Great Films Based on Books

List of the Month
November 2023 (see all)
Description
Book lovers often have very strong opinions about how their favorite stories ought to be adapted, when being made into films. Our List of the Month this November is devoted to films that got it right—films that were successfully adapted from books, or that even improved upon their books. Each participant may vote on ten films. Please only downvote titles if they are not films, or if they are films not adapted from a book.
1
2,050 members
15 reviews
½ 4.5
2
669 members
5 reviews
½ 4.4
32 Members
brewergirl, tardis, rosalita, bcmiller, TeresaInTexas, charl08, raidergirl3, lizzy50usa, perennialreader, BonnieJune54, Bluewolf0411, kdabra4, ahef1963, pwhite98270, MaryMeg, Laura1124, Hope_H, Tatoosh, mrswebster, DeborahJ2016, SandyAMcPherson, DonnaGriffin, AndrewGrannell, baughga, clunardelli, beatlegrrl, SoulMedicine, bstar1019, dianehewson, StillLearning123, NiniScripsit, vcast
Explanations
NiniScripsit: To those who have seen this film, no explanation is needed. For those who have not, watch it. Brilliant, groundbreaking, remarkable. And you get to watch Gregory Peck in one of his best roles.
3
1,023 members
10 reviews
½ 4.4
33 Members
timspalding, brewergirl, lorax, rosalita, cornerhouse, Parthurbook, mzonderm, raidergirl3, sunqueen, konallis, atozgrl, RBeffa, AnnieMod, igorken, tina1969, MaskedMumbler, Bluewolf0411, Tess_W, kdabra4, ahef1963, AbigailAdams26, verncox, DeborahJ2016, SandyAMcPherson, DonnaGriffin, AndrewGrannell, clunardelli, Bubu1969, Tosta, RunLonger, SoulMedicine, dianehewson, NiniScripsit
Explanations
Parthurbook: Masterclass: How to make an epic film from a short story (Stephen King).
NiniScripsit: Stephen King's novella, "Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption" transformed into a movie epic so good that it deserves multiple viewings. So many uplifting, soaring moments, so many realistic portrayals of the brutality of an archaic system, so many touching portrayals of flawed humanity. A true, totally American, classic.
4
1,364 members
11 reviews
½ 4.3
28 Members
tardis, anglemark, bcmiller, TeresaInTexas, pitjrw, mldg, bjappleg8, lizzy50usa, atozgrl, tina1969, BonnieJune54, Bluewolf0411, Tess_W, ahef1963, MaryMeg, AbigailAdams26, verncox, Hope_H, dianeham, SF_fan_mae, beehappy, DeborahJ2016, DonnaGriffin, AndrewGrannell, tklay30, RunLonger, SoulMedicine, StillLearning123,
Explanations
anglemark: Based on The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum
verncox: This Musical is a good way to make up for making cuts to a good narrative.
5
840 members
14 reviews
½ 4.4
26 Members
cornerhouse, bcmiller, jillmwo, cpg, charl08, epaterson, cbl_tn, merrystar, atozgrl, katemcangus, noveltea, al.vick, ahef1963, AbigailAdams26, verncox, beehappy, mrswebster, DeborahJ2016, barefootsong, AndrewGrannell, GinaHMM, LetGoAndBreathe, loulourevisited, slimikin, SoulMedicine, dianehewson
Explanations
beehappy: Based on Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen
mrswebster: Book still more, but never could have read these books without meeting and learning to love these characters through the visual story. Each role so wonderfully acted by each artist.
11
470 members
2 reviews
4.2
13
13 Members
grizzly.anderson, Cecrow, FAMeulstee, atozgrl, oceancat, MaskedMumbler, vwinsloe, al.vick, pwhite98270, Michael.Rimmer, barefootsong, baughga, RunLonger
Explanations
Cecrow: Most accurate to vote for whole trilogy.
vwinsloe: Each installment of the trilogy was a masterpiece.
