Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Top Ten Book to Movie Adaptations

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by the ladies over at The Broke and the Bookish.

I feel like I'm repeating myself lately...and this week's Top 10 deals with a pet peeve of mine, movies made from books.  I think most book lovers would agree that climactic Hollywood renditions of  novels that have touched a person's life are few and far between. 
But, this week's Top Ten asks for 10 good movie adaptations...yikes!
Since as a rule I don't see many of these, this may be my most difficult Top 10 yet :/

I'll give it the old college try though...since you know I am a academic ;)

1.  Twighlight films - these have been done well...however you feel about the Twilight saga aside, these movies have attempted to meet the expectations of gazillions of romantically drunk teenage girls...and have succeeded in sucking the rest of us in with them.  A few of these intoxicated adolescent females have even read a book or two in the process...icing on the cake :)

2.  Little Women - Wynonna Ryder edition - I'm a Louisa May Alcott fan...yes, I am...I've watched many of the Little Women movie adaptions but this one is my favorite...even though it does stray from the book to a certain extent.  All of the actors...Susan Sarandon, Wynonna Ryder,  Claire Danes, etc...I can't think of one that was wrongly cast.

3.  Under the Tuscan Sun - even though this book and movie were very different from one another, I enjoyed both...I may have even enjoyed the movie more.  Diane Lane's honest portrayal of a woman who first thinks she has it all, to her deep depression upon finding out it was all a farce...to the rediscovery of her self through a new life is profoundly touching.  The book also is an incredible honorarium to the Italian countrysides...beautiful and serene as well as crazy and life altering.  Good stuff here for sure.

4.  Beaches - Oh my heavens...when CeCe sings the last song, I'm bawling like a baby...yeesh...a friendship of two opposites that lasts a lifetime...through ups and downs, marriages, divorces, and even death. 

5.  The Color Purple by  Alice Walker - When Celie sees her children again after so many years...across the meadow of flowers and swaying stalks,  I can barely breathe I'm crying so hard...I ain't kiddin'...and what a cast...Whoopie Goldberg, Oprah...a movie that will bring you to the depths of dispair at times but reminds you at the end that there is light at the end of the tunnel...it's all about survival.

6.  The Devil Wears Prada - In this rare case I actually like the movie adaption better than the book...go figure...I think it has something to do with Anne Hathaway's performance as the impish ingenue who stumbles into a job with the evil Meryl Streep...and then impressing her in the process. 
The soundtrack from this movie is also a serious distraction..but in a positive way.

7.  Bram Stoker's Dracula - sweeping scenes and period costumes are a necessity in my book...er, movie :)  A forbidden love...doomed from the beginning but creating grey lines between good and evil.  The movie is not better than the book bc of added assumptions but a dang good interpretation of the original.

8.  Interview with the Vampire - Do not even try to tell me that Brad Pitt as Louis and Tom Cruise (before his attacking Brooke Shields days) as Lestat did not make this movie.  Elaborate costumes again as well as that ever present conflict between good and evil...lots of evil in this one though...I disliked the other movies in this series...they were almost a joke compared to the books they were based on. 

9.  Old Yeller by Fred Gipson - more sobbing from me every. single. time Travis picks up that shotgun..."He's my dog....and I'll do it."  Holy Moly!  I might like this movie better than the book as well...I can't believe I've said that twice in this list.  The movie adds detail, of course, to make it last movie length I guess, but I love every minute of it.

10.  Schindler's List - The scene from this movie that I can see vividly even as I sit here typing this is the one where the officer is having target practice from his window...on the unsuspecting Jewish prisoners below.  The book haunted me...the movie provided imagery that couldn't be ignored...and gives me shivers and nausea to this day.

Next Tuesday...
Top Ten Books I just Had to Buy...but are still sitting on my shelf.


  1. I liked the movie version of The Devil Wears Prada better than the book too.

    The scene in Schindler's List that haunts me is toward the end when Schindler keeps saying through his sobs, "I could have done more." Never read the book but the movie still haunts me. Probably one of the best film scores ever written too. John Williams is brilliant.

  2. that part of Schindler's List kills me too...the book is intense as well but the screenplay added realistic and appropriate drama which left me exhausted emotionally...Brilliant is a perfect word :)

  3. Nice list! I've never seen this version of Dracula but I think I'll need to check it out soon.

  4. Interview with the Vampire was an amazing adaptation. I love Dracula and have been meaning to read the book, it just somehow seems to never happen.

  5. Ahhh Tom Cruise before he was insane! I've never read the book but I did really enjoy the movie version of Interview With A Vampire.

  6. Beaches is such a great choice, I didn't even think of that one. Both the book and the movie brought me to tears. Love it.

  7. Oh yes, Interview with the Vampire! I forgot about that one - yeah, it changes a lot, but it's still quite entertaining, and *o* Brad Pitt and Tom Cruise! I think I might even like it better than the book, only because I find Anne Rice kinda hard to read.

  8. Oh wow, I totally forgot about Schindler's List - that is a definite must on any book-to-movie list!

  9. I thought Twilight improved on the book - no bad grammar to get upset about.

    The Color Purple is a difficult movie to watch sometimes, but really, really good.

  10. You did so good on this list! Love it! Great that you included Devil Wears Prada and Interview with a Vampire - both really successful adaptions. Love your blog btw.

  11. Great list! I actually prefer the movie Beaches to the book, although I hate to admit it. Of course, it's been over 10 years or more since I read the book so maybe I just need to give it a re-read.

  12. Love your movie list - it's fun to think about the movies this week. Loved Devil Wears Prada- it definitely improves upon the book. Little Women is a favorite too. Will need to check out Beaches some time when I feel like crying. Thanks for sharing your list!

  13. Haha, although it is hard to like movie adaptations of books you loved, your list does include a couple of pretty good movies. Under the Tuscan Sun is a particular favourite of mine! And you have got to love interview with a Vampire! That's a cult classic! Thanks for stopping by my blog, I'm now following you!

  14. Oh man, I forgot about Little Women! Good Call.


  15. I'm a huge fan of "The Help". Read the book, then went to see the movie & it was almost literally EXACT; only thing different was Ms. Stein, but she's minor so that didn't impact the overall cinematics or plot. :) :)

    I'd love an expanded/more comprehensive list when you get the time...:)