I’ve been thinking a lot lately about books that were made into movies so I’ve made a list of my top twenty favorites. Let me start by saying that I’ve seen a bazillion books made into movies so in order to keep this list short I’ve only included the ones that I’ve read.
Also, be warned. There’s quite a bit of chick lit. (What’d you expect? I’m a girl.)
20. Starship Troopers
So the movie is a little cheesy. Okay, it’s very cheesy. The thing that I like about it is that it’s kind of an homage to Robert Heinlein’s sense of humor. Sure, there are a couple of made up subplots, but the thing you have to remember is that there isn’t much of a plot in the book to begin with. They had to do something to make it flow a little better.
Funny thing is, the first time I watched the movie I hadn’t read the book so I turned it off after twenty minutes. However, after I read the book the movie seemed completely different. Don’t get me wrong. It’s still cheesy, but at least now I get it.
This is one where I read the book after seeing the movie. I love how indie-cool it is and how everyone is so pale and rosy-cheeked. I love the awkward piggyback scenes, the cool music, and the low-budget feel.
Really love this movie. It kind of came out of nowhere and blew me away. And so did Joseph Gordon-Levitt. That was the first time I’d seen him since his role in 3rd Rock from the Sun. He was all grown up.
17. Northanger Abbey (2007 TV)
This one is a good example of how a film gets it right by capturing the spirit of the book. I can still see Catherine looking up at Henry with those large innocent doey eyes. Jane Austen is smiling down on from heaven right now, I’m sure.
16. Mansfield Park (1999)
Okay this one’s a little strange, I’ll admit. The movie has subplots in it that come out of nowhere. They weren’t in the book, but boy do they make the movie dramatic. I still like it, though. It’s one of the grittier novels that Jane Austen wrote and it still has all of the trappings of a good romance.
15. The City of Ember
I loved the costumes and set design for this movie. As often happens with books made into movies, things were different, and maybe in this case it was for the better. It’s still a great movie, though, and I love Saoirse Ronan and Bill Murray.
14. Wuthering Heights (2009 TV)
Oh, the tears. So many tears. Good grief the Bronte sisters knew how to make a person cry. P.S. I love Tom Hardy in this role. Made me love Heathcliff even more.
13. Jane Eyre (2006 TV)
Out of all of the actresses that have portrayed Jane Eyre I empathize with Ruth Wilson the most. Her confusion, frustration, and passion ooze through the screen.
12. Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (2005)
This is another one of those movies that people thought didn’t do the book justice. I disagree. Of course the movie wasn’t perfect. They never are, but I think it captured the spirit and humor of the books perfectly. Plus, puppets. You can never go wrong with puppets. Look at Labyrinth.
11. Harry Potter and the Half-blood Prince
This is the first time I really thought of Harry as grown up. It touches me in a way that the other movies don’t. Of course, by book six, the stories had gotten more and more character driven. I feel like this one really hit the nail on the head, though. It was a perfect set up for The Deathly Hallows.
10. Harry Potter and the Prizoner of Azkaban
Two words: Time Travel
9. Lord of The Rings
New Zealand, vistas and hobbits. What more is there to say? Oh yeah. Elves and wizards.
These movies are so epic. And I have to say (and you will judge me for this) I think I might like the movies better than the books.
Ah, Cher. If only I had a fancy closet like you.
The directors, writers, producers, etc. did a good job of recreating an Emma that modern girls can understand and relate to. Although, I hate to think that modern girls can’t understand Austen’s Emma.
7. Emma (1996)
I don’t care what people say I love Gwyneth Paltrow as Emma.
6. The Princess Bride
I loved this movie so much growing up that sometimes I watched it three times a day. I even quoted it in my highschool yearbook even though everyone else quoted Thoreau and Nietzsche. Who doesn’t love this movie?
5. Sense & Sensibility (1995)
Wow. Merchant Ivory. ‘Nuff said.
Some of the best actors of our time are in this movie: Sybil Trelawney, Severus Snape, Poppy Pomfrey, and a couple of other famous people that weren’t in Harry Potter: Rose Dawson and William Thacker.
4. Anne of Green Gables
There’s no one quite like Anne Shirley. Megan Follows is perfect as Anne.
When I was younger I connected with Anne so deeply that I felt like I knew her. Thanks, Lucy Maud, for teaching me about kindred spirits.
3. Pride & Prejudice (1995)
Swoon. Seriously. That Colin Firth. Love him. And doidn’t Jennifer Ehle have eyes just like the ones that Mr. Darcy talked about in the book?
2. Pride & Prejudice (2005)
Double Swoon. Matthew Macfadyen and Keira Knightley. I love the cinematography in this one. And the costumes are incredible. They did a good job of showing how grimy everything was back then, all the way down to the greasy hair, cracked walls, and bugs flying around.
1. Wives & Daughters
This is my all time favorite. I could watch it over and over again. I love Justine Waddell as Molly. She was so innocent, good, and pure. She had me rooting for her character the entire time and secretly wishing I could claw Cynthia’s eyes out.