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Vincentt's avatar

What are some classic movies/stories that everybody knows?

Asked by Vincentt (8094points) July 5th, 2009

We’re looking to make an adaptation of a popular movie or story, but of course, all of the audience should know it to be able to recognise the original thing. Think A Christmas Carol, only without the Christmas theme ;-)

The more suggestions the better. Thanks :)

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18 Answers

Fly's avatar

Well, the Grimm brothers (or the Brothers Grimm) fairy tales are very well-known and popular, including stories such as Cinderella, Rapunzel, Hansel and Gretel, Snow White, and Rumpelstiltskin.

Jeruba's avatar

The Wizard of Oz. According to Jonathan Young, of the Center for Story and Symbol. who uses storytelling as a teaching device, the movie is the best-known on the planet. He bases a class on it and says that hands down it is the movie familiar to the greatest number of people throughout the world.

filmfann's avatar

My four favorite stories are A Christmas Carol, Pinocchio, Ulysses, and Hamlet. They all have been done in different ways, and are always wonderful.

janbb's avatar

Casablanca, Gone with the Wind, Beauty and the Beast

Jeruba's avatar

Everybody doesn’t know Beauty and the Beast. Recent Disney movies do not have the universal appeal of older ones.

Vincentt's avatar

Great suggestions :)

Come to think of it, I think the audience is in the age range of about 17–26, so recency isn’t a problem.

SirBailey's avatar

There’s a lot you can do with the Frankenstein story.

janbb's avatar

@ Jeruba I wasn’t thinking of the Disney Beauty and the Beast. I was thinking of it as a widely known fairy tale and also of the classic film version by Jena Cocteau.

Jeruba's avatar

Ah, I see, @janbb. In its form as a fairy tale it is much more generally known.

One of the most familiar folktales around the world and across the centuries is the story we typically recognize in Western cultures as Cinderella. One source says the oldest known version dates back to the first century B.C. Another says the story’s origins have been traced to 9th century China. One source says there are 345 versions of the tale. It is certainly one of the most familiar traditional stories ever, having many forms and having heroines with many names. The essential themes persist and would be recognizable to most people.

janbb's avatar

EDIT: Jean Cocteau

Yes, Cinderella would be a good story too.

Jack79's avatar

I was reading somewhere that there are 7 types of narrative, and all stories are simply a variation of one of those. I was actually thinking the other day how similar Popeye and Asterix are (one drinks a magic potion, the other eats a can of spinach to get strong) or Tarzan and Mogli, both get lost in the jungle as kids and learn to speak with animals.
There are interesting stories in European folklore (almost anything by the Grimms or also HK Andersen), as well as Rapunzel, Baba Yaga, Rumplestillskin (my favourite) and a few more I forget.
There are semi-real heroes such as Arthur and Robin Hood, and you could even make up stories about the crusades. And you could go further back into Greek mythology with Theseus or Hercules, or even take tales from the Bible (Dalidah, the Prodigal Son, or David and Goliath).
What sort of theme are you looking for?

Jack79's avatar

PS if the audience is 17–26 you may want a love story such as Romeo and Juliet (or one of the many variations of it).

filmfann's avatar

@janbb I love that version of B&B! The hands holding torches in the hall is such a great image!

Saturated_Brain's avatar

Lord of the Rings anyone?

Blondesjon's avatar

Gilligan’s Island.

filmfann's avatar

Gilligan’s Island’s characters were of course based on the 7 deadly sins. Has everyone heard this before? I got this from a website , but I saw this in an email 10 years ago. One of the show’s writers owned up to this:

The Seven Deadly Sins of Gilligan’s Island

Is Gilligan the Devil?

Years ago, CBS had a popular little series called “Gilligan’s Island”. There is, however, a dark secret about this “comedy” you may never have realized. The island is a direct representation of Hell.

Nobody on the island wants to be there, yet none are able to leave. Each one of the characters represents one of the 7 deadly sins:

Ginger represents LUST – she wears skimpy outfits, is obsessed with her looks, and is a borderline nymphomaniac.

Mary Ann represents ENVY – she is jealous of Ginger’s beauty.

The Professor represents PRIDE – he is an annoying know-it-all.

Mr. Howell represents GREED – no explanation needed.

Mrs. Howell represents SLOTH – she has never lifted a finger to help on any of their escape plans.

The Skipper represents two sins: GLUTTONY – again, no explanation needed and ANGER – he violently hits Gilligan on each show.

This leaves Gilligan. Gilligan is the person who put them there. He prevents them from leaving by foiling all of their escape plots. Also, it is HIS island. Therefore, Gilligan is SATAN.

Crazy? He does wear red in every episode.

Jeruba's avatar

Interesting premise. I never saw the show myself, but many others would know it.

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