14
520 members
3 reviews
½ 4.5
14 Members
rosalita, anglemark, grizzly.anderson, paradoxosalpha, CarltonC, rhbouchard, mrbudyhed, vwinsloe, Bluewolf0411, Michael.Rimmer, Laura1124, dianeham, timetunnel, loulourevisited,mzonderm ,
Explanations
paradoxosalpha: Based on Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick
15
484 members
7 reviews
3.8
14 Members
cornerhouse, TeresaInTexas, lizzy50usa, katemcangus, AbigailAdams26, mrswebster, barefootsong, DonnaGriffin, AndrewGrannell, clunardelli, GinaHMM, loulourevisited, slimikin, bstar1019,ahef1963 ,NiniScripsit
Explanations
NiniScripsit: This version strayed so far from the book, that I was severely disappointed. When a book is iconic to literally generations of women it should be respected and not re-worked at the director's/writer's whim.
16
256 members
5 reviews
4
12 Members
tardis, rosalita, bcmiller, Parthurbook, wolfepack, atozgrl, Laura1124, SandyAMcPherson, baughga, clunardelli, loulourevisited, StillLearning123
Explanations
Parthurbook: As ever, screenwriter William Goldman explaining the complexity of the Bernstein-Woodward source material with great economy. And holding attention when the audience knows the outcome before the start.
18
247 members
1 review
4.2
19
218 members
5 reviews
4.2
20
831 members
11 reviews
4.2
11 Members
bcmiller, grizzly.anderson, barleywine, sturlington, mrbudyhed, vwinsloe, Michael.Rimmer, verncox, timetunnel, SF_fan_mae, v_RuneBerg,paradoxosalpha ,AndrewGrannell
Explanations
paradoxosalpha: The book and the (monumental) film were written simultaneously in conversation with one another. Both were based on the earlier Arthur C. Clarke story "The Sentinel," not a book--though the story was later included in a collection called The Sentinel.
21
737 members
7 reviews
4.1
23
512 members
5 reviews
4
24
378 members
4 reviews
3.9
8 Members
cornerhouse, Caramellunacy, paradoxosalpha, pitjrw, wolfepack, rhbouchard, katemcangus, Hope_H
Explanations
paradoxosalpha: Based on True Grit by Charles Portis
25
1,383 members
21 reviews
½ 4.4
9 Members
anglemark, mldg, terran, MaryMeg, Laura1124, verncox, Tatoosh, clunardelli, NiniScripsit
Explanations
anglemark: Based on The Story of the Trapp Family Singers by Maria Augusta Trapp
NiniScripsit: A lovely fairy tale based on real people and events. Although the book details a very different reality, Messrs. Rodgers and Hammerstein crafted such beautiful music and (although Lehman's screenplay strayed a little too far from Lindsay and Crouses libretto) the script told such a charming story that the film has become a beloved icon. And Julie Andrews is singing...what more is there to say?
26
558 members
10 reviews
½ 4.3
7 Members
rosalita, bcmiller, Parthurbook, terran, rhbouchard, MaskedMumbler, verncox
Explanations
Parthurbook: The madness of the Ken Kesey book echoed in the madness of the movie
27
86 members
2 reviews
½ 4.4
7 Members
jillmwo, epaterson, cbl_tn, BonnieJune54, noveltea, ManWithAnAgenda, NiniScripsit
Explanations
NiniScripsit: A lovely, sweet and charming movie that manages in its quiet way to show the deep and blossoming friendship of disparate women and the, it is hoped, education of their sometimes obdurate men. Both the book and the film should be enjoyed again and again.
28
570 members
7 reviews
4.2
29
684 members
9 reviews
½ 4.4
8 Members
anglemark, bjappleg8, jannon, monadz, SF_fan_mae, SandyAMcPherson, ManWithAnAgenda, loulourevisited, ,oceancat
Explanations
anglemark: Based on Howl's Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones
: Changed too many things from the book.
oceancat: love miyazaki but yeah this is too different from the book
30
865 members
5 reviews
4.2
31
277 members
6 reviews
½ 4.3
32
470 members
2 reviews
4
7 Members
rhbouchard, al.vick, Dayclear, mrswebster, AndrewGrannell, Bubu1969, jpahl,bcmiller ,wolfepack
Explanations
al.vick: based on the book, but SOOO much better.
mrswebster: DITTO to al.vick!
