6 Incredible Films Based On TV Shows

Thursday, February 2 by Joseph Gibson

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TV shows aren't necessarily known for inspiring classic films. But occasionally a good (for purposes of this article, read "incredible") movie based on a TV series manages to crawl its way out of the primordial "TV-to-Movie" ooze. Here are six of those films, which may actually be all of those films.

1. "The Untouchables"

Brian De Palma made something of a career revival out of adapting TV shows from the 60s into movies. His first entry into this subgenre is "The Untouchables," which springboards from the premise of the TV show into telling the true story of Eliot Ness' hunt for notorious gangster Al Capone. De Palma uses his trademark tricks, such as long tracking shots, to draw out the tension in the movie, and it works, for the most part. The inspiration here is obviously classic Hollywood rather than 60s TV, but the movie is still one of the best to ever be based on a TV show.

2. "Mission: Impossible"

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	Brian De Palma's other attempt to adapt a TV show from the '<span data-scayt_word=60s was based on the spy show "Mission: Impossible." Once again, De Palma pretty much ignores the TV show (except that great theme song), instead building an almost abstract espionage plot around various stunts featuring Tom Cruise. The most famous one has Tom Cruise suspended from the ceiling from a harness. Remember that? Sure you do, because it's been plastered across every promo for the movie, ever! The movie was well-received, but sadly the franchise's value has waned a bit over the years.

3. "The Fugitive"

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The '60s must have been a good time for TV, since a show from that decade was once again adapted into a big-budget Hollywood thriller, this one starring Harrison Ford and Tommy Lee Jones. The story goes like this: Harrison Ford's wife gets murdered by a one-armed man, and Harrison Ford goes to prison for the crime. He escapes, and Tommy Lee Jones is the US Marshall assigned to hunt him down. The film does a great job of twisting toward its conclusion, especially considering there is no clear-cut bad guy for most of the movie. That's a pretty rare feat, and this film was better for it.

4. "Strangers With Candy"

Unlike the previous three shows, this movie (based on the cult Comedy Central sitcom) was made by the same people who made the TV show. And it's almost as funny as the show was at its best. It acts as a prequel to the TV show, but it really could just be a set of episodes. The humor tends to be pretty off-beat, but the show was ahead of its time and didn't develop the following that it should have. If you're looking to get acquainted with the series, this movie acts as a great starting point. And if you're a fan of the show, you definitely want to check out the movie.

5. "Batman: The Movie"

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	The 1966 "Batman" TV series was hugely popular, so it makes sense that 20th Century <a href='http://www.screenjunkies.com/tag/fox-651/' class='linkify' target='_blank'>Fox</a> would try and capitalize with a big-screen version. The movie is just like the series, but with a bigger budget. So that means that instead of just the <span data-scayt_word=Batmobile” data-scaytid=”1″>Batmobile, you've got the Batboat, the Batcycle, and the Batcopter. And instead of just one villain, you have four. That's money well-spent. The show was almost pure camp, so the movie is no different, but it's definitely not without its charm.

6. "Star Trek"

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	The show "Star Trek" has a very rabid <span data-scayt_word=fanbase, but it recently attempted to expand that fanbase by way of a big-screen reboot. Helmed by JJ Abrams, the movie largely did that, if the box office numbers are to be believed. And there's a sequel coming out, too. This is another big-screen TV adaptation that takes the approach of a prequel, showing how James Kirk got to be captain of the Enterprise. Hope fully the new franchise avoids the "every other" curse of the old movie franchise, where only the even-numbered films were any good. Okay, just "Wrath of Khan" was good, but those dark days are behind us!