Entertainment Movies That Are Even Better Than the Books They're Based On  

Derrick Deane
60.3k votes 11k voters 375.6k views 37 items

List Rules Vote for the movies that turned out to be even better than the books they were based on

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. 

Stand by Me is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list Movies That Are Even Better Than the Books They're Based On
Photo:  Columbia/Sony Pictures/Amazon/Fair Use
1 4,190 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.

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#42 on 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime

#19 on The Greatest Movies of the 1980s, Ranked

#55 on The Best Rainy Day Movies

#67 on The Greatest Chick Flicks Ever Made

3,821 369
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Forrest Gump is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list Movies That Are Even Better Than the Books They're Based On
Photo:  Paramount Pictures/Amazon/Fair Use
2 4,047 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.

Also Ranked

#33 on 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime

#36 on The Best War Movies Ever

#1 on Movies with the Best Soundtracks

#2 on The Most Rewatchable Movies

3,593 454
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Mrs. Doubtfire is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list Movies That Are Even Better Than the Books They're Based On
Photo:  20th Century Fox/Amazon/Fair Use
3 2,560 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. 

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#7 on The Funniest '90s Movies

#16 on 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime

#62 on The Most Rewatchable Movies

#46 on The All-Time Greatest Comedy Films

2,146 414
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Die Hard is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list Movies That Are Even Better Than the Books They're Based On
Photo:  Silver Pictures/Amazon/Fair Use
4 2,180 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.

Also Ranked

#17 on 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime

#7 on The Greatest Movies of the 1980s, Ranked

#7 on The Most Rewatchable Movies

#34 on The Best Movies of All Time

1,835 345
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see more on Die Hard