Day 19 – Favourite book turned into a movie (30 Day Book Challenge #2)

I have a few books which I think have been made into really great films. In some cases the films even eclipse the books for me (although only just, if at all). While I could write lengthy descriptions of why I like them so much, really the reasons are pretty similar for each one – when a movie can keep roughly to the plot and character development (it has to be changed a little to suit the conventions of film, let’s be honest) but most importantly manages to capture the essence of the book, that’s a good movie. It has to be memorable in the same way the book was, it has to have that lingering taste to it.

So I’m going to keep this post simple and just list the movie adaptations, and if I actually prefer them to the book I’ll state it as well.

  • The Boy In Striped Pyjamas (prefer the film, definitely)
  • The Lord Of The Rings Trilogy (actually preferred the films to the books, just, and for those wondering I think it’s too early to say with The Hobbit trilogy yet (I haven’t even seen the second one yet, what is wrong with me?))
  • The Hunger Games Series (so far, but it’d be pretty hard to stuff up that last book)
  • Charlie and The Chocolate Factory (the original, Gene Wilder one)
  • Life Of Pi (okay so I haven’t read the book yet, but the movie surprised me as I had low expectations)
  • One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest (prefer the film)
  • Forrest Gump (haven’t read it, but by all accounts the film is better apparently)
  • Dead Poets Society (again, haven’t read it but the film would be hard to beat)
  • Beowulf (hey, it’s hard to interpret a story over a thousand years old, so I thought they did a pretty good job on this one – it’s a great story but not easy to read by any means)

There’s probably more than this, but these were the ones which sprung to mind almost immediately so I’ll stick with these for now.

What are your favourite movie adaptations of books?

19 thoughts on “Day 19 – Favourite book turned into a movie (30 Day Book Challenge #2)

  1. Dersu Uzala – book by Arseniev, film by Kurosawa. Both incredible. Utterly joyous experience from 1st page/frame till the last.

    • Oooh, I’ve heard of it but don’t know much about it. Didn’t realise it was a Kurosawa film though, now you’ve definitely caught my attention! I will have to look into it later when I’ve finished relocating! 🙂

  2. To Kill a Mockingbird…it’s my all time favorite book and the movie is certainly one of my favorite movies. A great cast and Peck as Atticus Finch is perfection…just the way I imagined him in my head 🙂

    • I HAVE to reread that book as I read it when I was really young and just didn’t really appreciate it the way I think I would now! And, I hate to admit it, but I’ve not seen the movie, so that’s another one I’ll have to add to the list! 🙂

  3. I agree with quite a few of these and yes some of them I hadn’t read the books but enjoyed the film so much that I left it at that. Life of Pi – I absolutely loved the book and so avoided the film because I only believed it could be a pale shadow then just before Christmas I was placed in a position where it would be very difficult to avoid watching it – family gathering sort of thing – and am I pleased that I did. The effects were absolutely brilliant and in the end the conclusion was even more poignant and bemusing for some reason – yup loved them both. I am now in the same position with Cloud Atlas I don’t know how they could turn that into a film without messing it up – Time Travellers Wife I felt like screaming at the screen Nooooooooooooooo some things just don’t translate in my very humble and ignorant opinion.

    • Glad to hear you liked Life of Pi as a film! I guess films work if the director can understand what the author of the book was trying to say, and focuses on conveying that in a different medium rather than trying to make it their own entirely. I’ve only seen parts of The Time Traveller’s Wife, and I surprisingly really liked that book. What parts of that film I have seen I didn’t mind, but I’d need to see it fully before passing judgement there. But yeah, some things don’t translate well into film, especially if the writing itself was a key factor in why I liked the book.

    • Good to know hahaha, some people act like I’m speaking sacrilege when I mention I prefer the LOTR films to the books.
      I haven’t seen or read Silver Linings Playbook but I really want to (and not just because it has Jennifer Lawrence, although that helps haha).
      I must confess as well that I really have my hopes up for The Book Thief movie, which is apparently out this week. I loved that book so much.

      • I am hesitant to see the movie for The Book Thief!! I don’t want them to ruin it although it does look promising. Also, The Fault In Our Stars movie is another one I hesitant to watch, because the book has meant so much to me!

        • Yeah, I agree – I’ve been looking forward to both of those films, but I loved both of those books so so much I am a little concerned that the films might not get it right. But I believe both authors were involved in the making of these two films (as in, Zusak with The Book Thief and Green with TFIOS, although it would have been interesting if both were involved in both haha), which I think will be a good thing. Fingers crossed! 🙂

  4. My favourite movie is The First Wives Club and i love the movie so much better than the book. The book is actually kind of depressing!
    And I’m about to read Life of Pi (I’ve seen the movie) so I’m interested to see what it’s like!

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