The movies that are as good as the original books?

by Nastasia | created - 27 Jul 2014 | updated - 02 Apr 2016 | Public

We all know some great movies are made from the books (or stories), but do we know are they so great in terms of the sources from which they were adapted? So, vote here for the movie that you think translated the best the intentions of the author of the original work. I chose book adaptations that have IMDB rating higher than 8, but you are free to suggest new movies that you think were as great as the books themselves.

Discuss the list and add your suggestions here!

P.S. The poll is sorted in alphabetical order, so not to make any movie "better" than the other. This would be simply your opinion on what do you think was really well adapted book or story.

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1. 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)

G | 149 min | Adventure, Sci-Fi

84 Metascore

After discovering a mysterious artifact buried beneath the Lunar surface, mankind sets off on a quest to find its origins with help from intelligent supercomputer H.A.L. 9000.

Director: Stanley Kubrick | Stars: Keir Dullea, Gary Lockwood, William Sylvester, Daniel Richter

Votes: 607,284 | Gross: $56.95M

As john-hitchcock mentioned in the discussion, the novel is based on the film, but both were partially inspired by Clarke's short story "The Sentinel". On the other hand, the poll doesn't require the books be written before the movies, although that seems the natural order of things :) In any case, I thought the movie deserves the mention.

2. Ben-Hur (1959)

G | 212 min | Adventure, Drama, History

90 Metascore

After a Jewish prince is betrayed and sent into slavery by a Roman friend, he regains his freedom and comes back for revenge.

Director: William Wyler | Stars: Charlton Heston, Jack Hawkins, Stephen Boyd, Haya Harareet

Votes: 220,535 | Gross: $74.70M

3. A Clockwork Orange (1971)

R | 136 min | Crime, Drama, Sci-Fi

77 Metascore

In the future, a sadistic gang leader is imprisoned and volunteers for a conduct-aversion experiment, but it doesn't go as planned.

Director: Stanley Kubrick | Stars: Malcolm McDowell, Patrick Magee, Michael Bates, Warren Clarke

Votes: 762,047 | Gross: $6.21M

Added thanks to john-hitchcock

4. Dr. No (1962)

PG | 110 min | Action, Adventure, Thriller

78 Metascore

A resourceful British government agent seeks answers in a case involving the disappearance of a colleague and the disruption of the American space program.

Director: Terence Young | Stars: Sean Connery, Ursula Andress, Bernard Lee, Joseph Wiseman

Votes: 151,022 | Gross: $16.07M

Added thanks to jalapenoman and NJtoTX - although not the highest rated of all of them, it is the first and according to jalapenoman, the most accurate adaptation.

5. Doctor Zhivago (1965)

PG-13 | 197 min | Drama, Romance, War

69 Metascore

The life of a Russian physician and poet who, although married to another, falls in love with a political activist's wife and experiences hardship during World War I and then the October Revolution.

Director: David Lean | Stars: Omar Sharif, Julie Christie, Geraldine Chaplin, Rod Steiger

Votes: 70,305 | Gross: $111.72M

Added thanks to cocoken

6. Fight Club (1999)

R | 139 min | Drama

66 Metascore

An insomniac office worker and a devil-may-care soapmaker form an underground fight club that evolves into something much, much more.

Director: David Fincher | Stars: Brad Pitt, Edward Norton, Meat Loaf, Zach Grenier

Votes: 1,867,327 | Gross: $37.03M

7. Forrest Gump (1994)

PG-13 | 142 min | Drama, Romance

82 Metascore

The presidencies of Kennedy and Johnson, the Vietnam War, the Watergate scandal and other historical events unfold from the perspective of an Alabama man with an IQ of 75, whose only desire is to be reunited with his childhood sweetheart.

Director: Robert Zemeckis | Stars: Tom Hanks, Robin Wright, Gary Sinise, Sally Field

Votes: 1,823,267 | Gross: $330.25M

Added thanks to jamesh5

8. The Godfather (1972)

R | 175 min | Crime, Drama

100 Metascore

An organized crime dynasty's aging patriarch transfers control of his clandestine empire to his reluctant son.

