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The Best Movies Based On Books

Updated January 11, 2021 136.5k votes 11.2k voters 417.6k views369 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 classic literatures and works of art, 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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  • Forrest Gump1
    3,066
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    Forrest Gump

    Tom Hanks, Sally Field

    Released1994

    Directed byRobert Zemeckis

    Forrest Gump (1986) by Winston Groom
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  • The Lord of the Rings film trilogy2
    The Fellowship of the Ring (1954) by J. R. R. Tolkien
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  • The Wizard of Oz3
    1,650
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    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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  • To Kill a Mockingbird4
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    To Kill a Mockingbird

    Robert Duvall, Gregory Peck

    Released1962

    Directed byRobert Mulligan

    To Kill a Mockingbird (1960) by Harper Lee
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  • Jurassic Park5
    1,801
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    Jurassic Park

    Samuel L. Jackson, Jeff Goldblum

    Released1993

    Directed bySteven Spielberg

    Jurassic Park (1990) by Michael Crichton

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  • Schindler's List6
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    Schindler's List

    Liam Neeson, Ralph Fiennes

    Released1993

    Directed bySteven Spielberg

    Schindler's Ark (1982) by Thomas Keneally
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  • The Godfather7
    2,132
    994

    The Godfather

    Al Pacino, Marlon Brando

    Released1972

    Directed byFrancis Ford Coppola

    The Godfather (1969) by Mario Puzo
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  • Psycho8
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    Psycho

    Alfred Hitchcock, Janet Leigh

    Released1960

    Directed byAlfred Hitchcock

    Psycho (1959) by Robert Bloch
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  • Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory9
    1,408
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    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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  • The Princess Bride10
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    The Princess Bride

    Billy Crystal, Robin Wright

    Released1987

    Directed byRob Reiner

    The Princess Bride (1973) by William Goldman
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  • One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest11
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    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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  • The Silence of the Lambs12
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    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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  • Gone with the Wind13
    1,241
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    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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  • Stand by Me14
    1,276
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    Stand by Me

    Kiefer Sutherland, Corey Feldman

    Released1986

    Directed byRob Reiner

    The Body (1982) by Stephen King
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  • The Shawshank Redemption15
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    1,337

    The Shawshank Redemption

    Morgan Freeman, Rita Hayworth

    Released1994

    Directed byFrank Darabont

    Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption (1982) by Stephen King
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  • Harry Potter Franchise16
    2,528
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    Harry Potter Franchise

    Danielle Radcliffe, Rupert Grint

    Released2001 - 2011

    Directed byChris Columbus, Alfonso Cuarón, Mike Newell, David Yates

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  • The Godfather Part II17
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    The Godfather Part II

    Al Pacino, Robert De Niro

    Released1974

    Directed byFrancis Ford Coppola

    The Godfather (1969) by Mario Puzo
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  • Catch Me If You Can18
    585
    201

    Catch Me If You Can

    Tom Hanks, Leonardo DiCaprio

    Released2002

    Directed bySteven Spielberg

    Catch Me if You Can (1980) by Frank Abagnale

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  • Jaws19
    1,476
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    Jaws

    Steven Spielberg, Richard Dreyfuss

    Released1975

    Directed bySteven Spielberg

    Jaws (1974) by Peter Benchley
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  • Goodfellas20
    859
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    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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  • The Green Mile21
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    The Green Mile

    Tom Hanks, Gary Sinise

    Released1999

    Directed byFrank Darabont

    The Green Mile (1996) by Stephen King
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  • The Shining22
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    The Shining

    Jack Nicholson, Shelley Duvall

    Released1980

    Directed byStanley Kubrick

    The Shining (1977) by Stephen King
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  • The Chronicles of Narnia Franchise23
    The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (1950) by C. S. Lewis
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  • Blade Runner24
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    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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  • The Birds25
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    The Birds

    Alfred Hitchcock, Tippi Hedren

    Released1963

    Directed byAlfred Hitchcock

    The Birds (1952) by Daphne du Maurier
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