Adaptations The Best Movies Based on Books  

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Originally by Ranker Community
101.3k votes 6.4k voters 305.7k views 354 items

List Rules Only movies that were adapted from books.

List of the best movies based off books, voted on by cine-bibliophiles everywhere. Many movies are based off of books but whenever a new movie based on a book comes out there is an endless amount of whining about how Hollywood isn't original and why can't they write their own stories? That's simple, it's because these amazing stories are already written and Hollywood has the means to bring them to life, and some times they do it better than even your imagination thought possible. This list looks at the films based on the books - novels, literature, or nonfiction - that made you want to reread the book, started endless "which was better the movie or the book" debates, made you squeal with delight that you pictured it that way in your head, and just blew your frickin' mind.

What are the best movies based on books? Vote on the top movies based on books and share this with your friends to get their opinions, too!

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The Shawshank Redemption Morgan Freeman, Rita Hayworth, Tim Robbins Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption (1982) by Stephen King The Shawshank Redemption is a 1994 American drama film written and directed by Frank Darabont and starring Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman. Adapted from the Stephen King novella Rita Hayworth and ...more

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Forrest Gump Tom Hanks, Kurt Russell, Sally Field Forrest Gump (1986) by Winston Groom Forrest Gump is a 1994 American epic romantic-comedy-drama film based on the 1986 novel of the same name by Winston Groom. The film was directed by Robert Zemeckis and stars Tom Hanks, Robin ...more

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To Kill a Mockingbird Robert Duvall, Gregory Peck, William Windom To Kill a Mockingbird (1960) by Harper Lee To Kill a Mockingbird is a 1962 American drama film directed by Robert Mulligan. The screenplay by Horton Foote was based on the 1960 Pulitzer Prize-winning novel of the same name by Harper Lee. ...more

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The Lord of the Rings film trilogy The Fellowship of the Ring (1954), The Two Towers (1954), The Return of the King (1955) by J. R. R. Tolkien The Lord of the Rings is a film series consisting of three epic fantasy adventure films directed by Peter Jackson. They are based on the novel The Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien. The ...more

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The Godfather Al Pacino, Marlon Brando, Robert Duvall The Godfather (1969) by Mario Puzo The Godfather is a 1972 American crime film directed by Francis Ford Coppola and produced by Albert S. Ruddy from a screenplay by Mario Puzo and Coppola. Starring Marlon Brando and Al Pacino as ...more

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1,216 554
The Silence of the Lambs is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Movies Based on Books
The Silence of the Lambs Jodie Foster, Anthony Hopkins, Chris Isaak The Silence of the Lambs (1988) by Thomas Harris The Silence of the Lambs is a 1991 American thriller film that blends elements of the crime and horror genres. Directed by Jonathan Demme and starring Jodie Foster, Anthony Hopkins, and Scott ...more

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The Green Mile Tom Hanks, Gary Sinise, Sam Rockwell The Green Mile (1996) by Stephen King The Green Mile is a 1999 American fantasy drama film directed by Frank Darabont and adapted from the 1996 Stephen King novel of the same name. The film is told in a flashback format and stars ...more

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The Wizard of Oz Judy Garland, Margaret Hamilton, Frank Morgan The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (1900) by L. Frank Baum The Wizard of Oz is a 1939 American musical fantasy film produced by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, and the most well-known and commercially successful adaptation based on the 1900 novel The Wonderful ...more

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Gone with the Wind Clark Gable, Vivien Leigh, Olivia de Havilland Gone with the Wind (1936) by Margaret Mitchell Gone with the Wind is a 1939 American epic historical romance film adapted from Margaret Mitchell's Pulitzer-winning 1936 novel. It was produced by David O. Selznick of Selznick International ...more

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1,388 388
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Harry Potter series Harry Potter novels (1997-2007) by J. K. Rowling Harry Potter is a British-American film series based on the Harry Potter novels by author J. K. Rowling. The series is distributed by Warner Bros. and consists of eight fantasy films, beginning ...more

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The Shining Jack Nicholson, Shelley Duvall, Scatman Crothers The Shining (1977) by Stephen King The Shining is a 1980 British-American psychological horror film produced and directed by Stanley Kubrick, co-written with novelist Diane Johnson, and starring Jack Nicholson, Shelley Duvall, ...more

