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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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.

Also Ranked

#1 on The Very Best Oscar-Winning Movies

#16 on The Best War Movies Ever

#3 on The Greatest Film Scores of All Time

#1 on The Greatest Soundtracks of All Time

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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.

Also Ranked

#6 on The Very Best Oscar-Winning Movies

#11 on The Best Mystery Thriller Movies on Amazon Prime

#1 on The Best Psychological Thrillers of All Time

#38 on The Most Rewatchable Movies

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Stand by Me is listed (or ranked) 3 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.

Also Ranked

#36 on The Greatest Soundtracks of All Time

#2 on The Best Films Directed by Famous Actors

#9 on The Best '80s Teen Movies

#17 on The Greatest Movies of the 1980s, Ranked

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Jaws is listed (or ranked) 4 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.

Also Ranked

#10 on The Greatest Film Scores of All Time

#59 on The Greatest Soundtracks of All Time

#99 on The Best Psychological Thrillers of All Time

#5 on The Greatest Movie Themes

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Fight Club is listed (or ranked) 5 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.

Also Ranked

#39 on The Very Best Oscar-Winning Movies

#5 on The Best Psychological Thrillers of All Time

#28 on The Most Rewatchable Movies

#4 on List of Movies Like Inception

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The Godfather is listed (or ranked) 6 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.

Also Ranked

#2 on The Very Best Oscar-Winning Movies

#6 on The Greatest Film Scores of All Time

#40 on The Greatest Soundtracks of All Time

#13 on The Greatest Movie Themes

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


While entertaining, Michael Crichton's novels can be a bit dense when it comes to technology and exposition. Steven Spielberg took this novel and turned it into one of the most enduring and rip-roaring (literally) blockbusters of all time.

Also Ranked

#12 on The Greatest Sci-Fi Movies of All Time

#14 on The Greatest Film Scores of All Time

#6 on The Greatest Movie Themes

#9 on The Best Fantasy Movies

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Mrs. Doubtfire is listed (or ranked) 8 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. 

Also Ranked

#68 on The Most Rewatchable Movies

#17 on The Best Film Adaptations of Young Adult Novels

#5 on The Best Movies of 1993

#8 on The Best '90s Kids Movies

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