REEL 13

What is your favorite movie based on a novel?

Posted: September 6, 2009
Burt Lancaster as Elmer Gantry

Burt Lancaster as Elmer Gantry

From Dickens to Stephen King, the movies have always looked to literature for material. What’s YOUR favorite movie based on a novel? Tell us in the comments section below.

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  • rayban

    “Maurice”, a film directed by James Ivory, produced by Ismail Merchant, written by Kit Hesketh-Harvey and photographed by Pierre Lhomme, it’s an extremely sensitive study of the “love that dared not speak its’ name” in the early twentieth century and a very faithful rendition of a risk-taking novel that could not be published until AFTER E.M. Forster’s death. The film is both unashamed and unafraid in its depiction of the “supposed horror” of homosexuality and one young man’s attempt to become who he really is. The film is helped considerably by the superb performances of James Wilby as Maurice, Hugh Grant as Clive and Rupert Graves as Scudder. It also has the added glory of a superb supporting cast that includes Billie Whitelaw, Ben Kingsley and Denholm Elliott. As a film, its bravery could never be lauded enough and it did deserve every accolade in the book, so to speak.

  • Steve

    My favorite movie based on a novel is “Summer of ’42″, by Herman Raucher. It was a tender, honest story about a young man’s fascination with girls, peer pressure, sex and an older woman. Presented in a mature and straightforward way, I could easily identify with Hermie, who at age fifteen was the central character. I was the same age when the film was released and when I saw it for the first time. While it took place 29 years earlier, the curiosoty and interests of the characters were no different in 1971 than they were in 1942. In 1942 teenagers had to deal with a war in Europe, peer pressure and moving from adolescence to adulthood. In 1971 there was a war in Vietnam, the same peer pressure, but perhaps we grew up too fast. Plus the theme of the movie, “The Summer Knows”, by Michel LeGrand, has got to be the most haunting and emotional theme song I can recall.

  • JC

    Gonna cheat a bit and use a novella – “The Body” by Stephen King, upon which the movie “Stand By Me” was based. Classic coming of age film with many memorable scenes and great performances from River Phoenix and Kiefer Sutherland

  • BenInBrooklyn

    Apocalypse Now – Francis Ford Copolla’s Vietnam War nightmare masterpiece, which is loosely based on Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad. While its loosely based, its very close to that novel in spirit. “The horror. The horror.”

  • Colin

    This is going to sound like a joke but it’s not. I really really loved Under The Tuscan Sun

  • Andrew

    Silence of the Lambs – a rare case of where the movie was even better than the novel!

  • Alchemist

    Dr. Zhivago – I read the book while attending my first Yankee game with my boyfriend (now my husband). I was a bookworm and he a sports fan..I loved the book and the movie did not disappoint me. I watch it every time I have the opportunity.

  • Bunny Adelman

    There are so many but I guess the greatest of all would have to be GONE WITH THE WIND

  • Lola

    Gee I don’t know I have so many it’s hard to chose from. I must say my favorite one has to be Truman Capote’s “Breakfast at Tiffany’s.” I love how Audrey Hepburn portrayes the character Holly Gollighly on screen. I also love the chic personality she brings on the screen. She makes it seem like she was the type of girl who just wanted to have fun and also find love too. I even love the passion Holly and her neighbor Fred{as she calls him} have with each other. And I think the last scene in the film is a instant classi.

  • Johnny Autonomy

    My favorite novel transformed into a film or vice versa is, without a doubt, “A Clockwork Orange” – written by Anthony Burgess, adapted and directed by the late Stanley Kubrick. The only pity to the minds of some, of course, was that Kubrick removed the last, more redemptive and transformative chapter of the story. The last chapter having been the most key in the mind of Burgess and the most expendable to the tastes of Kubrick. Burgess wanted to show Alex’s transformation on his own at the end of the novel; thus, showing us that the horrors the novel portrayed were merely the horrors of youth on the cusp of adulthood. Kubrick, on the other hand, decided to leave the movie on a more thrilling and sensationalist note.

  • Lynn

    I love “Dodsworth” (also written by Sinclair Lewis). William Wyler, Walter Huston, Mary Astor. Might appear dated now (1936) but the end still makes me cry every time!

  • Jerry

    “The Horse’s Mouth” with an Oscar winning script by Alec Guinness, also starring Alec Guinness,adapted from the novel by Joyce Cary comes near the top.
    The first Technicolor feature release, “Becky Sharp” with Miriam Hopkins, based on Thackeray’s “Vanity Fair” would be another.
    Neal Gabler likes good films made from bad novels. My vote in this category would be Eric von Stroheim’s “Greed,” a superb film based on Frank Norris’s “McTeague”, a not so good book which is supposed to be the American illustration of Zola’s Naturalism.

  • IPG

    Women in Love The only film that has ever lived up to the “movie in my mind.” I think it was a British film, but cannot remember who or when. But I still see Gundren in her colored stockings dancing in front of the cows while her sister sings “I’m Forever Blowing Bubbles.” (I think the song was the filmaker’s addition, but it fit.)

  • Janai

    My favorite is, believe it or not, is Gone With The Wind! I just love that film.