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Top 10 Films Based on Books

There’s no denying that some of the best movies started out as books.  From the recently released Perks of Being a Wallflower to the much anticipated release of the movie, The Hobbit, there are hundreds of films that made their first debut on the shelves of libraries and book stores.  To celebrate some of the best films based on books, I’ve put together my list of top 10 films based on books.


Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory

The movie is based on the 1964 novel, Charlie and The Chocolate Factory, by Roald Dahl.  The story follows poor Charlie Bucket as he discovers a golden ticket tucked inside is Wonka Bar.  The ticket it takes him on an amazing adventure to the Willy Wonka chocolate factory.


The Hunger Games

Based on the best-selling book by Susanne Collins, the movie The Hunger Games follows Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) as a tribute in the dystopic Capitol’s hunger games, a fight to the death on live television.  Although, there are a few differences in the film than the book, the movie is just as engaging and really brings the characters to life.


To Kill a Mocking Bird

Originally published in 1960, the Pulitzer Prize winning novel, To Kill a Mocking Bird was written by Harper Lee. The film features a Southern lawyer, Atticus Finch (Gregory Peck) and his children who face hatred for defending a black man accused of rape.  Gregory Peck won an Oscar for his performance in this powerful film based on a book.


The Wizard of Oz

Based on L. Frank Baum’s 1900 novel, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, the movie stars Judy Garland as a Kansas farm girl named Dorothy Gale.  Although, the movie doesn’t include all the challenges Dorothy faced in the book, it does stay true to the story. In the movie, a tornado sweeps Dorothy away to a different land where she makes new friends and a few enemies on her way to Emerald City.


The Color Purple

The film is based on the Alice Walker novel which won the 1983 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. The film follows the life of Celie (Whoopi Goldberg), a young black woman growing up in the southern United States. Directed by Stephen Spielberg,  the movie was nominated for 11 Academy Awards.


The Shawshank Redemption

Based on the Stephen King novella, Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption, the movie finds the well-known banker Andrew Dufresne (Tim Robbins) accused for the murder of his wife. He is sent to Shawshank Prison and forced to endure the unpleasant realities of life as a prisioner.  Despite his situation, he remains positive and gains the respect of his fellow inmates while devising a plan to live life on his own terms.


The Godfather

One of the greatest films of all time, this movie had to make my list of top films based on a book. The crime novel published in 1969 written by Italian American writer, Mario Puzo, serves as the guide for the film sharing the same name. The Academy Award winning film was directed by Francis Ford Coppola and stars Marlon Brando as Vito Corleone and Al Pacino as Michael Corleone, both members of a powerful crime family in New York.  


Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

The first film in the Harry Potter series of novels written by J.K. Rowling, the movie follows young Harry Potter, a seemingly ordinary 11-year old boy living in with his ruthless aunt and uncle. His real adventure begins when he is invited to attend Hogwarts School for Witchcraft and Wizardry. Although, I still prefer the book, the movie is an enjoyable watch.


Schindler’s List

The film won seven academy awards and is based off the Booker Prize-winning novel published in 1982 by Thomas Keneally. A true story about Oskar Shindler, a member of the Nazi Party, saved the lives of over 1100 Jews during the Holocaust. It’s a powerful movies that showcases that one person can make a difference in the lives of many.


The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring

The Academy Award winning film, The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring is based upon the first volume of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings.  Directed by Peter Jackson, and the first film in the trilogy is still one of my favorites.


What films based on books would make your top 10 list? Share your list in the comments below.


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