Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Book To Movie Adaptations

Top Ten Tuesday (hosted by The Broke and the Bookish) is a free-for-all this week.  The instructions are to pick any of the past topics. This was a mite challenging because there were a LOT to choose from and many of them intriguing.  The topic a couple weeks ago about swoon-worthy books brought up a lot of book/movie memories for me so since it has been on my mind I decided to do my top ten book to movie adaptations.

1) Pride and Prejudice 2005

I am a ginormously HUGE fan of Joe Wright's adaptation of Pride and Prejudice which I went on about, at length, in this past post.  It's definitely my favorite Austen adaptation and is one of my top 20 movies of all time.  And I don't even particularly like Keira Knightly. Because of this film, I am a steadfast fan of everything Joe Wright does and his adaptation of Atonement also almost made it on this list.  He has a gift for adaptation (though I have yet to see Anna Karenina).  I also don't want to take anything away from the BBC's 1995 mini-series which is great in it's own way (though not as good as this).  While searching the webs for a good picture, I found this  adorable "deathmatch" conversation comparing the two adaptations on a blog entitled Forever Young Adult.

2) Gone With The Wind

 This book and this movie are equally fantastic. Historically sweeping and epic, both took hold and just sucked me right in.  I think both  are thought of as romances but actually Scarlet and Rhett's romance is anything but functional and it doesn't end well.  I think it's more appropriate to think of them as just freaking amazing story-telling.

3) Anne of Green Gables/ Anne of Avonlea Mini-Series

This is probably cheating because it's a mini-series and not a movie but whatever.  It is a live action adaptation of the books.  I actually watched and LOVED this mini-series before reading the books.  Upon reading the books I realized the mini-series took quite a lot of liberties with the "story"  but I do think they evoked the overall feeling of the books and got the characters right.  I still own the videocassettes (Yup, videos) of these and just did a re-watch on vacation last year - still fantastic!  Again while searching for a picture to use, I came across all these mid-2012 rumors that a new adaptation was in the works but zero news since then so perhaps it went nowhere?  Anybody know?

4) The Lord of The Rings

I think the verdict is still out regarding The Hobbit trilogy but Peter Jackson did almost everything right with the three Lord of the Rings movies.  His respect and admiration for the original text is apparent.  The movies are beautiful and moving. Whatever liberties he might of taken, I, for one, am okay with.

5) The Harry Potter Series

The overall success of this entire series of adaptations is pretty astonishing considering that multiple directors were involved.  I suspect they benefited from a cast that ended up being pretty great as they grew older and the consistency of having the same excellent screenplay writer, Steve Kloves.

6) Jurassic Park

This was a pretty good book and a terrifying roller coaster of a movie.  The dinosaurs in the movie practically made me pee my pants. Both were a ton of fun!

7) Fight Club

Chuck Palahniuk displays a highly unique writing style in this book, so much so that it's astonishing how successful the movie with Brad Pitt and Edward Norton was.  They are both an iconic and a creative satire of modern culture.

8) Stand by Me

This is the one entry on this list where I have not read the source material but this is one of my top ten favorite movies of all time so it must at least be equal to the Stephen King short story on which it is based.

9) North and South

This is another TV mini-series and it is SO good.  A great cast brings the characters of Elizabeth Gaskell's novel to life particularly Richard Armitage as John Thornton.

Wuv. Twu Wuv. That Bwessed Feewing.

10) The Princess Bride

I have adored this film for many years and can quote big sections of it but I just read the book by William Goldman last year and was ... underwhelmed.  I think the movie took what was great about the book and discarded all the less than great stuff which is what a good adaptation should do.

Having made this list now I'm not sure if it is really a list of best adaptations or if it is just a list of great movies based on books I've (mostly) read. There were a few I thought about including but didn't such as The Wizard of Oz but I hadn't read the iconic source material or To Kill a Mockingbird which was a great book and a great movie but that's about all I can say about them because it has been so long since I watched/read them.

Now, I'd love to hear what your favorite movie adaptations of books are!


  1. At least two of these -- North and South and The Princess Bride -- are cases where I liked the movie adaptation significantly more than the book. It's rare, but it does happen!

    1. Agreed! Those are the two I would say that about as well.

  2. I have only watched the Harry Potter movies and Jurassic Park among your list. I was pretty young the first time I watched Jurassic Park and it scared me to death! :D
    - My TTT

    1. I was relatively young as well and I just remember curling up in my movie theater seat during the T-rex scenes. Terrifying! Good thing I like to be pretend terrified by big things that don't exist anymore!

  3. Great pick. FIGHT CLUB!!! That is one of my favourite movies and definitely a favourite book to movie adaptation. Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings are favourites too. I LOVED THE AOGG Mini-Series... I owned them all on video and have been trying as hard as I can to track them down on DVD but no luck so far :'( Nice list :) My TTT.

    1. Good luck with your quest! I should probably start looking too as my VCR is likely not going to live forever.

  4. I obviously agree with almost all of these! Particularly The Princess Bride - I think you said exactly how I feel about the book vs. the movie! And I love the 2005 P&P adaption (although I hated Atonement, but that's a long story, and also haven't seen the miniseries P&P even though I REALLY want to). I own the VHS box set for Anne of Green Gables too!! They definitely went off story after the first or second book, but it's a fun series nonetheless. And Gilbert is just as dreamy as I ever could have imagined! Fun fact, the actress who plays Anne is an evil French queen in a tv show called Reign. It's one of the most ridiculous things I've ever seen...but the soundtrack is really good...and there's so many pretty faces...

    1. Holy cow that sounds nutso! I bet Megan Follows can play evil and regal though. I'll check it out.:-)