Shirley Jackson’s short story The Lottery has been made into a film at least three times. The first is a very good dramatization made in the late 1960s or early 1970s and was generally seen in classrooms. (If anyone has a copy of it they want to sell, either on VHS or 16mm film, please e-mail me.) This is a wonderful version. (I love the part where the old woman hands the toddler a rock and says in her kindly grandmother voice, “Here, Davey!”) Another version was made in 1986, but I didn’t see it. I heard it sucked.
I did see the 1996 version foisted upon us by Lifetime (I think that’s where it was shown). They added a bunch of crap that was never in the short story, like the father dying and asking to be buried in the small town. They turned it from a chilling horror story into an amateur detective drama.
If you haven’t read The Lottery, look it up. It’s on the 'net, and it’s a great story.
And I was serious about the 16mm print…