Books & stories

5 best book-to-movie adaptations of all time

Hello fellow bookworms! Today lets talk about some of the best book-to-movie adaptations!

How many times have you read a book just before the movie? And how many times have you come out of the movie hall disgruntled because the movie didn’t match the standards of the book. Not even close, you think.

Now before you start grumbling again, you need to understand that while books have the freedom of imagination, a movie doesn’t. So an author can write about dragons and unicorns in a 600-page book and everyone will lap it up. But a director has to convert all of this into a 2-hour movie. He has time and budget constraints as well as a censor board to answer to.

Another factor is our own imagination. Every person reads a different story, it is said. You and I can read the same story and imagine different scenarios. But when you see it in a movie on the screen, you realize that the director’s vision is completely difficult to yours. And that upsets you.

So obviously, a movie doesn’t live up to the book.

But all is not bad in the movie world. Here are some of the best book-to-movie adaptations of all time.


The Age of Innocence (Edith Wharton) by Martin Scorsese

Martin Scorsese is known for taking up uncomfortable topics and making memorable movies out if them. But in a departure from his usual arena, he chose to make a movie that shows the romantic and societal practices in the upper classes of New York in the 1870s. With an amazing cast of Daniel Day-Lewis, Winona Ryder and Michelle Pfeiffer, the story traces a troubled love triangle. Scorsese brings out even the subtlest nuances in the book and lays bare the uncomfortable practices of the day.

To Kill A Mockingbird (Harper Lee) by Robert Mulligan

If Atticus Finch captured your heart in the book, Gregory Peck is sure to capture you all over again as Atticus Finch in the movie. He conveys the message of tolerance and compassion in return of hatred and violence. He’s absolutely perfect, bringing up the movie to the level of excellence the book achieved. Scout and Jem are good in equal measure. All in all, a great adaptation.

The Godfather (Mario Puzo) by Francis Ford Coppola

This movie is one of the classics that ever made and every movie buff has watched it at least once in their life. Mario Puzo himself wrote the screenplay of the movie so it is little surprise that the movie turned out as good as the book. That, and the brilliant acting of Marlon Brando and Al Pacino bring the book to life before your eyes.

The Silence of the Lambs (Thomas Harris) by Jonathan Demme

Who can forget the menacing Anthony Hopkins as Professor Hannibal Lecter? And Jodie Foster as the FBI trainee Clarice Starling. The pair has regularly been cited as the best villain and heroine pair. The movie was written to soften the very violent book and won Academy Awards in five major categories.

Fight Club (Chuck Palahniuk) by David Fincher

While most movies based on books are panned by audiences for not following the plot, Fight Club is a movie that the author himself applauded. While some simplifying happened obviously, it did not water down the essence of the movie. The debate of male emasculation, made popular by magazines has been discussed grippingly here.


There are many others as well – Gone With The Wind, The Shining, One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest (another Academy Awards winner), Jurassic Park – the list is endless.


Which is the book-to-movie adaptation that you love the most? Which movies do you think have done justice to the books? Share your thoughts with us!

You will also like – Netflix TV series based on books!

Happy reading!

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