A simple research will revel before you the fact that most of the good movies were originally written as novels or books. Movie makers have been constantly borrowing ideas from classics or bestselling novels and manipulating them to come up with outstanding cinema. At least 20-30 movies released every year across the world are based on books. Some people might not like that every good movie they see is an adaptation from a novel, probably because they fancy original ideas. Still, it is not a bad thing to borrow ideas and execute them in your own way. Here is a list of Top 10 novels that made their way to the silver screen.
10. The Wonderful Wizard of Oz:
This fantasy adventure flick is based on the 1900 novel, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, by L. Frank Baum. Dorothy Gale is the central character who lives with her family in Kansas. A terrible tornado strikes their farm and Dorothy gets swept to this place called “Land of Oz”. During her visit in that mysterious place she meets various interesting characters who she befriends. The Good Witch of the north tells her that she has to take help from the Wizard of Oz to get back home. Her journey in that land and her quest to find a way back home is what forms the crux of the story.
9. Gone with the Wind:
Gone with the Wind is a classic American romantic movie based on the 1936 novel by Margaret Mitchell. The novel was very well received by the public and the critics; it also won a Pulitzer Prize. The movie revolves around the time of American Civil war. An opportunistic Scarlett, the protagonist, desperately wants to get married to Ashley but he marries his cousin Melanie. Scarlett even tries to win him over even after his marriage but Ashley was not pleased at all. It is the story of a woman’s quest to brave all odds even if it requires ways unethical.
8. Life of Pi:
The movie is based on Man Booker winning novel by Yann Martel, published in 2001. The protagonist of the movie, Piscine Molitor “Pi” Patel, lives in Pondicherry. Pi’s father owns a zoo and due to some land issues, he decides to sell the animals and live a better life in Canada. The whole family dies in a shipwreck and luckily Pi escapes in a lifeboat with a few animals. He survives in the sea for 227 days before he lands somewhere near Mexico. Pi tells people the story but no one would believe him. He then reframes it by changing the animals with a few characters. Life of Pi has been lauded as a compelling narrative about the presence of God.
7. To Kill a Mockingbird:
Harper Lee’s 1960 Pulitzer Prize winning novel, To kill a Mockingbird, is known as a masterpiece of modern literature. The story is based in Alabama in the time when there was still racial discrimination against blacks. The central character is a lawyer named Atticus Finch who dares to stand against prejudice about coloured people. He defends a black man against a charge of rape. Despite people’s attempt to pull him out of the case, he sticks with his decision to protect the guy.
6. The Silence of the Lambs:
The thriller novel by the same name was written by Thomas Harris in 1988. The movie was released in 1991 and won Academy Awards in five categories. The film upped the importance of the novel with the portrayal of Hannibal Lecter by Sir Anthony Hopkins. Lecter is shown as a cannibalistic serial killer who was once a respected psychiatrist. To catch him and understand his psychology, FBI sends a young agent Clarice Starling. Silence of the Lambs is believed to be one of the best known movies of all time.
5. Forrest Gump:
This Tom Hanks starrer was adapted from the 1986 novel written by Winston Groom. On the silver screen this movie displays various events in the life of the protagonist Forrest Gump, a dim-witted personality. Forrest has miraculous athletic abilities but is not on the intelligent side and that’s what lands him in some of the historic moments in the story. His journey from childhood to adulthood has been portrayed lucidly in the film. The film also has a lot of hilarious references to real-life events like the development of smiley, the “shit happens” campaign and the Vietnam War. The movie shows how much rollercoaster of a life one can have.
4. The Lord of the Rings:
This epic trilogy is regarded as the finest high-fantasy films ever made, and it took over eight years! The films The Fellowship of the Ring (2001), The Two Towers (2002) and The Return of the King (2003) are based on the novels of the same name written between 1937 and 1949 by J.R.R. Tolkien. The movie gained immense box office success like the novel which is second bestselling novel of all times.
3. One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest:
The novel was written by Ken Kesey in 1962 and the movie was released in 1975. It was the second movie to sweep all top five academy awards including Best Picture, Actor in Lead Role, Actress in Lead Role, Director and Screenplay. The novel is based in Oregon State Hospital where the lead character “Mac” is sent for rape charges of a 15-year-old girl. Mac strictly hates the authorities and defies the rules many times during his stay. Mac is also loved by fellow prisoners for the shares happiness and words of wisdom but the authorities want to “rein in” Mac.
2. Fight Club:
Chuck Palahniuk wrote the novel of the same name in 1996. Edward Norton is the central character in the movie, unnamed in the novel. Norton’s character is an insomniac and the doctor refuses him to give medication. He quits his job to start an underground club with Tyler Durden, a character played by Brad Pitt, who makes soap. The film and the novel deal with the depths of the human mind.
1. The Godfather:
The Godfather is still considered as a standard for movies made worldwide. This epic crime movie is based on the 1969 novel written by Mario Puzo. The silver screen version of the book starred high-profile actors like Marlon Brando and Al Pacino. The movie revolves around New York mafia scene in the post World War II era and bagged three Oscars – Best Picture, Best Actor and Best Adapted screenplay.