Classic comic lit adaptations.

by TsarStepan | created - 20 Dec 2013 | updated - 27 Oct 2016 | Public

Which of these THEATRICALLY RELEASED classic literary* feature-length comedies actually make you want to read the original source material in which the movie was adapted from?

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*19th century and earlier.

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1. 10 Things I Hate About You (1999)

PG-13 | 97 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

70 Metascore

A pretty, popular teenager can't go out on a date until her ill-tempered older sister does.

Director: Gil Junger | Stars: Heath Ledger, Julia Stiles, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Larisa Oleynik

Votes: 263,176 | Gross: $38.18M

William Shakespeare's play The Taming of the Shrew

2. Angoor (1982)

Not Rated | 131 min | Comedy

Based on Shakespeare's 'A Comedy of Errors', this is a story of identical twins (2 pairs) and mistaken identities.

Director: Gulzar | Stars: Sanjeev Kumar, Moushumi Chatterjee, Deven Verma, Aruna Irani

Votes: 4,211

William Shakespeare's play The Comedy Of Errors

3. Bride & Prejudice (2004)

PG-13 | 122 min | Comedy, Drama, Musical

55 Metascore

A modern adaptation of Jane Austen's classic novel, Pride and Prejudice, that features the lives of four unmarried daughters in an Indian family.

Director: Gurinder Chadha | Stars: Martin Henderson, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Nadira Babbar, Anupam Kher

Votes: 18,861 | Gross: $6.60M

Jane Austen's novel Pride and Prejudice

4. Carry on Cleo (1964)

Not Rated | 92 min | Comedy, History

Two Britons are captured and enslaved by invading Romans and taken to Rome. Hengist Pod creates useless inventions, while Horsa is a brave and cunning fighter. One of their first encounters... See full summary »

Director: Gerald Thomas | Stars: Kenneth Williams, Sidney James, Kenneth Connor, Charles Hawtrey

Votes: 3,535

William Shakespeare. This "Carry On" comedy film utilizes for story elements two of Will's plays that were set in Ancient Times, "Julius Caesar" and "Antony and Cleopatra.

Source: Carry on Cleo (1964) Trivia, IMDb.com

5. Chimes at Midnight (1965)

Not Rated | 115 min | Comedy, Drama, History

The career of Shakespeare's Sir John Falstaff as a roistering companion to young Prince Hal, circa 1400 to 1413.

Director: Orson Welles | Stars: Orson Welles, Jeanne Moreau, Margaret Rutherford, John Gielgud

Votes: 6,573 | Gross: $0.12M

William Shakespeare's plays "enry IV, Part I, Henry IV, Part II and Henry V

6. Mayis Sikintisi (1999)

130 min | Comedy, Drama

75 Metascore

This is a movie within movie, which is almost recursive, i.e., the movie inside looks like director Ceylan's previous movie, Kasaba. It is about the movie director, Muzaffer, going back to ... See full summary »

Director: Nuri Bilge Ceylan | Stars: Emin Ceylan, Muzaffer Özdemir, Fatma Ceylan, Emin Toprak

Votes: 3,706

7. Clueless (1995)

PG-13 | 97 min | Comedy, Romance

68 Metascore

A rich high school student tries to boost a new pupil's popularity, but reckons without affairs of the heart getting in the way.

Director: Amy Heckerling | Stars: Alicia Silverstone, Stacey Dash, Brittany Murphy, Paul Rudd

Votes: 151,862 | Gross: $56.63M

Jane Austen's novel Emma

8. Oci ciornie (1987)

118 min | Comedy, Romance, Drama

Aboard a ship early in the 20th-century, a middle-aged Italian tells his story of love to a Russian. In a series of flashbacks filmed almost entirely in creams, whites, and ochers, the ... See full summary »

Director: Nikita Mikhalkov | Stars: Marcello Mastroianni, Silvana Mangano, Marthe Keller, Elena Safonova

Votes: 2,586 | Gross: $2.20M

Anton Chekhov's short stories

9. The Importance of Being Earnest (1952)

Not Rated | 95 min | Comedy, Drama

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: 4,672

Oscar Wilde's play The Importance of Being Earnest

10. The Importance of Being Earnest (2002)

PG | 97 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

60 Metascore

In 1890s London, two friends use the same pseudonym ("Ernest") for their on-the-sly activities. Hilarity ensues.

