This week The Man From U.N.C.L.E. blasts from the small screen to the silver one, bringing an old TV show into the world of movies. It's far from the first time that's happened and it won't be the last, so it got us thinking about the TV-to-film adaptations that have come before. These are the 10 we think are best:
The Naked Gun! From the Files of Police Squadron
Based on the popular Police Squadron series, The Naked Gun is an uproariously entertaining comedy that benefits from the incredible star power of Leslie Nielsen. The film takes the best elements of the series, namely its slapstick goofiness and hilarious puns, to produce a solid film with great gags. Though the film's sequels still hold up, the original The Naked Gun stands out as a classic of the genre.
The Muppets series has had several great cinematic outings, but none are better than the 2011 revival film The Muppets, which stars Jason Segal and Amy Adams. The film is a love letter to the characters' history, and gives plenty of references to the series' past while still using the Muppets' universal humor to attract new fans. Though Segal and Adams give charismatic and hilarious performances, the Muppets themselves come back in great fashion, and hold up to the series' notable legacy.
In the Loop
One of the funniest and most original comedies in recent history, In the Loop is based upon The Thick of It. The film is a great black comedy that satirizes international politics, and gets some fantastic performances out of Tom Hollander, Peter Capaldi and James Gandolfini, who all do a great job at making fun of the goofiness behind politics. It's a successful adaptation in the sense that it completely created its own identity rather than be tied down too much by its source material.
Get Smart, based upon the television show of the same name, is a hilarious exploration of the spy genre featuring an incredible comedic performance by Steve Carell as Maxwell Start. The film replicates the parodic sensibilities of the original series while still modernizing the film to incorporate the satire of recent events and modern espionage cinema. Get Smart's comedy is a clever homage to the series and combines comedy and action in a completely original cinematic experience.
21 Jump Street
In one of the most unique television adaptations to date, 21 Jump Street takes the seriousness of the original series and parodies the manner of Hollywood originality, action films and the high school film clichés. Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum have excellent chemistry that works within the action and comedy film genres, and directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller do a great job at building up a self-referential style of filmmaking.
Based on the original series of the same name, 1996's Mission: Impossible was a highly influential and exciting action thriller that established one of the best modern action franchises. The film does a great job honoring elements of the original series, including the heist elements, intelligently action sequences and international conspiracies. However, the film also modernizes the series and builds up a more vast and intricate story involving the show's IMF.
Star Trek has always proven to be a popular commodity for television and film, but no film in the franchise better adapted the original 1966 series than the 2009 reboot Star Trek, directed by J.J. Abrams. The film expanded upon the most important part of the series: the characters. Specifically. it did an excellent job at exploring the relationship between Kirk and Spock, with Chris Pine and Zachary Quinto perfectly capturing the iconic roles. Star Trek breathed life into the series and delivered upon the promise of the original series' adventure.
Monty Python and the Holy Grail
Monty Python's Flying Circus proved to be an incredibly inventive and hilarious sketch series, and Monty Python and the Holy Grail was a natural progression into motion pictures. The film retained the witty sketch comedy vibe from the show, but also featured a great narrative structure that parodied the popular "epic fantasy" genre. As a television adaptation, the film utilizes the same type of comedy, but uses it as the basis for a brilliant parody.
In one of the best action-thrillers of the '90s, The Fugitive was based off of the television series of the same name, and stars Harrison Ford in the role of Dr. Richard Kimble, a man falsely accused of killing his wife. Ford brings a gravitas and intensity that's rarely seen in the action genre, and his co-star Tommy Lee Jones proves to be very different antagonist than expected. The film is a smartly written conspiracy thriller that matches plot with action.
The Untouchables, based on the 1957 television series, tells the gripping true story of Elliot Ness's battle against Al Capone throughout the prohibition era. The violence and grit of the story is well told and exhilarating, with Kevin Costner giving an incredible performance as Ness. The film also features great supporting work from a villainous Robert De Niro as Al Capone, as well as a great supporting performance by Sean Connery as the veteran cop Jim Malone. The Untouchables establishes itself as a great crime saga, and the best television adaptation of all-time.