33
325 members
5 reviews
½ 4.4
5 Members
cbl_tn, merrystar, kac522, barefootsong, JulieStielstra
Explanations
JulieStielstra: The best Austen adaptation ever - excellent acting, honest and vivid production values, the perfect mix of wit and heartfelt.
34
297 members
3 reviews
4.2
7 Members
lizzy50usa, konallis, perennialreader, pwhite98270, MaryMeg, Tatoosh, tklay30,bcmiller
Explanations
lizzy50usa: Based on the book by C.S. Forester
35
714 members
8 reviews
4.1
6 Members
librookian, paradoxosalpha, terran, igorken, MaskedMumbler, mrbudyhed
Explanations
paradoxosalpha: Based on Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk
36
1,296 members
10 reviews
½ 4.5
37
410 members
8 reviews
4
6 Members
RBeffa, oceancat, mrbudyhed, megbmore, timetunnel, StillLearning123
Explanations
timetunnel: Based on the short story "Story of Your Life" by Ted Chiang
38
175 members
3 reviews
½ 4.4
39
580 members
9 reviews
4
40
497 members
4 reviews
3.9
41
324 members
2 reviews
4
5 Members
Parthurbook, terran, al.vick, Tatoosh, loulourevisited
Explanations
Parthurbook: The scale of the mission reflected in the scale of the Tom Wolfe book reflected in the scale of the movie.
42
332 members
2 reviews
4
43
593 members
8 reviews
4.2
6 Members
lorax, tardis, charl08, atozgrl, Tatoosh, SF_fan_mae,StillLearning123
Explanations
StillLearning123 : Clicked by mistake! It’s a great movie!
44
337 members
2 reviews
3.9
45
186 members
6 reviews
4
46
235 members
3 reviews
3.1
47
322 members
4 reviews
4.2
5 Members
tardis, oceancat, barefootsong, ManWithAnAgenda, JulieStielstra
Explanations
JulieStielstra: Charming, emotional, honest; wonderful performances by all the kid actors. A childhood favorite unsullied by cuteness, visually lovely.
48
46,956 members
283 reviews
½ 4.5
49
274 members
3 reviews
½ 4.3
50
1,001 members
12 reviews
4.1
51
133 members
3 reviews
½ 4.3
5 Members
tardis, Michael.Rimmer, Laura1124, EGBERTINA, NiniScripsit
Explanations
NiniScripsit: A true classic. Funny, witty and sophisticated in a way that movies, sadly, might never be again. And the brilliant pairing of Myrna Loy and William Powell is one of the most magical in film history. Nick and Nora are the best. Do read the book (I mean, Dashiell Hammet, c'mon); do see the movie. Both can't be beat.
52
377 members
5 reviews
4.2
53
420 members
4 reviews
3.9
54
521 members
6 reviews
4.1
55
659 members
9 reviews
½ 4.3
56
112 members
5 reviews
4
4 Members
jillmwo, sunqueen, kdabra4, NiniScripsit
Explanations
NiniScripsit: One of the great melodramas of all time, and one of the best love stories in American film. The superb acting, brilliant script and brilliant casting make an unbeatable combination. The cigarette scene alone has become a trope. And the ending is one of the best ever on film..."Oh, Jerry, don't let's ask for the Moon. We have the stars."
57
296 members
6 reviews
4.1
58
302 members
3 reviews
3.9
59
84 members
3 reviews
3.9
60
62 members
2 reviews
½ 3.7
61
210 members
4 reviews
½ 4.3
62
134 members
5 reviews
3.9
63
129 members
1 review
4.2
3 Members
anglemark, pitjrw, EMS_24
Explanations
anglemark: Based on Roadside Picnic by Arkady and Boris Strugatsky
64
504 members
3 reviews
4.2
65
150 members
½ 3.7
3 Members
Parthurbook, epaterson, LuckyMick
Explanations
Parthurbook: The meta quality of having Christopher Plummer playing Kipling - the author of the story - adds to the atmosphere of two stars (Connery and Caine) at the top of their game.