Director: Oliver Parker | Stars: Rupert Everett, Colin Firth, Frances O'Connor, Reese Witherspoon

Votes: 20,782 | Gross: $8.38M

Oscar Wilde's play The Importance of Being Earnest

11. Kiss Me Kate (1953)

Approved | 109 min | Comedy, Musical, Romance

An ex-husband and wife team star in a musical version of 'The Taming of the Shrew'; off-stage, the production is troublesome with ex-lovers' quarrels and a gangster looking for some money owed to them.

Director: George Sidney | Stars: Kathryn Grayson, Howard Keel, Ann Miller, Keenan Wynn

Votes: 5,005

William Shakespeare's play The Taming of the Shrew

12. Mansfield Park (1999)

PG-13 | 112 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

71 Metascore

At 10, Fanny Price, a poor relation, goes to live at Mansfield Park, the estate of her aunt's husband, Sir Thomas. Clever, studious, and a writer with an ironic imagination and fine moral ... See full summary »

Director: Patricia Rozema | Stars: Frances O'Connor, Jonny Lee Miller, Alessandro Nivola, Hannah Taylor Gordon

Votes: 19,544 | Gross: $4.76M

Jane Austen's novel Mansfield Park

13. A Midsummer Night's Dream (1935)

Approved | 133 min | Comedy, Fantasy, Romance

Theseus, Duke of Athens, is going to marry Hyppolyta, Queen of the Amazons. Demetrius is engaged with Hermia, but Hermia loves Lysander. Helena loves Demetrius. Oberon and Titania, of the ... See full summary »

Directors: William Dieterle, Max Reinhardt | Stars: James Cagney, Dick Powell, Ian Hunter, Verree Teasdale

Votes: 2,815

William Shakespeare's play A Midsummer Nights Dream

14. Much Ado About Nothing (1993)

PG-13 | 111 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

Young lovers Hero and Claudio, soon to wed, conspire to get verbal sparring partners and confirmed singles Benedick and Beatrice to wed as well.

Director: Kenneth Branagh | Stars: Kenneth Branagh, Emma Thompson, Keanu Reeves, Kate Beckinsale

Votes: 41,532 | Gross: $22.55M

William Shakespeare's play Much Ado About Nothing

15. Much Ado About Nothing (I) (2012)

PG-13 | 109 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

78 Metascore

A modern retelling of Shakespeare's classic comedy about two pairs of lovers with different takes on romance and a way with words.

Director: Joss Whedon | Stars: Alexis Denisof, Amy Acker, Fran Kranz, Jillian Morgese

Votes: 15,247 | Gross: $4.33M

William Shakespeare's play Much Ado About Nothing

16. Twelfth Night or What You Will (1996)

PG | 134 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

Shakespeare's comedy of gender confusion, in which a girl disguises herself as a man to be near the count she adores, only to be pursued by the woman he loves.

Director: Trevor Nunn | Stars: Helena Bonham Carter, Richard E. Grant, Imogen Stubbs, Steven Mackintosh

Votes: 5,277 | Gross: $0.55M

William Shakespeare's play Twelfth Night

17. Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead (1990)

PG | 117 min | Comedy, Drama

Two minor characters from the play 'Hamlet' stumble around unaware of their scripted lives and unable to deviate from them.

Director: Tom Stoppard | Stars: Gary Oldman, Tim Roth, Richard Dreyfuss, Livio Badurina

Votes: 19,167 | Gross: $0.74M

William Shakespeare's play The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark

18. Scotland, Pa. (2001)

R | 104 min | Comedy, Crime

49 Metascore

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.

Director: Billy Morrissette | Stars: James Le Gros, Maura Tierney, Christopher Walken, Kevin Corrigan

Votes: 4,062 | Gross: $0.38M

William Shakespeare's play Macbeth

19. The Taming of the Shrew (1967)

Approved | 122 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

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

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

Votes: 6,514 | Gross: $8.00M

William Shakespeare's play Taming of the Shrew

20. Theater of Blood (1973)

R | 104 min | Comedy, Drama, Horror

A Shakespearean actor takes poetic revenge on the critics who denied him recognition.

