2010 | updated - 06 Jan 2017 | Public
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1. A Streetcar Named Desire (1951)

PG | 122 min | Drama

8.0
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

Disturbed Blanche DuBois moves in with her sister in New Orleans and is tormented by her brutish brother-in-law while her reality crumbles around her.

Director: Elia Kazan | Stars: Vivien Leigh, Marlon Brando, Kim Hunter, Karl Malden

Votes: 85,787 | Gross: $8.00M

2. Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1958)

Not Rated | 108 min | Drama

8.1
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Brick, an alcoholic ex-football player, drinks his days away and resists the affections of his wife, Maggie. His reunion with his father, Big Daddy, who is dying of cancer, jogs a host of memories and revelations for both father and son.

Director: Richard Brooks | Stars: Elizabeth Taylor, Paul Newman, Burl Ives, Jack Carson

Votes: 37,416 | Gross: $17.57M

3. Romeo and Juliet (1968)

PG | 138 min | Drama, Romance

7.6
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

When two young members of feuding families meet, forbidden love ensues.

Director: Franco Zeffirelli | Stars: Leonard Whiting, Olivia Hussey, John McEnery, Milo O'Shea

Votes: 25,649 | Gross: $38.90M

4. The Importance of Being Earnest (1952)

Not Rated | 95 min | Comedy, Drama

7.6
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When Algernon discovers that his friend, Ernest, has created a fictional brother for whenever he needs a reason to escape dull country life, Algernon poses as the brother, resulting in ever increasing confusion.

Director: Anthony Asquith | Stars: Michael Redgrave, Richard Wattis, Michael Denison, Walter Hudd

Votes: 4,449

5. The Lion in Winter (1968)

PG | 134 min | Biography, Drama, History

8.1
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

1183 A.D.: King Henry II's three sons all want to inherit the throne, but he won't commit to a choice. They and his wife variously plot to force him.

Director: Anthony Harvey | Stars: Peter O'Toole, Katharine Hepburn, Anthony Hopkins, John Castle

Votes: 25,182 | Gross: $0.02M

6. A Man for All Seasons (1966)

G | 120 min | Biography, Drama, History

7.9
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

The story of Thomas More, who stood up to King Henry VIII when the King rejected the Roman Catholic Church to obtain a divorce and remarriage.

Director: Fred Zinnemann | Stars: Paul Scofield, Wendy Hiller, Robert Shaw, Leo McKern

Votes: 25,994 | Gross: $28.35M

7. Come Back to the 5 & Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean (1982)

PG | 109 min | Comedy, Drama

7.5
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

The Disciples of James Dean meet up on the anniversary of his death and mull over their lives in the present and in flashback, revealing the truth behind their complicated lives. Who is the... See full summary »

Director: Robert Altman | Stars: Cher, Karen Black, Sandy Dennis, Sudie Bond

Votes: 3,424 | Gross: $0.84M

8. Suddenly, Last Summer (1959)

Approved | 114 min | Drama, Mystery, Thriller

7.6
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The only son of wealthy widow Violet Venable dies while on vacation with his cousin Catherine. What the girl saw was so horrible that she went insane; now Mrs. Venable wants Catherine lobotomized to cover up the truth.

Director: Joseph L. Mankiewicz | Stars: Elizabeth Taylor, Katharine Hepburn, Montgomery Clift, Albert Dekker

Votes: 11,550 | Gross: $13.90M

9. Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1966)

Not Rated | 131 min | Drama

8.1
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A bitter, aging couple, with the help of alcohol, use a young couple to fuel anguish and emotional pain towards each other.

Director: Mike Nichols | Stars: Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton, George Segal, Sandy Dennis

Votes: 60,867

10. Long Day's Journey Into Night (1962)

174 min | Drama

7.8
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Over the course of one day in August 1912, the family of retired actor James Tyrone grapples with the morphine addiction of his wife Mary, the illness of their youngest son Edmund and the ... See full summary »

Director: Sidney Lumet | Stars: Katharine Hepburn, Ralph Richardson, Jason Robards, Dean Stockwell

Votes: 3,863

11. Driving Miss Daisy (1989)

PG | 99 min | Drama

7.4
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
81 Metascore

An old Jewish woman and her African-American chauffeur in the American South have a relationship that grows and improves over the years.

