Oscars The Best Books That Were Adapted Into Oscar-Winning Movies  

Ranker Film
1.1k votes 193 voters 5.9k views 38 items

List Rules List only includes books that were turned into films that won the Academy Award for Best Picture. Vote up the best books.

People usually assume that books are better than their film adaptations, but that may not be true for the books on this list. All of these books were turned into movies that went on to win the Academy Award for Best Picture, so an argument can be made that the movie adaptations were just as good, or (gasp!) even better than the original source material. Of the 87 movies that have won Academy Awards for Best Picture so far, 40 were based on or inspired by books. Some are faithful book-to-movie adaptions, while others use creative license and are loosely based on books. 

What are the best books that were turned into Oscar-winning movies? Some of the books are award-winners themselves including Gone with the Wind and The English Patient, while tomes like Lord of the Rings and The Godfather are popular novels that have devoted fanbases. From classics like Rebecca and Around the World in Eighty Days to contemporary works like Q &A and The Master of Disguise: My Secret Life in the CIA, the books and the respective films cover a variety of genres. This list includes some of the best books turned into movies that won Oscars in the Best Picture category. Vote up for your favorites! 

1
54 11
The Godfather is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Books That Were Adapted Into Oscar-Winning Movies
The Godfather Mario Puzo - The Godfather, 1973 and The Godfather II, 1975

2
59 20
The Lord of the Rings is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Books That Were Adapted Into Oscar-Winning Movies
The Lord of the Rings J. R. R. Tolkien - The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, 2004

3
42 13
The Silence of the Lambs is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Books That Were Adapted Into Oscar-Winning Movies
The Silence of the Lambs Thomas Harris - The Silence of the Lambs, 1992

4
42 14
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nes... is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Books That Were Adapted Into Oscar-Winning Movies
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest Ken Kesey - One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, 1976

5
43 15
Gone with the Wind is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Books That Were Adapted Into Oscar-Winning Movies
Gone with the Wind Margaret Mitchell - Gone with the Wind, 1940

6
32 13
Forrest Gump is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Books That Were Adapted Into Oscar-Winning Movies
Forrest Gump Winston Groom - Forrest Gump, 1995

7
27 9
The Bridge over the River Kwai is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Books That Were Adapted Into Oscar-Winning Movies
The Bridge over the River Kwai Pierre Boulle - The Bridge over the River Kwai, 1958

8
29 12
Dances with wolves is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Books That Were Adapted Into Oscar-Winning Movies
Dances with Wolves Michael Blake - Dances with Wolves, 1991

9
37 19
No Country for Old Men is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Books That Were Adapted Into Oscar-Winning Movies
No Country for Old Men Cormac McCarthy - No Country for Old Men, 2008

10
27 13
Schindler's Ark is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Books That Were Adapted Into Oscar-Winning Movies
Schindler's Ark Thomas Keneally - Schindler's List, 1994

11
23 12
Twelve Years a Slave is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Books That Were Adapted Into Oscar-Winning Movies
Twelve Years a Slave Solomon Noethup - 12 Years a Slave, 2014

12
21 11
All Quiet on the Western Front is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Books That Were Adapted Into Oscar-Winning Movies
All Quiet on the Western Front Erich Maria Remarque - All Quiet on the Western Front, 1930

13
27 18
A Beautiful Mind: The Life of ... is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Books That Were Adapted Into Oscar-Winning Movies

14
19 12
Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Books That Were Adapted Into Oscar-Winning Movies
Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ Lew Wallace - Ben-Hur, 1960

The Worst Oscar-Winning Actors Ever

15
12 7
From Here to Eternity is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Books That Were Adapted Into Oscar-Winning Movies
From Here to Eternity James Jones - From Here to Eternity, 1954

16
14 10
Midnight Cowboy is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Books That Were Adapted Into Oscar-Winning Movies
Midnight Cowboy James Leo Herlihy - Midnight Cowboy, 1970

17
12 8
Out of Africa is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Books That Were Adapted Into Oscar-Winning Movies
Out of Africa Karen Blixen - Out of Africa, 1986

18
11 7
All the King's Men is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Books That Were Adapted Into Oscar-Winning Movies
All the King's Men Robert Penn Warren - All the King's Men, 1950

19
16 13
Rebecca is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Books That Were Adapted Into Oscar-Winning Movies
Rebecca Daphne du Maurier - Rebecca, 1941

20
14 11
The English Patient is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Books That Were Adapted Into Oscar-Winning Movies
The English Patient Michael Ondaatje - The English Patient, 1997

21
13 10
Mutiny on the Bounty is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Books That Were Adapted Into Oscar-Winning Movies
Mutiny on the Bounty Charles Nordhoff, James Norman Hall - Mutiny on the Bounty, 1936

The Scariest Novels of All Time

22
11 8
Ordinary People is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Books That Were Adapted Into Oscar-Winning Movies
Ordinary People Judith Guest - Ordinary People, 1981

23
9 6
In the Heat of the Night is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Books That Were Adapted Into Oscar-Winning Movies
In the Heat of the Night John Ball - In the Heat of the Night, 1968

24
10 9
The French Connection is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Books That Were Adapted Into Oscar-Winning Movies
The French Connection Robin Moore - The French Connection, 1972

25
10 10
Terms of Endearment is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Books That Were Adapted Into Oscar-Winning Movies
Terms of Endearment Larry McMurtry - Terms of Endearment, 1984

26
8 8
The Lost Weekend is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Books That Were Adapted Into Oscar-Winning Movies
The Lost Weekend Charles R. Jackson - The Lost Weekend, 1946

27
8 8
Q & A is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Books That Were Adapted Into Oscar-Winning Movies
Q & A Vikas Swarup - Slumdog Millionaire, 2009

28
7 7
From Emperor to Citizen: The A... is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Books That Were Adapted Into Oscar-Winning Movies
From Emperor to Citizen: The Autobiography of Aisin-Gioro Pu Yi Aisin-Gioro Pu Yi - The Last Emperor, 1988

The Very Best Oscar-Winning Movies

29
15 16
Around the World in Eighty Day... is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Books That Were Adapted Into Oscar-Winning Movies
Around the World in Eighty Days Jules Verne - Around the World in 80 Days, 1957

30
8 9
Gigi is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Books That Were Adapted Into Oscar-Winning Movies
Gigi Colette - Gigi, 1959

31
6 8
How Green Was My Valley is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Books That Were Adapted Into Oscar-Winning Movies
How Green Was My Valley Richard Llewellyn - How Green Was My Valley, 1942

32
5 7
Rope Burns: Stories from the C... is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Books That Were Adapted Into Oscar-Winning Movies
Rope Burns: Stories from the Corner F.X. Toole - Million Dollar Baby, 2005

33
4 6
The Big Con: The Story of the ... is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Books That Were Adapted Into Oscar-Winning Movies

34
7 10
The History of Tom Jones, a Fo... is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Books That Were Adapted Into Oscar-Winning Movies
The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling Henry Fielding - Tom Jones, 1964

35
6 9
Mrs. Miniver is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Books That Were Adapted Into Oscar-Winning Movies
Mrs. Miniver Jan Struther - Mrs. Miniver, 1943

36
10 14
Kramer vs. Kramer is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Books That Were Adapted Into Oscar-Winning Movies
Kramer vs. Kramer Avery Corman - Kramer vs. Kramer, 1980

37
6 10
The Master of Disguise: My Sec... is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Books That Were Adapted Into Oscar-Winning Movies

38
4 9
Cimarron is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Books That Were Adapted Into Oscar-Winning Movies
Cimarron Edna Ferber - Cimarron, 1931