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Good book, bad film

35 dubious book-to-film adaptations

Hollywood directors just can't leave great books alone, always striving for the next big movie adaptation of classic works of literature or modern bestsellers. While some tomes scream out for the silver screen - such as runaway successes Gone With Wind and American Psycho, other great works of literature should stay firmly on the shelf.

From Brian de Palma's movie massacre of Tom Wolfe's Bonfire of the Vanities to the cinematic slaying of Dr. Seuss' classic How the Grinch Stole Christmas! take a look at 35 books that had their contents sullied by an awful movie remake.

Click an image below to open the gallery, then let us know if you agree with our choices on Twitter.

Words: Anna Pollitt

Picture credit: Rex Features

  • Good Book, Bad Film

    Good Book, Bad Film

    The Book: The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel… More details

    Good Book, Bad Film

    Good Book, Bad Film

    The Book: The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne

    The Film: The Scarlet Letter (1995)

    "To be sure he's punishing you, woman. He be giving you a child."

  • Good Book, Bad Film

    Good Book, Bad Film

    The Book: The Bonfire of the Vanities by Tom… More details

    Good Book, Bad Film

    Good Book, Bad Film

    The Book: The Bonfire of the Vanities by Tom Wolfe

    The Film: The Bonfire of the Vanities (1990)

    "Oh Christ, Sherman, we're in the middle of a godamn war zone and you're worried about doing the right thing?"

  • Good Book, Bad Film

    Good Book, Bad Film

    The Book: The Great Gatsby by F. Scott… More details

    Good Book, Bad Film

    Good Book, Bad Film

    The Book: The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

    The Film: The Great Gatsby (1974)

    "There was music from my neighbor's house through those summer nights. In his enchanted gardens, men and girls came and went like moths, among the whispering and the champagne and the stars."

  • Good Book, Bad Film

    Good Book, Bad Film

    The Book: Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn… More details

    Good Book, Bad Film

    Good Book, Bad Film

    The Book: Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh

    The Film: Brideshead Revisited (2008)

    "Charles! You're to come away at once. I've got a basket of strawberries and a bottle of Chateau Peyraguey, which isn't a wine you've ever tasted so don't pretend."

  • Good Book, Bad Film

    Good Book, Bad Film

    The Book: Beloved by Toni Morrison The Film:… More details

    Good Book, Bad Film

    Good Book, Bad Film

    The Book: Beloved by Toni Morrison

    The Film: Beloved (1998)

    "And the beat, beat, of your heart ... Love it. More than the lungs that need yet to breathe free air. More than the womb, which holds life. More than the private parts that give life. Love your heart. This ... this is the prize. Amen. This the prize ... Amen!"

  • Good Book, Bad Film

    Good Book, Bad Film

    The Book: How the Grinch Stole Christmas! by Dr.… More details

    Good Book, Bad Film

    Good Book, Bad Film

    The Book: How the Grinch Stole Christmas! by Dr. Seuss

    The Film: How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000)

    "Are you having a holly, jolly Christmas?"

  • Good Book, Bad Film

    Good Book, Bad Film

    The Book: The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa… More details

    Good Book, Bad Film

    Good Book, Bad Film

    The Book: The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregor

    The Film: The Other Boylen Girl (2008)

    "Younger than me, more beautiful than me, married before me. I'm eclipsed. I'm the other Boleyn girl."

  • Good Book, Bad Film

    Good Book, Bad Film

    The Book: The Iliad by Homer The Film: Troy… More details

    Good Book, Bad Film

    Good Book, Bad Film

    The Book: The Iliad by Homer

    The Film: Troy (2004)

    "I've fought many wars in my time. Some I've fought for land, some for power, some for glory. I suppose fighting for love makes more sense than all the rest."

  • Good Book, Bad Film

    Good Book, Bad Film

    The Book: The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret… More details

    Good Book, Bad Film

    Good Book, Bad Film

    The Book: The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

    The Film: The Handmaid’s Tale (1990)

    "You are the lucky ones. You are going to serve God and country. I pronounce you handmaids."

  • Good Book, Bad Film

    Good Book, Bad Film

    The Book: Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan… More details

    Good Book, Bad Film

    Good Book, Bad Film

    The Book: Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift

    The Film: Gulliver's Travels (2010)

    "I'm not doing this. You got me in a diaper and a dress. I'm not doing tea time with you! Go find another doll!"