Director: Bruce Beresford | Stars: Morgan Freeman, Jessica Tandy, Dan Aykroyd, Patti LuPone

Votes: 81,901 | Gross: $106.59M

12. The Ruling Class (1972)

R | 154 min | Comedy, Drama, Musical

7.6
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A member of the House of Lords dies, leaving his estate to his son. Unfortunately, his son thinks he is Jesus Christ. The other, somewhat more respectable, members of their family plot to steal the estate from him. Murder and mayhem ensue.

Director: Peter Medak | Stars: Peter O'Toole, Alastair Sim, Arthur Lowe, Hugh Owens

Votes: 5,081

13. Doubt (I) (2008)

PG-13 | 104 min | Drama, Mystery

7.5
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
68 Metascore

A Catholic school principal questions a priest's ambiguous relationship with a troubled young student.

Director: John Patrick Shanley | Stars: Meryl Streep, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Amy Adams, Viola Davis

Votes: 107,900 | Gross: $33.42M

14. Picnic (1955)

Approved | 115 min | Drama, Romance

7.2
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Emotions are ignited amongst the complacent townsfolk when a handsome drifter arrives in a small Kansas community on the morning of the Labour Day picnic.

Director: Joshua Logan | Stars: William Holden, Kim Novak, Betty Field, Susan Strasberg

Votes: 6,819

15. You Can't Take It with You (1938)

Not Rated | 126 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

8.0
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A man from a family of rich snobs becomes engaged to a woman from a good-natured but decidedly eccentric family.

Director: Frank Capra | Stars: Jean Arthur, James Stewart, Lionel Barrymore, Edward Arnold

Votes: 19,671

16. Sleuth (1972)

PG | 138 min | Mystery, Thriller

8.1
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A man who loves games and theater invites his wife's lover to meet him, setting up a battle of wits with potentially deadly results.

Director: Joseph L. Mankiewicz | Stars: Laurence Olivier, Michael Caine, Alec Cawthorne, John Matthews

Votes: 39,751

17. Amadeus (1984)

R | 160 min | Biography, Drama, History

8.3
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
93 Metascore

The incredible story of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, told by his peer and secret rival Antonio Salieri - now confined to an insane asylum.

Director: Milos Forman | Stars: F. Murray Abraham, Tom Hulce, Elizabeth Berridge, Roy Dotrice

Votes: 307,624 | Gross: $51.97M

18. Deathtrap (1982)

PG | 116 min | Comedy, Crime, Mystery

7.0
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54 Metascore

A Broadway playwright puts murder in his plan to take credit for a student's script.

Director: Sidney Lumet | Stars: Michael Caine, Christopher Reeve, Dyan Cannon, Irene Worth

Votes: 9,945 | Gross: $19.28M

19. Noises Off... (1992)

PG-13 | 101 min | Comedy

7.5
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A travelling theater group find so much action going on behind-the-scenes, they almost ruin the performances.

Director: Peter Bogdanovich | Stars: Michael Caine, Carol Burnett, Denholm Elliott, Julie Hagerty

Votes: 8,899 | Gross: $2.28M

20. Barefoot in the Park (1967)

G | 106 min | Comedy, Romance

7.0
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Paul, a conservative young lawyer, marries the vivacious Corie. Their highly passionate relationship descends into comical discord in a five-flight New York City walk-up apartment.

Director: Gene Saks | Stars: Robert Redford, Jane Fonda, Charles Boyer, Mildred Natwick

Votes: 13,583 | Gross: $19.99M

21. Equus (1977)

R | 137 min | Drama, Mystery

7.2
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A psychiatrist attempts to uncover a troubled stable boy's disturbing obsession with horses.

Director: Sidney Lumet | Stars: Richard Burton, Peter Firth, Colin Blakely, Joan Plowright

Votes: 6,505

22. The Odd Couple (1968)

G | 105 min | Comedy

7.7
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Two friends try sharing an apartment, but their ideas of housekeeping and lifestyles are as different as night and day.

