Top Ten Best Movie Adaptations
Book-to-Movie adaptations are a funny thing to me. I personally don't require a movie to follow a book closely to enjoy it. I try not to compare the two too much. And more often than not, a really good movie will make me want to read the book. I also am picky about the movies I watch. If a movie based on a beloved book gets bad reviews, I probably won't watch it. (My Sister's Keeper, The Other Boleyn Girl, Something Borrowed all come to mind). Because of that, I had a really hard time coming up with a "worst" list! So I went with a "best" only list. I also tried to only include adaptions where I remembered both the book and movie fairly well and I generally enjoyed both.
1. Jurassic Park (1993)/Novel by Michael Crichton (1990)
This movie is basically my childhood. I remember seeing it with my best friend on vacation and we were so scared! Velociraptors....*shudder*. I read the book shortly after seeing the movie and I definitely loved the movie way more. The alternating chapters of computer babble were a major turn off. I didn't care HOW it was done, I just wanted MOAR DINOSAURS! But the dinosaur chapters were right on par with the movie.
2. Princess Bride (1987)/Novel by William Goldman (1973)
Sigh. This is probably my favorite movie of all time. The book was also pretty witty and not too far off from the movie (surprisingly). One thing I really liked about the book was the editorial notes by the author.
3. Warm Bodies (2013)/Novel by Isaac Marion (2010)
This is a very recent viewing/reading for me. I actually saw the movie first then promptly read the novel. I enjoyed both of them, but for different reasons. The movie and book each have a very different feel to them. The movie is more funny and light-hearted - a true romance. The book is much more philosophical. But both accomplish something that is not easy to do: make me care about zombies.
4. Pride and Prejudice (BBC Miniseries 1995)/Novel by Jane Austen (1813)
Ahh, the BBC miniseries that launched Colin Firth's career. I thought it was so well done and captured the essence of Jane Austen's novel. The Keira Knightley 2005 version wasn't half bad either. But it didn't have Colin Firth in it.
5. True Grit (2010)/Novel by Charles Portis (1968)
I thought the movie adaption was very close to the novel and I really liked both. Mattie Ross is a force to be reckoned with and I loved how Hailee Steinfeld played her.
6. A Little Princess (1995)/Novel by Francis Hodgson Burnett (1905)
Remember when I said I didn't need a movie to closely follow the book? Here is a prime example. The 1995 version changes the ending completely. But I still loved it.
7. Lord of the Rings Trilogy (2001, 2002, 2003)/Novels by J.R.R. Tolkien (1954)
This is another one where I loved the movies more than the books. And honestly, after watching the epically awesome movie trilogy...the books were a bit boring in comparison. But they did give you a lot of background information that is helpful when you watch the movies.
8. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004)/Novel by J.K. Rowling (1999)
Really all of the Harry Potters could be on this list, but I picked this one because it was my favorite book out of the series AND my favorite movie of the series. I might be a Alfonso Cuaron fan (see #6).
9. How The Grinch Stole Christmas (1966)/Novel by Dr. Seuss (1957)
I love the cartoon version of The Grinch. It is a classic, but also a straight reading of book itself. Plus, "You're A Mean One, Mr. Grinch" is pure awesome. (Incidentally, if I did do a worst list, Jim Carrey's version would top it. I just pretend that movie never happened)
10. Watership Down (1978)/Novel by Richard Adams (1972)
First of all, even though I watched the animated movie many times as a kid (what? I liked rabbits!) it is definitely NOT a kids movie. There are some very disturbing parts, but that is kind of the point. The movie follows the book pretty closely and has the same feel. The book gives a few of the more minor characters more personality and I liked that part. But overall, I think this is a love it or hate it scenario. Either way, the adaptation is still really good.