66
566 members
6 reviews
4
67
161 members
1 review
3.8
68
169 members
1 review
4.1
3 Members
librookian, mrbudyhed, beehappy
Explanations
beehappy: Based on the graphic novel by Daniel Clowes
69
377 members
5 reviews
4.1
70
220 members
1 review
4.2
3 Members
Aquila, librookian, EMS_24
Explanations
EMS_24: Based on the book by Peter Hedges with the same title
71
17 members
1 review
4.1
72
47 members
2 reviews
3.8
3 Members
RBeffa, Kintra, MaryMeg
73
532 members
8 reviews
3.8
74
182 members
4 reviews
½ 4.4
4 Members
librookian, paradoxosalpha, FAMeulstee, thalassa_thalassa,bcmiller
Explanations
paradoxosalpha: Based on Les Liaisons Dangereuses by Pierre Choderlos de Laclos
75
134 members
3 reviews
4.1
76
401 members
1 review
4
3 Members
hipdeep, al.vick, ManWithAnAgenda
Explanations
hipdeep: Based on stories from A.A. Milne's "Winnie-the-Pooh" and "The House At Pooh Corner."
77
265 members
3 reviews
4
3 Members
librookian, Tatoosh, SandraArdnas
Explanations
SandraArdnas: One of those rare 'much better than the book' adaptations. Adapted from Rum Punch by Elmore Leonard
78
283 members
5 reviews
4
79
165 members
1 review
4.2
3 Members
hipdeep, EGBERTINA, NiniScripsit
Explanations
NiniScripsit: I'm surprised that more members didn't vote for this. It's a wonderful, truly hilarious madcap kind of film purportedly based on Patrick Dennis's real-life aunt (he liked to deny it), albeit with embellishments. Rosalind Russell is, well, Rosalind Russell; brilliant as usual. Mame Dennis is eccentric, charming, flamboyant and slightly nuts. The movie is so full of loony situations, insane frivolity and lovely, touching moments that, just like the book, you can't help but be entertained. And the screenplay is by Comden and Green; how good can you get? There are so many iconic lines, but the best, much-quoted (and the one I've kept with me as a touchstone since I read the book at 12 years old) is "Life is a banquet and most poor suckers are starving to death." As an affirmation of life in all its weird, wonderful glories this movie can't be beat. I devoutly wish that Mame Dennis was my aunt. She's exuberance personified. What a character!
80
27 members
1 review
4.2
3 Members
amanda4242, kac522, JulieStielstra
Explanations
JulieStielstra: Faithful and honorable adaptation; delightful to watch those two golden boys Firth and Branagh finding their excellence.
81
146 members
3 reviews
½ 3.7
82
114 members
1 review
½ 4.6
83
414 members
4 reviews
½ 4.3
84
772 members
17 reviews
½ 4.5
85
148 members
2 reviews
3.9
3 Members
Parthurbook, FAMeulstee, v_RuneBerg
Explanations
Parthurbook: An outstanding central performance in a film that captures the existential mood of its source Jerzy Kozinsky novel.
86
60 members
1 review
½ 3.7
87
278 members
1 review
4.2
88
412 members
4 reviews
4
89
915 members
3 reviews
4
3 Members
anglemark, terran, igorken
Explanations
anglemark: Based on The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling
90
458 members
5 reviews
4
3 Members
Parthurbook, EMS_24, ManWithAnAgenda
Explanations
Parthurbook: Only director Luhrmann makes Shakespeare this sexy.
91
212 members
6 reviews
3.9
92
108 members
6 reviews
½ 4.4
93
63 members
2 reviews
4
2 Members
tklay30, EGBERTINA
94
258 members
5 reviews
½ 4.4
2 Members
konallis, MaryMeg
95
38 members
2.8
2 Members
paradoxosalpha, ManWithAnAgenda
Explanations
paradoxosalpha: Based on Tideland by Mitch Cullin
96
874 members
7 reviews
4
2 Members
oceancat, Tatoosh
Explanations
oceancat: an amazing movie and then they never made more, sob. at least we have the book series
97
120 members
2 reviews
3.9
2 Members
amanda4242, gsc55
98
358 members
6 reviews
4.2
99
343 members
8 reviews
½ 4.4
100
349 members
10 reviews
4.2
2 Members
tklay30, Yuki-Onna