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Best Netflix Instant Movies for Readers: Films Based on Plays

netflixlogo.pngThousands of Netflix users enjoy the “Watch Instantly” section of the popular DVD rental website–streaming movies straight to their computers or televisions. Still, it can be difficult to find the perfect movie amid the overwhelming selection.

Our first Netflix list, the best dramas based on contemporary literature, was so well-received that we’ve created our list of ten favorite films based on plays from the “Watch Instantly” section of Netflix. Add your favorites adapted plays on Netflix in the comments–we’ll do more lists for more categories soon.

Romeo + Juliet: Love it or hate it, you can’t deny this Leonardo DiCaprio and Claire Danes Shakespeare adaptation is captivating.

A Streetcar Named Desire: The great Marlon Brando stars in the definitive film version of Tennessee Williams‘ classic play.

The Time of Your Life: Patti LuPone stars in an adaptation of William Saroyan’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play.


King Lear: In this filmed record of a live performance, James Earl Jones plays Shakespeare’s doomed king.

Les Miserables: Liam Neeson and Geoffrey Rush chew scenery in this entertaining big budget adaptation.

The Seagull: Frank Langella stars in a 1975 adaptation of Anton Chekhov’s play.

The Glass Menagerie: Katharine Hepburn in her first television performance, adapting another Tennessee Williams classic

Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead: Gary Oldman and Tim Roth crash through this adaptation of a great Tom Stoppard play.

Othello: The great Laurence Olivier starred in this 1965 adaptation of the Shakespeare play. Compare against this Othello that starred Kenneth Branagh and Laurence Fishburne in 1995.

Charles Bukowski: Bukowski at Bellevue: Doesn’t quite count as a play, but it is one rare performance of the late author’s work that you don’t want to miss.

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