Adapting one form of media into another has been the go-to concept of utilizing the amazing talent of the author and making it widely known and mainstream. From the early days of the television and movie industries, producers have been wondering what they can turn into a motion picture and how. Fast forward several decades and novel-based movies are some of the best, most critically acclaimed, and fan-favorite blockbusters of all time.
Everyone loves movies, but not everyone loves reading. Reading takes much longer and it is up to the reader to perceive imagery in their head and imagine the story and the characters. With the movies, a visionary director does it for you and packs it within a few hours (or a few movies). Sometimes these movies fail miserably because they focus too much on reimagining, while some also simply not the true representation or style of the beloved book. In the article before you we are going to explore some of the best movies based on novels of all time. They are in no particular order and all of them deserve a watch. You will not regret it, trust us.
1. The Godfather, Parts 1 and 2
The legendary novel by Mario Puzo is one of the best dark thrillers ever. It has amazed and horrified readers for years before it was used as a screenplay for the two award-winning adaptations on the big screen. Francis Ford Copola developed some of the most iconic book characters and casted perfect actors to portray them, who just happen to be some of the biggest names in film including Marlon Brando, Al Pacino, and Robert De Niro. Both movies won Academy Awards for Best Picture and Best Adapted Screenplay. They are cult classics that new fans are still discovering, and old fans cannot get enough of. The musical score is now synonymous with the whole of the Italian mob and mafia premise. Arguably the best novel adaptation in history.
2. The Lord of the Rings (Extended) Trilogy
The fantastical and rich world by the legendary author, linguist, and professor J. R. R. Tolkien was beautifully and vividly adapted for the big screen by one of the best directors on the planet, Peter Jackson. The three blockbusters were filmed back to back over the course of several years, allowing for inseparable bonds between the actors that still last today. That is transferred to the movies as well and a crucial part of them too, considering the amount of important heroes and villains in the story. Released around Christmas each year from 2001 and 2003, the trilogy narrowly follows the book series with minimal changes and omissions. Groundbreaking CGI and practical effects still hold up almost two decades later, which speaks volumes about what a feat this was. Orlando Bloom, Elijah Wood, Sir Ian McKellen, Sir Christopher Lee, Cate Blanchet, Vigo Mortensen, and Liv Tyler are just some of the incredibly talented and devoted cast. The trilogy earned nearly $3 billion and won 475 awards out of the 800 nominated, including 17 Oscars out of the 30 nominations.
3. The Harry Potter Franchise
The eight-film-long series of Harry Potter movies based on the seven books of the same name by J. K. Rowling are an important piece of childhood for generations. Between 2002 and 2011, fans were treated to a blockbuster like no other almost every year, closely and tightly carrying over the magical story and a diverse group of characters from the already immensely popular novels. As faithful as they get, the movies follow the characters from their early childhood and first contact with magic and the dangers it brings, only to culminate with young adults saving the world from darkness. The complex and intricate story has since been expanded and the fans will seemingly never get tired of it. Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, and Rupert Grint are sublime as the lead trio of the story. The supporting cast is equally well cast and everyone came together to do a stellar job with these eight motion pictures. The series earned $2 billion making Rowling the first billionaire author. Despite 12 Oscar nominations, it failed to won any.
4. The Last of the Mohicans
Based on the historical novel titled The Last of the Mohicans: A Narrative of 1757 by James Fenimore Cooper from 1826, it is actually the second book of the five-book-series Leatherstocking Tales. Story follows the French and Indian War, which is the North American part of the Seven Year’s War. Great Britain battles France for the control of the still-new continent. Both sides use Native Americans as allies. Daniel Day-Lewis stars as the protagonist Nathaniel “Hawkeye” Poe, Madeleine Stowe is Cora Munro, Russell Means plays Chingachgook, and Wes Studi is Magua. The movie came out in 1992 co-written and directed by Michael Mann. This is actually the second movie adaptation of the famous novel, the first one being the 1936 version of the same name. Back then, George B. Seltz directed, Edward Small produced, and Philip Dunne wrote the screenplay. The fans who watch the movie generally decide to also read The Last of the Mohicans book, and we certainly recommend you to do the same.
5. The Devil Wears Prada (2006) – Meryl Streep, Anne Hathaway, Stanley Tucci, Simon Baker, and Emily Blunt star in the movie adaptation of Lauren Weisberger’s 2003 novel of the same name.
6. Great Expectations (1946, 1998, 2012) – The classic Charles Dickens novel has enjoyed three movie adaptations, the best one (1998) staring Hollywood stars Ethan Hawke, Hank Azaria, Robert De Niro, and Gwyneth Paltrow.
7. The Shawshank Redemption (1994) – The best-reviewed movie on IMDb is directed by Frank Darabont and it is based on Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption by Stephen King. It stars Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman and has received seven Oscars nominations.
8. Fight Club (1999) – The classic cult film starring Brad Pitt, Edward Norton, Jared Leto, and Helena Bonham Carter was directed by David Fincher and it is based on the novel of the same name by Chuck Palahniuk. It was a box office and critics success.