Top 100 Movies Based On Books

Well, today is the official opening day of “Twilight“. A very highly anticipated movie… not because of the marketing campaign (which has been average at best), but because of the rabid and loyal following that the book series has. With that in mind, I thought it would be an appropriate time to put together a top 100 movies list of movies that were based on books.

Whenever I hear of a new movie coming out based on a popular book or comic book or a sequel, I instantly hear naysayers complaining about a “lack of creativity in hollywood”. “Why not write something original” some will say. But I say thank goodness gifted screenwriters adapt novels into movies! As you can see from my list, some of the greatest movies in the history of film were adapted from books… films that I can’t even imagine what the world of film would look like today if they never came to be. A world without any of these classics or Hallmark movies is a world I’d rather not experience.

So I spent a couple of weeks putting together this list with three purposes in mind:

1) To highlight the important role books have played in the movie world

2) To draw attention to some fantastic movies that some of you may have never taken the time to watch before

3) To draw attention to the fact that these movies are indeed based on books, which may encourage you to try reading them (which I confess is a little hypocritical of me since I’ve only read a fraction of the books here.)

Now let me emphasize this next point very explicitly. THIS LIST IS NOT A LIST OF THE BEST BOOKS OR WHICH MOVIES DID THE BEST JOB ADAPTING FROM THE BOOK. It is a list of the best movies which happen to be BASED on books. Also, while I did not include Graphic Novels or Comic Books in this list, I do include short stories or novellas since they are usually a part of a single issue collection.

Like all movie lists, this one is subjective and in no way authoritative. The main purpose of which is to spark discussion and maybe interest in seeing some of these fantastic films again, or for the first time. So now I present to you The Movie Blog’s Top 100 Movies Based On Books:

Book-Joy-Luck.jpg#100 – THE JOY LUCK CLUB
Rottem Tomatoes Rating – 90%
Synopsis: Through a series of flashbacks, four young chinese women born in America and their respective mothers born in feudal China, explore their past. This search will help them understand their difficult mother/daughter relationship.
John’s Thought: Yes, I am a heterosexual male… and I loved this movie.
Book-Mambo-Kings.jpg#99 – THE MAMBO KINGS
Rotten Tomatoes Rating – 78%
Synopsis: Musician brothers Cesar and Nestor leave Cuba for America in the 1950s, hoping to hit the top of the Latin music scene. Cesar is the older brother, the business manager, and the ladies’ man. Nestor is the brooding songwriter, who cannot forget the woman in Cuba who broke his heart.
John’s Thought: No Antonio! Too sexy! Too Sexy!
book-stardust.jpg#98 – STARDUST
Rotten Tomatoes Rating – 76%
Synopsis: “Stardust,” based on the best-selling graphic novel by Neil Gaiman and Charles Vess, takes audiences on an adventure that begins in a village in England and ends up in places that exist in an imaginary world. A young man named Tristan (Charlie Cox) tries to win the heart of Victoria (Sienna Miller), the beautiful but cold object of his desire, by going on a quest to retrieve a fallen star. His journey takes him to a mysterious and forbidden land beyond the walls of his village. On his odyssey, Tristan finds the star, which has transformed into a striking girl named Yvaine (Claire Danes).
John’s Thought: Easily the single most underrated and under appreciated film of 2007
book-green-tomatoes.jpg#97 – FRIED GREEN TOMATOES
Rotten Tomatoes Rating – 82%
Synopsis: A heartwarming tale of family, friendship and murder in rural Georgia. In a Southern nursing home, a feisty resident and old local fixture named Ninny Threadgoode (Tandy) befriends Evelyn Couch (Kathy Bates) a depressed housewife and stirs her to action with an inspirational tale. She tells the story of a transcendent friendship between two young women living in Georgia in the 1930s, Idgie Threadgoode (Mary Stuart Masterson) and Ruth (Mary Louise Parker), who forge a powerful bond after witnessing a terrible tragedy together. The two women open a cafe (where fried green tomatoes are a house specialty) together in their small Southern town of Whistle Stop and manage to survive the hardships of life, despite racism, prejudice and the pressures of trying to live their lives as individuals in a strict and close-minded Southern society.
John’s Thought: Powerful cast, powerful story. An honestly moving film.
book-shining.jpg#96 – THE SHINING
Rotten Tomatoes Rating – 86%
Synopsis: A family heads to an isolated hotel for the winter where an evil and spiritual presence influences the father into violence, while his psychic son sees horrific forebodings from the past and of the future
John’s Thought: Iconic film with some of the most quoted one liners from a horror film in history.
book-patriot-games.jpg#95 – PATRIOT GAMES
Rotten Tomatoes Rating – 80%
Synopsis: Jack Ryan, the hero of Tom Clancy’s techno-thriller series, returns in the sequel to _The Hunt for Red October_. Ryan is on vacation in England when he spoils an assassination attempt on an important member of the Royal Family. Ryan gets drawn back into the CIA when the same splinter faction of the IRA targets him and his family.
John’s Thought: Once again proving you CAN change actors and still make the franchise work. Ford in his prime and my introduction to the brilliance of Sean Bean.
book-wag-dog.jpg#94 – WAG THE DOG
Rotten Tomatoes Rating – 84%
Synopsis: When a Firefly Girl accuses the president of sexual misconduct in the Oval Office less than two weeks before the upcoming election, White House official Winifred Ames (Anne Heche) is told to bring in Conrad Bream (Robert De Niro) to fix the situation and save the president’s chances for reelection. This mysterious “fixer” fabricates a conflict with Albania in an effort to detract attention from the sex scandal, bringing in legendary Hollywood producer Stanley Motss (Dustin Hoffman) to “produce” the war. When the CIA foils the initial plot, the creative team turns to a new story line, creating the saga of a U.S. soldier left behind enemy lines whom the president vows to find and return to American soil.
John’s Thought: Especially funny watching this movie now after the events of the last 8 years. Hard to go wrong with Hoffman and DiNero before he started sucking.
books-Charlottes-Web.jpg#93 – CHARLOTTE’S WEB
Rotten Tomatoes Rating – 74%
Synopsis: Wilbur the pig is scared of the end of the season, because he knows that come that time, he will end up on the dinner table. He hatches a plan with Charlotte, a spider that lives in his pen, to ensure that this will never happen.
John’s Thought: Loved this as a kid, still love it today and will leave it on whenever I stumble across it channel surfing. Much better than the Julia Roberts voiced one from a couple of years ago.
books-Pride-Prejudice.jpg#92 – PRIDE AND PREJUDICE (1940)
Rotten Tomatoes Rating – 88%
Synopsis: From the classic novel by Jane Austen about the morals and mores of the class system in early Georgian England. The intelligent and spirited Elizabeth Bennet is one of 5 daughters — which, during that era, meant trouble: because women cannot inherit, upon her father’s death her family’s home will become the property of their nearest male relative. Only marriage, preferably to someone wealthy, can ensure her security. But the proud young lady instantly takes offense when Mr. Darcy, a promising newcomer in town, doesn’t seem quite admiring enough, and she spurns his advances. Slowly and painfully, Elizabeth realizes her error, but not before it seems she has lost him forever.
John’s Thought: Easily the best adaptation of this book ever done. Not taking away from any of the other ones… but Olivier rules.
books-Notebook.jpg#91 – THE NOTEBOOK
Rotten Tomatoes Rating – 51%
Synopsis: The movie focuses on an old man reading a story to an old woman in a nursing home. The story he reads follows two young lovers named Allie Hamilton and Noah Calhoun, who meet one evening at a carnival. But they are separated by Allie’s parents who dissaprove of Noah’s unwealthy family, and move Allie away. After waiting for Noah to write her for several years, Allie meets and gets engaged to a handsome young soldier named Lon. Allie, then, with her love for Noah still alive, stops by Noah’s 200-year-old home that he restored for her, “to see if he’s okay”. It is evident that they still have feelings for each other, and Allie has to choose between her fiancé and her first love.
John’s Thought: I avoided seeing this for a couple of years because it had “chick flick” written all over it. My loss… turned out it’s an exceptional film.

books-Friday-Night-Lights.jpg#90 – FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS
Rotten Tomatoes Rating – 82%
Synopsis: A straight arrow coach leads his team to the 1988 Texas state semifinals in the west Texas city of Odessa, where high school football is king. Expectations of classmates, coaches, family, and community members exact a toll on the athletes central to the story. Economic and racial undertones pervade this adaptation of H.G. Bissinger’s book by the same name.
