One of our household's younger members (I'll take Keith Raffel's approach here, and call her Number 3) is required to read A Tale of Two Cities for her honors English class this semester. I strongly believe in reading the assignments, as does she, but I also know how much I like to populate a novel with characters I've met onscreen. If possible, I prefer to see the movie first, then read the book. The opposite - reading a book first and then seeing the movie - usually results in disappointment. I can name only two movie series that have almost lived up to their books - Lord of the Rings, and Harry Potter. Oh wait, one more... Jane Austen's Persuasion. That movie followed the book almost word for word.
In any case, now that we're Netflix members (such convenience!) we can access great classics like A Tale of Two Cities that chains like Hollywood and Blockbuster no longer carry. For our Dickens foray, I chose the Ronald Colman version. Love that man's voice. I'd seen this version years ago, and it was so wonderful, I promptly read the book. I think Number 3 feels the same way and if there's ever a way to get kids excited about assigned reading, I'm all for it.
Her next assignment is Julius Caesar. Any favorite versions out there you'd care to recommend?