books Movies That Are Even Better Than the Books They're Based On

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List Rules Vote for the movies that turned out to be even better than the books they were based on

Sometimes, the book isn't better than the movie. With film's added benefits of visuals, music, sounds, and a more confined, focused narrative, it creates the opportunity to tell a more compact and captivating story. Here are just a few instances where cinema trumped the novel.

Do you agree with these selections, or was the book ultimately the better version of these stories? Vote up the movie adaptations that you thought were better than the book, and vote down the ones where the book just may have been better after all. 
Forrest Gump is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list Movies That Are Even Better Than the Books They're Based On
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9 people just voted on Forrest Gump


Author Winston Groom commented that the film version of his book "took some of the rough edges" off of Forrest. As a result, the movie version featured a more genuine and warmer title character, which was executed with Oscar-winning excellence by Tom Hanks.

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The Silence of the Lambs is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list Movies That Are Even Better Than the Books They're Based On
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There's no denying that Thomas Harris's novel is tense, well-plotted, and horrifying, but Anthony Hopkins's portrayal of Hannibal Lecter transformed a fascinating character into an iconic big-screen menace.

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#3 on The Very Best Oscar-Winning Movies

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#1 on The Best Psychological Thrillers of All Time

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Jaws is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list Movies That Are Even Better Than the Books They're Based On
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Jaws


Steven Spielberg streamlined Peter Benchley's novel about a great white shark that terrorizes a seaside town. The director dropped the side-story love affair between Ellen Brody and Matt Hooper, and it was a smart move – the film became an all-time classic and launched Spielberg's now-legendary career.

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The Godfather is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list Movies That Are Even Better Than the Books They're Based On
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The Godfather


Novelist Mario Puzo adapted his novel for the big screen alongside director Francis Ford Coppola to create one of the finest movies in cinema history. Puzo's adaptation focused less on secondary characters from the book and had a more downbeat tone. While the book is near perfection, Coppola's film elevates the source material to a higher level and is filled with career-defining performances by Marlon Brando, James Caan, and a star-making turn by Al Pacino.

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#2 on The Very Best Oscar-Winning Movies

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Stand by Me is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list Movies That Are Even Better Than the Books They're Based On
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Stand by Me


Rob Reiner took the best elements of Stephen King's novella The Body and created one of the greatest coming-of-age movies ever. King even went so far to say that the film was the first successful translation of any of his works to film.

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#60 on The Best Adventure Movies

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Fight Club is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list Movies That Are Even Better Than the Books They're Based On
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Fight Club


This is one of those instances where a great movie was born from a great book. David Fincher took Chuck Palaunick's satiric novel of commercialized society and created a modern classic that examines our contemporary, consumer-driven, nihilistic culture and rips it apart with razor-sharp dialogue... and yes, shirtless Brad Pitt.

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Mrs. Doubtfire is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list Movies That Are Even Better Than the Books They're Based On
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Mrs. Doubtfire


This simple, charming story by author Anne Fine became a comedy classic, thanks to the whirlwind of energy breathed into it by the late Robin Williams. 

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Psycho is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list Movies That Are Even Better Than the Books They're Based On
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Psycho


While Norman Bates is explored in more detail in Robert Bloch's novel, the film adaptation is filled with steady scares (and that iconic shower scene) via the steady and seasoned direction of Alfred Hitchcock. 

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