I usually save short stories we have not read or a play for the end of the year. We read Shakespeare in class, but I like to have the students read The Miracle Worker that still moves me after so many years, and the English is so much easier to read that Shakespeare's English.
Then we watch the movie, and since I don't show many movies in class, this becomes something of a treat. I also offer extra credit (not a great deal) if students will learn to spell their names in sign language. It is a unit that still is worthwhile, but we read together in class, vocab. comes from the play, there is still a unit test, and then comes the movie.
I also have a packet I made up about an old movie with Bruce Willis called The Kid. It is about a man learning to face the heartaches of a difficult childhood that he has all but forgotten, and it generates great discussions as I ask them questions regarding the process of their growing up which parallels the movie. We also look at it in terms of symbolism and identifying themes. The kids generally really like it—they love to talk about themselves and share stories. It's another unit done in class, and if completed just before finals, it requires no homework. They watch the film and we pick it apart as if it were a novel, and they can study for finals instead of doing other work for me at night.
It also makes the end of the year easier as I ease into collecting books, grading last-minute assignments or make-up work, and I can pack the room while they watch the film.