Culture

The Best Movies Based on Poems  

Ranker Film
236 votes 36 voters 1.5k views 35 items

List Rules Vote up the best movies based on or inspired by poems.

From epic tales of war and romance to beloved animated musicals, this list includes information about the best movies based on poems. Some movies based on poems stay true to the source material while other films adapted from poems create new storylines. Some of the best movies based on poems have even won Academy Awards.

What films will you find on this best movies based on poems list? Braveheart has to be near the top. This 1995 film – directed, produced, and starring Mel Gibson – was based on the poem The Wallace by Blind Harry. Braveheart won the Academy Award for Best Picture as well as several other honors. O Brother, Where Art Thou? is another great movie inspired by a poem.

Nightmare Before Christmas was based on a poem written by Tim Burton in 1982. Other good films based on poems include Troy, Beowulf, and Horton Hears a Who.

Which movies based on a poem do you think are the best? Give your favorites a vote up and and add any good options we may have missed.

list ordered by
1
O Brother, Where Art Thou? is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Movies Based on Poems
George Clooney, John Goodman, Holly Hunter
O Brother, Where Art Thou? is a 2000 adventure comedy film written, produced, edited, and directed by Joel and Ethan Coen, and starring George Clooney, John Turturro, and Tim Blake Nelson, with ...more
2
The Nightmare Before Christmas is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Movies Based on Poems
Paul Reubens, Catherine O'Hara, Danny Elfman
Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas 3D is a 2006 3D version of the 1993 film of the same title directed by Henry Selick and written by Caroline Thompson.
3
Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stol... is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Movies Based on Poems
Jim Carrey, Anthony Hopkins, Bryce Dallas Howard
This film is a 2000 American musical fantasy comedy Christmas film from Universal Pictures and Imagine Entertainment, based on the 1957 story of the same name by Dr. Seuss. It was the first Dr. ...more
4
Mulan is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Movies Based on Poems
Eddie Murphy, Ming-Na Wen, George Takei
Mulan is a 1998 American animated musical action-comedy-drama film produced by Walt Disney Feature Animation based on the Chinese legend of Hua Mulan. The 36th animated feature in the Walt ...more
5
Braveheart is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Movies Based on Poems
Mel Gibson, Sophie Marceau, Brendan Gleeson
Braveheart is a 1995 epic historical medieval war drama film directed by and starring Mel Gibson. Gibson portrays William Wallace, a 13th-century Scottish warrior who led the Scots in the First ...more
6
Beowulf is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Movies Based on Poems
Angelina Jolie, Anthony Hopkins, John Malkovich
Beowulf is a 2007 American motion capture computer-animated fantasy film directed by Robert Zemeckis and written by Neil Gaiman and Roger Avary, inspired by the Old English epic poem of the same ...more
7
Troy is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Movies Based on Poems
Brad Pitt, Eric Bana, Orlando Bloom
Troy is a 2004 epic period war film directed by Wolfgang Petersen, loosely based on Homer's Iliad. After Paris smuggles Queen Helen to Troy, Achilles leads his Myrmidons along with the rest of ...more
8
The Raven is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Movies Based on Poems
Alice Eve, John Cusack, Brendan Gleeson
The Raven is a 2012 American mystery thriller film directed by James McTeigue and based on a screenplay by Ben Livingston and Hannah Shakespeare. It stars John Cusack, Alice Eve, Brendan Gleeson ...more
9
Jabberwocky is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Movies Based on Poems
Terry Gilliam, Michael Palin, Terry Jones
Jabberwocky is a 1977 British fantasy film co-written and directed by Terry Gilliam. The name is taken from the nonsense poem "Jabberwocky" in Lewis Carroll's Through the ...more
10
Howl is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Movies Based on Poems
James Franco, Jon Hamm, Mary-Louise Parker
Howl is a 2010 American experimental film which explores both the Six Gallery debut and the 1957 obscenity trial of 20th-century American poet Allen Ginsberg's noted poem Howl. The film is ...more
11
The Set-Up is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Movies Based on Poems
Robert Ryan, Wallace Ford, Darryl Hickman
