Over the years, there have been many books that have been converted into on-screen adaptations. Film-makers run the risk of causing disappointments among book-lovers if the story being made into a film is not represented properly. In many cases, it can be pretty challenging to bring the entire plot and all the character stories completely into a 2-hour movie. There have been several good attempts made though, and here are some of the best book-to-film adaptations everyone should see, in no particular order.
The Color Purple (1985)
A deep and stirring movie, The Color Purple was based on an equally touching novel of the same name by author Alice Walker in 1982. Directed by Steven Spielberg with an amazing performance by Whoopi Goldberg, this film tells the story of Celie, a black woman in the early 20th century as she goes through life and learns to grow strong and rise above all the abuse, violence, and racism she has faced.
The Shawshank Redemption (1994)
This cult-classic was written and directed by Frank Darabont and it was based on the novella Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption by Stephen King in 1982. Starring Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman in lead roles, the film follows Andy Dufresne, a banker who is sentenced to life imprisonment in Shawshank State Penitentiary for the murder of his wife and her lover, even as he claims innocence. It remains the highest-rated movie on IMDb to date.
Gone Girl (2014)
This widely acclaimed psychological thriller was based on a novel of the same name written by Gillian Flynn in 2012. Directed by David Fincher, this film grips the viewer’s attention while going into topics like manipulation, misogyny, and complications in marriage. It follows events surrounding the mysterious disappearance of Amy Dunne while her husband Nick Dunne becomes the prime suspect in the case. The film stars Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike whose performance received numerous accolades and award nominations.
The Godfather Trilogy (1972-1990)
Considered by many as some of the greatest films of all time, The Godfather trilogy, directed by Francis Ford Coppola, was based on the 1969 novel of the same name written by the Italian American author Mario Puzo. The trilogy of crime films released in 1972, 1974, and 1990, follow the life of the Corleone family, a fictional Italian American mafia family. This highly acclaimed film series has won 9 out of the 28 total Academy Award Nominations.
Little Women (2019)
This classic coming-of-age novel written by Louisa May Alcott in two volumes is a semi-autobiographical story about four sisters- Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy, and their life. The novel published in 1868 has been adapted into the screen several times but the most recent remake starring Meryl Streep, Saoirse Ronan, Emma Watson, and Florence Pugh might be the best one yet. The film has also added new scenes and played with the storyline to make it more engaging to a modern audience.
The Harry Potter Series (2001-2011)
The fantastic story of Harry Potter and his wizarding friends at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry spanning seven books has been a fan-favorite for decades now. Their eight movie adaptations have also been some of the most popular films of all time. Some of the minor characters and storylines may be missing in the films, understandably so with such a grand plot-line and limited screen time. Even then, it makes for a very enchanting watch, particularly if you have grown up reading the books.