John’s Thought: My first thought is that we’ve seen this movie 100 times already. Wrong. This is a special film, and a reminder that despite taking a lot of junk roles, Billy Bob Thornton can act his ass off sometimes.
books-Bridget-Jones.jpg#89 – BRIDGET JONES’ DIARY
Rotten Tomatoes Rating – 80%
Synopsis: Bridget Jones is an average woman struggling against her age, her weight, her job, her lack of a man, and her many imperfections. As a New Year’s Resolution, Bridget decides to take control of her life, starting by keeping a diary in which she will always tell the complete truth. The fireworks begin when her charming though disreputable boss takes an interest in the quirky Miss Jones. Thrown into the mix are Bridget’s band of slightly eccentric friends and a rather disagreeable acquaintance who Bridget cannot seem to stop running into or help finding quietly attractive.
John’s Thought: I’ve yet to meet a woman who hasn’t seen this flick… and there’s a reason for that.
books-Color-Of-Money.jpg#88 – THE COLOR OF MONEY
Rotten Tomatoes Rating – 91%
Synopsis: Eddie “Fast Eddy” Felson, a former pool player forced into retirement by gangsters (as seen in “The Hustler”,) finds himself, self-respect, and finally, redemption when he enters a relationship with young pool player Tom Cruise very similar to his own early career. As they travel together, Fast Eddy realizes how much he had lost, and can see the inevitable finale of their relationship as history begins to repeat itself. In an effort to avert tragedy, Eddy severs their relationship, and returns to his first love, pool. Finally, in a big Atlantic City tournament, Cruise returns the favor, and teaches Eddy the final lesson that allows him to finish his quest of re-discovery.
John’s Thought: Hey, remember back when Tom Cruise wasn’t a raving lunatic? Yeah, those were good days.
books-Minority-Reports.jpg#87 – MINORITY REPORT
Rotten Tomatoes Rating – 92%
Synopsis: Based on a Philip K. Dick short story, Minority Report is about a cop in the future working in a division of the police department that arrests killers before they commit the crimes courtesy of some future viewing technology. John Anderton has the tables turned on him when he is accused of a future crime and must find out what brought it about and stop it before it can happen.
John’s Thought: Spielberg and Curise are an unlikely couple, but man it worked well for this flick.
books-Apollo-13.jpg#86 – APOLLO 13
Rotten Tomatoes Rating – 95%
Synopsis: A movie based on what was to be the third lunar-landing mission. This film shows the trials and tribulations of the Apollo 13 crew, mission control, and families after a near-fatal accident cripples the space vehicle. A mission that couldn’t get TV airtime because space flights had become routine to the American public suddenly grabbed the national spotlight. This is a tale of averted tragedy, heroism and shows a testament to the creativity of the scientists who ran the early space missions.
John’s Thought: A solid cast highlighting yet another brilliant performance by Tom Hanks.
books-Capote.jpg#85 – CAPOTE
Rotten Tomatoes Rating – 91%
Synopsis: In 1959, Truman Capote, a popular writer for The New Yorker, learns about the horrific and senseless murder of a family of four in Holcomb, Kansas. Inspired by the story material, Capote and his partner, Harper Lee, travel to the town to research for an article. However, as Capote digs deeper into the story, he is inspired to expand the project into what would be his greatest work, In Cold Blood. To that end, he arranges extensive interviews with the prisoners, especially with Perry Smith, a quiet and articulate man with a troubled history. As he works on his book, Capote feels some compassion for Perry which in part prompts him to help the prisoners to some degree. However, that feeling deeply conflicts with his need for closure for his book which only an execution can provide. That conflict and the mixed motives for both interviewer and subject make for a troubling experience that would produce an literary account that would redefine modern non-fiction.
John’s Thought: Most avid film fans already knew Philip Seymour Hoffman was stupidly gifted… this film just sort of introduced him as an “A” lister to the rest of the world.
books-Accidental-Tourist.jpg#84 – ACCIDENTAL TOURIST
Rotten Tomatoes Rating – 84%
Synopsis: After the death of his son, Macon Leary, a travel writer, seems to be sleep walking through life. Macon’s wife, seems to be having trouble too, and thinks it would be best if the two would just split up. After the break up, Macon meets a strange outgoing woman, who seems to bring him back down to earth. After starting a relationship with the outgoing woman, Macon’s wife seems to think that their marriage is still worth a try. Macon is then forced to deal many decisions.
John’s Thought: Nominated for best picture and best screenplay. Geena Davis actually won best supporting actress for this one.
books-trainspotting.jpg#83 – TRAINSPOTTING
Rotten Tomatoes Rating – 88%
Synopsis: A wild, freeform, Rabelaisian trip through the darkest recesses of Edinburgh low-life, focusing on Mark Renton and his attempt to give up his heroin habit, and how the latter affects his relationship with family and friends: Sean Connery wannabe Sick Boy, dimbulb Spud, psycho Begbie, 14-year-old girlfriend Diane, and clean-cut athlete Tommy, who’s never touched drugs but can’t help being curious about them.
John’s Thought: I still think this is Danny Boyle’s best film
books-Verdict.jpg#82 – THE VERDICT
Rotten Tomatoes Rating – 96%
Synopsis: Frank Galvin is a down-on-his luck lawyer, reduced to drinking and ambulance chasing. Former associate Mickey Morrissey reminds him of his obligations in a medical malpractice suit that he himself served to Galvin on a silver platter: all parties willing to settle out of court. Blundering his way through the preliminaries, he suddenly realizes that perhaps after all the case should go to court: to punish the guilty, to get a decent settlement for his clients, and to restore his standing as a lawyer.
John’s Thought: One of the best courtroom dramas I’ve ever seen.
books-Remo-Williams.jpg#81 – REMO WILLIAMS THE ADVENTURE BEGINS
Rotten Tomatoes Rating – 55%
Synopsis: An NYPD cop is ‘killed’ in an accident. The death is faked, and he is inducted into the organization CURE, dedicated to preserving the constitution by working outside of it. Remo is to become the enforcement wing (assassin) of CURE, and learns an ancient Korean martial art from Chiun, the Master of Sinanju. Based on the popular pulp series “The Destroyer,” by Richard Sapir and Warren Murphy.
John’s Thought: Chiun is still one of my all time favorite supporting characters in any movie I’ve ever seen. His lines are some of the most quotable and hilarious I’ve ever heard. Probably only second to Bruce Campbell’s as Ash.
books-drugstore-cowboy.jpg#80 – DRUGSTORE COWBOY
Rotten Tomatoes Rating – 100%
Synopsis: Matt Dillon and Kelly Lynch play a heroin-driven Bonnie and Clyde, knocking over drugstores in the Pacific Northwest. Ultimately, they must dispose of the body of one of their crew, sneaking it out from a motel where a sheriffs’ convention is being held.
John’s Thought: Remember back when Matt Dillon was relevant? I still don’t think he gets enough credit for how good he can be.
books-Full-Metal.jpg#79 – FULL METAL JACKET
Rotten Tomatoes Rating – 96%
Synopsis: Full Metal Jacket begins by following the trials and tribulations of a platoon of fresh Marine Corps recruits focusing on the relationship between Gunnery Sergeant Hartman and Privates Pyle and Joker. We see Pyle grow into an instrument of death as Hartman has forseen of all of his recruits. Through Pyle’s torment and Joker’s unwillingness to stand up against it the climax of part one is achieved with all three main characters deciding their fates by their action or inaction. The second chapter of Full Metal Jacket delves into Joker’s psyche and the repeated referal to the fact that he joined the Corps to become a killer. When his mostly behind the scenes job as a combat correspondant is interfered with by the Tet offensive he is thrust into real combat and ultimately must choose if he really is a killer.
John’s Thought: Not many people agree with me, but I think this was easily Stanley Kubrick’s best movie.
books-9-weeks.jpg#78 – 9 1/2 WEEKS
Rotten Tomatoes Rating – 62%
Synopsis: An erotic story about a woman, the assistant of an art gallery, who gets into an impersonal affaire with a man. She barely knows about his life, only about the sex games they play, so the relationship begins to complicate.
John’s Thought: As hard as it is to believe now, there was a time when Mikey Rourke was once considered a very handsome man.
books-ragtime.jpg#77 – RAGTIME
Rotten Tomatoes Rating – 90%
Synopsis: The story runs in the 1910’s New York. Coalhouse Walker Jr. is a black piano player. He has won fame and fortune playing with a jazz band. Some white men do not like this situation, and one day they assault him and spoil his brand new car. Walker tries by all means to get justice, without an answer.
John’s Thought: The strength of the film is in its characters that feel so authentic you can’t help but feel a part of this period piece that was a forerunner for the slew of social change movies that followed in.
books-babe.jpg#76 – BABE
Rotten Tomatoes Rating – 98%
Synopsis: Babe is a little pig who doesn’t quite know his place in the world. With a bunch of odd friends, like Ferdinand the duck who thinks he is a rooster and Fly the dog he calls mom, Babe realizes that he has the makings to become the greatest sheep pig of all time, and Farmer Hogget Knows it. With the help of the sheep dogs Babe learns that a pig can be anything that he wants to be.
John’s Thought: Whoopie, a movie about a talking pig. We’ve seen it before. I don’t care… this movie is frigging beautiful.
books-Forrest-Gump.jpg#75 – FORREST GUMP
Rotten Tomatoes Rating – 72%
Synopsis: Forrest, Forrest Gump is a simple man with little brain activity but good intentions. He struggles through childhood with his best and only friend Jenny. His ‘mama’ teaches him the ways of life and leaves him to choose his destiny. Forrest joins the army for service in Vietnam, finding new friends called Dan and Bubba, he wins medals, starts a table tennis craze, creates a famous shrimp fishing fleet, inspires people to jog, create the smiley, write bumper stickers and songs, donating to people and meeting the president several times. However this is all irrelevant to Forrest who can only think of his childhood sweetheart Jenny. Who has messed up her life. Although in the end all he wants to prove is that anyone can love anyone
John’s Thought: A movie of a less than ordinary person who lives an extraordinary life. Great film, but no way in hell it should have beat out Shawshank Redemption for best picture that year.
books-diggstown.jpg#74 – DIGGSTOWN
Rotten Tomatoes Rating – 50%
Synopsis: Gabriel Caine has just been released from prison when he sets up a bet with a business man. The business man owns most of a boxing-mad town called Diggstown. The bet is that Gabe can find a boxer that will knock out 10 Diggstown men, in a boxing ring, within 24 hours. “Honey” Roy Palmer is that man – although at 48, many say he is too old. A sub plot is thrown in about Charles Macum Diggs – the heavyweight champion that gave the town its name – and who is now confined to a wheel-chair.
John’s Thought: One of the best “I never saw that coming” endings to a movie of all time.
books-Field-of-dreams.jpg#73 – FIELD OF DREAMS
Rotten Tomatoes Rating – 91%
Synopsis: Iowa farmer Ray Kinsella hears a voice in his corn field tell him, “If you build it, he will come.” He interprets this message as an instruction to build a baseball field on his farm, upon which appear the ghosts of Shoeless Joe Jackson and the other seven Chicago White Sox players banned from the game for throwing the 1919 World Series. When the voices continue, Ray seeks out a reclusive author to help him understand the meaning of the messages and the purpose for his field.
John’s Thought: Listening to James Earl Jones talk about baseball in this film reminds me of why sports are so magical better than any other sports themed monologue in a movie I’ve ever heard.
books-Psycho.jpg#72 – PSYCHO
Rotten Tomatoes Rating – 97%
Synopsis: Phoenix officeworker Marion Crane is fed up with the way life has treated her. She has to meet her lover Sam in lunch breaks and they cannot get married because Sam has to give most of his money away in alimony. One Friday Marion is trusted to bank $40,000 by her employer. Seeing the opportunity to take the money and start a new life, Marion leaves town and heads towards Sam’s California store. Tired after the long drive and caught in a storm, she gets off the main highway and pulls into The Bates Motel. The motel is managed by a quiet young man called Norman who seems to be dominated by his mother.
John’s Thought: I’ve never felt totally comfortable taking showers in hotels ever since.
books-Firm.jpg#71 – THE FIRM
Rotten Tomatoes Rating – 76%
Synopsis: Mitch McDeere is a young man with a promising future in Law. About to sit his Bar exam, he is approached by ‘The Firm’ and made an offer he doesn’t refuse. Seduced by the money and gifts showered on him, he is totally oblivious to the more sinister side of his company. Then, two Associates are murdered. The FBI contact him, asking him for information and suddenly his life is ruined. He has a choice – work with the FBI, or stay with the Firm. Either way he will lose his life as he knows it. Mitch figures the only way out is to follow his own plan.
John’s Thought: Wow, there’s a lot of Tom Cruise on this list
books-Casino.jpg#70 – CASINO
Rotten Tomatoes Rating – 83%
Synopsis: Sam ‘Ace’ Rothstein, a mob-connected casino operator in Las Vegas, attempts a civilized lifestyle with his money-conditional wife, Ginger. Nicky Santoro, a boyhood friend of Ace and now a Made-Man of the Mafia, arrives in town with an ambitious agenda of his own that soon disrupts Ace’s life. Before long, Ginger and her long-time leeching lover Lester, along with Nicky’s mistakes, causing problems.
John’s Thought: Sexy, violent and just plain cool
books-blade-runner.jpg#69 – BLADE RUNNER
Rotten Tomatoes Rating – 91%
Synopsis: Los Angeles, 2019: Rick Deckard of the LAPD’s Blade Runner unit prowls the steel & micro-chip jungle of the 21st century for assumed humanoids known as ‘replicants’. Replicants were declared illegal after a bloody mutiny on an Off-World Colony, and are to be terminated upon detection. Man’s obsession with creating a being equal to himself has back-fired.
John’s Thought: I don’t like this nearly as much as most people, but there is no denying its place in Sci-Fi history
books-English-Patient.jpg#68 – THE ENGLISH PATIENT
Rotten Tomatoes Rating – 84%
Synopsis: A burn victim, a nurse, a thief, and a sapper find themselves in each others company in an old Italian villa close to the end of World War II. Through flashbacks, we see the life of the burn victim, whose passionate love of a woman and choices he made for her ultimately change the lives of one other person in the villa. Not only is this film a search for the identity of the English patient, but a search for the identities of all the people in the quiet old villa.
John’s Thought: A lot of people found this dry and slow, but I thought it hit every note perfectly.
books-River-Runs-Through-it.jpg#67 – A RIVER RUNS THROUGH IT
Rotten Tomatoes Rating – 78%
Synopsis: A true story about two boys, Norman and Paul, growing up in Montana. One is rebellious of his father, Rev. Maclean, while the other has his feet on the ground. The one love they both have is fly fishing.
John’s Thought: Who knew a movie about a love of Fly Fishing would be so good. To me, my favorite performance by Tom Skerritt of his career.
books-Once-Upon-America.jpg#66 – ONCE UPON A TIME IN AMERICA
Rotten Tomatoes Rating – 93%
Synopsis: Epic, episodic, tale of the lives of a small group of New York City Jewish gangsters spanning over 40 years. Told mostly in flashbacks and flash-forwards, the movie centers on small-time hood David ‘Noodles’ Aaronson and his lifelong partners in crime; Max, Cockeye and Patsy and their friends from growing up in the rough Jewish neighborhood of New York’s Lower East Side in the 1920s, to the last years of Prohibition in the early 1930s, and then to the late 1960s where an elderly Noodles returns to New York after many years in hiding to look into the past.
John’s Thought: If I ask you to name a gangster movie with Robert DiNero, would this one even be in the first 3 you’d name?
books-fly.jpg#65 – THE FLY
Rotten Tomatoes Rating – 91%
Synopsis: Seth Brundle is a scientist working on teleportation. Just when he thinks he’s ironed out the last bug in his system, the intervention of a common house fly turns Seth into a 6 foot insect. The transformation from man to fly is gradual but horrific, and is witnessed by Veronica; a reporter documenting Seth’s story. Seth has some time to try to find a cure, but is there enough time…?
John’s Thought: Just watched this movie again recently. So honestly freaky and yet really funny at some points too.
books-Munich.jpg#64 – MUNICH
Rotten Tomatoes Rating – 77%
Synopsis: During the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich, eleven Israeli athletes are taken hostage and murdered by a Palestinian terrorist group known as Black September. In retaliation, the Israeli government recruits a group of Mossad agents to track down and execute those responsible for the attack.
John’s Thought: If there was ever any question that Eric Bana possessed the tools to be a top notch A List movie start, this project settled those questions in my opinion.
books-Natural.jpg#63 – THE NATURAL
Rotten Tomatoes Rating – 83%
Synopsis: An unknown middle-aged batter named Roy Hobbs with a mysterious past appears out of nowhere to take a losing 1930s baseball team to the top of the league in this magical sports fantasy. With the aid of a bat cut from a lightning struck tree, Hobbs lives the fame he should have had earlier when, as a rising pitcher, he is inexplicably shot by a young woman.
John’s Thought: The scene near the end of the home run set to that incredible music with the sparks flying still gives me goose bumps.
books-Terms-Endearment.jpg#62 – TERMS OF ENDEARMENT
Rotten Tomatoes Rating – 89%
Synopsis: Aurora and Emma are mother and daughter who march to different drummers. Beginning with Emma’s marriage, Aurora shows how difficult and loving she can be. The movie covers several years of their lives as each finds different reasons to go on living and find joy. Aurora’s interludes with Garrett Breedlove, retired astronaut and next door neighbor are quite striking. In the end, different people show their love in very different ways.
John’s Thought: A fantastic balance between funny and sad.
books-Doctor-Strangelove.jpg#61 – Dr. STRANGELOVE OR: HOW I LEARNED TO STOP WORRYING AND LOVE THE BOMB
Rotten Tomatoes Rating – 100%
Synopsis: U.S. Air Force General Jack Ripper goes completely and utterly mad, and sends his bomber wing to destroy the U.S.S.R. He suspects that the communists are conspiring to pollute the “precious bodily fluids” of the American people. The U.S. president meets with his advisors, where the Soviet ambassador tells him that if the U.S.S.R. is hit by nuclear weapons, it will trigger a “Doomsday Machine” which will destroy all plant and animal life on Earth. Peter Sellers portrays the three men who might avert this tragedy: British Group Captain Lionel Mandrake, the only person with access to the demented Gen. Ripper; U.S. President Merkin Muffley, whose best attempts to divert disaster depend on placating a drunken Soviet Premier and the former Nazi genius Dr. Strangelove, who concludes that “such a device would not be a practical deterrent for reasons which at this moment must be all too obvious”. Will the bombers be stopped in time, or will General Jack Ripper succeed in destroying the world ?
John’s Thought: Hailed as one of the funniest films ever made… and yet the book didn’t really have any comedy elements in it at all.
books-green-mile.jpg#60 – THE GREEN MILE
Rotten Tomatoes Rating – 78%
Synopsis: Paul Edgecomb is a slightly cynical veteran prison guard on Death row in the 1930’s. His faith, and sanity, deteriorated by watching men live and die, Edgecomb is about to have a complete turn around in attitude. Enter John Coffey, He’s eight feet tall. He has hands the size of waffle irons. He’s been accused of the murder of two children… and he’s afraid to sleep in a cell without a night-light. And Edgecomb, as well as the other prison guards – Brutus, a sympathetic guard, and Percy, a stuck up, perverse, and violent person, are in for a strange experience that involves intelligent mice, brutal executions, and the revelation about Coffey’s innocence and his true identity.
John’s Thought: My second favorite Darabont movie behind another film on this list higher up and a performance of a lifetime for Michael Clarke Duncan that he’ll probably never equal.
books-Girl-Interupted.jpg#59 – GIRL INTERRUPTED
Rotten Tomatoes Rating – 52%
Synopsis: Susanna is depressed and directionless after finishing high school in the late 1960’s. A suicide attempt lands her in Claymore, a mental institution. She befriends the band of troubled women in her ward (Georgina the pathological liar, the sexually abused Daisy, the burn victim Polly) but falls under the hypnotic sway of Lisa, the wildest and most hardened of the bunch. Will Susanna “drop anchor” at Claymore and perpetually act out like Lisa, or will she finally pull her mind together and leave institutional life behind?
John’s Thought: I still don’t rationally know why I like this movie so much… but I do.
books-Quiz-Show.jpg#58 – QUIZ SHOW
Rotten Tomatoes Rating – 96
Synopsis: An idealistic young lawyer (Rob Morrow) working for a Congressional subcommittee in the late 1950s discovers that TV quiz shows are being fixed. His investigation focusses on two contestants on the show “Twenty-One”: Herbert Stempel (John Turturro), a brash working-class Jew from Queens, and Charles Van Doren (Ralph Fiennes), the patrician scion of one of America’s leading literary families. Based on a true story.
John’s Thought: Ralph Fiennes and John Turturro just rock the hell out of this movie. Far more intense and exciting than you’d think a movie about a game show would be.
books-Romancing-Stone.jpg#57 – ROMANCING THE STONE
Rotten Tomatoes Rating – 85%
Synopsis: The writer of romantic novels Joan Wilder travels to south America to look for and rescue her kidnapped sister. She finds herself stranded in the jungles and finds help in the form of the soldier of fortune Jack Colton. The two go through a number of adventures, deal with the bad villains Ralph and company, and end up falling in love.
John’s Thought: One of those great films that was just fine as it was they never should have made a sequel to.
books-color-purple.jpg#56 – THE COLOR PURPLE
Rotten Tomatoes Rating – 84%
Synopsis: This film follows the life of Celie, a young black girl growing up in the early 1900’s. The first time we see Celie, she is 14 – and pregnant – by her father. We stay with her for the next 30 years of her tough life.
John’s Thought: One more reason why Steven Spielberg is simply the best director in the business in our lifetime.
books-Dead-Zone.jpg#55 – THE DEAD ZONE
Rotten Tomatoes Rating – 89%
Synopsis: Johnny Smith is a young schoolteacher with his whole life ahead of him. Unfortunately, after leaving his fiancee’s home one night, he is involved in a wreck with an 18-wheel tractor-trailer and is in a coma for 5 years. When he wakes up from it, he discovers he has an ability to see into other people’s lives, past, present and future, by coming into physical contact. But the visions he has are often frightening, and even apocalyptic.
John’s Thought: This is the first movie I ever saw Christopher Walken in (hey, I was 11 years old) and to this day I still get a little freaked out when I see him on screen.
books-Fast-Times.jpg#54 – FAST TIMES AT RIDGEMONT HIGH
Rotten Tomatoes Rating – 81%
Synopsis: Follows a group of high school students growing up in southern California, based on the real-life adventures chronicled by Cameron Crowe. Stacy Hamilton and Mark Ratner are looking for a love interest, and are helped along by their older classmates, Linda Barrett and Mike Damone, respectively. The center of the film is held by Jeff Spicoli, a perpetually stoned surfer dude who faces off with the resolute Mr. Hand, who is convinced that everyone is on dope.
John’s Thought: One of those movies I love now for totally different reasons then why I loved it as a kid. Back then it was just because of boobs and sex… today it’s because… oh wait… same reasons.
books-Lion-Witch-Wardrobe.jpg#53 – THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA: THE LION, THE WITCH AND THE WARDROBE
Rotten Tomatoes Rating – 75%
Synopsis: Based on the 2nd in the series of books by ‘CS Lewis’ , “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe,” the film tells the story of 4 children who go to live with an old professor during the war. One day, while playing hide and seek, Lucy, the youngest of the children, finds a wardrobe which leads to a magical land called Narnia. However Narnia is being ruled by the evil White Witch who has made it snow for 100 years and according to an old prophecy, Edmund, Lucy, Peter and Susan are the “chosen ones” who will defeat the Witch. They are assisted by the true ruler of Narnia, the lion, Aslan. With the good Narnians on their side all 4 children must now defeat the witch using all their strength and fulfill their destinies to become the new kings and queens of Narnia.
John’s Thought: Loved this movie! Perfectly captured the sense of magic and wonder like a master storyteller around a campfire. Too bad the sequel was such a let down.
books-Out-Sight.jpg#52 – OUT OF SIGHT
Rotten Tomatoes Rating – 92%
Synopsis: A career bank robber busts out of jail (Clooney) with the help of his buddy (Rhames) and kidnaps a US Marshal (Lopez) in the process. When the two cons head for Detroit to pull off their final big scam, the Marshal is put on their case but she finds she is attracted to one of them and has second thoughts about bringing them in.
John’s Thought: Maybe it’s just because of the great cast and fantastic story surounding her… but J-Lo actually didn’t completely suck in this movie. Guess you gotta get lucky at least once right?
books-First-Blood.jpg#51 – FIRST BLOOD
Rotten Tomatoes Rating – 85%
Synopsis: Ex-Green Beret John Rambo wanders up north in search of a friend. Rambo was awarded with the medal of honor for his service in Vietnam but has not found solace in the States thereafter. And he certainly does escape prejudice when a small town’s tough, idealistic sheriff spots him entering. The sheriff believes Rambo would be something of a light disturbance to the town and tries to keep him out. When Rambo rebels and then escapes into the cold misty forests, the force embarks on a massive manhunt to subdue him flanked by his former superior officer Colonel Trautman who knows the odds and ends of Rambo’s cunning.
John’s Thought: This film was more than just the brainless blow-em-up action movie that the rest of the franchise became. It was actually a character film, and a damn good one at that.
books-In-THe-Name-Of-The-Father.jpg#50 – IN THE NAME OF THE FATHER
Rotten Tomatoes Rating – 95%
Synopsis: Based on the true story of Gerry Conlon, a Belfast youth who – along with family members and friends – was wrongly convicted of bombing two pubs outside of London. A story about the relationship between a father and his son who fought for justice to clear his father’s name.
John’s Thought: This movie was basically a memo to mankind letting us know Lewis is one of the greatest actors alive.
books-Mystic-River.jpg#49 – MYSTIC RIVER
Rotten Tomatoes Rating – 87%
Synopsis: During a summer in 1975, Dave Boyle and two friends, Jimmy and Sean, are playing on a sidewalk in Boston when Dave is abducted by two men and subjected to sexual abuse over a period of several days. Eventually escaping, but haunted into adulthood by his trauma, Dave becomes a primary suspect when Jimmy’s daughter, Katie, is found murdered. Sean, assigned to investigate the crime, finds himself facing both demons from the past and demons in the present as the circumstances surrounding Katie’s death are uncovered.
John’s Thought: This movie flat out haunted me for a while after I watched it. Tragic and poetic ending. Intense personal, moral and violent conflict. I basically laugh at people who dis on Eastwood as a director.
books-Sophies-Choice.jpg#48 – SOPHIE’S CHOICE
Rotten Tomatoes Rating – 84%
Synopsis: Sophie is the survivor of Nazi concentration camps, who has found a reason to live in Nathan, a sparkling if unsteady American Jew obsessed with the Holocaust. They befriend Stingo, the movie’s narrator, a young American writer new to New York City. But the happiness of Sophie and Nathan is endangered by her ghosts and his obsessions.
John’s Thought: First movie I ever saw Meryl Streep in. I still think she’s never been better (and that’s not a bad thing)
books-Lord-Of-The-Flies.jpg#47 – LORD OF THE FLIES (1963)
Rotten Tomatoes Rating – 100%
Synopsis: A group of boys are marooned on an island after their plane crashes. With no adult survivors, they create their own “micro-society”. Ralph is elected “chief”, and he organises shelter and fire. Jack, the head of the choir takes his boys hunting for food (wild pigs). A bitter rivalry develops between Jack and Ralph as both want to be in charge. The “hunters” become savage and primal, under Jack’s rule, while Ralph tries to keep his group civilised. The growing hostility between them leads to a bloody and frighting climax.
John’s Thought: When watching the film “Doomsday” earlier this year I was struck by how much of a rip off it was (in basic theme) of this film. Except this film did it… you know… in a not sucky way.
books-Kiss-Spider-Woman.jpg#46 – KISS OF THE SPIDER WOMAN
Rotten Tomatoes Rating – 88%
Synopsis: Luis Molina and Valentin Arregui are cell mates in a South American prison. Luis, a homosexual, is found guilty of immoral behaviour and Valentin is a political prisoner. To escape reality Luis invents romantic movies, while Valentin tries to keep his mind on the situation he’s in. During the time they spend together, the two men come to understand and respect one another.
John’s Thought: Have I ever mentioned that William Hurt just absolutely rules?
books-Willy-Wonka.jpg#45 – WILLY WONKA AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY
Rotten Tomatoes Rating – 90%
Synopsis: The world is astounded when Willy Wonka, for years a recluse in his factory, announces that five lucky people will be given a tour of the factory, shown all the secrets of his amazing candy, and one will win a lifetime supply of Wonka chocolate. Nobody wants the prize more than young Charlie, but as his family is so poor that buying even one bar of chocolate is a treat, buying enough bars to find one of the five golden tickets is unlikely in the extreme. But in movieland, magic can happen. Charlie, along with four somewhat odious other children, get the chance of a lifetime and a tour of the factory. Along the way, mild disasters befall each of the odious children, but can Charlie beat the odds and grab the brass ring?
John’s Thought: Unlike most people, I almost liked the Tim Burton version of this story as much as the original. ALMOST.
books-Kiss-Kiss-Bang-Bang.jpg#44 – KISS KISS, BANG BANG
Rotten Tomatoes Rating – 83%
Synopsis: A noir send-up. A narrator introduces himself at a Hollywood party: he’s Harry Lockhart, a thief from New York, in L.A. for a screen test. He meets Gay Perry, a glitzy private eye who’s to school him for his role; there’s Harmony Lane, a wannabe actress whose time has passed; the host is an aging actor who starred in detective movies, plus his daughter, with starlet looks and a choppy past. The next day, Gay and Harry stake out a house where Gay is to take surreptitious photographs for a client – what they find is a corpse. From there, twists and connections abound and bodies pile up. Who’s double-crossing whom? And, has Harry found Harmony too late to save himself from misery?
John’s Thought: This movie ranks right up there with Bubba Ho-Tep where the fact that it never got a wide release should be considered a crime against humanity. Robert Downey Jr. and Val Kilmer were both just amazing in this flick
books-Mice-And-Men.jpg#43 – OF MICE AND MEN
Rotten Tomatoes Rating – 100%
Synopsis: Based on John Steinbeck’s 1937 classic tale of two travelling companions, George and Lennie, who wander the country during the Depression, dreaming of a better life for themselves. Then, just as heaven is within their grasp, it is inevitably yanked away. The film follows Steinbeck’s novel closely, exploring questions of strength, weakness, usefulness, reality and utopia, bringing Steinbeck’s California vividly to life.
John’s Thought: So beautifully and tragically crafted. I’m always saddened by how many people have never watched this movie.
books-Harry-Potter-Goblet.jpg#42 – HARRY POTTER AND THE GOBLET OF FIREr
Rotten Tomatoes Rating – 90%
Synopsis: Harry Potter returns to Hogwarts for his fourth year, where the Trizwizard tournament is becoming ready to begin. Students must be over 17 to enter, with the winner receiving eternal glory. Harry can’t enter it this year…or can he. When his name is read out from the Goblet of Fire, everyone assumes that Harry Potter has cheated. Harry insists that he never placed his name in there, with someone else behind it. But Who? Harry must now survive through dragons, sea creatures and a terrifying maze, all before coming face-to-face with a particular dark wizard.
John’s Thought: This one will be hotly debated, but to me it’s head and shoulders the best of the Potter films so far.
books-Year-Living-Dangerously.jpg#41 – THE YEAR OF LIVING DANGEROUSLY
Rotten Tomatoes Rating – 96%
Synopsis: Guy Hamilton is a journalist on his first job as a foreign correspondent. His apparently humdrum assignment to Indonesia soon turns hot as President Sukarno electrifies the populace and frightens foreign powers. Guy soon is the hottest reporter on the story with the help of his photographer, half- Chinese dwarf Billy Kwan, who has gone native. Guy’s affair with diplomat Jill Bryant also helps. Eventually Guy must face some major moral choices and the relationship between Billy and him reaches a crisis at the same time the politics of Indonesia does.
John’s Thought: You’d think Mel Gibson thought 2007 was the year to live danerously by shooting off his stupid drunk ass mouth about the Jews
books-ordinary-people.jpg#40 – ORDINARY PEOPLE
Rotten Tomatoes Rating – 90%
Synopsis: Beth, Calvin, and their son Conrad are living in the aftermath of the death of the other son. Conrad is overcome by grief and misplaced guilt to the extent of a suicide attempt. He is in therapy. Beth had always preferred his brother and is having difficulty being supportive to Conrad. Calvin is trapped between the two trying to hold the family together.
John’s Thought: One of those films that leaves you speechless after seeing it. For my money the best job Robert Redford ever did as a director.
books-Bourne-Ultimatum.jpg#39 – THE BOURNE ULTIMATUM
Rotten Tomatoes Rating – 93%
Synopsis: Bourne is once again brought out of hiding, Jason Bourne is now hunted by the people who made him what he is–legendary assassin. Having lost his memory and the one person he loved, he is undeterred by the barrage of bullets and a new generation of highly-trained killers. Bourne has only one objective: to go back to the beginning and find out who he was.
John’s Thought: I was never all that impressed with either of the first two Bourne movies (they were ok), but this one was flat out brilliant.
books-Thing.jpg#38 – THE THING
Rotten Tomatoes Rating – 77%
Synopsis: An American scientific expedition to the frozen wastes of the Antarctic is interrupted by a group of seemingly mad Norwegians pursuing and shooting a dog. The helicopter pursuing the dog crashes leaving no explanation for the chase. During the night, the dog mutates and attacks other dogs in the cage and members of the team that investigate. The team soon realises that an alien life-form with the ability to take over other bodies is on the loose and they don’t know who may already have been taken over.
