Totally Austen

Modernizations of the classics.

While I would love to include such classic turns as Keanu Reeves in Much Ado About Nothing or the "We Will Rock You" version of A Knight's Tale, I'll stick to movies with ostensibly contemporary settings (i.e., modern for the year of release).
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1.
Carmen Jones (1954)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
Contemporary version of the Bizet opera, with new lyrics and an African-American cast. (105 mins.)
Director: Otto Preminger
 
2.
West Side Story (1961)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
Two youngsters from rival New York City gangs fall in love, but tensions between their respective friends build toward tragedy. (152 mins.)
 
3.
Tempest (1982)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  
A sobering mid-life crisis fuels dissatisfaction in Philip Dimitrius, to the extent where the successful... (140 mins.)
Director: Paul Mazursky
 
4.
Roxanne (1987)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  
Based on the play "Cyrano de Bergerac", large nosed C.D. Bales falls for the beautiful Roxanne while she falls for his personality but another man's looks. (107 mins.)
Director: Fred Schepisi
 
5.
Scrooged (1988)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
A selfish, cynical T.V. executive is haunted by three spirits bearing lessons on Christmas Eve. (101 mins.)
Director: Richard Donner
 
6.
My Own Private Idaho (1991)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
Two best friends living on the streets of Portland as hustlers embark on a journey of self discovery and find their relationship stumbling along the way. (104 mins.)
Director: Gus Van Sant
 
7.
Clueless (1995)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
A rich high school student tries to boost a new pupil's popularity, but reckons without affairs of the heart getting in the way. (97 mins.)
Director: Amy Heckerling
 
8.
Romeo + Juliet (1996)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
Shakespeare's famous play is updated to the hip modern suburb of Verona still retaining its original dialogue. (120 mins.)
Director: Baz Luhrmann
 
9.
Great Expectations (1998)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
Modernization of Charles Dickens classic story finds the hapless Finn as a painter in New York pursuing his unrequited and haughty childhood love. (111 mins.)
Director: Alfonso Cuarón
 
10.
10 Things I Hate About You (1999)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
A pretty, popular teenager can't go out on a date until her ill-tempered older sister does. (97 mins.)
Director: Gil Junger
 
11.
She's All That (1999)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  
A high school jock makes a bet that he can turn an unattractive girl into the school's prom queen. (95 mins.)
Director: Robert Iscove
 
12.
Hamlet (2000)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.0/10 X  
Modern-day New York City adaptation of Shakespeare's immortal story about Hamlet's plight to avenge his father's murder. (112 mins.)
 
13.
Scotland, Pa. (2001)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
A modernized retelling of "MacBeth" set in 1970s suburban Pennsylvania. Joe McBeth, an unambitious hamburger stand employee, is driven to success by his scheming wife. (104 mins.)
 
14.
Bridget Jones's Diary (2001)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
A British woman is determined to improve herself while she looks for love in a year in which she keeps a personal diary. (97 mins.)
Director: Sharon Maguire
 
15.
O (2001)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  
An update of Shakespeare's 'Othello' with a young cast, set in an upper class prep school, & centered around basketball player Odin. (95 mins.)
 
16.
Bride & Prejudice (2004)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  
Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice gets a Bollywood treatment. (122 mins.)
Director: Gurinder Chadha
 
17.
Rent (2005)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
This is the film version of the Pulitzer and Tony Award winning musical about Bohemians in the East Village of New York City struggling with life, love and AIDS, and the impacts they have on America. (135 mins.)
Director: Chris Columbus
 
18.
Sherlock (2010 TV Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 9.3/10 X  
A modern update finds the famous sleuth and his doctor partner solving crime in 21st century London. (88 mins.)
 
19.
From Prada to Nada (2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  
A Latina spin on Jane Austen's "Sense and Sensibility," where two spoiled sisters who have been left penniless after their father's sudden death are forced to move in with their estranged aunt in East Los Angeles. (107 mins.)
Director: Angel Gracia
 
20.
Coriolanus (2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  
A banished hero of Rome allies with a sworn enemy to take his revenge on the city. (123 mins.)
Director: Ralph Fiennes
 
21.
Much Ado About Nothing (2012)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
A modern retelling of Shakespeare's classic comedy about two pairs of lovers with different takes on romance and a way with words. (109 mins.)
Director: Joss Whedon