What are some modern plays that have been made into great movies?
March 5, 2015 10:15 AM   Subscribe

I really liked Glengarry Glen Ross and Carnage, looking for suggestions along the same lines.
posted by jtothes to Media & Arts (38 answers total) 16 users marked this as a favorite
 
Mike Nichol's Closer.
posted by jbenben at 10:21 AM on March 5, 2015 [3 favorites]


Sleuth (the 1972 version, not the terrible 2007 remake) is one of my all-time favorite movies.

Interestingly, I always assumed The Spanish Prisoner (1997) was adapted from the stage--it was written by Mamet and definitely has that "feel"--but apparently not!
posted by duffell at 10:24 AM on March 5, 2015 [3 favorites]




William Friedkin has directed movie versions of Tracy Letts' Bug and Killer Joe. Neither of which are for the faint of heart.
posted by dortmunder at 10:33 AM on March 5, 2015 [1 favorite]


Doubt was pretty good.
posted by kpmcguire at 10:33 AM on March 5, 2015 [2 favorites]




I like several of Neil Labute's film adaptations of his plays, especially in the Company of Men and the Shape of Things.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 10:40 AM on March 5, 2015


A Soldier's Play was made into A Soldier's Story. Awesome movie!
posted by under_petticoat_rule at 10:45 AM on March 5, 2015


Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are dead tells the story of two very minor characters from Shakespeare's Hamlet, but it's based on a modern play and I really like the movie.

And just to get two classics out of the way, there's Cat on a hot tin roof and Who's afraid of Virginia Woolf?,
posted by rjs at 10:52 AM on March 5, 2015 [4 favorites]


The remarkably great, unknown, What Happened Was....
posted by eschatfische at 10:54 AM on March 5, 2015 [1 favorite]


Betrayal. Harold Pinter adapted his own play for the film version, which was excellent.
posted by desuetude at 10:55 AM on March 5, 2015


It depends on your definition of modern, but Casablanca was based on an unproduced play.
posted by Gelatin at 11:01 AM on March 5, 2015 [1 favorite]


Came here to suggest Sleuth with the same remake caveat. It's great.
posted by kenko at 11:43 AM on March 5, 2015 [1 favorite]


Oh, Ha ha!

I always thought Tarantino's first film Reservoir Dogs was written and set designed like a play, and in reverse order, a few different people have produced it as a stage play. I saw it as a play in '96 or '97 in NYC, although I can't find mention of this initial production on the internets.....
posted by jbenben at 12:01 PM on March 5, 2015


Diplomacy.
posted by BusyBusyBusy at 12:11 PM on March 5, 2015


A Few Good Men, but I wouldn't say it's a great movie.
Into the Woods, Le Miz, Chicago, if you count musicals.
Amadeus
Wikipedia list.
posted by Ideefixe at 12:11 PM on March 5, 2015


I don't know how modern you're wanting,
but Robert Altman had a nice run with
'Come Back to the 5 & Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean' in 1982, 'Streamers' 1983,
'Secret Honor' 1984, 'Fool for Love' in 1985, and 'Beyond Therapy' in 1987,
all based on plays (and all entertaining, with varying degrees of weirdness).
posted by mdrew at 12:24 PM on March 5, 2015


Rabbit hole, 2010
posted by kinoeye at 12:36 PM on March 5, 2015


Oh, if we're doing musicals, then definitely Hedwig and the Angry Inch!
posted by duffell at 12:37 PM on March 5, 2015 [1 favorite]


I hate recommending Roman Polanski, BUT his recent film version of Venus in Fur (in French!) is awesome, and currently streaming on Netflix with subtitles.
posted by CatastropheWaitress at 12:43 PM on March 5, 2015 [1 favorite]


12 Angry Men
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 12:45 PM on March 5, 2015


The British version (with Matthew Mcfadyn and Peter Dinklage) of Death at a Funeral was excellent.
posted by jrobin276 at 1:21 PM on March 5, 2015


If musicals are allowed, then, of course, My Fair Lady
posted by Thorzdad at 1:50 PM on March 5, 2015


The Designated Mourner, written by Wallace Shawn, starring Mike Nichols. Not sure I'd say it's GREAT, but definitely interesting and very compelling in parts (Nichols in particular).

1994's Vanya on 42nd Street is a David Mamet adaptation of a Chekhov play, starring Wallace Shawn & Julianne Moore, directed by Louis Malle. Absolutely fantastic.
posted by the bricabrac man at 1:57 PM on March 5, 2015 [1 favorite]


Peter Shaffer's stage play of 1973, Equus. Film starred, among others, Richard Burton... Equus (1977)
posted by Mister Bijou at 1:59 PM on March 5, 2015


Jules Feiffer's black comedy Little Murders (1971).
posted by Mila at 3:05 PM on March 5, 2015


"Driving Miss Daisy"
posted by leafwoman at 3:09 PM on March 5, 2015 [1 favorite]


I can't speak to its quality as I've not seen it, but Gwyneth Paltrow and Jake Gyllenhaal were in a movie adaption of David Auburn's Proof.

Nthing Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? so very hard. Don't know if you consider it modern or not, but there was also a movie adaptation of Suddenly Last Summer (I'm not a fan but many friends are).
posted by ifjuly at 3:10 PM on March 5, 2015


The House of Yes
posted by candyland at 6:37 PM on March 5, 2015


I like the ones you mentioned, and two of my other favorites are The History Boys and The Big Kahuna.
posted by zadermatermorts at 7:26 PM on March 5, 2015


A Man for all seasons is amazing.
posted by Carillon at 9:26 PM on March 5, 2015


Seconding Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead.

My all-time favorite film is the Katharine Hepburn/Peter O'Toole adaptation of The Lion in Winter.
posted by you're a kitty! at 10:35 PM on March 5, 2015 [1 favorite]


Death and the Maiden
posted by Dan Brilliant at 1:59 AM on March 6, 2015




Depending on the definition of "modern" and "great"...

Le Miserables
posted by Noisy Pink Bubbles at 3:19 AM on March 6, 2015


Les Miserables was a novel, not a play.
posted by kenko at 7:24 AM on March 6, 2015


Sorry Kenko...the musical version ran on Broadway for years before it became a film.

And speaking of musicals...

Oklahoma
Carousel
South Pacific
posted by Billiken at 9:22 AM on March 6, 2015


Obviously Le Mis was originally a book, but the poster asked for "modern plays that have been made into great movies." The musical was first staged in 1980 and there have been many movie adaptations, the most recent in 2012. The book did not come in verse (and requires quite a bit more than a few hours to get through!), so the movie is closer in presentation to the musical.
posted by Noisy Pink Bubbles at 1:29 PM on March 6, 2015


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