Director: Douglas Hickox | Stars: Vincent Price, Diana Rigg, Ian Hendry, Harry Andrews

Votes: 8,111

William Shakespeare's play

21. Tom Jones (1963)

Not Rated | 128 min | Adventure, Comedy, History

The romantic and chivalrous adventures of adopted bastard Tom Jones in 18th century England.

Director: Tony Richardson | Stars: Albert Finney, Susannah York, George Devine, Rachel Kempson

Votes: 10,056 | Gross: $37.60M

Henry Fielding's novel The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling

22. Tristram Shandy: A Cock and Bull Story (2005)

R | 94 min | Comedy

80 Metascore

Director Michael Winterbottom (Northam) attempts to shoot the adaptation of Laurence Sterne's essentially unfilmable novel, "The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman."

Director: Michael Winterbottom | Stars: Steve Coogan, Jeremy Northam, Rob Brydon, Keeley Hawes

Votes: 11,867 | Gross: $1.25M

Laurence Sterne's novel The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman

23. Were the World Mine (2008)

Not Rated | 95 min | Adventure, Comedy, Fantasy

A bullied and demoralized gay student at an all-boys school uses a magical flower derived from Shakespeare's "A Midsummer Night's Dream' to turn many in his community gay, including a comely rugby player for himself.

Director: Tom Gustafson | Stars: Tanner Cohen, Wendy Robie, Judy McLane, Zelda Williams

Votes: 4,933 | Gross: $0.12M

William Shakespeare's play A Midsummer Night's Dream

24. Vanya on 42nd Street (1994)

PG | 119 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

New York actors rehearse Chekhov's "Uncle Vanya" in a dilapidated theatre.

Director: Louis Malle | Stars: Wallace Shawn, Phoebe Brand, George Gaynes, Jerry Mayer

Votes: 3,893 | Gross: $1.75M

Anton Chekhov's play Uncle Vanya

25. Young Frankenstein (1974)

PG | 106 min | Comedy

80 Metascore

An American grandson of the infamous scientist, struggling to prove that his grandfather was not as insane as people believe, is invited to Transylvania, where he discovers the process that reanimates a dead body.

Director: Mel Brooks | Stars: Gene Wilder, Madeline Kahn, Marty Feldman, Peter Boyle

Votes: 131,130 | Gross: $86.30M

Mary Shelley's novel Frankenstein

26. The Inspector General (1949)

Approved | 102 min | Comedy, Musical, Romance

A town's corrupt officials think a fool is actually an investigator in disguise.

Director: Henry Koster | Stars: Danny Kaye, Walter Slezak, Barbara Bates, Elsa Lanchester

Votes: 2,750

Nikolai Gogol's play The Inspector General

27. The Adventures of Baron Munchausen (1988)

PG | 126 min | Adventure, Comedy, Fantasy

69 Metascore

An account of Baron Munchausen's supposed travels and fantastical experiences with his band of misfits.

Director: Terry Gilliam | Stars: John Neville, Eric Idle, Sarah Polley, Oliver Reed

Votes: 46,558 | Gross: $8.08M

Gottfried August Bürger and Rudolph Erich Raspe's novel The Adventures of Baron Munchausen

28. Aladdin (1992)

G | 90 min | Animation, Adventure, Comedy

86 Metascore

When a street urchin vies for the love of a beautiful princess, he uses a genie's magic power to make himself off as a prince in order to marry her.

Directors: Ron Clements, John Musker | Stars: Scott Weinger, Robin Williams, Linda Larkin, Jonathan Freeman

Votes: 310,978 | Gross: $217.35M

Adapted from one of the tales from The Book of One Thousand and One Nights ("The Arabian Nights") by Frenchman Antoine Galland

29. Emma (1996)

PG | 120 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

66 Metascore

While matchmaking for friends and neighbours, a young 19th Century Englishwoman nearly misses her own chance at love.

Director: Douglas McGrath | Stars: Gwyneth Paltrow, James Cosmo, Greta Scacchi, Alan Cumming

Votes: 32,108 | Gross: $22.20M

Jane Austen's novel Emma

30. The Decameron (1971)

R | 111 min | Comedy, Drama, History

An adaptation of nine stories from Boccaccio's "Decameron".

Director: Pier Paolo Pasolini | Stars: Franco Citti, Ninetto Davoli, Jovan Jovanovic, Vincenzo Amato

Votes: 8,326

An adaptation of nine stories from Bocaccio's "Decameron"



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