Top Ten Movies Based on Books

I accidentally wrote “Books based on movies” as the title and now all I can think of are those terrible novel tie ins to movies.  Do they still do that?  I had one for Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves and also for Willow (Willow!  I should watch that again!)  So. Very. Bad.  Happily today we are talking about film adabtions of books where I actually enjoyed the movie.  Or at least my brain shut up it’s sunning monologue of things that were changed from the book and how IT IS ALL TERRIBLE.  I have had to have read the book and seen the movie involved for it to have made this list. I was surprised how difficult that was.  I think it is because if I really like a book I am extremely reluctant to see the movie just in case it ruins the book for me.

The Secret garden

The Secret Garden:

I love this movie more than is healthy.  I remember seeing it in the theater when it first came out.  Maybe I was in fifth grade?  I had read the book.  There was this huge full color illustrated version that I used to check out from the library even though I had my own copy.  The adaption still makes me so happy.  There are things that they changes from the book and it doesn’t bother me at all.  I love the acting, the st, the music (oh, my God, the Music)


Harry Potter cover

Harry Potter:

Yes, ALL of them.  I think that it is interesting the more shot for shot the movies are (for example the first two) the less they feel like the books.  I have always had a soft spot for The Prisoner of Azkaban.  More than a little of it might have to do with Hermione punching Draco in the face. 


Lord of the Rings

Lord of the Rings:

Controversial opinion: I don’t actually like the books.  I liked The Hobbit.  Maybe that was because I heard it as a audio book first but I wasn’t able to get through allThe Lord of the Rings books for years (I think I was a senior in high school) and even then I didn’t find them enjoyable. I haven’t actually watched these in forever because I always want to watch all of them at once and that is a significant time commitment.  I read that they haven’t help up all that well but it might just be because they are so much a part of our popular culture now that we are numb  to the effects.



I actually think that this is one of the most faithful and adorable adaptions of a book ever.  I will hear nothing against it. Plus, the digging song is hypnotic. Shai Leboufs best role.  

To Kill a mockingbird



To Kill a Mockingbird;

I love the book.  I think that I read it eight or nine times the year I was sixteen.  The film almost lives up to the book.  If there is a remake I will have so much rage that it will be visible from space. NO.  Some things do not need to be updated.



The princess bride

The Princess Bride:

This movie is perfect.  Actual perfection.  The book is enjoyable but mostly for the hilarious uses of parenthesis (this is a very difficult word to spell) and places where the author cuts in to comment on the story.

The devil Wears prada



The Devil Wears Prada:

Terrible book.  Really, save your time and skip this one.  But the movie does something so rare that I am struggling to think of another example… It rises above it’s source material



Julie and Julia

Julie and Julia:

I wasn’t a huge fan of the book.  Julie Powell the author is extremely unlikable and has no charm whatsoever.  However, casting Amy Adams was genius because all she has to do is stand there and you like her and if she does anything at all the proper reaction is, “Awww!”  Add Meyl Streep to the mix and I am not embarrassed to admit that this movie makes me happy.  And hungry.   I literally want to cook right now.

Schindlers list


Schindler’s List:

I am not sure that there is  more defining version of holocaust.  There is a fascinating documentary called “Imaginary Witness: Hollywood and the Holocaust”  and when they discussed this movie it was interesting to note how much they emphasized how it defines the way that we think of and picture what happened. 

The secret of nimh


The Secret of NIMH:

By far the best film made by Don Bluth.  I love the book Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH.  I might have seen the movie before I had read the book. This is a movie that I associate with being a child.   I have a very clear vision of making homemade pizza with my mother and watching this while we ate it.  I still like it.

Bonus movie based on a book from Carsten:  The Shining

What are your favorite books to movies?