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1,013 271
Schindler's List is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Movies Based on Books
Schindler's List Liam Neeson, Ralph Fiennes, Ben Kingsley Schindler's Ark (1982) by Thomas Keneally Schindler's List is a 1993 American epic historical period drama, directed and co-produced by Steven Spielberg and scripted by Steven Zaillian. It is based on the novel Schindler's Ark by Thomas ...more

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1,164 451
Jurassic Park is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Movies Based on Books
Jurassic Park Samuel L. Jackson, Jeff Goldblum, Richard Attenborough

Jurassic Park (1990) by Michael Crichton

Jurassic Park is a 1993 American science fiction adventure film directed by Steven Spielberg. It is the first installment of the Jurassic Park franchise. It is based on the 1990 novel of the ...more

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Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory Gene Wilder, Jack Albertson, Tim Brooke-Taylor Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (1964) by Roald Dahl Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory is a 1971 musical fantasy film directed by Mel Stuart, and starring Gene Wilder as Willy Wonka. The film, a film adaptation of the 1964 novel Charlie and ...more

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Jaws Steven Spielberg, Richard Dreyfuss, Roy Scheider Jaws (1974) by Peter Benchley Jaws is a 1975 American thriller film directed by Steven Spielberg and based on Peter Benchley's novel of the same name. The prototypical summer blockbuster, its release is regarded as a ...more

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867 234
Stand by Me is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Movies Based on Books
Stand by Me Kiefer Sutherland, Corey Feldman, John Cusack The Body (1982) by Stephen King Stand by Me is a 1986 American coming of age comedy-drama adventure film directed by Rob Reiner and starring Wil Wheaton, River Phoenix, Corey Feldman and Jerry O'Connell. Based on the novella ...more

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Fight Club Brad Pitt, Jared Leto, Helena Bonham Carter Fight Club (1996) by Chuck Palahniuk Fight Club is a 1999 film based on the 1996 novel of the same name by Chuck Palahniuk. The film was directed by David Fincher, and stars Brad Pitt, Edward Norton and Helena Bonham Carter. Norton ...more

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The Princess Bride Billy Crystal, Robin Wright, André the Giant The Princess Bride (1973) by William Goldman The Princess Bride is a 1987 American romantic comedy fantasy adventure film directed and co-produced by Rob Reiner. It was adapted by William Goldman from his 1973 novel of the same name. The ...more

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515 352
Goodfellas is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Movies Based on Books
Goodfellas Robert De Niro, Samuel L. Jackson, Joe Pesci Wiseguy: Life in a Mafia Family (1986) by Nicholas Pileggi Goodfellas is a 1990 American crime film directed by Martin Scorsese. It is a film adaptation of the 1986 non-fiction book Wiseguy by Nicholas Pileggi, who co-wrote the screenplay with Scorsese. ...more

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628 237
Psycho is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Movies Based on Books
Psycho Alfred Hitchcock, Janet Leigh, Anthony Perkins Psycho (1959) by Robert Bloch Psycho is a 1960 Psychological thriller and horror film written by Joseph Stefano and directed by Alfred Hitchcock.

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Misery Lauren Bacall, Kathy Bates, James Caan Misery (1987) by Stephen King Misery is a 1990 American psychological thriller film based on Stephen King's 1987 novel of the same name and starring James Caan, Kathy Bates, Lauren Bacall, Richard Farnsworth, and Frances ...more

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583 271
Die Hard is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Movies Based on Books
Die Hard Bruce Willis, Alan Rickman, Bonnie Bedelia Nothing Lasts Forever (1979) by Roderick Thorpe Die Hard is a 1988 American action film directed by John McTiernan and written by Steven E. de Souza and Jeb Stuart. It is based on the 1979 novel Nothing Lasts Forever, by Roderick Thorp. Die ...more

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785 263
The Lord of the Rings: The Fel... is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Movies Based on Books
The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring Cate Blanchett, Ian McKellen, Liv Tyler The Fellowship of the Ring (1954) by J. R. R. Tolkien The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring is a 2001 epic fantasy film directed by Peter Jackson based on the first volume of J. R. R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings. It is the first ...more

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The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe Liam Neeson, Tilda Swinton, James McAvoy The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (1950) by C. S. Lewis The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe is a 2005 fantasy adventure film directed by Andrew Adamson and based on The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, the first published ...more

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The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King Cate Blanchett, Ian McKellen, Liv Tyler The Return of the King (1955) by J. R. R. Tolkien The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King is a 2003 epic fantasy drama film directed by Peter Jackson based on the second and third volumes of J. R. R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings. It is ...more

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651 393
The Hobbit trilogy is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Movies Based on Books
The Hobbit trilogy Evangeline Lilly, Lee Pace, Orlando Bloom The Hobbit, or There and Back Again (1937) by J. R. R. Tolkien The Hobbit is a film series consisting of three epic fantasy adventure films directed by Peter Jackson. They are based on the 1937 novel The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien, with large portions of ...more

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The Exorcist Max von Sydow, Ellen Burstyn, Linda Blair The Exorcist (1971) by William Peter Blatty The Exorcist is a 1973 American supernatural horror film directed by William Friedkin, adapted by William Peter Blatty from his 1971 novel of the same name. The book, inspired by the 1949 ...more

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The Maltese Falcon Humphrey Bogart, Peter Lorre, Mary Astor The Maltese Falcon (1929) by Dashiell Hammett The Maltese Falcon is a 1941 Warner Bros. film noir based on the novel of the same name by Dashiell Hammett. Directed by John Huston, the film stars Humphrey Bogart as private investigator Sam ...more

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587 243
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The Help Emma Stone, Jessica Chastain, Bryce Dallas Howard The Help (2009) by Kathryn Stockett The Help is a 2011 American period drama film directed and written by Tate Taylor, and adapted from Kathryn Stockett's 2009 novel of the same name. Featuring an ensemble cast, the film is about ...more

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The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers Cate Blanchett, Ian McKellen, Liv Tyler The Two Towers (1954) by J. R. R. Tolkien The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers is a 2002 epic fantasy film directed by Peter Jackson and based on the second volume of J. R. R. Tolkien's novel The Lord of the Rings. It is the second ...more

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A Clockwork Orange Malcolm McDowell, Warren Clarke, Steven Berkoff A Clockwork Orange (1971) by Anthony Burgess A Clockwork Orange is a 1971 dystopian crime film adapted, produced, and directed by Stanley Kubrick, based on Anthony Burgess's 1962 novella A Clockwork Orange. It employs disturbing, violent ...more

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Scarface Jean Harlow, Boris Karloff, Paul Muni Scarface (1929) by Armitage Coons Scarface is a 1932 American gangster film starring Paul Muni, produced by Howard Hughes and Howard Hawks, directed by Hawks and Richard Rosson, and based on Armitage Trail's 1929 novel of the ...more

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The Color Purple Oprah Winfrey, Whoopi Goldberg, Laurence Fishburne The Color Purple (!982) by Alice Walker The Color Purple is a 1985 American period drama film directed by Steven Spielberg, based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel of the same name by Alice Walker. It was Spielberg's eighth film as ...more

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Bram Stoker's Dracula Monica Bellucci, Keanu Reeves, Winona Ryder Dracula (1897) by Bram Stoker Bram Stoker's Dracula is a 1992 American horror film directed and produced by Francis Ford Coppola, based on the novel Dracula by Bram Stoker. It stars Gary Oldman as Count Dracula, Winona Ryder ...more

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The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1 Jennifer Lawrence, Elizabeth Banks, Julianne Moore The Hunger Game (2008) by Suzanne Collins The Hunger Games is a 2012 action, adventure film written by Gary Ross, Suzanne Collins and Billy Ray and directed by Gary Ross.

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353 157
The Godfather Part II is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Movies Based on Books
The Godfather Part II Al Pacino, Robert De Niro, Robert Duvall The Godfather (1969) by Mario Puzo The Godfather Part II is a 1974 American epic crime film produced and directed by Francis Ford Coppola from a screenplay co-written with Mario Puzo, starring Al Pacino and Robert De Niro. ...more

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521 169
Harry Potter and the Philosoph... is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Movies Based on Books
Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone Emma Watson, Daniel Radcliffe, Julianne Hough Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone is a 2001 fantasy film directed by Chris Columbus and distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures. It is based on the novel of the same name by J. K. Rowling. ...more