  • Good Book, Bad Film

    Good Book, Bad Film

    The Book: Captain Corelli's Mandolin by Louis de… More details

    Good Book, Bad Film

    Good Book, Bad Film

    The Book: Captain Corelli's Mandolin by Louis de Bernières

    The Film: Captain Corelli's Mandolin (2001)

    "Once, my heart was overflowing with love for you, but now all I feel is emptiness. And I think it was all just a pretense, that I never loved you at all."

  • Good Book, Bad Film

    Good Book, Bad Film

    The Book: The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre… More details

    Good Book, Bad Film

    Good Book, Bad Film

    The Book: The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas

    The Film: The Count of Monte Cristo (2002)

  • Good Book, Bad Film

    Good Book, Bad Film

    The Book: Moll Flanders by Daniel Defoe The Film:… More details

    Good Book, Bad Film

    Good Book, Bad Film

    The Book: Moll Flanders by Daniel Defoe

    The Film: Moll Flanders (1996)

    "She slept with hundreds of men. Feel it! She's a bitch and a trollop and I hate you!"

  • Good Book, Bad Film

    Good Book, Bad Film

    The Book: Great Expectations by Charles… More details

    Good Book, Bad Film

    Good Book, Bad Film

    The Book: Great Expectations by Charles Dickens

    The Film: Great Expectations (1998)

    "If this isn't love, I don't think I can handle the real thing."

  • Good Book, Bad Film

    Good Book, Bad Film

    The Book: Northern Lights by Philip Pullman The… More details

    Good Book, Bad Film

    Good Book, Bad Film

    The Book: Northern Lights by Philip Pullman

    The Film: The Golden Compass (2007)

    "There are many universes and many Earths parallel to each other. Worlds like yours, where people's souls live inside their bodies, and worlds like mine, where they walk beside us, as animal spirits we call daemons."

  • Good Book, Bad Film

    Good Book, Bad Film

    The Book: Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas by… More details

    Good Book, Bad Film

    Good Book, Bad Film

    The Book: Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas by Hunter S. Thompson

    The Film: Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (1998)

    "There he goes. One of God's own prototypes. A high-powered mutant of some kind never even considered for mass production. Too weird to live, and too rare to die."

  • Good Book, Bad Film

    Good Book, Bad Film

    The Book: Running with Scissors by Augusten… More details

    Good Book, Bad Film

    Good Book, Bad Film

    The Book: Running with Scissors by Augusten Burroughs

    The Film: Running with Scissors (2006)

    "When I become a very famous woman, they'll write that I had a son who was a writer too, who doesn't compare to my brilliance. I want more for you than that."

  • Good Book, Bad Film

    Good Book, Bad Film

    The Book: Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy The Film:… More details

    Good Book, Bad Film

    Good Book, Bad Film

    The Book: Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy

    The Film: Anna Karenina (1997)

    "You know that I have come to be where you are. I cannot help myself."

  • Good Book, Bad Film

    Good Book, Bad Film

    The Book: I, Robo by by Isaac Asimov The Film:… More details

    Good Book, Bad Film

    Good Book, Bad Film

    The Book: I, Robo by by Isaac Asimov

    The Film: I, Robot (2004)

    "I think you murdered him because he was teaching you to simulate emotions and things got out of control."

  • Good Book, Bad Film

    Good Book, Bad Film

    The Book: Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth… More details

    Good Book, Bad Film

    Good Book, Bad Film

    The Book: Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert

    The Film: Eat, Pray, Love (2010)

    "Maybe my life hasn't been so chaotic. It's just the world that is and the only real trap is getting attached to any of it. Ruin is a gift. Ruin is the road to transformation."

  • Good Book, Bad Film

    Good Book, Bad Film

    The Book: The Three Musketeers by Alexandre… More details

    Good Book, Bad Film

    Good Book, Bad Film

    The Book: The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas

    The Film: The Musketeer (2001)

    "Bless me Father, for I will sin. One night I will come for you."

  • Good Book, Bad Film

    Good Book, Bad Film

    The Book: Hard Sell: The Evolution of a Viagra… More details

    Good Book, Bad Film

    Good Book, Bad Film

    The Book: Hard Sell: The Evolution of a Viagra Salesman by Jamie Reidy

    The Film: Love & Other Drugs (2010)

    "This isn't about connection for you. This isn't even about sex for you. This is about finding an hour or two of relief from the pain of being you. And that's fine with me, see, because all I want is the exact same thing."

  • Good Book, Bad Film

    Good Book, Bad Film

    The Book: The Human Stain by Philip Roth The… More details

    Good Book, Bad Film

    Good Book, Bad Film

    The Book: The Human Stain by Philip Roth

    The Film: The Human Stain (2000)

    "1998 was the summer of sanctimony. After the fall of Communism and before the horrors of terrorism, there was a brief interlude when the nation was preoccupied by cock sucking."

