Culture

The Best Books That Were Adapted Into Oscar-Winning Movies 

Ranker Film
Updated February 11, 2020 1.3k votes 226 voters 7.9k views 39 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! 
list ordered by
1
The Lord of the Rings is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Books That Were Adapted Into Oscar-Winning Movies
J. R. R. Tolkien
The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, 2004
2
The Godfather is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Books That Were Adapted Into Oscar-Winning Movies
Mario Puzo
The Godfather, 1973 and The Godfather II, 1975
3
The Silence of the Lambs... is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Books That Were Adapted Into Oscar-Winning Movies
4
One Flew Over the Cuckoo... is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Books That Were Adapted Into Oscar-Winning Movies
Ken Kesey
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, 1976
5
Gone with the Wind is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Books That Were Adapted Into Oscar-Winning Movies
Margaret Mitchell
Gone with the Wind, 1940
6
No Country for Old Men ... is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Books That Were Adapted Into Oscar-Winning Movies
Cormac McCarthy
No Country for Old Men, 2008
7
Forrest Gump is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Books That Were Adapted Into Oscar-Winning Movies
Winston Groom
Forrest Gump, 1995
8
The Bridge over the Rive... is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Books That Were Adapted Into Oscar-Winning Movies
Pierre Boulle
The Bridge over the River Kwai, 1958
9
Dances with wolves is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Books That Were Adapted Into Oscar-Winning Movies
Michael Blake
Dances with Wolves, 1991
10
Schindler's Ark is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Books That Were Adapted Into Oscar-Winning Movies
Thomas Keneally
Schindler's List, 1994
11
Twelve Years a Slave is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Books That Were Adapted Into Oscar-Winning Movies
Solomon Noethup
12 Years a Slave, 2014
12
All Quiet on the Western... is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Books That Were Adapted Into Oscar-Winning Movies
Erich Maria Remarque
All Quiet on the Western Front, 1930
13
A Beautiful Mind: The Li... is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Books That Were Adapted Into Oscar-Winning Movies
14
Ben-Hur: A Tale of the C... is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Books That Were Adapted Into Oscar-Winning Movies
Lew Wallace
Ben-Hur, 1960
15
Rebecca is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Books That Were Adapted Into Oscar-Winning Movies
Daphne du Maurier
Rebecca, 1941
16
From Here to Eternity is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Books That Were Adapted Into Oscar-Winning Movies
James Jones
From Here to Eternity, 1954
17
Midnight Cowboy is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Books That Were Adapted Into Oscar-Winning Movies
James Leo Herlihy
Midnight Cowboy, 1970
18
The English Patient is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Books That Were Adapted Into Oscar-Winning Movies
Michael Ondaatje
The English Patient, 1997
19
All the King's Men is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Books That Were Adapted Into Oscar-Winning Movies
Robert Penn Warren
All the King's Men, 1950
20
Caging Skies is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Books That Were Adapted Into Oscar-Winning Movies
Christine Leunens

Jojo Rabbit, 2019

21
Mutiny on the Bounty is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Books That Were Adapted Into Oscar-Winning Movies
Charles Nordhoff, James Norman Hall
Mutiny on the Bounty, 1936
22
Around the World in Eigh... is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Books That Were Adapted Into Oscar-Winning Movies
Jules Verne
Around the World in 80 Days, 1957
23
In the Heat of the Night... is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Books That Were Adapted Into Oscar-Winning Movies
John Ball
In the Heat of the Night, 1968
24
Ordinary People is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Books That Were Adapted Into Oscar-Winning Movies
Judith Guest
Ordinary People, 1981
25
Out of Africa is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Books That Were Adapted Into Oscar-Winning Movies
Karen Blixen
Out of Africa, 1986