Our Favourite Things: Book to Film Adaptations

 It was hard to pick but here are some of our favourite book to film adaptations. 

10thingstamingI love books. I try to read the book before I see a movie else I can’t form it properly in my imagination and it spoils the book if I do then try to read it. I prefer the stories in book form but these are five of the adaptations we think were great. 


The Taming of The Shrew/10 Things I Hate About You.

Yes, OK, this is essentially a teen movie adapted from one of the great Shakespearian plays. It’s been given a modern twist and is set in a Seattle high school but I just happen to think it’s a great film. There were many Shakespeare references too, (Stafford sisters.)  Of course it’s not a serious film (the part with Can’t Take My Eyes off You is testament to that,) but it’s funny and by the end, you have a warm fuzzy heart-warming feeling. Plus there was Heath Ledger. It was worth watching just for him.  A fun, tongue in cheek, light-hearted adaptation that you can re-watch and still love – definitely one of our favourites.

(The Taming of the Shrew: William Shakespeare, Folger Shakespeare Library. 10 Things I Hate About You: Touchstone/Buena Vista, 1999.)



shawshankcoverRita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption/The Shawshank Redemption.

This film was adapted from the novella by Stephen King. Although The Green Mile was reported to be King’s personal favourite adaptation, I will always have a soft spot for this one. I think this movie was so well done. Morgan Freeman and Tim Robbins were just so great in this film (in my opinion, they did the book justice.) Dare I say it; I think this is one of those rare occasions for me where I prefer the movie to the book. It doesn’t happen often.

(Book: Stephen King, Viking Press, 1982. Movie – Castle Rock Entertainment, 1994.)



Charlie and the Chocolate Factory/Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.

One of my favourite books and one of the most watched movies of my childhood. Hollywood did take a huge artistic license with the film (to the point where Dahl didn’t want much else to do with it,) but Gene Wilder was Wonka to me – a little madness mixed in with kindness and a wonderful imagination. To me, despite the fact that it was so different from the book (I remember having a conversation with a friend that in fact, the Johnny Depp version was more accurate in terms of squirrels and willywonkachocolate-factorygeese,) the 1971 version had more of a happy, carefree atmosphere to it – the best version by far.

(Book: Roald Dahl, Penguin. Movie: Warner Bros. 1971.)



Bridget Jones’ Diary. 

This needed to be on this list especially for the romantics out there. The book was amazing and the film did well in capturing the humour and fun of Fielding’s novel. I actually thought Renee Zellweger did a good job as Bridget Jones and that the film stayed as faithful to the book as it could. Hugh Grant and Colin Firth were perfectly cast as Daniel Cleaver and Mark Darcy and even after all these years, it’s a novel you hear people continue to talk about. A few things were moved around (Bridget’s birthday) but nothing that would notice. The warmth of the novel comes through on screen. One of my favourite adaptions/films and one I can watch and read over and over again. 

BridgetJonesDiary(Book: Helen Fielding, Picador, 1997. Movie: Miramax/Universal/StudioCanal. 2001.) 



The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.

This book was the first of the Millennium Trilogy. Now I have to admit, I’ve not personally read the book but people I know have and they sing it’s praises. However, as it’s a movie adapted from a book, I think it still counts. It was not a film I thought I would like but it surprised me.. a lot. Starting Daniel Craig and Rooney Mara (who is almost unrecognisable. I had to check it was the same girl in the Social Network,) it was so well acted and I feel it captured the atmosphere of the plot (even though a couple of the scenes I found a little disturbing.) I have not seen the Swedish adaptation so I don’t know how well they stand up together but I liked this Hollywood attempt. I’d be interested in seeing any future movies based on the other novels in the series and the book is certainly near the top of my TBR pile. 

girlwith(Book: Stieg Larsson, Quercus, 2008. Movie: Columbia/MGM/Scott Rudin. 2001.) 

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather
I’m Laura. I started Novel Kicks in 2009. I wanted a place to post my writing as well as give other writers like me the opportunity to do the same. There is also a monthly book club, a writing room which features writing prompts, book reviews, competitions, author interviews and guest posts.

I grew up by the sea (my favourite place in the world) and I currently live in Hampshire. I am married to Chris, have a cat named Buddy and I would love to be a writer. I’m trying to write the novel I’ve talked so much about writing if only I could stop pressing delete. I’ve loved writing since creative writing classes in primary school. I have always wanted to see my teacher Miss Sayers again and thank her for the encouragement. When not trying to write the novel or writing snippets of stories on anything I can get my hands on, I love reading, dancing like a loon and singing to myself very badly. My current obsession is Once Upon a Time and I would be happy to live with magic in the enchanted forest surrounded by all those wonderful stories provided that world also included Harry Potter. I love reading chick lit. contemporary fiction and novels with mystery.

2 Responses to Our Favourite Things: Book to Film Adaptations

  • A very interesting post Laura. Personally I’ve found the books I like which have found themselves onto the big screen are very often disappointing. I don’t this has anything to do with the film itself but rather the fact when you’ve read a book you have your own defined idea about those characters in your mind. Also book to screen translation very often means a tweak in the plot of the book – The Thorn Birds was one example where one of Meggie’s brothers was completely written out! If I had to think of one translation which has gone well it has to be Game of Thrones. I have read all of George R R Martin’s books in the series and they have not only quite faithfully followed the plot, the casting has been spot on. As for the Millenium Trilogy, I have seen the Swedish version which is excellent. I would not say the Hollywood version was better or worse, merely different. And now, of course, we await the release of ‘Fifty Shades’. I wonder what Hollywood will do with this???

    • Laura says:

      Game of Thrones is so good. I agree there.
      Yes, Fifty Shades. I might be the only person in the world who hasn’t read it? I got three pages in and then stopped. I couldn’t go further.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Novel Kicks is a blog for story tellers and book lovers.

Follow by Email
Book Club
Book Club