Director: Gene Saks | Stars: Jack Lemmon, Walter Matthau, John Fiedler, Herb Edelman

Votes: 27,264 | Gross: $44.53M

23. Julius Caesar (1953)

Not Rated | 120 min | Biography, Drama, History

7.4
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

The growing ambition of Julius Caesar is a source of major concern to his close friend Brutus. Cassius persuades him to participate in his plot to assassinate Caesar but they have both sorely underestimated Mark Antony.

Director: Joseph L. Mankiewicz | Stars: Louis Calhern, Marlon Brando, James Mason, John Gielgud

Votes: 8,765

24. Hamlet (1948)

Not Rated | 154 min | Drama

7.8
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

Prince Hamlet struggles over whether or not he should kill his uncle, whom he suspects has murdered his father, the former king.

Director: Laurence Olivier | Stars: Laurence Olivier, Jean Simmons, John Laurie, Esmond Knight

Votes: 13,001

25. Our Town (1940)

Not Rated | 90 min | Drama, Romance

6.8
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Change comes slowly to a small New Hampshire town in the early 20th century. People grow up, get married, live, and die. Milk and the newspaper get delivered every morning, and nobody locks... See full summary »

Director: Sam Wood | Stars: William Holden, Martha Scott, Fay Bainter, Beulah Bondi

Votes: 1,869

26. Butterflies Are Free (1972)

PG | 109 min | Comedy, Drama, Music

7.3
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A blind man moves into his own apartment against the wishes of his overprotective mother, and befriends the freethinking young woman next door.

Director: Milton Katselas | Stars: Goldie Hawn, Edward Albert, Eileen Heckart, Paul Michael Glaser

Votes: 3,862

27. The Taming of the Shrew (1967)

Approved | 122 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

7.2
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Brutish, fortune-hunting scoundrel Petruchio tames his wealthy, shrewish wife, Katharina.

Director: Franco Zeffirelli | Stars: Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton, Cyril Cusack, Michael Hordern

Votes: 6,174 | Gross: $8.00M

28. The Sunshine Boys (I) (1975)

PG | 111 min | Comedy

7.2
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A vaudeville duo agree to reunite for a television special, but it turns out that they can't stand each other.

Director: Herbert Ross | Stars: Walter Matthau, George Burns, Richard Benjamin, Lee Meredith

Votes: 4,592

29. A Chorus of Disapproval (1989)

PG | 92 min | Comedy, Drama, Musical

5.7
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

A man new to a smallish British town joins an amateur theatre company. Once there, he discovers that the drama on stage is quite often nothing compared to what's happening behind the scenes... See full summary »

Director: Michael Winner | Stars: Jeremy Irons, Anthony Hopkins, Richard Briers, Barbara Ferris

Votes: 633 | Gross: $0.22M

30. Play It Again, Sam (1972)

PG | 85 min | Comedy, Romance

7.7
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A neurotic film critic obsessed with the movie Casablanca (1942) attempts to get over his wife leaving him by dating again with the help of a married couple and his illusory idol, Humphrey Bogart.

Director: Herbert Ross | Stars: Woody Allen, Diane Keaton, Tony Roberts, Jerry Lacy

Votes: 21,693

31. 'Master Harold' ... And the Boys (2010)

PG-13 | 87 min | Drama

5.8
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

This movie is of Hally, an adolescent white South African. He is stuck between his intolerant father's outlook of him and those of his caretaker, Sam. Sam is a black waiter and Hally's ... See full summary »

Director: Lonny Price | Stars: Ving Rhames, Freddie Highmore, Patrick Mofokeng, Jennifer Steyn

Votes: 417

32. The Boys in the Band (1970)

R | 118 min | Drama

7.7
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Tempers fray and true selves are revealed when a heterosexual is accidentally invited to a homosexual party.

Director: William Friedkin | Stars: Kenneth Nelson, Peter White, Leonard Frey, Frederick Combs

Votes: 3,270 | Gross: $0.00M

33. Betrayal (1983)

R | 95 min | Drama, Thriller

7.3
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Pinter's semi-autobiographical play examining the surprise attraction, shy first steps, gradual flowering, and treasonous deception of a woman's extramarital affair with her husband's best ... See full summary »

Director: David Hugh Jones | Stars: Jeremy Irons, Ben Kingsley, Patricia Hodge, Avril Elgar

Votes: 1,256