Director: Francis Ford Coppola | Stars: Marlon Brando, Al Pacino, James Caan, Diane Keaton

Votes: 1,632,699 | Gross: $134.97M

9. Gone with the Wind (1939)

Passed | 238 min | Drama, History, Romance

97 Metascore

A manipulative woman and a roguish man conduct a turbulent romance during the American Civil War and Reconstruction periods.

Directors: Victor Fleming, George Cukor, Sam Wood | Stars: Clark Gable, Vivien Leigh, Thomas Mitchell, Barbara O'Neil

Votes: 291,661 | Gross: $198.68M

10. The Great Escape (1963)

Approved | 172 min | Adventure, Drama, History

86 Metascore

Allied prisoners of war plan for several hundred of their number to escape from a German camp during World War II.

Director: John Sturges | Stars: Steve McQueen, James Garner, Richard Attenborough, Charles Bronson

Votes: 225,976 | Gross: $12.10M

Added thanks to jalapenoman

11. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 (2011)

PG-13 | 130 min | Adventure, Drama, Fantasy

85 Metascore

Harry, Ron, and Hermione search for Voldemort's remaining Horcruxes in their effort to destroy the Dark Lord as the final battle rages on at Hogwarts.

Director: David Yates | Stars: Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint, Michael Gambon

Votes: 769,953 | Gross: $381.01M

The only one with the IMDB rating above 8.

12. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (2012)

PG-13 | 169 min | Adventure, Fantasy

58 Metascore

A reluctant Hobbit, Bilbo Baggins, sets out to the Lonely Mountain with a spirited group of dwarves to reclaim their mountain home, and the gold within it from the dragon Smaug.

Director: Peter Jackson | Stars: Martin Freeman, Ian McKellen, Richard Armitage, Andy Serkis

Votes: 760,580 | Gross: $303.00M

Only one movie is selected, let's give some chance to the other books too!

13. The Hunt for Red October (1990)

PG | 135 min | Action, Adventure, Thriller

58 Metascore

In November 1984, the Soviet Union's best submarine Captain in their newest sub violates orders and heads for the U.S. Is he trying to defect or to start a war?

Director: John McTiernan | Stars: Sean Connery, Alec Baldwin, Scott Glenn, Sam Neill

Votes: 181,523 | Gross: $122.01M

For Tom Clancy, as suggested by jalapenoman and cocoken

14. Into the Wild (2007)

R | 148 min | Adventure, Biography, Drama

73 Metascore

After graduating from Emory University, top student and athlete Christopher McCandless abandons his possessions, gives his entire $24,000 savings account to charity and hitchhikes to Alaska to live in the wilderness. Along the way, Christopher encounters a series of characters that shape his life.

Director: Sean Penn | Stars: Emile Hirsch, Vince Vaughn, Catherine Keener, Marcia Gay Harden

Votes: 576,470 | Gross: $18.35M

15. Jaws (1975)

PG | 124 min | Adventure, Thriller

87 Metascore

When a killer shark unleashes chaos on a beach community, it's up to a local sheriff, a marine biologist, and an old seafarer to hunt the beast down.

Director: Steven Spielberg | Stars: Roy Scheider, Robert Shaw, Richard Dreyfuss, Lorraine Gary

Votes: 545,426 | Gross: $260.00M

16. Jurassic Park (1993)

PG-13 | 127 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

68 Metascore

A pragmatic paleontologist visiting an almost complete theme park is tasked with protecting a couple of kids after a power failure causes the park's cloned dinosaurs to run loose.

Director: Steven Spielberg | Stars: Sam Neill, Laura Dern, Jeff Goldblum, Richard Attenborough

Votes: 873,227 | Gross: $402.45M

17. L.A. Confidential (1997)

R | 138 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

90 Metascore

As corruption grows in 1950s Los Angeles, three policemen - one strait-laced, one brutal, and one sleazy - investigate a series of murders with their own brand of justice.

