Most iconic stage to screen adaptations

Relive a bit of theatre magic at home.
Thankfully, some of our favourite films are excellent adaptations of stage classics, and some even give the originals a run for their money! Time for the best and most iconic movie to screen adaptations of all time.

Glengarry Glen Ross

The play by David Mamet won a Pulitzer, and then Mamet made this award-winning film based on his own play. He also filled it with an incredible cast – Alex Baldwin, Al Pacino, Jack Lemmon, Ed Harris, Alan Arkin, Kevin Spacey. The film itself is set in an office full of real estate salesman who have a week to top the sales… or they get fired. High stakes and superb, and a wonderful stage to screen adaptation.

A Streetcar Named Desire

STELLAAAAAAAA! Marlon Brando and Vivian Leigh are electric in this gritty, sexy, charming screen version of the famous play. It follows Blanche DuBois, a very uppity Southern Belle who ends up staying with her sister and brother-in-law in a sketchy apartment in New Orleans. It’s a disturbing story about family tension, abuse and mental illness, and the film won accolades worldwide – plus, Brando played Stanley in both the stage and screen versions.


Chicago is an innovative and extremely faithful adaptation of the stage show. Renee Zellweger is kind of a revelation, Richard Gere is stunning, and John C. Reilly brings incredible heart to his Mr. Cellophane number.

Angels in America

Based on the Pulitzer-prize winning play of the same name, Angels in America (the miniseries) took the world by storm when HBO released it in 2003. It was made by Mike Nichols (the guy who made The Graduate), it stars Al Pacino, Emma Thompson, Patrick Wilson, Mary-Louise Parker, Jeffrey Wright, Michael Gambon and Meryl Streep, and it was instrumental in bringing the darkness of the Regan-era AIDS crisis to a mainstream audience.

The Sound of Music

The hills are alive! The Sound of Music is a screen adaptation of the Rogers and Hammerstein musical of the same name, though no stage could possibly compare with Julie Andrews herself spinning around in the actual alps. Also, the screen version is widely considered to be one of the best films ever. How’s that for a show that started on the stage?

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