Books

100 best films based on books

Posted by
Abi Jackson
Published

From Lionel Shriver’s We Need to Talk About Kevin to One Day by David Nicholls, there are several must-see book-to-movie adaptations coming up this year.

Book-to-movie adaptions divide opinion. Some of us relish the satisfaction of seeing iconic characters and stories brought to life on the big screen - in a way that honours (rather than altering or sensationalising) the original text, storyline and characters. Others feel strongly that the adaption never lives up to the original story. Which is why Stylist has decided to put together a selection of the best 100 book-to-film adaptations.

Do you agree with our choices? Click on an image below to launch the gallery.

Picture credit: Rex Features

  • Breakfast at Tiffany's (1961)

    Based on the novella Breakfast at Tiffany's by Truman Capote (1958).

  • The Devil Wears Prada (2006)

    Based on the book The Devil Wears Prada by Lauren Weisberger (2003).

    Picture credit: TM & copyright 20th Century Fox.

  • Revolutionary Road (2008)

    Based on the book Revolutionary Road by Richard Yates (1961).

  • Atonement (2007)

    Based on the book Atonement by Ian McEwan (2001).

  • Doctor Zhivago (1965)

    Based on the book Doctor Zhivago by Boris Pasternak (1957).

  • The Godfather (1972)

    Based on the book The Godfather by Mario Puzo (1969).

  • Bridget Jones's Diary (2001)

    Based on the book Bridget Jones's Diary by Helen Fielding (1996).

  • One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975)

    Based on the book One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest by Ken Kesey (1962).

  • Gone With The Wind (1939)

    Based on the book Gone With The Wind by Margaret Mitchell (1936).

  • Jaws (1975)

    Based on the book Jaws by Peter Benchley (1974).

  • The English Patient (1996)

    Based on the book The English Patient by Michael Ondaatje (1992).

  • Schindler's List (1993)

    Based on the book Schindler's Ark by Thomas Keneally (1982).

  • The Color Purple (1985)

    Based on the book The Color Purple by Alice Walker (1982).

  • Forrest Gump (1994)

    Based on the book Forrest Gump by Winston Groom (1986).

  • The Shining (1980)

    Based on the book The Shining by Stephen King (1977).

  • Out of Africa (1985)

    Based on the memoirs Out of Africa by Isak Dinesen (1937).

  • A Clockwork Orange (1971)

    Based on the novella A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess (1962).

  • Million Dollar Baby (2004)

    Adapted from the collection of short stories Rope Burns: Stories from the Corner by F.X. Toole (the pen name of boxing trainer Jerry Boyd) (2000).

  • Charlotte's Web (2006)

    Based on the book Charlotte's Web by E. B. White (1952).

  • Brokeback Mountain (2005)

    Based on the short story Brokeback Mountain by Annie Proulx (1997).

  • Fried Green Tomatoes (1991)

    Based on the book Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe by Fannie Flagg (1987).

  • The Last King of Scotland (2006)

    Based on the book The Last King of Scotland by Giles Foden (1998).

    Photo credit: TM & copyright 20th Century Fox.

  • The Pianist (2002)

    Based on the autobiography The Pianist by Władysław Szpilman (1998). The film was adapted from Szpilman's original autobiography Śmierć miasta (Death of a City) which was released on limited publication due to the political environment in Warsaw in 1946 and then republished in English and other languages in 1997.

  • The Remains of the Day (1993)

    Based on the book The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro (1989).

  • The Jungle Book (1967)

    Based on a collection of stories titled The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling (1894).

  • The Constant Gardener (2005)

    Based on the book The Constant Gardener by John le Carré (2001).

  • Blow (2001)

    Based on the book Blow: How a Small Town Boy Made $100 Million with the Medellín Cocaine Cartel and Lost It All by Bruce Porter (1993).

  • The Green Mile (1999)

    Based on the novel The Green Mile by Stephen King (1996).

  • The Notebook (2004)

    Based on The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks (1996).

  • The Kite Runner (2007)

    Based on the novel The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini (2003).

  • Girl, Interrupted (1999)

    Based on the memoir Girl, Interrupted by Susanna Kaysen (1993).

  • The Silence of the Lambs (1991)

    Based on the novel The Silence of the Lambs by Thomas Harris (1988).

  • To Kill a Mockingbird (1962)

    Based on the novel To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee (1960).

  • Jurassic Park (1993)

    Based on the book Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton (1993).

  • The Talented Mr. Ripley (1999)

    Based on the novel The Talented Mr. Ripley by Patricia Highsmith (1955).

  • The Other Boleyn Girl (2008)

    Based on the book The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory (2002).

  • A Room with a View (1985)

    Based on the book A Room with a View by E. M. Forster (1908).

  • Memoirs of a Geisha (2005)

    Based on the book Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden (1997).

  • The Railway Children (1970)

    Based on the book The Railway Children by Edith Nesbit (1906).

  • The Reader (2008)

    Based on the book The Reader by Bernhard Schlink (1995).

  • Legends of the Fall (1994)

    Based on the novella Legends of the Fall by Jim Harrison (1979).

  • Cold Mountain (2003)

    Based on the novel Cold Mountain by Charles Frazier (1997).

  • The Exorcist (1973)

    Based on the book The Exorcist by William Peter Blatty (1971).

  • The Last of the Mohicans (1992)

    Based on the novel The Last of the Mohicans: A Narrative of 1757 by James Fenimore Cooper (1826).

  • Empire of the Sun (1987)

    Based on the book Empire of the Sun by by J. G. Ballard (1984).

