Top Ten Tuesday (October 9) REWIND: Best Book-to-Film Adaptations

It’s time for another Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, and this week is a Choose-Your-Own-Adventure where we can pick from any of the past themes.

Anyone remember those? Are they still a thing? I was really bad at them. I always managed to pick the path that got my character killed, even when I was trying to keep him/her alive (because let’s face it, sometimes you just purposely make bad decisions to see how terrible the character’s fate will be…or at least, that’s what I did), thus confirming my hypothesis that I would make a terrible fictional heroine.


I looked over the list of past topics, trying to pick one I was sad to have missed out on the first time around, and settled on this one:

Top Book to Movie Adaptations

Okay, so I feel the need to make a disclaimer here:

The only titles to make this list are those that I have both seen and read. Therefore, some amazing movies that I know were adapted from books (like The Prestige and Fight Club) won’t be on here, because I haven’t read the books — yet. And vice versa.

So when you have the urge to yell, “You forgot ___!”, no I didn’t. I just saw it but didn’t read it, or read it but didn’t see it, or haven’t experienced it at all. But if there’s one I need to see/read, by all means, let me know. Because what I need in life are more books on my TBR list and more movies in my Netflix queue.

HERE WE GO. And in a rare and shocking turn of events, this list will actually be in order.

1. Lord of the Rings

I know there’s a lot of people out there who couldn’t make it through Tolkien’s epic fantasy chronicling Frodo’s adventures as he attempted to destroy the Ring of Power before it could be seized by Lord Sauron, but I actually really enjoyed the book. However, this is the rare instance where my enjoyment of the movie surpassed my love of the book. While no adaptation is 100% loyal to the source material, I thought these films evidenced a profound respect for the stories that inspired them. The settings are beautiful, the effects are flawless, and the acting is amazing. Some of my favorite movies of all time.

2. The Princess Bride

It’s no secret that I adore this book, and while I think the book is better than the movie (marginally), I still think the movie is fabulous. It’s also an amazingly faithful adaptation, taking most of its best quotes and scenes directly from the book. Probably a happy side effect of the book’s author writing the screenplay.

3. Jurassic Park

This is a case of the movie changing the book significantly, but still working. Lots of times when the plot or characters from the book are severely altered, it ruins the story, but in the case of Jurassic Park, most of the more scientific musings on Chaos Theory, along with a lot of the internal psychological tension, would have been lost on the big screen. It was a good call on the part of the film makers to switch the focus to more dino-action.

4. Everything by Jane Austen, except Mansfield Park

Honestly, I have a hard time reading Jane Austen. I know, I know, something’s wrong with me. I adore her stories, but not her prose. However, I love the movie adaptations of her books. Sense and Sensibility is my favorite, with Pride and Prejudice (the Kiera Knightly one, because I have a short attention span) a close second. I even like the modern updated comedy versions of some of them, like Clueless (Emma) and Bridget Jones’ Diary (Pride and Prejudice). The only one I don’t like is Mansfield Park, and that’s probably because I didn’t like the book either.

5. Little Women

I love this book, and I love this movie. I am not normally the biggest Winona Ryder fan, but I thought the casting of the March sisters was spot-on, and of course I thought Christian Bale as Laurie was fabulous (and completely broke my heart in that one scene). Um…yeah, I can’t think of anything more analytical to say about this one. I just love, love, love it.

6. The Notebook and A Walk to Remember

Kind of like with Jane Austen books, I also prefer the movie versions of Nicholas Sparks books. The difference is that these are the only two I like. His other adaptations leave me with a resounding feeling of “meh.” But I will always stop to watch these two, whenever they’re on, and I always — always — cry buckets of tears when I watch them.

7. The Green Mile

I strongly considered The Shawshank Redemption, but decided against it mostly because Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption is a novella, not a full book. However, The Green Mile is a novel that I really enjoyed, and the film adaptation, while brutal, was extremely faithful to the book. It’s a good thing Sam Rockwell was in Galaxy Quest right after this one, or else I would have had a hard time coming to terms with him again.