John’s Thought: One of my favorite openings to a film, especially as the movie goes on and you understand the significance of it more and more.
books-LA-Confidential.jpg#37 – L.A. CONFIDENTIAL
Rotten Tomatoes Rating – 99%
Synopsis: 1950’s Los Angeles is the seedy backdrop for this intricate noir-ish tale of police corruption and Hollywood sleaze. Three very different cops are all after the truth, each in their own style: Ed Exley, the golden boy of the police force, willing to do almost anything to get ahead, except sell out; Bud White, ready to break the rules to seek justice, but barely able to keep his raging violence under control; and Jack Vincennes, always looking for celebrity and a quick buck until his conscience drives him to join Exley and White down the one-way path to find the truth behind the dark world of L.A. crime.
John’s Thought: It’s only years after it was made that you realise just how stacked this cast was. Kevin Spacey, Russell Crowe and Guy Pearce were hardly the recognizable names that they are today.
books-Silence-Lambs.jpg#36 – THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS
Rotten Tomatoes Rating – 96%
Synopsis: Clarice Starling, a young intelligent FBI trainee, has been sent to the Batlimore state hospital for the Criminally insane to interview an inmate Dr. Hannibal-the cannibal- Lecter. A Brilliant renowned psychiatrist turned infamous Psychopathic Serial killer. She must match wits with Lecter -who has the darkest of all minds- and trust him to give her clues in the search for “Buffalo Bill”. a nick name for a loose,unknown, unstoppable Pyschopathic Serial killer.
John’s Thought: Who knew that a cannibalistic serial killer could become a pop culture hero?
books-Planet-Apes.jpg#35 – PLANET OF THE APES
Rotten Tomatoes Rating – 88%
Synopsis: In the year 3978A.D. a spaceship with a crew of 4 crashes down on a distant planet. One of the crew members had died in space and the other 3 head out to explore the planet. They soon learn that the planet is much like their own. They then find the planet is inhabited by intelligent apes. One of the men is shot and killed and the others are taken to the apes’ city. There, one undergoes brain surgery and is put into a state of living death. The other befriends some of the apes but is feared by most. After being put through ape trial he escapes with a female human native to the planet. After helping his ape friends escape a religious heresy trial he escapes out into the wilderness with the female. There he learns the planet might not be so distant after all.
John’s Thought: I lost count of how many sequels they made of this amazing films. I think they stopped just short of having “The Apes Do Disco”.
books-Secret-Nimh.jpg#34 – THE SECRET OF NIMH
Rotten Tomatoes Rating – 94%
Synopsis: A fieldmouse named Mrs. Brisby must move her family to a safe location before the farmer plows the field where they live, but her invalid son Timmy cannot go outside due to his pneumonia. She enlists the aid of some highly intelligent, escaped lab rats that have built a subterranean society inside a rose bush near the farmer’s garden. The rats, led by the wise Nicodemus, decide to help her physically move her house to repay a debt of gratitude to her late husband, who made possible the rats’ escape from the laboratory. But things become complicated when some of the rats decide to use the situation to kill Nicodemus and make it appear to be accidental.
John’s Thought: I often forget about this magnificent animated film. Truly one of best films that captures your imagination.
books-Sideways.jpg#33 – SIDEWAYS
Rotten Tomatoes Rating – 96%
Synopsis: A week before the marriage of his great friend, the decadent actor Jack (Thomas Haden Church), the bitter frustrated writer divorced oenologist English teacher Miles Raymond (Paul Giamatti) travels with him to the wine country of California to spend a week together. While Miles intends to drink wine and play golf, Jack indeed intends to score and get laid with as many women as possible. While hosted in the Windmill Inn, they meet the waitress Maya (Virginia Madsen) and the attendant Stephanie (Sandra Oh), and they spend some time together, visiting different wine makers and and Miles and Maya disclosing their inner secrets and falling in love for each other.
John’s Thought: I still don’t really understand how Paul Giamatti didn’t get nominated for his performance in this.
books-Children-Of-Men.jpg#32 – CHILDREN OF MEN
Rotten Tomatoes Rating – 92%
Synopsis: “Children of Men” envisages a world one generation from now that has fallen into chaos on the heels of an infertility defect in the population. The world’s youngest citizen has just died at 18, and humankind is facing the likelihood of its own extinction. Set against a backdrop of London torn apart by violence and warring nationalistic sects, “Children of Men” follows an unlikely champion of Earth’s survival: Theo, a disillusioned ex-activist turned bureaucrat, who is forced to face his own demons and protect the planet’s last remaining hope.
John’s Thought: Some of the scenes in this flick have the most amazing cinematography and continuous shots.
books-Stand-By-Me.jpg#31 – STAND BY ME
Rotten Tomatoes Rating – 91%
Synopsis: Based on Stephen King’s Short story “The Body”, “Stand By Me” tells the tale of Gordie Lachance, a writer who looks back on his preteen days when he and three close friends went on their own adventure to find the body of a kid their age who had gone missing and presumed dead. The stakes are upped when the bad kids in town are closely tailing – and it becomes a race to see who’ll be able to recover the body first.
John’s Thought: Hey everybody look… it’s Wesley Crusher
books-2001.jpg#30 – 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY
Rotten Tomatoes Rating – 91%
Synopsis: This movie is concerned with intelligence as the division between animal and human, then asks a question; what is the next division? Technology is treated as irrelevant to the quest – literally serving as mere vehicles for the human crew, and as a shell for the immature HAL entity. Story told as a montage of impressions, music and impressive and careful attention to subliminal detail. A very influential film and still a class act, even after 25 years.
John’s Thought: There are parts of this film that still confuse the hell out of me.
books-Master-Commander.jpg#29 – MASTER AND COMMANDER: THE FAR SIDE OF THE WORLD
Rotten Tomatoes Rating – 84%
Synopsis: The year is 1805. Europe has fallen to Napoleon, and only the Royal Navy stands in his way to total victory. Off the cost of South America, a new conflict is brewing. Captain Jack “Lucky Jack” Aubrey (Russel Crowe) of the Man-of-War HMS Surprise is under orders to sink or capture the French privateer Acheron, which has been deployed to the region. After seven weeks of uneventful sailing, the Acheron strikes first, all but crippling the Surprise in an engagement in which Aubrey realizes his enemy’s ship is nautically superior to his own. Along with his close friend and confidant Stephan Maturin (Paul Bettany) who also happens to be the ship’s surgeon, Aubrey is now faced with the choice of retreating to England and admitting defeat or remaining at the Acheron’s mercy. Aubrey must now do the impossible if he is to survive, repair his ship, catch up to his enemy and defeat the Acheron–somehow.
John’s Thought: Tragically overlooked film. The young kids in the cast actually add to the film
books-Memento.jpg#28 – MEMENTO
Rotten Tomatoes Rating – 94%
Synopsis: Point blank in the head a man shoots another. In flashbacks, each one earlier in time than what we’ve just seen, the two men’s pasts unfold. Leonard, as a result of a blow to the head during an assault on his wife, has no short-term memory. He’s looking for his wife’s killer, compensating for his disability by taking Polaroids, annotating them and tattooing important facts on his body. We meet the loquacious Teddy and the seductive Natalie (a barmaid who promises to help) and we glimpse Leonard’s wife through memories from before the assault. Leonard also talks about Sammy Jankis, a man he knew with a similar condition. Has Leonard found the killer? Who’s manipulating whom?
John’s Thought: Such a unique way to tell a story and the movie that put Christopher Nolan (director of Batman Begins and The Dark Knight) on the map for people.
books-Dances-Wolves.jpg#27 – DANCES WITH WOLVES
Rotten Tomatoes Rating – 77%
Synopsis: Lt. John Dunbar is dubbed a hero after he accidentally leads Union troops to a victory during the Civil War. He requests a position on the western frontier, but finds it deserted. He soon finds out he is not alone, but meets a wolf he dubs “Two-socks” and a curious Indian tribe. Dunbar quickly makes friends with the tribe, and discovers a white woman who was raised by the Indians. He gradually earns the respect of these native people, and sheds his white-man’s ways.
John’s Thought: Yeah people got sick of Costner, but that doesn’t change the fact that this is one hell of a movie.
books-Assassintion-Jesse.jpg#26 – THE ASSASSINATION OF JESSE JAMES BY THE COWARD ROBERT FORD
Rotten Tomatoes Rating – 75%
Synopsis: The last months of Jesse James’s life, from meeting Robert Ford, a 19-year-old who idolizes Jesse, to the day Ford shoots him. Jesse’s a wanted man, living under a pseudonym, carrying out a train robbery, disappearing to Kentucky, and reappearing to plan a bank holdup with Robert and Robert’s brother as his team. The rest of the gang is dead, arrested, or gone from Missouri. Whenever Jesse’s around, there’s tension: he’s murderous, quixotic, depressed, and cautious. Ford wants to be somebody and wants the reward. On April 3, 1882, things come to a head: Jesse is 34, Robert 20. Ford becomes famous, reenacting the shooting on stage, facing down the label “coward,” shot dead in 1892.
