Books to Movies Adaptations List

In 2004, I began to compile a list of movies I’ve seen based on books I’ve read. I have updated it ever since, and it’s just the ones I can remember because I read many books and watch many films. They are listed by the time I either finished the book or the movie (and I list accordingly which was first). Only things that I have read and seen are on this list. This list is updated periodically a couple times every year when necessary.

Updated: 8 January 2008
Pre-December 2004 (from what I can remember).

The English Patient. Movie first, and I had a hard time getting through the book because of it. Both were well done, but does that really matter?

A Walk to Remember. Book first; I think. Nicholas Sparks is overrated, but the movie wasn’t that bad.

Holes. Book first; Not a bad adaption, but great book.

The Unbearable Lightness of Being. Movie 1st. I loved them both feverently. The movie is darkly sensual, and the book is provocative and philosophical.

Peter Pan. Book 1st. My childhood favourite, and a wonderful adaption to it (2003 version of course).

Girl With A Pearl Earring. Book 1st. It was nice, but not great. The movie is a delight to look at.

The Hours. Movie 1st. I liked them both, and the movie makes everyone I know cry incoherently.

The Harry Potter series. Books 1st. TBD.

High Fidelity. Book 1st; I loved both of them. Shrewd and witty in both. Gotta lock Cusack.

About a Boy. Book 1st; I liked them both equally as all Hornby books are adapted really well and to the justice of the books.

Lord of the Rings. Technically Books first, but I’m actually not quite done the trilogy. The movies go faster.

Wuthering Heights. Book 1st; I hated Catherine more in the book. Still, the book is better even with Olivier as Heathcliff. Mmm.

Anna Karenina. Movie 1st (Sophie Marceau version); I read the book; one of my favourites. Then I saw the Greta Garbo version. The Marceau version because the cinematography is beautiful. I love the book.

Catch Me If You Can. Movie 1st; Nice flick, but very interesting memoirs.

Bridget Jones’s Diary. Don’t Remember; Either way I love the book and the movie; can’t wait until the sequel movie.

The Ice Storm. Don’t Remember; Neither were spectacular. S’okay.

The Virgin Suicides. Book 1st. Good movie, but amazing book.

Pride and Prejudice. Book 1st. Love the book, love the Firth edition.

Persuasion. Book 1st. Hinds version was lovely.

December 2004 – February 2005

I forgot to mention all the Shakespeare last time so we’ll start with that.

Romeo and Juliet. Play first. I haven’t seen the the 1960’s one, but I do find Baz Lurhmann’s rather interesting (love Baz). I’m somewhat tired of the play as a whole.

Twelfth Night. Both. I love the 1990’s adaptation and the play which is probably my favourite of his comedies.

Macbeth. Play first. I really can’t stand Polanski.

Hamlet. Play first. The Mel Gibson and the Laurence Olivier versions. I do like Olivier.

King Lear. Play first. Laurence Olivier TV version. He was good.

I Capture the Castle. Movie first. One of the best adaptations ever in terms of getting the book’s moods, characters, settings, and themes right. I adore them both so much and equally.

Trainspotting. Book first. Errr, I’m glad I read the book first because it’s much easier to understand than the movie.

East of Eden. Movie first. Damn, I love them both so much.

The Picture of Dorian Gray. Book first. I think the adaptation from the 40s/50s was good for a very good book.

The Complete Jeeves and Wooster. Both. I’ve read all the books, and I really adore the series probably the latter more since the books drove me a bit crazy after awhile.

The Iliad. Book first. Even though I love Greek Myths, I didn’t go crazy for this one, and I liked the movie Troy even less. Loved Peter O’Toole though.

Mitch Albom’s The Five People You Meet in Heaven. Book first. I didn’t like the book that much in that it was cheesey with the right messages. The movie was much better.

A Wrinkle in Time. Book first. Disney adapted this; it could have been worse.

Vanity Fair. Book first. The movie, though pretty, only reminded me how annoying the book was.

February – December 2005

A Room with a View. Movie first. Love them both, especially the book.

Howards End. Book first. The adaptation did a good job; I love Forster.

Animal Farm. Book first. I didn’t care about seeing this story twice. Once is enough to know Animal Farm.

Jane Eyre. Book first. I’ve seen five adaptations of this. It doesn’t tire me to see the story so much.

Ella Enchanted. Book first. The book is very good. As for the movie, not bad, and Hugh Dancy is cute too.

House of Mirth. Book first. Good adaptation with Gillian Anderson, Anthony Lapaglia, et al.

The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. Book first. Technically, BBC tv series first. I loved that. I also loved the book even with its flaws, the rest of the series not so much. The movie was very good.


Charlie & the Chocolate Factory. Movie, then book, then new movie. Great story, and I prefer the crazy Burton version for some reason.

The Leopard. Book first. Both are so lovely historical pieces. Both are underrated in literature and movies. Oh, Burt Lancaster captured it well. Very good adaptation.

A Clockwork Orange. Book first. Both are disturbing, but like Trainspotting, I recommend reading the book first to get a better sense of it. Still, Kubrick is brilliant.

Age of Innocence. Book first. Daniel Day Lewis always rocks.

The Bridges of Madison County. Book first. The book is so overrated that the corny movie is better by default because Meryl Streep is awesome.

The Da Vinci Code. Book first. Movie was as I expected so not much; it had its moments, music and actors.

The Three Musketeers. Book first. The 1970s movie was okay and the 90s one with Kiefer was meh as well. The book!

Emma. Paltrow movie first, then book, then Beckingsale version. I didn’t like Jeremy Northam’s hat in the former.


The Devil Wears Prada. Book first. Both were boring, at least the movie had some eye candy.

Northanger Abbey. Book first. The ITV adaptation is very enjoyable.

The Ruby in the Smoke. Book first. I adore Pullman’s work; good series and I do like Piper in the lead role.

Where Angels Fear to Tread. Book first. Big Forster fan, the book was alright compared to his others and the movie was well compared to the other adaptations.

Watership Down. Book first. What an amazing book, and not a too shabby animated adaption.

Alice in Wonderland. Book first. The Disney version had this addictive musical tune in it.

84, Charing Cross Road. Book first. Lovely book about bibliophilia with a nice film to boot.

Bridge to Terabithia. Book first. A wonderful book with a pretty good adaptation.

Running with Scissors. Book first. The movie was not great.

Little Children. Book first. Good adaptation.

Stardust. Book first. Fun stuff. Like book and movie.

Rebecca. Movie first. Love Hitchcock, great book.

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