Favourite Book to Movie Adaptations

A lot of popular book series are being made into movies these days. Many times the movies are let-downs, missing key moments or just not able to compete with your imagination. But once in a while, a movie comes out that handles the book really well by either being a faithful adaptation or managing to retain the feel of the book despite making changes to the story. So, here are my favorite book to movie adaptations!


Maija’s Top 10 Book to Movie Adaptations

1. Scott Pilgrim vs. The World
I love both the movie and the original Scott Pilgrim comic book series. This is one of those rare occasions where I actually saw the movie before reading the original material. There are some changes and things are left out, sure, but I think the movie manages to capture the spirit of the comic quite well. I also love Edgar Wright’s style. This is just one of the best ever comic book movies in my opinion.

2. Interview with the Vampire
I’ve been a huge fan of the Vampire Chronicles ever since I read the first three books around the time the movie came out. While the characters didn’t quite look like I had imagined them, the actors portrayed their inner workings well. I completely forget Tom Cruise is a known actor while watching him, he just becomes the vampire Lestat. The book and the movie both have this spell-binding atmosphere of sweet despair dripping from every moment.

3. A Room with a View
This is one of my childhood movies. I’ve watched it many times ever since my early teens, but I actually read the original book only last year! I was surprised at how loyal the movie adaptation was to the book – this is one of those movies where very little has been changed. I love Helena Bonham-Carter, Julian Sands, Maggie Smith and Daniel Day Lewis in this!

4. Game of Thrones, season 1
Now you may notice this is not a movie, but a tv adaptation. I thought it still totally counts. I am not that into the following GoT seasons, but the first one was spectacular. It was such a great adaptation, carefully selecting what could be left out and focusing on all the right things. The casting was also wonderful. This was a 10 hour movie of the book, and what a movie!

5. Pride and Prejudice (BBC)
The quintessential adaptation of Pride and Prejudice, to me, is the BBC miniseries. I don’t even remember how many times I’ve seen this. I love watching Colin Firth as Mr. Darcy, trying to mumble something coherent and remotely polite to Jennifer Ehle’s Elizabeth.


6. Charlie/Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory
I love both the older and the newer movie adaptations of this book. I actually like the movies more than I like the book! Perhaps it is because I never read the book as a kid? I just love the visual extravaganza and dark humor of the movies. Gene Wilder and Johnny Depp are very different Mr Wonkas, but they both work for me.

7. Return to Oz
Another childhood favorite, and another movie that I love more than the books. The horrifying wheelers, the wonderfully designed Tik-Tok, Nome King’s opulent hall of ornaments, the nomes crawling out of the walls… I remember being creeped out of many things in this movie as a kid, but loving every second of it.

8. Romeo + Juliet
Baz Luhrman’s high-energy, color-filled adaptation of Shakespeare’s play is one of my favorite Shakespeare movie adaptations. I love the way the setting is modernized with the characters still speaking the original lines.

9. The Princess Bride
I’m cheating by listing the Princess Bride, when I haven’t actually read the book (one of these days). A fun & rollicking adventure filled with memorable lines and characters! ”As you wish!” ”My name is Inigo Montoya…” ”You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.”

10. Stardust
The book and the movie have many differences, but I like them both. I think their tone is slightly different (the movie: more humour, the book: more fairy tale-ish). I just rewatched the movie, I think I’ll have to reread the book soon to remind myself of how the story goes in that.

Those were my favorite book to movie adaptations. What are yours? Feel free to leave me a comment and let me know, I’d love to find out!


This post is linked at “Top Ten Tuesday”, a weekly book list meme hosted by The Broke and Bookish.


9 thoughts on “Favourite Book to Movie Adaptations

  1. Terrific list! And I agree with so many of your choices. Stardust, Princess Bride, GOT, Room With A View — love them all! I actually thought The Hunger Games movie was great. So many times, I’m disappointed by movies of books I’ve loved, but this one made me happy.

    • Thanks! I’m glad some of your favorites were represented!

      The thing that bothered me with The Hunger Games movie was the fact that we were missing all the stuff that goes on in Katniss’s head. I loved reading her thoughts in the book, but of course film being a visual medium it had to leave them out. That’s the main reason why I couldn’t really get into the movie.

  2. I love Gene Wilder as Willy Wonka, that’s been one of my favorite movies since I was little! I totally agree with Interveiw With a Vampire (the characterization was spot on!) If it were my list, I would have to add the Lord of the Rings trilogy: I think Peter Jackson definitely did justice to the epic scale of the trilogy.

    • I actually saw the Gene Wilder version only last year! It was very hard to track down in Finland, but then I found it on Netflix. Wilder is a wonderfully creepy Wonka.

      I was thinking about adding the Lord of the Rings trilogy to the list, so it’s definitely “bubbling under”. I did enjoy the movies!

  3. Interesting list. I’ve seen a few of them, but not many :( It’s funny that you mentioned STARDUST — I adored the book, couldn’t stand the movie. And I think it was for exactly the reason you said: the tone. I just much preferred the book’s style to the movie’s.

    • Yes, the tone is very different, and not for everyone. I wonder, have you seen Princess Bride, and did you like it? Stardust the movie is often compared to it, and I agree on some level (though they aren’t THAT similar). I hear Princess Bride’s style matches the book it is adapted from, though.

  4. Great list! My favs are Stardust (I absolutely love both), the LotR trilogy, the HP movies, The Perks of Being a Wallflower, the BBC’s P&P, as well BBC’s North & South, and BBC’s Jane Eyre (yeah, I love BBC’s mini series), etc. I can go on & on :D

    • I haven’t read or seen The Perks of Being a Wallflowr or North & South. I have read Jane Eyre, though, but I had no idea it had a BBC series made out of it! I have to track it down!

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