Director: Curtis Hanson | Stars: Kevin Spacey, Russell Crowe, Guy Pearce, Kim Basinger

Votes: 534,939 | Gross: $64.62M

18. Life of Pi (2012)

PG | 127 min | Adventure, Drama, Fantasy

79 Metascore

A young man who survives a disaster at sea is hurtled into an epic journey of adventure and discovery. While cast away, he forms an unexpected connection with another survivor: a fearsome Bengal tiger.

Director: Ang Lee | Stars: Suraj Sharma, Irrfan Khan, Adil Hussain, Tabu

Votes: 583,606 | Gross: $124.99M

19. The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003)

PG-13 | 201 min | Action, Adventure, Drama

94 Metascore

Gandalf and Aragorn lead the World of Men against Sauron's army to draw his gaze from Frodo and Sam as they approach Mount Doom with the One Ring.

Director: Peter Jackson | Stars: Elijah Wood, Viggo Mortensen, Ian McKellen, Orlando Bloom

Votes: 1,652,568 | Gross: $377.85M

Same as with The Hobbit...

20. One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975)

R | 133 min | Drama

83 Metascore

A criminal pleads insanity and is admitted to a mental institution, where he rebels against the oppressive nurse and rallies up the scared patients.

Director: Milos Forman | Stars: Jack Nicholson, Louise Fletcher, Michael Berryman, Peter Brocco

Votes: 923,439 | Gross: $112.00M

21. Paper Moon (1973)

PG | 102 min | Comedy, Crime, Drama

77 Metascore

During the Great Depression, a con man finds himself saddled with a young girl who may or may not be his daughter, and the two forge an unlikely partnership.

Director: Peter Bogdanovich | Stars: Ryan O'Neal, Tatum O'Neal, Madeline Kahn, John Hillerman

Votes: 42,510 | Gross: $30.93M

Added thanks to cocoken

22. Papillon (1973)

R | 151 min | Biography, Crime, Drama

58 Metascore

A man befriends a fellow criminal as the two of them begin serving their sentence on a dreadful prison island, which inspires the man to plot his escape.

Director: Franklin J. Schaffner | Stars: Steve McQueen, Dustin Hoffman, Victor Jory, Don Gordon

Votes: 122,120 | Gross: $53.27M

23. The Perks of Being a Wallflower (2012)

PG-13 | 103 min | Drama, Romance

67 Metascore

An introvert freshman is taken under the wings of two seniors who welcome him to the real world.

Director: Stephen Chbosky | Stars: Logan Lerman, Emma Watson, Ezra Miller, Paul Rudd

Votes: 465,092 | Gross: $17.74M

24. Planet of the Apes (1968)

G | 112 min | Adventure, Sci-Fi

79 Metascore

An astronaut crew crash-lands on a planet in the distant future where intelligent talking apes are the dominant species, and humans are the oppressed and enslaved.

Director: Franklin J. Schaffner | Stars: Charlton Heston, Roddy McDowall, Kim Hunter, Maurice Evans

Votes: 165,741 | Gross: $33.40M

Added thanks to NJtoTX

25. The Princess Bride (1987)

PG | 98 min | Adventure, Family, Fantasy

77 Metascore

While home sick in bed, a young boy's grandfather reads him the story of a farmboy-turned-pirate who encounters numerous obstacles, enemies and allies in his quest to be reunited with his true love.

Director: Rob Reiner | Stars: Cary Elwes, Mandy Patinkin, Robin Wright, Chris Sarandon

Votes: 395,665 | Gross: $30.86M

26. Schindler's List (1993)

R | 195 min | Biography, Drama, History

94 Metascore

In German-occupied Poland during World War II, industrialist Oskar Schindler gradually becomes concerned for his Jewish workforce after witnessing their persecution by the Nazis.

