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Screen to Stage to Screen

Theatrical and film works have for decades transitioned from stage to
screen and back. Recently, though, works have been see-sawing between the two media with abandon. The Caine Mutiny Court Martial,
the stage version of Herman Wouk’s 1951 novel "The Caine Mutiny," opened on Broadway in 1954 and played for 415
performances. That same year the film
version was released, starring Humphrey Bogart, Jose Ferrer and Fred
MacMurray. And in 2006, Caine returned
to Broadway – for less than six weeks – in a production starring David Schwimmer
(Friends, The Pallbearer) as Lt. Barney Greenwald.

Other examples, successful and
non, abound. Hairspray went from movie to play to movie, Legally Blonde (and seemingly the entire recent Disney animation
catalog) from multiplex to Broadway. The 2005 remake of Mel Brooks’ The Producers received a decidedly mixed reaction from critics, many of whom noted that this new movie version looked too much like
filmed theater and blamed director Susan Stroman. And why not?  She’d directed the musical.  Now
another of Brooks’ classic films is headed for the Great White Way (or the
Boulevard of Broken Dreams, you pick) – Young Frankenstein.

AMC is showing the hilarious 1974 movie this
month; it airs next on September 18. And
The Caine Mutiny plays on AMC in October.

Side note: The diary Dr.
Frederick Frankenstein (Gene Wilder) discovers at his grandfather’s castle is
entitled "How I Did It" – so OJ!

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