Five Books With… Successful Films Based On Them

Not going to lie, it took me longer than I’d like to admit to work out how to phrase this title! As much as I like my Five Books With… theme, I’d shot myself in the foot a bit here. Oh well.

It’s been a while since I did one of my Five Books With… posts, and I thought now was as good a time as any to bring it into the new year. I’m obviously a big book lover, but I do love a good film too, and books that have been made into films always interest me as I’m curious as to how they will translate, will this scene work well, how will they handle this controversial moment, etc. I’m hardly a movie buff to the level I am with books, but I keep an eye on films I might enjoy because of books.

Not all of these are recent films – or books, for that matter – but I wanted to stick to five that I’ve both read and seen. I’d love to hear your input after.

To Kill A Mockingbird – Harper Lee
I first read this classic when I was about 13, and it was my favourite book for a long while. It was actually my English teacher who let me borrow her DVD copy of the famous 1962 film after I mentioned I had read the book. We didn’t study it in class but she was always a very encouraging energy when it came to loving reading. I remember the film really hitting me hard; where the book had been hard hitting in itself, the translation to the screen was like a punch to the gut. It makes you feel uncomfortable, and it should.

Harry Potter – J. K. Rowling
There’s no way these eight films couldn’t be included when it comes to successful films. There’s a whole day out at the studios as proof of that. Full of props of bits of set including the Hogwarts Express, the studios are a wonderful example of how even when the movies are imperfect, a successful film can bring in more fans to a fandom as well as pleasing those that originally loved the books.

The Lord of The Rings – J. R. R. Tolkien
Another set of books I read in my teens, I remember watching the films at the cinema, and feeling like I was a real rebel as I was only 11 in a 12 rated film. As I think has been made obvious over the time I’ve been blogging as well as just in this post, I read quite a lot of classics, and working my way through these very description heavy books was worth it to know the extra detail when it came to seeing things on the screen.

Frankenstein – Mary Shelly
There’s been numerous versions of Frankenstein translated to screen, and this is one of the only films I’ve watched before I finished the book, as we read it in class and watched bits to complement what we were reading. I’m not sure which version it was that we watched in school, but the childbirth scene scared me enough that a few years later when I was giving birth, I was sure I was going to die. Not a film I’ve been able to rewatch since having my son!

The Hunger Games – Suzanne Collins
This young adult dystopian sci-fi didn’t come into my life until early last year, with the films quickly following as soon as I had read the books. There are some major differences between screen and page, but both are still brilliant, and still increasingly successful. With the release of The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, both books and films shot to focus once again, and, regardless of your opinion of the prequel, it’s certainly interesting to see the impact it has had on the original trilogy of books and four films.

What’s the first successful book-to-screen you think of? Do you have strong opinions on movie versions of books? I want to hear all about it!

6 Comments

  1. I love watching adaptations of books! The Hunger Games is one of my favourites – and I also really enjoyed the TV series of Looking For Alaska and The Miniaturist, they stayed so close to the books!

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