8. The Harry Potter movies

I’ll be honest, the first four Harry Potter movies left me feeling a bit…underwhelmed in theaters. I was fresh off of re-reading the books (as I did before each film), and I was too stung by all the parts that got condensed and omitted in the transition from page to screen. However, by Order of the Phoenix, I had come to terms with the fact that the movies were not going to be 100% faithful to the books, and I needed to accept them for what they were. And so I was able to enjoy the last four movies much more on the first viewing. Now, after seeing all the movies multiple times and setting my expectations accordingly, I can say that I thoroughly enjoy the entire series.

9. The Hunger Games

I know there’s a ton of opinions floating around on whether or not the film version of The Hunger Games lived up to the book. I’m in the “totally” camp. No, it wasn’t completely faithful, but then again, few movies are. You can see my in-depth analysis here.


10. A Time to Kill

I’ve made no secret of the fact that I used to be a complete Grisham addict, and this is my favorite of his books. I thought the movie was incredibly well done, in spite of the fact that I felt like I needed to shower afterward (partially because of the subject matter, but mostly because all the characters spend the entire movie so sweaty).

P.S. For another Top Ten rewind of sorts, head over to my Six Month Celebration Giveaway, where you can see my top 10 favorite books I’ve read in the lifespan of my blog, and enter to WIN ONE! They’re awesome books, guys. You know you want one of them.

31 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday (October 9) REWIND: Best Book-to-Film Adaptations

  1. LOVE your list!! I only like those same 2 Nicholas Sparks books/movies too! The Little Women movie is one of my fav movies ever!! Princess Bride is a good one, and Jurassic Park was a great movie, but a tough book to read! Cool list!
    Michelle recently posted..Top Ten Tuesday- REWIND!My Profile

  2. Oh my god! I used to read those books in primary school all the time 😮 I would always try and read every single possible path. Seriously though, do they make these books any more? I thought they were so cool.

    I loved The Princess Bride’s movie, Wesley was definitely swoon worthy. I still have to read the book though.

    Whoa, totally did not know that Jurassic Park was a book! I loved the movie, I remember watching it four years in a row at Christmas because they just kept screening it on boxing day…

    Awesome choices!
    Miss J @ Miss Book Reviews recently posted..[Discussion] Reading outside of your boxMy Profile

  3. LORD might be my all time favorite fantasy movie(s) 🙂 But I just can’t read the books. I like The princess bride; I haven’t read the book, but I’m planning to!
    I must admit that I especially like Sense & Sensibility because Alan Rickman is in it :’) The notebook is such a wonderful movie. I cry every time I see it, haha. The HP movies, I like the first three adaptions. The fourth is okay, but after that.. I liked the last two. They were amazing <3 And.. Alan Rickman, haha.
    I saw THG movie before I read the book and I actually prefer the movie because of all the action.

    So. Awesome list! I talk too much :p
    Mel@thedailyprophecy recently posted..Top 10 tuesday (8)My Profile

    • Alan Rickman really does turn everything he touches to gold, doesn’t he? I just adore him. My favorite movie of his (and possibly of all the movies, ever) is Galaxy Quest. “By Grapthar’s hammer… what a savings.”

  4. I could not make it through Jurassic Park the book but LOVED the movie. Agree on anything by Nicholas Sparks, especially those two.

    I agree that Hunger Games and Harry Potter were very good book to movie adaptions. They are just forced to leave out too much for me to get excited about them. I will say that they way they adjusted the script for HG to create the arc (the behind the scenes look at the gamemakers) was great.
    Brandyn recently posted..Top 10 Contemporary Reads for StudentsMy Profile

    • Oh sad, I love Jurassic Park! But I can see how it wouldn’t be for everyone. It’s extremely technical, which the movie isn’t at all.

      I will say, I agreed with THG omissions more than the HP ones, but I do in hindsight think that both were good adaptations, even if there’s no Peeves the Poltergeist and Peeta keeps his leg.

  5. I love the movie The Princess Bride. I can’t remember a time that I didn’t know that movie. I’ve never read the book, though. I tried once, but never really got into it. But it was years and years ago, so I would like to try again.

    Pride and Prejudice is my favorite book ever! But I love the P&P movies, too! I like both the Kiera Knightley version as well as the BBC version. I have never watched Sense and Sensibility because I do want to read the book, but I haven’t. Whenever I get a Jane Austen craving, I just go back to P&P.
    Quinn @ Quinn’s Book Nook recently posted..Waiting on Opal by Jennifer L. ArmentroutMy Profile

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge