Top Ten Tuesday: Best Movie Adaptations


It’s time for another Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by The Broke and The Bookish! This week is a topic I could talk about for days, the best (or worst) movie adaptations. I chose to go with best, and it was hard to narrow it down to ten.

Brokeback_mountainBrokeback Mountain

I think short stories have a greater capacity to be well adapted than novels. Where readers in love with a novel decry every slight change and omission, movies allow short stories to achieve greater scope and detail. Annie Proulx’s short story is good. The movie that came out of it is astounding.


The Princess Bride 9780156035217_custom-s6-c30

I first saw The Princess Bride in a seventh grade language arts class, and I still can’t believe it took me that long to discover it. Hands down the most perfect fantasy movie ever. Plus the screenplay was written by the author of the book, so it’s pretty much guaranteed to be as well adapted as possible.


The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo 

David Fincher’s version of The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo wasn’t as well received as people thought it would be, but to my mind it is miles ahead of the Swedish TV adaptation. Rooney Mara brings the perfect amount of vulnerability and flintiness to Lisbeth Salander, and the cinematography is just amazing. Plus, with Daniel Craig it finally seemed plausible that Blomkvist would be such a babe magnet. As time goes by the sequel seems less and less likely, but I still hope for it.

The Hunger Games MV5BMjA4NDg3NzYxMF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwNTgyNzkyNw@@._V1_SX214_

While some of the adaptation choices didn’t sit quite right for me, I thought the casting was spot on, the tone was right, and it made me cry even harder than the book. I can’t wait to see what they do with the rest of the series.


The Secret Garden

There was a time in about 1994 or 95 when HBO was showing The Secret Garden two or three times a day for an entire summer. I cannot tell you how many times I watched it, but the number would be absolutely ridiculous. I had struggled to get through the book before that summer, thrown by the extreme dialects, but after that summer it became one of my most treasured books.

                                                                                   Sense and Sensibility MV5BNzk1MjU3MDQyMl5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwNjc1OTM2MQ@@._V1_SX214_

Emma Thompson, Kate Winslet, Hugh Grant, Alan Rickman. I don’t even need to say any more.


Jane Eyre 

I’ve never been a huge fan of the Brontes, but I will watch Michael Fassbender being all broody and sexy any time of day.


                      The Lion King Lion King

Because it’s the only version of Hamlet I ever liked.

easy a

Easy A

Ditto The Scarlet Letter. (I have a weakness for teen-comedy adaptations of classic literature, and Easy A is definitely my favorite.)

Oh no, wait, I forgot about CluelessMV5BNjQxNTA1NjE5Ml5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTYwOTMwNzE5._V1_SY317_CR4,0,214,317_

Learning that Clueless = Emma changed the way I look at literature, and how we tell stories. Once you see that there are only so many stories in the world, it frees you to see that it’s how a story is told that matters. And to my mind, there’s no better time capsule of 1990s culture.

What are you favorite (or least favorite) movie adaptations? Any that are better than the book?



Filed under Book Talk

4 responses to “Top Ten Tuesday: Best Movie Adaptations

  1. I LOVED Sense and Sensibility and The Princess Bride. Sadly, they didn’t make my list, because I’ve never read the books. I really need to get on that. Great list!

    TTT @ Krista’s Dust Jacket

    • hlmorris85

      The Princess Bride is actually one of those rare occurrences where I think the movie is actually better than the book (I haven’t read the book in a very long time, but the movie is so classic!)

  2. I agree with you on so many of these! The Princess Bride is a given of course (it’s literally been on every list I have seen so far. As it should be.) and I loved The Secret Garden. I had forgotten about Sense and Sensibility! I didn’t love the book as much as I did P&P, but it was a fun read and the movie was really well done (And Emma Thompson. ‘Nuff said)

    Here’s my TTT

    • hlmorris85

      My favorite part of S&S is actually Hugh Laurie as the one woman’s harried husband. It’s a small roll but it cracks me up every time. But it’s a great movie when you’re in the mood for romance.

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