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The Best Adaptation Movies and TV Shows on TCM

Finding a good Adaptation movie and TV show to watch can be hard, so we've ranked the best ones and included where to watch them. Check out our list of the best Adaptation movies and TV shows of all time streaming on TCM.

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1. Lord of the Flies

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
6.9/10
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67/100
Released: 1963Rated: PG-13
Thriller, Action & Adventure

What it's about: Amidst a nuclear war, a plane carrying a group of schoolboys crash lands on a deserted island. With no adult survivors, the boys are forced to fend for themselves. At first they cooperate, but when the they split into two separate camps -- one led by the pragmatic Ralph and the other by militaristic Jack -- their society falls into disarray, leading to a disturbing examination of human nature and a chilling conclusion.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a popular subscription service (HBO MAX, The Criterion Channel & Kanopy), stream on a TV everywhere service (TCM) & rent or buy from $3.99 on 2 services (iTunes & Prime Video).

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2. The Fountainhead

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.1/10
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62/100
Released: 1949
Romance, Drama

What it's about: An uncompromising, visionary architect struggles to maintain his integrity and individualism despite personal, professional and economic pressures to conform to popular standards.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a TV everywhere service (TCM) & rent or buy from $2.99 on 4 services (iTunes, Google Play & 2 others).

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3. Blithe Spirit

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.1/10
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62/100
Released: 1945
Fantasy, Comedy

What it's about: An English mystery novelist invites a medium to his home, so she may conduct a séance for a small gathering. The writer hopes to gather enough material for the book he's working on, as well as to expose the medium as a charlatan. However, proceedings take an unexpected turn, resulting in a chain of supernatural events being set into motion that wreak havoc on the man's present marriage.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a popular subscription service (HBO MAX & The Criterion Channel), stream on a TV everywhere service (TCM) & rent or buy from $3.99 on 2 services (iTunes & Prime Video).

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4. The Long, Long Trailer

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.0/10
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61/100
Released: 1954Rated: G
Romance, Comedy

What it's about: A newly wed couple, Tacy and Nicky, travel in a trailer for their honeymoon. The journey is a humorous one that could end up destroying their marriage.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a TV everywhere service (TCM) & rent or buy from $2.99 on 5 services (iTunes, Google Play & 3 others).

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5. The Sunshine Boys

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.1/10
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58/100
Released: 1975Rated: PG
Stand-up & Talk, Comedy

What it's about: Lewis and Clark, aka The Sunshine Boys, were famous comedians during the vaudeville era, but off-stage they couldn't stand each other and haven't spoken in over 20 years of retirement. Willy Clark's nephew is the producer of a TV variety show that wants to feature a reunion of this classic duo. It is up to him to try to get the Sunshine Boys back together again.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a subscription service (Hoopla), stream on a TV everywhere service (TCM) & rent or buy from $1.99 on 4 services (iTunes, Google Play & 2 others).

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6. The French Lieutenant's Woman

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.0/10
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62/100
Released: 1981Rated: R
Romance, Drama

What it's about: In this story-within-a-story, Anna is an actress starring opposite Mike in a period piece about the forbidden love between their respective characters, Sarah and Charles. Both actors are involved in serious relationships, but the passionate nature of the script leads to an off-camera love affair as well. While attempting to maintain their composure and professionalism, Anna and Mike struggle to come to terms with their infidelity.

Where to Watch: Available to watch free online (PlutoTV), stream on a TV everywhere service (TCM) & rent or buy from $3.99 on 3 services (iTunes, Prime Video & Vudu).

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7. Quo Vadis

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.2/10
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79/100
Released: 1951
Romance, Drama

What it's about: Set against the back drop of Rome in crisis, General Marcus Vinicius returns to the city from the battle fields and falls in love with a Christian woman, Lygia. Caught in the grip of insanity, Nero's atrocities become more extreme and he burns Rome, laying the blame on the Christians. Vinicius races to save Lygia from the wrath of Nero as the empire of Rome collapses around them.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a TV everywhere service (TCM) & rent or buy from $1.99 on 6 services (iTunes, Google Play & 4 others).

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8. Countdown

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
6.0/10
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54/100
Released: 1967
Science-Fiction, Thriller

What it's about: A scientist (James Caan) replaces a military officer (Robert Duvall) as an astronaut on a space-race moonshot.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a popular subscription service (HBO MAX), stream on a TV everywhere service (TCM) & rent or buy from $2.99 on 4 services (iTunes, Google Play & 2 others).

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9. She

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
5.8/10
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47/100
Released: 1965
Fantasy, Action & Adventure

What it's about: The lost city of Kuma is ruled by the cruel, arrogant, beautiful queen, Ayesha, gifted with eternal life. She lures Leo Vincey into her world, seeing in him the reincarnation of the lover she long ago murdered in a fit of violent jealousy. Against all advice Leo is determined to stay and Ayesha persuades him to bathe in the flame of eternal youth... with disastrous consequences.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a TV everywhere service (TCM).

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10. The Prize

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
6.8/10
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66/100
Released: 1963
Mystery, Thriller

What it's about: For some reason, this year's Nobel prize in literature has been awarded to the young author Andrew Craig, who seems to be more interested in women and drinking than writing. Another laureate is Dr. Max Stratman, the famous German-American physicist who comes to Stockholm with his young and beautiful niece Emily. The Foreign Department also gives him an assistant during his stay, Miss Andersson. Craig soon notices that Dr. Stratman is acting strangely. The second time they meet, Dr. Stratman does not even recognize him.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a TV everywhere service (TCM) & rent or buy from $2.99 on 4 services (iTunes, Google Play & 2 others).

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11. Ah, Wilderness!

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
6.9/10
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49/100
Released: 1935
Comedy, Drama

What it's about: At the turn of the century, a young man graduates high school and realizes the joys and sorrows of growing up, with some loving help and guidance from his wise father. A tender, coming-of-age story, with a wonderful look at a long-gone, but fondly remembered, small town America.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a TV everywhere service (TCM) & rent or buy from $2.99 on 3 services (iTunes, Google Play & Vudu).

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12. Bright Road

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
6.6/10
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45/100
Released: 1953
Drama

What it's about: Teachers at an all-black school fight to save a problem child.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a TV everywhere service (TCM) & rent or buy from $2.99 on 2 services (iTunes & Vudu).

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13. Orpheus

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
8.0/10
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68/100
Released: 1950
Fantasy, Romance

What it's about: At the Café des Poètes in Paris, a fight breaks out between the poet Orphée and a group of resentful upstarts. A rival poet, Cègeste, is killed, and a mysterious princess insists on taking Orpheus and the body away in her Rolls-Royce. Orphée soon finds himself in the underworld, where the Princess announces that she is, in fact, Death. Orpheus escapes in the car back to the land of the living, only to become obsessed with the car radio. This film is the central part of Cocteau's Orphic Trilogy, which consists of The Blood of a Poet (1930), Orpheus (1950) and Testament of Orpheus (1960).

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a popular subscription service (HBO MAX, The Criterion Channel & Kanopy) & stream on a TV everywhere service (TCM).

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14. Star 80

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
6.7/10
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60/100
Released: 1983Rated: R
Biography, Drama

What it's about: Paul Snider is a narcissistic, small time hustler who fancies himself a ladies man. His life changes when he meets Dorothy Stratten working behind the counter of a Dairy Queen. Under his guidance Dorothy grows to fame as a Playboy Playmate. But when Dorothy begins pursuing an acting career, the jealous Paul finds himself elbowed out of the picture by more famous men.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a TV everywhere service (TCM) & rent or buy from $2.99 on 5 services (iTunes, Google Play & 3 others).

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