John’s Thought: Deliberately paced, beautifully told with a couple of stunning performances to boot.
books-Das-Boot.jpg#25 – DAS BOOT
Rotten Tomatoes Rating – 96%
Synopsis: A detailed look into the claustrophobic and terrifying world of a German U-boat crew hunting ships from undersea. Gritty, realistic, and peppered with black humour, this is one of the few sympathetic portrayals of the war from the German side to be released in western distribution.
John’s Thought: I think this might have been the first foreign film I ever saw… it still might be the best.
books-Raging-Bull.jpg#24 – RAGING BULL
Rotten Tomatoes Rating – 98%
Synopsis: When Jake LaMotta steps into a boxing ring and obliterates his opponent, he’s a prizefighter. But when he treats his family and friends the same way, he’s a ticking time bomb, ready to go off at any moment. Though LaMotta wants his family’s love, something always seems to come between them. Perhaps it’s his violent bouts of paranoia and jealousy. This kind of rage helped make him a champ, but in real life, he winds up in the ring alone.
John’s Thought: A different kind of sports movies and one of DiNero’s best performances.
books-Last-Mohicans.jpg#23 – THE LAST OF THE MOHICANS
Rotten Tomatoes Rating – 97%
Synopsis: As the English and French soldiers battle for control of the North American colonies in the 18th century, the settlers and native Americans are forced to take sides. Cora and her sister Alice unwittingly walk into trouble but are saved by Hawkeye, an orphaned settler adopted by the last of the Mohicans.
John’s Thought: STAY ALIVE! Man, the scene where he kills the guy who was about to get tortured… yikes
books-Postman-Rings-Twice.jpg#22 – THE POSTMAN ALWAYS RINGS TWICE
Rotten Tomatoes Rating
Synopsis: This remake of the 1946 movie of the same name accounts an affair between a seedy drifter and a seductive wife of a roadside cafe owner. This begins a chain of events that culminates in murder. Based on a novel by James M. Cain.
John’s Thought: A lot of the so called “all time classics” don’t end up living up to the hype. This one does.
books-Untouchables.jpg#21 – THE UNTOUCHABLES
Rotten Tomatoes Rating – 82%
Synopsis: Young Treasury Agent Elliot Ness arrives in Chicago and is deternimed to take down Al Capone but he learns that it’s not going to be easy, because Capone has the police in his pocket. But Ness meets Jimmy Malone a veteran patrolman and probably the most honorable one in the force. He asks Malone to help him get Capone but Malone warns him that if he goes after Capone, he is going to war. They recruit academy cadet, George Stone and Treasury agent Oscar Wallace, who is also an accountant, who wants to prosecute Capone for tax evasion. When they make headway, Capone tries to get them but they are untouchable.
John’s Thought: Leave it to a wop to bring a knife to a gun fight. Yeah, we tend to do that.
books-310-Yuma.jpg#20 – 3:10 TO YUMA
Rotten Tomatoes Rating – 88%
Synopsis: The rancher Daniel Evans, who lost part of his leg in the Civil War, is broken and owing a large amount to a powerful man in Bisbee. When the outlaw Ben Wade is captured after the heist of a stagecoach, Dan offers to escort the cold blood killer to the city of Contention to take the 3:10 PM train to Yuma to be sent to trial. In return, he would receive US$ 200,00, enough to save his land and give a better life to his family. During their journey, Ben gets closer to Dan while his gang of criminals follows the group to rescue their boss.
John’s Thought: I honestly don’t know why this movie didn’t get better received because I thought it was flat out amazing and my favorite western since Unforgiven.
books-Die-Hard.jpg#19 – DIE HARD
Rotten Tomatoes Rating – 96%
Synopsis: Tough New York cop John McClane finds himself in a tight situation when an office building in Los Angeles is taken over by terrorists. Apart from himself, everyone else in the building – including his wife – is held at gunpoint while their captors spell out their demands. The F.B.I. are called in to survey the situation, but John McClane has other plans for the terrorists…
John’s Thought: Betcha didn’t know this was based on a book. Yeah neither did I at first.
books-Beautiful-Mind.jpg#18 – A BEAUTIFUL MIND
Rotten Tomatoes Rating – 78%
Synopsis: From the heights of notoriety to the depths of depravity, John Forbes Nash, Jr. experienced it all. A mathematical genius, he made an astonishing discovery early in his career and stood on the brink of international acclaim. But the handsome and arrogant Nash soon found himself on a painful and harrowing journey of self-discovery. After many years of struggle, he eventually triumphed over his tragedy, and finally – late in life – received the Nobel Prize.
John’s Thought: Russell Crowe is hands down the best all around actor alive today. This film is just exhibit 4 on the list that proves that point.
books-Casino-Royale.jpg#17 – CASINO ROYALE
Rotten Tomatoes Rating – 94%
Synopsis: Recently promoted to 00 status, James Bond takes over his first mission, in which he faces a mysterious private banker to world terrorism and poker player, Le Chiffre. Along with a beautiful Treasury agent and the MI6 man in Montenegro, Bond takes part in a high stakes poker game set up by Le Chiffre in order to recover a huge sum of his clients’ money he lost in a failed plot that the British spy took down. 007 will not only discover the threatening organization behind his enemy, but the worst of all truths: to not trust on anyone.
John’s Thought: Daniel Craig because my all time favorite James Bond, and Casino Royale became my favorite Bond film. Too bad Quantum of Solace didn’t live up to Royale’s level.
books-Million-Dollar-Baby.jpg#16 – MILLION DOLLAR BABY
Rotten Tomatoes Rating – 91%
Synopsis: Maggie Fitzgerald, a poor thirty-one year old waitress from the very lower classes and with a dysfunctional loser family, decides to make a difference through boxing. She convinces the experienced hardened boxing trainer Frankie Dunn to coach her and be her manager, with the support of his old partner Eddie Scrap-Iron Dupris, who sees her potential as a boxer. Frankie has a problematical relationship with his daughter, and practically adopts Maggie along her career.
John’s Thought: Holy crap this movie twisted my emotions into a thousand knots and inside out. Love this movie. Eastwood is indeed one of the premiere directors in the business.
books-Misery.jpg#15 – MISERY
Rotten Tomatoes Rating – 90%
Synopsis: Novelist Paul Sheldon crashes his car on a snowy Colorado road. He is found by Annie Wilkes, the “number one fan” of Paul’s heroine Misery Chastaine. Annie is also somewhat unstable, and Paul finds himself crippled, drugged and at her mercy.
John’s Thought: All of today’s torture porn movies can kiss my ass. The stuff poor James Caan goes through in this flick still makes me squirm.
books-Shadowlands.jpg#14 – SHADOWLANDS
Rotten Tomatoes Rating – 96%
Synopsis: CS Lewis is the author of the Narnia books – The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe. Known as Jack, he teaches at an Oxford College, during the 1930’s. An American fan, Joy Gresham, arrives to meet him for tea in Oxford. It is the beginning of a love affair. Tragically Joy becomes terminally unwell and their lives become complicated.
John’s Thought: Touching and deep at the same time. Dealing with the issues of faith and suffering isn’t not an easy theme to navigate, but Shadowlands does beautifully.
books-No-Country-Old-Men.jpg#13 – NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN
Rotten Tomatoes Rating – 94%
Synopsis: After stumbling across a case of money among dead bodies, Llewelyn Moss thinks he can keep it quiet, but when silent killer Anton Chigurh locates Moss and his money, Vietnam veteran Moss makes a run for it. With bodies falling everywhere Anton goes, it’s only a matter of time before he catches up with Llewelyn. Whilst all this is going on, Sheriff Ed Tom Bell is overseeing the investigation and begins to see the country in a different light than it once was.
John’s Thought: What can be said about this flick that hasn’t been said this year already?
books-Goodfellas.jpg#12 – GOODFELLAS
Rotten Tomatoes Rating – 94%
Synopsis: Henry Hill is a small time gangster, who takes part in a robbery with Jimmy Conway and Tommy De Vito, two other gangsters who have set their sights a bit higher. His two partners kill off everyone else involved in the robbery, and slowly start to climb up through the hierarchy of the Mob. Henry, however, is badly affected by his partners success, but will he stoop low enough to bring about the downfall of Jimmy and Tommy?