Director: Steven Spielberg | Stars: Liam Neeson, Ralph Fiennes, Ben Kingsley, Caroline Goodall

Votes: 1,220,899 | Gross: $96.90M

27. The Shining (1980)

R | 146 min | Drama, Horror

66 Metascore

A family heads to an isolated hotel for the winter where a sinister presence influences the father into violence, while his psychic son sees horrific forebodings from both past and future.

Director: Stanley Kubrick | Stars: Jack Nicholson, Shelley Duvall, Danny Lloyd, Scatman Crothers

Votes: 904,855 | Gross: $44.02M

28. Shutter Island (2010)

R | 138 min | Mystery, Thriller

63 Metascore

In 1954, a U.S. Marshal investigates the disappearance of a murderer who escaped from a hospital for the criminally insane.

Director: Martin Scorsese | Stars: Leonardo DiCaprio, Emily Mortimer, Mark Ruffalo, Ben Kingsley

Votes: 1,140,574 | Gross: $128.01M

29. The Shawshank Redemption (1994)

R | 142 min | Drama

80 Metascore

Two imprisoned men bond over a number of years, finding solace and eventual redemption through acts of common decency.

Director: Frank Darabont | Stars: Tim Robbins, Morgan Freeman, Bob Gunton, William Sadler

Votes: 2,359,172 | Gross: $28.34M

30. The Silence of the Lambs (1991)

R | 118 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

85 Metascore

A young F.B.I. cadet must receive the help of an incarcerated and manipulative cannibal killer to help catch another serial killer, a madman who skins his victims.

Director: Jonathan Demme | Stars: Jodie Foster, Anthony Hopkins, Lawrence A. Bonney, Kasi Lemmons

Votes: 1,280,822 | Gross: $130.74M

31. The Thing (1982)

R | 109 min | Horror, Mystery, Sci-Fi

57 Metascore

A research team in Antarctica is hunted by a shape-shifting alien that assumes the appearance of its victims.

Director: John Carpenter | Stars: Kurt Russell, Wilford Brimley, Keith David, Richard Masur

Votes: 373,595 | Gross: $13.78M

32. The Third Man (1949)

Approved | 93 min | Film-Noir, Mystery, Thriller

97 Metascore

Pulp novelist Holly Martins travels to shadowy, postwar Vienna, only to find himself investigating the mysterious death of an old friend, Harry Lime.

Director: Carol Reed | Stars: Orson Welles, Joseph Cotten, Alida Valli, Trevor Howard

Votes: 159,527 | Gross: $0.45M

33. The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948)

Passed | 126 min | Adventure, Drama, Western

98 Metascore

Two Americans searching for work in Mexico convince an old prospector to help them mine for gold in the Sierra Madre Mountains.

Director: John Huston | Stars: Humphrey Bogart, Walter Huston, Tim Holt, Bruce Bennett

Votes: 114,938 | Gross: $5.01M

34. To Kill a Mockingbird (1962)

Approved | 129 min | Crime, Drama

88 Metascore

Atticus Finch, a lawyer in the Depression-era South, defends a black man against an undeserved rape charge, and his children against prejudice.

Director: Robert Mulligan | Stars: Gregory Peck, John Megna, Frank Overton, Rosemary Murphy

Votes: 295,148

35. The Wizard of Oz (1939)

PG | 102 min | Adventure, Family, Fantasy

92 Metascore

Dorothy Gale is swept away from a farm in Kansas to a magical land of Oz in a tornado and embarks on a quest with her new friends to see the Wizard who can help her return home to Kansas and help her friends as well.

Directors: Victor Fleming, George Cukor, Mervyn LeRoy, Norman Taurog, Richard Thorpe, King Vidor | Stars: Judy Garland, Frank Morgan, Ray Bolger, Bert Lahr

Votes: 372,383 | Gross: $2.08M

Added thanks to brien1951



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