The Set-Up is a 1949 American film noir boxing drama directed by Robert Wise and featuring Robert Ryan and Audrey Totter. The screenplay was adapted by Art Cohn from a 1928 poem written by ...more
12
Horton Hears a Who! is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Movies Based on Poems
Selena Gomez, Jim Carrey, Isla Fisher
Dr. Seuss' Horton Hears a Who! is a 2008 American computer-animated adventure comedy film based on the Dr. Seuss' book of the same name. The film was directed by Jimmy Hayward and Steve Martino, ...more
13
Gunga Din is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Movies Based on Poems
Cary Grant, Joan Fontaine, Douglas Fairbanks
Gunga Din is a 1939 RKO adventure film directed by George Stevens and starring Cary Grant, Victor McLaglen and Douglas Fairbanks, Jr., loosely based on the poem of the same name by Rudyard ...more
14
Short Cuts is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Movies Based on Poems
Robert Downey Jr., Julianne Moore, Tim Robbins
Short Cuts is a 1993 American drama film directed by Robert Altman. Filmed from a screenplay by Altman and Frank Barhydt, it is inspired by nine short stories and a poem by Raymond Carver. ...more
15
The Color of Pomegranates is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Movies Based on Poems
Sofiko Chiaureli, Vilen Galstyan, Medea Japaridze
The Color of Pomegranates is a 1969 Soviet film written and directed by Sergei Parajanov. It made the Top 10 list in Cahiers du cinéma in 1982 and Top 100 in Time Out.
16
Return to Snowy River is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Movies Based on Poems
Tom Burlinson, Sigrid Thornton, Brian Dennehy
Return to Snowy River (a.k.a. The Man from Snowy River II and The Untamed) is a 1988 Australian drama film directed by Geoff Burrowes, it is a sequel to The Man from Snowy River.
17
Helen of Troy is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Movies Based on Poems
Brigitte Bardot, Stanley Baker, Harry Andrews
Helen of Troy is a 1956 Warner Bros. epic film, based on Homer's Illiad and Odyssey. It was directed by Robert Wise, from a screenplay by Hugh Gray and John Twist, adapted by Hugh Gray and N. ...more
18
The Man from Snowy River is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Movies Based on Poems
Kirk Douglas, Jack Thompson, Gus Mercurio
The Man from Snowy River is a 1982 Australian drama film based on the Banjo Paterson poem The Man from Snowy River. The film had a cast including Kirk Douglas in a dual role as the brothers ...more
19
The Raven is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Movies Based on Poems
Jack Nicholson, Vincent Price, Boris Karloff
The Raven is a 1963 American independent B movie/horror-comedy film produced and directed by Roger Corman. The film stars Vincent Price, Peter Lorre, and Boris Karloff as a trio of rival ...more
20
Casey at the Bat is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Movies Based on Poems
Wallace Beery, Sterling Holloway, ZaSu Pitts
Casey at the Bat is a 1927 silent film, directed by Monte Brice, written by Ernest Thayer, based on the baseball poem of the same name and starred Wallace Beery, Ford Sterling, Zasu Pitts and ...more
21
Bright Star is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Movies Based on Poems
Abbie Cornish, Ben Whishaw, Thomas Brodie-Sangster
Bright Star is a 2009 film based on the last three years of the life of poet John Keats and his romantic relationship. A British/Australian co-production, it was directed by Jane Campion, who ...more
22
Padmaavat is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Movies Based on Poems
Deepika Padukone, Shahid Kapoor, Ranveer Singh
Padmaavat is a 2018 Indian epic period drama film directed by Sanjay Leela Bhansali, loosely based on the poem by Malik Muhammad Jayasi. Set in medieval Rajasthan, Queen Padmavati is married to ...more
23
Pumpkinhead is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Movies Based on Poems
Mayim Bialik, Lance Henriksen, George Buck Flower
Pumpkinhead is a 1988 American supernatural horror film. It was the directorial debut of special effects artist Stan Winston. While Pumpkinhead received mixed reviews, the film has built up a ...more
24
For Colored Girls is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Movies Based on Poems
Janet Jackson, Kerry Washington, Whoopi Goldberg
For Colored Girls is a drama film to be released on 14 January 2011, directed by Tyler Perry.
25
The Tale of Tsar Saltan is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Movies Based on Poems
The Tale of Tsar Saltan is a 1984 Soviet traditionally animated feature film directed by Lev Milchin and Ivan Ivanov-Vano and produced at the Soyuzmultfilm studio. It is an adaptation of the ...more