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The Best Movies Based On Books

Updated September 23, 2020 137.2k votes 10.8k voters 411.1k views364 items

List RulesOnly movies that were adapted from novels or short stories—no comic books.

Here is a 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 sometimes they do it better than even your imagination thought possible  (then again, sometimes they simply can't do the original book justice or were later also adapted into TV shows to continue the story or do it better). It's no surprise that popular movies are often inspired by good books, but which one is the best?

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!

Want to vote on more lists about book adaptations? Check out this list of film franchises based on books, and our roundup of movie adaptations that the book authors loved.

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  • 1
    Forrest Gump is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Movies Based On Books
    2,871
    825

    Forrest Gump

    Tom Hanks, Sally Field

    Released1994

    Directed byRobert Zemeckis

    Forrest Gump (1986) by Winston Groom
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  • 2
    To Kill a Mockingbird is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Movies Based On Books
    1,814
    816

    To Kill a Mockingbird

    Robert Duvall, Gregory Peck

    Released1962

    Directed byRobert Mulligan

    To Kill a Mockingbird (1960) by Harper Lee
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  • 3
    Schindler's List is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Movies Based On Books
    1,490
    636

    Schindler's List

    Liam Neeson, Ralph Fiennes

    Released1993

    Directed bySteven Spielberg

    Schindler's Ark (1982) by Thomas Keneally
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  • 4
    The Godfather is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Movies Based On Books
    2,061
    940

    The Godfather

    Al Pacino, Marlon Brando

    Released1972

    Directed byFrancis Ford Coppola

    The Godfather (1969) by Mario Puzo
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  • 5
    The Lord of the Rings film tri is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Movies Based On Books
    The Fellowship of the Ring (1954), The Two Towers (1954), The Return of the King (1955) by J. R. R. Tolkien
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  • 6
    Jurassic Park is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Movies Based On Books
    1,703
    758

    Jurassic Park

    Samuel L. Jackson, Jeff Goldblum

    Released1993

    Directed bySteven Spielberg

    Jurassic Park (1990) by Michael Crichton

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  • 7
    Psycho is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Movies Based On Books
    921
    369

    Psycho

    Alfred Hitchcock, Janet Leigh

    Released1960

    Directed byAlfred Hitchcock

    Psycho (1959) by Robert Bloch
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  • 8
    The Wizard of Oz is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Movies Based On Books
    1,583
    685

    The Wizard of Oz

    Judy Garland, Margaret Hamilton

    Released1939

    Directed byMervyn LeRoy, Norman Taurog, King Vidor, George Cukor, Victor Fleming

    The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (1900) by L. Frank Baum
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  • 9
    Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Fa is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Movies Based On Books
    1,358
    575

    Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory

    Gene Wilder, Jack Albertson

    Released1971

    Directed byMel Stuart

    Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (1964) by Roald Dahl
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  • 10
    One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nes is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Movies Based On Books
    720
    294

    One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest

    Jack Nicholson, Danny DeVito

    Released1975

    Directed byMiloš Forman

    One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1962) by Ken Kesey

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  • 11
    The Princess Bride is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Movies Based On Books
    1,477
    587

    The Princess Bride

    Billy Crystal, Robin Wright

    Released1987

    Directed byRob Reiner

    The Princess Bride (1973) by William Goldman
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  • 12
    The Silence of the Lambs is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Movies Based On Books
    1,762
    654

    The Silence of the Lambs

    Jodie Foster, Anthony Hopkins

    Released1991

    Directed byJonathan Demme

    The Silence of the Lambs (1988) by Thomas Harris
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  • 13
    Stand by Me is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Movies Based On Books
    1,233
    376

    Stand by Me

    Kiefer Sutherland, Corey Feldman

    Released1986

    Directed byRob Reiner

    The Body (1982) by Stephen King
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  • 14
    Gone with the Wind is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Movies Based On Books
    1,187
    553

    Gone with the Wind

    Clark Gable, Vivien Leigh

    Released1939

    Directed bySam Wood, George Cukor, Victor Fleming

    Gone with the Wind (1936) by Margaret Mitchell
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  • 15
    The Shawshank Redemption is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Movies Based On Books
    2,936
    1,315

    The Shawshank Redemption

    Morgan Freeman, Rita Hayworth

    Released1994

    Directed byFrank Darabont

    Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption (1982) by Stephen King
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  • 16
    Catch Me If You Can is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Movies Based On Books
    548
    180

    Catch Me If You Can

    Leonardo DiCaprio, Amy Adams

    Released2002

    Directed bySteven Spielberg

    Catch Me if You Can (1980) by Frank Abagnale

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  • 17
    Jaws is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Movies Based On Books
    1,435
    599

    Jaws

    Steven Spielberg, Richard Dreyfuss

    Released1975

    Directed bySteven Spielberg

    Jaws (1974) by Peter Benchley
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  • 18
    The Godfather Part II is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Movies Based On Books
    687
    337

    The Godfather Part II

    Al Pacino, Robert De Niro

    Released1974

    Directed byFrancis Ford Coppola

    The Godfather (1969) by Mario Puzo
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  • 19
    The Green Mile is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Movies Based On Books
    1,966
    442

    The Green Mile

    Tom Hanks, Gary Sinise

    Released1999

    Directed byFrank Darabont

    The Green Mile (1996) by Stephen King
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  • 20
    Harry Potter series is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Movies Based On Books
    Harry Potter novels (1997-2007) by J. K. Rowling
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  • 21
    Goodfellas is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Movies Based On Books
    831
    403

    Goodfellas

    Robert De Niro, Samuel L. Jackson

    Released1990

    Directed byMartin Scorsese

    Wiseguy: Life in a Mafia Family (1986) by Nicholas Pileggi
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  • 22
    The Lord of the Rings: The Fel is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Movies Based On Books
    1,251
    491

    Released2001

    Directed byPeter Jackson

    The Fellowship of the Ring (1954) by J. R. R. Tolkien
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  • 23
    The Shining is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Movies Based On Books
    1,408
    843

    The Shining

    Jack Nicholson, Shelley Duvall

    Released1980

    Directed byStanley Kubrick

    The Shining (1977) by Stephen King
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  • 24
    The Lord of the Rings: The Ret is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Movies Based On Books
    1,098
    378

    Released2003

    Directed byPeter Jackson

    The Return of the King (1955) by J. R. R. Tolkien
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  • 25
    Blade Runner is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Movies Based On Books
    626
    335

    Blade Runner

    Harrison Ford, Daryl Hannah

    Released1982

    Directed byRidley Scott

    Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? (1968) by Philip K. Dick
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