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458 221
Who Framed Roger Rabbit is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Movies Based on Books
Who Framed Roger Rabbit Kathleen Turner, Christopher Lloyd, Bob Hoskins Who Censored Roger Rabbit? (1981) by Gary K. Wolf Who Framed Roger Rabbit is a 1988 American live-action/animated fantasy-comedy film directed by Robert Zemeckis. The screenplay by Jeffrey Price and Peter S. Seaman is based on Gary K. Wolf's ...more

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JimJenkins added Of Mice and Men John Malkovich, Gary Sinise, Sherilyn Fenn Of Mice and Men (1937) by John Steinbeck Of Mice and Men is a 1992 film based on John Steinbeck's novella of the same name. Directed and produced by Gary Sinise, the film features Sinise as George Milton alongside John Malkovich as ...more

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420 183
A Beautiful Mind is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Movies Based on Books
A Beautiful Mind Jennifer Connelly, Russell Crowe, Ron Howard A Beautiful Mind (1998) by Sylvia Nasar A Beautiful Mind is a 2001 American biographical drama film based on the life of John Nash, a Nobel Laureate in Economics. The film was directed by Ron Howard, from a screenplay written by Akiva ...more

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391 132
Fried Green Tomatoes is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Movies Based on Books
Fried Green Tomatoes Kathy Bates, Mary-Louise Parker, Chris O'Donnell Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe (1987) by Fannie Flagg Fried Green Tomatoes is a 1991 comedy-drama film based on the novel Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe by Fannie Flagg. Directed by Jon Avnet and written by Fannie Flagg and Carol ...more

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402 209
Blade Runner is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Movies Based on Books
Blade Runner Harrison Ford, Daryl Hannah, Sean Young Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? (1968) by Philip K. Dick Blade Runner is a 1982 American neo-noir dystopian science fiction film directed by Ridley Scott and starring Harrison Ford, Rutger Hauer, Sean Young, and Edward James Olmos. The screenplay, ...more

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370 140
Full Metal Jacket is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Movies Based on Books
Full Metal Jacket Stanley Kubrick, Vincent D'Onofrio, R. Lee Ermey The Short-Timers (1979) by Gustav Hasford Full Metal Jacket is a 1987 war film directed and produced by Stanley Kubrick. The screenplay by Kubrick, Michael Herr, and Gustav Hasford was based on Hasford's novel The Short-Timers. The film ...more

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V for Vendetta Natalie Portman, John Hurt, Hugo Weaving V for Vendetta (1982-1989) by Alan Moore V for Vendetta is a 2006 American political thriller film directed by James McTeigue and written by the Wachowski Brothers, based on the 1988 Vertigo graphic novel of the same name by Alan Moore ...more

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441 293
No Country for Old Men is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Movies Based on Books
No Country for Old Men Javier Bardem, Tommy Lee Jones, Woody Harrelson No Country for Old Men (2005) by Cormac McCarthy No Country for Old Men is a 2007 American neo-western neo-noir thriller film directed by Joel and Ethan Coen, based on the novel by Cormac McCarthy. Violence and mayhem ensue after a hunter ...more

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Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire Emma Watson, Robert Pattinson, Daniel Radcliffe Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire is a 2005 fantasy film directed by Mike Newell and distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures. It is based on the novel of the same name by J. K. Rowling. The film, ...more

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Memento Guy Pearce, Carrie-Anne Moss, Joe Pantoliano Memento Mori (2001) by Jonathan Nolan Memento is a 2000 American neo-noir psychological thriller film directed by Christopher Nolan. The screenplay was written by Nolan based on his younger brother Jonathan Nolan's short story ...more

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One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest Jack Nicholson, Danny DeVito, Christopher Lloyd One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest is a 1975 drama film written by Lawrence Hauben and Bo Goldman and directed by MiloŇ° Forman.

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270 168
Vertigo is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Movies Based on Books
Vertigo James Stewart, Kim Novak, Alfred Hitchcock D'entre les morts (1954) by Boileau-Narcejac Vertigo is a 1958 American psychological thriller film directed and produced by Alfred Hitchcock. The story was based on the 1954 novel D'entre les morts by Boileau-Narcejac. The screenplay was ...more

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307 279
Gangs of New York is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Movies Based on Books
Gangs of New York Cameron Diaz, Leonardo DiCaprio, Liam Neeson Gangs of New York (1927) by Herbert Asbury Gangs of New York is a 2002 American fictionalized historical drama film set in the mid-19th century in the Five Points district of Lower Manhattan in 1863. The film was directed by Martin ...more