10 Of The Best Book-To-Film Adaptations

From Shelf To Screen: Ten Great Book-To-Film Adaptations

From 'Apocalypse Now' to 'One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest', some of the most iconic films in cinema history are based on works of literature. Yet book-to-film adaptations, by nature, generate a certain amount of debate and cynicism, particularly among those who feel strongly about the original work.

Die-hard literature fans may find it hard to let go of their loyalty to the author's original narrative, feeling that any departure from the book seems like a betrayal. But perhaps even more difficult to reconcile is the contrast between the filmmaker's world and the reader's own adaptation, the one created in their mind's eye while reading the book.

"I didn't expect [insert character's name] to look like that!" is often heard as the audience files out of the cinema during the closing credits of a book adaptation.

If you want a fighting chance of being fulfilled by an adaptation of a book you enjoyed, your own interpretation of the book needs to be left at the door, and the film needs to be viewed on its own merits with the understanding that the narrative has been redeveloped to work in a new medium - film. As film director Jim Jarmusch once said: "It's not where you take [ideas] from, its where you take them to."

Below are ten of the most highly regarded films that have taken a story originated on the page, and transformed it into a work of art for the big screen. While some have stayed reasonably true to the author's vision, others have merely taken the original text as a starting point.

Which of these book-to-film adaptations do you think have made the grade? And which do you prefer - the book or the film?


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