  • The Graduate (1967)

    Based on the book The Graduate by Charles Webb (1963).

  • Sense and Sensibility (1995)

    Based on the novel Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen (1811).

  • Confessions of a Shopaholic (2009)

    Based on the Shopaholic series by Sophie Kinsella starting with The Secret Dreamworld of a Shopaholic (2000).

  • The Virgin Suicides (1999)

    Based on the debut novel The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides (1993).

  • Trainspotting (1996)

    Based on the debut novel Trainspotting by Irvine Welsh (1993).

  • The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2009)

    Based on the book The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson, published in Sweden in 2005 and in the UK in 2008.

  • American Psycho (2000)

    Based on the book American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis (1991).

  • Babe (1995)

    Based on the book The Sheep-Pig (or Babe: The Gallant Pig in the US) by Dick King-Smith (1983).

  • Blade Runner (1982)

    Loosely based on the novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick (1968).

  • Fight Club (1999)

    Based on the book Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk (1996).

  • The Hours (2002)

    Based on the novel The Hours by Michael Cunningham (1998).

  • Born Free (1966)

    Based on the book Born Free by Joy Adamson (1960).

  • The Firm (1993)

    Based on the book The Firm by John Grisham (1991).

  • The Social Network (2010)

    Based on the book The Accidental Billionaires: The Founding of Facebook, A Tale of Sex, Money, Genius, and Betrayal by Ben Mezrich (2009).

  • Precious (2009)

    Based on the debut novel Push by Sapphire (1996).

  • Goodfellas (1990)

    Adapted from the book Wiseguy by Nicholas Pileggi (1986).

  • Lolita (1962)

    Based on the novel Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov (1955).

  • The Quiet American (2002)

    Based on the book The Quiet American by Graham Greene (1955).

  • Where The Wild Things Are (2009)

    Based on the children's picture book Where The Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak (1963).

  • Little Women (1994)

    Based on the novel Little Women by Louisa May Alcott (1868).

  • Goldfinger (1964)

    Based on the book Goldfinger by Ian Fleming (1959).

  • Interview with the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles (1994)

    Based on the book Interview with the Vampire by Anne Rice (1976).

  • Apocalypse Now (1979)

    Based on the novella Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad (1902).

  • Sophie's Choice (1982)

    Based on the novel Sophie's Choice by William Styron (1979).

  • The Shawshank Redemption (1994)

    Based on the novella Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption from the collection Different Seasons by Stephen King (1982).

  • It's a Wonderful Life (1946)

    Based on short story The Greatest Gift by Philip Van Doren Stern (1943).

  • The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001)

    Based on the first volume of The Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkien (1954).

  • Apollo 13 (1995)

    Based on the book Lost Moon: The Perilous Voyage of Apollo 13 by Jim Lovell and Jeffrey Kluger (1994).

  • Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005)

    Based on the book Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl (1964).

  • Die Hard (1988)

    Based on the book Nothing Lasts Forever by Roderick Thorp (1979).

    Photo credit: TM & copyright 20th Century Fox.

  • Wuthering Heights (1992)

    Based on the novel Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë (1847).

  • Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (2001)

    Based on the first novel in the Harry Potter series, Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone by J. K. Rowling (1997).

  • Water For Elephants (2011)

    Based on the book Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen (2006).

  • Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (1998)

    Based on the book Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas: A Savage Journey to the Heart of the American Dream by Hunter S. Thompson (1972).

  • Rebecca (1940)

    Based on the novel Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier.

  • L.A. Confidential (1997)

    Based on the novel L.A. Confidential by James Ellroy (1990).

  • Tess of the D'Urbervilles (1924)

    Based on the book Tess of the d'Urbervilles: A Pure Woman Faithfully Presented by Thomas Hardy (1891).

  • Alice in Wonderland (2010)

    Based on the novel Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll (1865).

  • Great Expectations (1946)

    Based on the novel Great Expectations by Charles Dickens (1860).

  • The Perfect Storm (2000)

    Based on the book The Perfect Storm by Sebastian Junger (1997).

  • The Wizard of Oz (1939)

    Based on the children's book The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum (1900).

  • Circle of Friends (1995)

    Based on the book Circle of Friends by Maeve Binchy (1990).

  • A Time to Kill (1996)

    Based on the book A Time to Kill by John Grisham (1989).

  • Emma (1996)

    Based on the novel Emma by Jane Austen (1815).

  • A River Runs Through It (1992)

    Based on the semi-autobiographical collection A River Runs Through It and Other Stories by Norman Maclean (1976).

  • Lord of the Flies (1990)

    Based on the book Lord of the Flies by William Golding (1954).

  • 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)

    Based on the novel 2001: A Space Odyssey by Arthur C. Clarke (1968).

  • Brighton Rock (1947)

    Based on the book Brighton Rock by Graham Greene (1938).

  • The Princess Bride (1987)

    Based on the book The Princess Bride by William Goldman (1973).

    Photo credit: TM & copyright 20th Century Fox.

  • The Accidental Tourist (1988)

    Based on the book The Accidental Tourist by Anne Tyler (1985).

  • Munich (2005)

    Based on the book Vengeance: The True Story of an Israeli Counter-Terrorist Team by George Jonas (1984).

  • The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (2005)

    Based on the book The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C. S. Lewis (1950).

  • Once Upon a Time in America (1984)

    Based on the book The Hoods by Harry Grey (1952).

  • Of Mice and Men (1992)

    Based on the book Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck (1937).

  • Mrs. Doubtfire (1993)

    Based on the book Madame Doubtfire by Anne Fine (1987).

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