Entertainment

The Best Movies Based On Elmore Leonard Books  

Ranker Film
65 votes 11 voters 20 items

List Rules Only movies based on novels by Elmore Leonard.

American novelist Elmore Leonard may have got his literary career started in the western genre, but he went on to be one of the most acclaimed crime writers ever. Known for his realistic prose, powerful dialogue, and noir sensibilities, many of his books were ideal source material for the cinema. Hollywood has made over 20 movies based on Elmore Leonard books. Here are the best Elmore Leonard films.

Any conversation regarding the greatest fiction crime writers always includes the likes of Dashiell Hammett and Raymond Chandler. However, Elmore Leonard also needs to be in that discussion. The film adaptations based on his books include several cinema classics like Get Shorty, Jackie Brown, and Out of Sight.

Additionally, there are so many hidden movie gems based on Leonard’s books that have stood the test of time and demand a modern audience’s attention. The prolific novelist also went on to have a career in screenwriting and producing. Tell us what you think. Vote up the best Elmore Leonard movies

 

list ordered by
1
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John Travolta, John Wayne, Danny DeVito

Get Shorty is based on the novel of the same name. 

 

Get Shorty is a 1995 comedy-thriller film based on Elmore Leonard's novel of the same name. Directed by Barry Sonnenfeld and starring John Travolta, Gene Hackman, Rene Russo, and Danny DeVito, ...more
2
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Robert De Niro, Samuel L. Jackson, Quentin Tarantino

Jackie Brown is based on the novel Rum Punch. 

Jackie Brown is a 1997 drama film written and directed by Quentin Tarantino. It is an adaptation of Elmore Leonard's 1992 novel Rum Punch, the first adaptation from Tarantino, and stars Pam ...more
3
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Jennifer Lopez, George Clooney, Samuel L. Jackson

Out of Sight is based on the novel of the same name. 

Out of Sight is a 1998 American comedy film based on the novel of the same name by Elmore Leonard and directed by Steven Soderbergh. The first of several collaborations between Soderbergh and ...more
4
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Christian Bale, Russell Crowe, Logan Lerman

3:10 to Yuma (2007) is based on the short story Three-Ten to Yuma

3:10 to Yuma is a 2007 western film directed by James Mangold and produced by Cathy Konrad, and stars Russell Crowe and Christian Bale in the lead roles, with supporting performances by Peter ...more
5
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Burt Lancaster, H├ęctor Elizondo, Sylvia Poggioli

Valdez Is Coming is based on the novel of the same name. 

Valdez Is Coming is a 1971 American western film starring Burt Lancaster, Susan Clark, Richard Jordan and Jon Cypher. The film is based on the Elmore Leonard novel of the same name.
6
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Maureen O'Sullivan, Randolph Scott, Richard Boone

The Tall T is based on the short story The Captives. 

The Tall T is a 1957 American Western film directed by Budd Boetticher and starring Randolph Scott, Richard Boone, and Maureen O'Sullivan. Adapted by Burt Kennedy from the short story "The ...more
7
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Andy Dick, Christian Slater, Crispin Glover

Freaky Deaky is based on the novel of the same name. 

Freaky Deaky is a 2012 crime-comedy-thriller film based on Elmore Leonard's 1988 novel of the same name. Produced, directed and written by Charles Matthau, the film starring Billy Burke, ...more
8
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Charles Bronson, Linda Cristal, Lee Purcell

Mr. Majestyk is based on a screenplay. 

Mr. Majestyk is a 1974 American action film directed by Richard Fleischer and starring Charles Bronson. The film is from an original screenplay written by Elmore Leonard. The title character's ...more
9
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Glenn Ford, Van Heflin, Richard Jaeckel

3:10 to Yuma (1957) is based on the short story Three-Ten to Yuma.

 

3:10 to Yuma is a 1957 American western film starring Glenn Ford and Van Heflin and directed by Delmer Daves. The film was based on a 1953 short story by Elmore Leonard. In 2012, the film was ...more
10
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Paul Newman, Martin Balsam, Fredric March

Hombre is based on the novel of the same name. 

Hombre is a 1967 revisionist western film directed by Martin Ritt, based on the novel of the same name by Elmore Leonard and starring Paul Newman, Fredric March, Richard Boone, Martin Balsam, ...more
11
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Mickey Rourke, Diane Lane, Joseph Gordon-Levitt

Killshot is based on the novel of the same name. 

Killshot is a 2008 American thriller film directed by John Madden and starring Diane Lane, Thomas Jane, Mickey Rourke and Joseph Gordon-Levitt. It is based on Elmore Leonard's 1989 novel of the ...more
12
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Jennifer Aniston, Isla Fisher, Tim Robbins

Life of Crime is based on the novel The Switch

Life of Crime is a 2013 American crime comedy film written and directed by Daniel Schechter based on Elmore Leonard's 1978 novel The Switch, which includes characters later revisited in his 1992 ...more
13
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Charles Durning, Peter Weller, Kelly McGillis

Cat Chaser is based on the novel of the same name. 

Cat Chaser is a 1989 film directed by Abel Ferrara and starring Peter Weller and Kelly McGillis, based on the novel of the same name by Elmore Leonard. It was adapted from the novel by Leonard ...more
14
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Ann-Margret, Kelly Preston, Vanity

52 Pick-Up is based on the novel of the same name. 

52 Pick-Up is a 1986 crime thriller film directed by John Frankenheimer. The film stars Roy Scheider, Ann-Margret, and Vanity, and is based on Elmore Leonard's novel of the same name.
15
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Charlie Sheen, Morgan Freeman, Willie Nelson

The Big Bounce (2004) is based on the novel of the same name. 

The Big Bounce is a 2004 comedy heist film starring Owen Wilson, Charlie Sheen, Sara Foster and Morgan Freeman. It was directed by George Armitage and based on a novel of the same name by Elmore ...more
16
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The Moonshine War Alan Alda, Richard Widmark

The Moonshine War is based on the novel of the same name. 

The Moonshine War is a 1970 film directed by Richard Quine, based on the novel of the same name by Elmore Leonard. It starred Patrick McGoohan, Richard Widmark, Alan Alda, Will Geer, John ...more
17
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Burt Reynolds, Candice Bergen, Annie Potts

Stick is based on the novel of the same name. 

Stick is a 1985 crime film directed by and starring Burt Reynolds, based on the novel of the same name by Elmore Leonard.
18
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John Travolta, Dwayne Johnson, Uma Thurman

Be Cool is based on the novel of the same name. 

Be Cool is a 2005 American comedy film adapted from Elmore Leonard's 1999 novel of the same name and the sequel to Leonard's 1990 novel Get Shorty about Chili Palmer's entrance into the film ...more
19
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Ryan O'Neal, Lee Grant, Van Heflin

The Big Bounce (1969) is based on the novel of the same name. 

The Big Bounce is a 1969 film directed by Alex March, based on the novel of the same name by Elmore Leonard and starring Ryan O'Neal, Van Heflin, and Leigh Taylor-Young in what was the first of ...more
20
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Touch Bridget Fonda, Christopher Walken, Skeet Ulrich

Touch is based on the novel of the same name.