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The Best Movies Based On Books

Updated September 23, 2020 138.7k votes 10.9k voters 413.4k 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
    2,902
    846

    Forrest Gump

    Tom Hanks, Sally Field

    Released1994

    Directed byRobert Zemeckis

    Forrest Gump (1986) by Winston Groom
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  • 2
    The Godfather
    2,093
    950

    The Godfather

    Al Pacino, Marlon Brando

    Released1972

    Directed byFrancis Ford Coppola

    The Godfather (1969) by Mario Puzo
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  • 3
    Jurassic Park
    1,732
    771

    Jurassic Park

    Samuel L. Jackson, Jeff Goldblum

    Released1993

    Directed bySteven Spielberg

    Jurassic Park (1990) by Michael Crichton

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  • 4
    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
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  • 5
    To Kill a Mockingbird
    1,830
    831

    To Kill a Mockingbird

    Robert Duvall, Gregory Peck

    Released1962

    Directed byRobert Mulligan

    To Kill a Mockingbird (1960) by Harper Lee
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  • 6
    Psycho
    942
    377

    Psycho

    Alfred Hitchcock, Janet Leigh

    Released1960

    Directed byAlfred Hitchcock

    Psycho (1959) by Robert Bloch
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  • 7
    Schindler's List
    1,508
    646

    Schindler's List

    Liam Neeson, Ralph Fiennes

    Released1993

    Directed bySteven Spielberg

    Schindler's Ark (1982) by Thomas Keneally
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  • 8
    Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory
    1,370
    584

    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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  • 9
    One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest
    736
    301

    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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  • 10
    The Wizard of Oz
    1,606
    697

    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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  • 11
    The Princess Bride
    1,498
    594

    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
    1,779
    658

    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
    1,244
    387

    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
    1,211
    557

    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
    2,939
    1,321

    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
    Jaws
    1,448
    606

    Jaws

    Steven Spielberg, Richard Dreyfuss

    Released1975

    Directed bySteven Spielberg

    Jaws (1974) by Peter Benchley
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  • 17
    The Godfather Part II
    701
    341

    The Godfather Part II

    Al Pacino, Robert De Niro

    Released1974

    Directed byFrancis Ford Coppola

    The Godfather (1969) by Mario Puzo
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  • 18
    Catch Me If You Can
    558
    190

    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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  • 19
    Harry Potter series
    Harry Potter novels (1997-2007) by J. K. Rowling
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  • 20
    The Green Mile
    1,984
    447

    The Green Mile

    Tom Hanks, Gary Sinise

    Released1999

    Directed byFrank Darabont

    The Green Mile (1996) by Stephen King
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  • 21
    The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
    1,269
    497

    Released2001

    Directed byPeter Jackson

    The Fellowship of the Ring (1954) by J. R. R. Tolkien
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  • 22
    Goodfellas
    842
    408

    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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  • 23
    The Shining
    1,423
    850

    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 Return of the King
    1,114
    383

    Released2003

    Directed byPeter Jackson

    The Return of the King (1955) by J. R. R. Tolkien
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  • 25
    Die Hard
    838
    386

    Die Hard

    Bruce Willis, Alan Rickman

    Released1988

    Directed byJohn McTiernan

    Nothing Lasts Forever (1979) by Roderick Thorpe
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