Sometimes, the book isn't better than the movie. With film's added benefits of visuals, music, sounds, and a more confined, focused narrative, it creates the opportunity to tell a more compact and captivating story. Here are just a few instances where cinema trumped the novel.
Do you agree with these selections, or was the book ultimately the better version of these stories? Vote up the movie adaptations that you thought were better than the book, and vote down the ones where the book just may have been better after all.
- Photo: Columbia Pictures13,532 VOTES
Rob Reiner took the best elements of Stephen King's novella The Body and created one of the greatest coming-of-age movies ever. King even went so far to say that the film was the first successful translation of any of his works to film.
- Photo: Paramount Pictures23,194 VOTES
Author Winston Groom commented the film version of his book "took some of the rough edges" off of Forrest. As a result, the movie version featured a more genuine and warmer title character, which was executed with Oscar-winning excellence by Tom Hanks.
- Photo: 20th Century Fox32,225 VOTES
This simple, charming story by author Anne Fine became a comedy classic, thanks to the whirlwind of energy breathed into the story by the late Robin Williams.
- Photo: 20th Century Fox41,886 VOTES
Bruce Willis' big break came in this adaptation of Roderick Thorpe's novel, Nothing Lasts Forever. The book is grittier than the movie and primarily tells the story from the detective's point of view. The movie adds the two arrogant FBI agents, and Alan Rickman's performance helps flesh out the villain's character.
- Photo: Universal Pictures52,301 VOTES
Steven Spielberg streamlined Peter Benchley's novel about a great white shark that terrorizes a seaside town. The director dropped the side-story love affair between Ellen Brody and Matt Hooper, and it was a smart move — the film became an all-time classic and launched Spielberg's now legendary career.
- Photo: Orion Pictures62,779 VOTES
There's no denying that Thomas Harris's novel is tense, well plotted, and horrifying, but Anthony Hopkins's portrayal of Hannibal Lecter transformed a fascinating character into an iconic big-screen menace.