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8 Must See Book-To-Film Adaptations

Jenny Kim |
August 13, 2014 | 11:28 a.m. PDT

Staff Reporter

When words inspire its reader to fashion images, books become the stepping-stone to a much “bigger picture”. Throughout the past several decades, Hollywood has famously adapted renowned short stories and books into large motion pictures. In honor of “The Giver” premiering in a few days, we have compiled a list of books that have been famously turned into movies.

READ MORE: 9 Must-See Young Adult Film Adaptations

The Wizard of Oz (1939)

From black and white text in L. Frank Baum’s The Wonderful Wizard of Oz to the first perfected Technicolor film, “The Wizard of Oz” is a film that captures vibrant youth, friendship, and an amazing soundtrack, which features Judy Garland’s angelic voice. As one of American pop culture’s most renowned adventure story, the book adapted film has most certainly followed the yellow brick road to success by moving hearts and entertaining for decades.


To Kill a Mockingbird (1962)

As one of American literature’s most valued novels, To Kill a Mockingbird has been adapted into an equally potent and moving film, which discusses the innocence of childhood and the pressing issues of racial and social inequality prevalent throughout America at the time. Gregory Peck stars in the movie adaptation as a morally grounded lawyer who strives to teach his young kids the importance of preserving ethics and principles. Like the novel, the film inspires whoever has had the privilege to be touched by it.

The Princess Bride (1987)

“The Princess Bride” is an entertaining film for those who can’t choose what genre to watch. This movie has it all. From the romantic love story, to the gripping action, to the ridiculous humor, it is a classic option to be enjoyed by all ages. Cary Elwes brings his character to life through his suave demeanor. The film definitely adds dimension to the novel that inspired the creation of one of America’s cult films.


Sense and Sensibility (1995)

Jane Austen is the queen of romance and melodrama, and in the film industry, no one does it better than the star studded cast of “Sense and Sensibility”. With big names like Kate Winslet, Hugh Grant, Emma Thompson, and Alan Rickman heading the film, the acting served Austen’s renowned novel great justice. Like readers can feel the romance and raw emotion within Austen’s novel, viewers can see the great on-screen chemistry between the actors.


The Perks of Being a Wallflower (2012)

This coming-of-age story penned by Stephen Chbosky is incredibly loved by young adults all over the nation as it provides an unconventional look into the lives of very different and interesting teenagers. Although reading about awkward encounters and uncomfortable situations that the characters deal with is great, nothing is better than visualizing it on screen with the acting of Logan Lerman and Emma Watson and being able to relate to the situations that everyone is all too familiar with.

The Shawshank Redemption (1995)

Stephen King’s short story adapted film “The Shawshank Redemption” is arguably one of Hollywood’s greatest films. Apart from King’s usual horror or thrilling writing style, this story is essentially a message that carries sentiment, loyalty, and friendship of Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman’s characters. Not only does this film provide great insight and perspective into a person’s will to survive, but it also realizes the power of camaraderie.

Les Misérables (2012)

Victor Hugo’s novel of the same name explores the journeys of an ex-convict and the ambiguity of morals in a time torn by war and revolution. Adapted into plays, musicals, and film, the 2012 adaptation has impressed viewers everywhere with raw, tangible emotion that is expressed through song. The musical-film perfectly captures the questions regarding morality, monarchy, and love that Hugo originally poses. Warning: no one will get through this film with dry eyes.

Forrest Gump (1994)

This film has remained one of the most beloved and endearing movies throughout the past couple decades that many viewers forget that this story is in fact an adaptation of Winston Groom’s novel of the same name. Tom Hanks becomes Forrest Gump and has created one of the most lovable characters in Hollywood film, thanks to Groom and his literary genius.

Reach Staff Reporter Jenny Kim here



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