Sometimes, amazing books don’t exactly translate to the screen. Actually, it can be really difficult for directors and actors combat the pressure. It’s widely known that people generally prefer the books. That’s why when the perfect elements come together and a great film adaptation is created, we need to celebrate. Here’s a list of some of those wonderful classics that we know and love that turned into some of our favorite films.
Gone with the Wind
How could we not include this highest-grossing film in North America? Margaret Mitchell’s 1936 novel was turned into one of the best film’s in American history. They even preserved it in the United States Library of Congress’s National Film Registry. Due to its historical significance and superb cinematic quality, this civil war drama and romance won ten Academy Awards. In addition, the film also made the top ten in the list of 100 top American films created by the American Film Institute. Not too shabby.
Probably, the most iconic of blockbuster hits based on books, Harry Potter has become a cultural phenomenon. J.K. Rowling sold millions of her series. Then, the movies, all eight, consistently ranked as highest-grossing films worldwide. With all her financial success, Rowling makes sure to give back. She donated proceeds from her later released short books, such as Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, to the charity Comic Relief.
The 1972 crime film was based on the best-selling novel by Mario Puzo. Perhaps, the film gave both Marlon Brando and Al Pacino their most iconic roles. It won nine Oscars. Actually, many claim it’s the greatest film and film series in the history of world cinema. The American Film Institute ranked it second on the list of greatest American films. Unsurprisingly, The Godfather Part II and The Godfather Part III followed the first movie on this list.
Based on Stephenie Meyer’s novel, Twilight grossed close to 400 million dollars. It even became the most purchased DVD of 2009. Since its success, her next two novels have also been turned into movies. Just when you thought vampire costumes were out, Edward brought fangs back.
The Fault in our Stars
This John Green novel turned movie won all seven awards it was nominated for at the 2014 Teen Choice Awards. Shailene Woodly plays a teen stricken with cancer, who falls in love with another cancer patient she meets at a support group. It quickly shot to number one during its opening weekend. And yes, you will probably cry.
The Kite Runner
Nominated for multiple Gold Globes, The Kite Runner film turned Khaled Hosseini’s book into a riveting movie. From the fall of the monarchy in Afghanistan to the Soviet intervention and rise of the Taliban, we follow Amir and his friend Hassan. No spoilers, we promise! Hence, all we’ll say is that a young boy’s guilty conscience drives him later in life.
Firstly, we need to mention the gorgeous scenery all shot on location in New Zealand. Anyway, this film series is based on J.R.R. Tolkien’s 1937 novel. Notably, the films became one of the highest-grossing series of all time. Of course, we cannot forget to mention that were a prequel for The Lord of the Rings.
The Lord of the Rings
Consequently, this movie series had to follow The Hobbit on our list! Again, based on Tolkien’s work, this series ranks in the highest-grossing films of all time. The whole series took over eight years to film! Wow, it’s no surprise the franchise saw such success with dedication like that. In case you’re unfamiliar, the story follows a hobbit name Frodo on his quest to destroy the One Ring in Tolkien’s invented Middle-earth.
The Princess Bride
In the film, William Goldman’s story is presented with a grandfather reading to his grandson. Thus, the narrative style is preserved and the fairy tale about true love ensues between takes of the sick grandson interacting with his grandfather. Hilarious and adorable, this movie is a cult classic. The American Film Institute included The Princess Bride on its list of 100 greatest love stories.
Pride and Prejudice
The 2005 film based on Jane Austen’s classic novel stars Keira Knightly and Matthew Macfadyen. The 1940 starred Greer Garson and Laurence Olivier. Whichever your preference, we’re just saying…Knightly’s performance gained her an Oscar nomination. In total, the 2005 adaptation earned four nominations.
The DaVinci Code
Three years after the release of Dan Brown’s best-seller, this mystery thriller hit box offices. The DaVinci Code stars Tom Hanks, Audrey Tautou, Sir Ian McKellen, among other acclaimed actors. Despite criticism from some religious organizations, the film grossest second highest in 2006 and later two more sequels were created.
Laura Hillenbrand’s non-fiction book and the life of Seabiscuit during the Great Depression, inspired the 2003 film. Much like the successful race horse, Seabiscuit saw plenty of success. In fact, it was nominated for seven Academy Awards.
Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants
Yes, the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants series was where we first fell in love with Blake Lively. Based on the novel by Ann Brashares, the movies became a cult classic. Though, we still can’t help asking…did anyone ever wash those jeans?
The Hunger Games
A dystopian sci-fi, based on Suzanne Collins’ trilogy, centers around a girl taken to compete in a televised game of survival. Oh, did we mention it’s a fight to the death against other kids between ages twelve and eighteen? Jennifer Lawrence won the Saturn Award for Best Actress for her performance as Katniss. Since the release, the two other films followed and gained cult-fan followings. So we have to ask, team Peeta or Gale?
The Lovely Bones
A supernatural crime and drama based on Alice Sebold’s bestseller, follows a murdered girl who watches over her family as the details of the crime unfold. The film grossed over 44 million dollars in North America. In addition, The Lovely Bones received many nominations. Beware, it’s one of Mark Wahlberg’s creepiest roles yet.
Ah, young forbidden love in the 1940s. So, do we all ship the once-couple Rachel McAdams and Ryan Gosling while rewatching The Notebook? Perhaps, it was their off-screen romance that makes the film feel so passionate. Nicholas Spark’s novel turned into one of the most romantic films, according to Us Weekly and fans alike.
Kathryn Stockett’s 2009 novel about African Americans working in white homes of Mississippi in the 1960s became a 2011 hit. Unsurprisingly, Octavia Spencer won for Best Supporting Actress at the Academy Awards. Actually, the film even received three other nominations.
Although I saw the 2017 It, my view seemed to be slightly obstructed by my hands part of the film. Yes, It was that scary! Many called this the best Stephen King adaptation thus far. The sequel is set to come out in 2019.
No, this isn’t about someone simply donating to charity to atone for their sins. Rather, the consequences of this transgression in judgement were far more severe, and no amount of charity or good deeds would seem to erase one young girl’s error. Based on Ian McEwan’s novel, two young lovers are torn apart when the younger sister of Keira Knightley’s character tells a lie. Nominated for six Oscars, fourteen awards at the British Academy Film Awards and winning Best Drama at the Golden Globes, I would say the film adaptation did fairly well.
Another cult film, Chuck Palahnuik’s novel turned into one of the best movies of its decade. Fight Club stars Brad Pitt, Edward Norton and Helena Bonham Carter. Norton’s character forms a fight club with Pitt’s character as he also deals with his complicated relationship with Carter’s character. Well, we’re already broken the first rule, so we’ve said enough!