  • Good Book, Bad Film

    Good Book, Bad Film

    The Book: Endless Love by Scott Spencer The Film:… More details

    Good Book, Bad Film

    Good Book, Bad Film

    The Book: Endless Love by Scott Spencer

    The Film: Endless Love (1981)

    "Hearing what happened from Ann was like the difference between seeing your face in a mirror and seeing it in a photograph.”

  • Good Book, Bad Film

    Good Book, Bad Film

    The Book: Message in a Bottle by Nicholas… More details

    Good Book, Bad Film

    Good Book, Bad Film

    The Book: Message in a Bottle by Nicholas Sparks

    The Film: Message in a Bottle (1999)

    "If some lives form a perfect circle, others take shape in ways we cannot predict or always understand. Loss has been a part of my journey. But it has also shown me what is precious. So has a love for which I can only be grateful."

  • Good Book, Bad Film

    Good Book, Bad Film

    The Book: The Time Machine by H.G. Wells The… More details

    Good Book, Bad Film

    Good Book, Bad Film

    The Book: The Time Machine by H.G. Wells

    The Film: The Time Machine (2002)

    "We all have our time machines, don't we. Those that take us back are memories ... And those that carry us forward, are dreams. "

  • Good Book, Bad Film

    Good Book, Bad Film

    The Book: The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by… More details

    Good Book, Bad Film

    Good Book, Bad Film

    The Book: The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams.

    The Film: The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (2005)

    "It is most gratifying that your enthusiasm for our planet continues unabated. As a token of our appreciation, we hope you will enjoy the two thermonuclear missiles we've just sent to converge with your craft. To ensure ongoing quality of service, your death may be monitored for training purposes. Thank you."

  • Good Book, Bad Film

    Good Book, Bad Film

    The Book: Memoirs Of A Geisha by Arthur… More details

    Good Book, Bad Film

    Good Book, Bad Film

    The Book: Memoirs Of A Geisha by Arthur Golden

    The Film: Memoirs Of A Geisha (2005)

    "At the temple, there is a poem called "Loss" carved into the stone. It has three words, but the poet has scratched them out. You cannot read Loss, only feel it."

  • Good Book, Bad Film

    Good Book, Bad Film

    The Book: The War of the Worlds by H.G.… More details

    Good Book, Bad Film

    Good Book, Bad Film

    The Book: The War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells

    The Film: War of the Worlds (2005)

    "There he is. Hey, Robbie. You got a hug? A confusing handshake? Kick in the teeth? The door's locked."

  • Good Book, Bad Film

    Good Book, Bad Film

    The Book: Animal Farm by George Orwell The Film:… More details

    Good Book, Bad Film

    Good Book, Bad Film

    The Book: Animal Farm by George Orwell

    The Film: Animal Farm (1954)

    "No animal shall kill another animal. All animals are equal."

  • Good Book, Bad Film

    Good Book, Bad Film

    The Book: The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk… More details

    Good Book, Bad Film

    Good Book, Bad Film

    The Book: The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd

    The Film: The Secret Life of Bees (2008)

    "I killed my mother when I was four years old. She was all I ever wanted and I took her away."

  • Good Book, Bad Film

    Good Book, Bad Film

    The Book: The Beach by Alex Garland The Film: The… More details

    Good Book, Bad Film

    Good Book, Bad Film

    The Book: The Beach by Alex Garland

    The Film: The Beach (2000)

    "Just keep your mind open and suck in the experience. And if it hurts, you know what? It's probably worth it."

  • Good Book, Bad Film

    Good Book, Bad Film

    The Book: The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown The… More details

    Good Book, Bad Film

    Good Book, Bad Film

    The Book: The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown

    The Film: The Da Vinci Code (2006)

    "The more penises you have, the higher your rank."

  • Good Book, Bad Film

    Good Book, Bad Film

    The Book: Fever Pitch by Nick Hornby The Film:… More details

    Good Book, Bad Film

    Good Book, Bad Film

    The Book: Fever Pitch by Nick Hornby

    The Film: The Perfect Catch (2005)

    "You do this thing ... it's so cute I wanna kill myself."

  • Good Book, Bad Film

    Good Book, Bad Film

    The Book: The Time Traveller's Wife by Audrey… More details

    Good Book, Bad Film

    Good Book, Bad Film

    The Book: The Time Traveller's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger

    The Film: The Time Traveller's Wife (2009)

    "Is your wife a time traveler?"

Tags: books, films

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