John’s Thought: An absolutely stacked cast with some of the most memorable and quoted lines in mobster movie history.
books-Scarface.jpg#11 – SCARFACE
Rotten Tomatoes Rating – 87%
Synopsis: A remake of the 1932 classic, the 1983 version follows cuban refugee, Tony Montana and his close friend Manny Ray, and together they build a strong drug empire in Miami. Of course Montana must deal with the hardships of this type of buisness. And as Montana’s power begins to grow so does his ego and his paranoia.
John’s Thought: Which line was better? “Say hello to my little friend” or “first, you get the money…”?
books-Wuthering-Heights.jpg#10 – WUTHERING HEIGHTS (1939)
Rotten Tomatoes Rating – 100%
Synopsis: The Earnshaws are Yorkshire farmers during the early 19th Century. One day, Mr. Earnshaw returns from a trip to the city, bringing with him a ragged little boy called Heathcliff. Earnshaw’s son, Hindley, resents the child, but Heathcliff becomes companion and soulmate to Hindley’s sister, Catherine. After her parents die, Cathy and Heathcliff grow up wild and free on the Moors and despite the continued enmity between Hindley and Heathcliff they’re happy– until Cathy meets Edgar Linton, the son of a wealthy neighbor.
John’s Thought: so many versions of this story, but this one will always be the measure.
books-Princess-Bride.jpg#9 – THE PRINCESS BRIDE
Rotten Tomatoes Rating – 95%
Synopsis: When the lovely Buttercup is kidnapped by a ghastly gang intent on fermenting an international incident they find they are pursued by the Dread Pirate Roberts who just might be Westley, her one true love. Also after everyone is nasty Prince Humperdinck to whom Buttercup is now betrothed but who seems to care little for her continued survival. The stage is set for swordfights, monsters, and tortures – but will Grandpa be allowed to finish telling the story with all these kissy bits?
John’s Thought: One of the most special movies ever made that is nothing short of pure magic. Holds a special place in the hearts of a lot of people.
books-Bridge-River-Kwai.jpg#8 – THE BRIDGE ON THE RIVER KWAI
Rotten Tomatoes Rating – 95%
Synopsis: The film deals with the situation of British prisoners of war during World War II who are ordered to build a bridge to accommodate the Burma-Siam railway. Their instinct is to sabotage the bridge but, under the leadership of Colonel Nicholson, they are persuaded that the bridge should be constructed as a symbol of British morale, spirit and dignity in adverse circumstances. At first, the prisoners admire Nicholson when he bravely endures torture rather than compromise his principles for the benefit of the Japanese commandant Saito. He is an honorable but arrogant man, who is slowly revealed to be a deluded obsessive. He convinces himself that the bridge is a monument to British character, but actually is a monument to himself, and his insistence on its construction becomes a subtle form of collaboration with the enemy. Unknown to him, the Allies have sent a mission into the jungle, led by Warden and an American, Shears, to blow up the bridge.
John’s Thought: I was pretty young the first time I saw this movie, and it confused me how Obi Wan Kenobi was suddenly a british soldier.
books-Hunt-Red-October.jpg#7 – THE HUNT FOR RED OCTOBER
Rotten Tomatoes Rating – 95%
Synopsis: This film tells the story of Captain Marko Ramius, the skipper of the Soviet Union’s newest nuclear sub. Jack Ryan of the CIA gets involved in a tense, tangled hunt for this sub, when Ramius defects, taking the “Red October” with him. The story is an action packed techno-thriller.
John’s Thought: This is probably the one in my top 10 that will make most people scratch their heads. So freaking brilliant. I really liked the way they transitioned between russian to english.
books-Schindlers-List.jpg#6 – SCHINDLER’S LIST
Rotten Tomatoes Rating – 96%
Synopsis: The true story of Oscar Schindler, a German businessman who owns a factory. He witnesses the horrifying visions of the Holocaust and the toll it takes on the Jewish people. Eventually, he creates a list of over 1100 Jews whom he saves from death.
John’s Thought: Funniest movie since Slapshot! Just kidding… sort of a Seinfeld reference.
books-LOTR-Two-Towers.jpg#5 – THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE TWO TOWERS
Rotten Tomatoes Rating – 96%
Synopsis: Sauron’s forces increase. His allies grow. The Ringwraiths return in an even more frightening form. Saruman’s army of Uruk Hai is ready to launch an assault against Aragorn and the people of Rohan. Yet, the Fellowship is broken and Boromir is dead. For the little hope that is left, Frodo and Sam march on into Mordor, unprotected. A number of new allies join with Aragorn, Gimli, Legolas, Pippin and Merry. And they must defend Rohan and attack Isengard. Yet, while all this is going on, Sauron’s troops mass toward the City of Gondor, for the War of the Ring is about to begin.
John’s Thought: The big question in a lot of people’s mind’s was “Was the first LOTR movie just a fluke?” Nope.
books-LOTR-Fellowship.jpg#4 – THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING
Rotten Tomatoes Rating – 92%
Synopsis: An ancient Ring thought lost for centuries has been found, and through a strange twist in fate has been given to a small Hobbit named Frodo. When Gandalf discovers the Ring is in fact the One Ring of the Dark Lord Sauron, Frodo must make an epic quest to the Cracks of Doom in order to destroy it! However he does not go alone. He is joined by Gandalf, Legolas the elf, Gimli the Dwarf, Aragorn, Boromir and his three Hobbit friends Merry, Pippin and Samwise. Through mountains, snow, darkness, forests, rivers and plains, facing evil and danger at every corner the Fellowship of the Ring must go. Their quest to destroy the One Ring is the only hope for the end of the Dark Lords reign!
John’s Thought: The masterpiece that started the trilogy. A lot of people (me included) didn’t think they’d be able to properly capture the novel. They went far beyond anyone’s expectations.
books-Shawshank.jpg#3 – THE SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION
Rotten Tomatoes Rating – 89%
Synopsis: After the murder of his wife, hotshot banker Andrew Dufresne is sent to Shawshank Prison, where the usual unpleasantness occurs. Over the years, he retains hope and eventually gains the respect of his fellow inmates, especially longtime convict “Red” Redding, a black marketeer, and becomes influential within the prison. Eventually, Andrew achieves his ends on his own terms.
John’s Thought: As we get into the top 3, I also have all these films on my all time top 3 (not just for movies based on books). Shawshank never won best picture… one of the greatest crimes at the Oscars in History.
books-Godfather.jpg#2 – THE GODFATHER
Rotten Tomatoes Rating – 100%
Synopsis: Vito Corleone is the aging don (head) of the Corleone Mafia Family. His youngest son Michael has returned from WWII just in time to see the wedding of Connie Corleone (Michael’s sister) to Carlo Rizzi. All of Michael’s family is involved with the Mafia, but Michael just wants to live a normal life. Drug dealer Virgil Sollozzo is looking for Mafia Families to offer him protection in exchange for a profit of the drug money. He approaches Don Corleone about it, but, much against the advice of the Don’s lawyer Tom Hagen, the Don is morally against the use of drugs, and turns down the offer. This does not please Sollozzo, who has the Don shot down by some of his hit men. The Don barely survives, which leads his son Michael to begin a violent mob war against Sollozzo and tears the Corleone family apart.
John’s Thought: Probably the single most important and influential film ever made. I still can’t believe how many people have never seen this movie. GO SEE IT.
books-LOTR-Return-King.jpg#1 – THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE RETURN OF THE KING
Rotten Tomatoes Rating – 94%
Synopsis: Gondor is overrun by the orcs of Mordor, and Gandalf rides to Minas Tirith to aid the humans in the war that is ahead. Aragorn must realize his true identity and purpose as the King of Men, and journey with Gimli and Legolas to summon the Army of the Dead so that the battle against evil can be won. Meanwhile, paranoia and suspicion rises between Frodo, Sam and Gollum as they continue their increasingly dark and dangerous travel to Mount Doom, the one place where The Ring can be destroyed once and for all.
John’s Thought: It only makes sense for this film to be on the top of the list considering I call it the greatest all around achievement in film history (when you take all the elements of effects, cinematography, direction, acting, writing, etc, etc, etc.

So there you have it folks… the top 100. Now, I’m sure in all the time I spent putting this list together that there are probably 2 or 3 that I left out or forgot about that I’ll slap my head about later. That’s to be expected. But for now, what are some of your favorites? Which ones did I leave off this list that you think should have been included and why? What would you bump off the list?

What other little gems should be all know about?

*UPDATE* – LIke I said in the paragraph above, after spending weeks going through literally thousands of movies, a few obvious ones slipped through the cracks. So here is an update on films I SHOULD have included on the list:

– To Kill A Mocking Bird
– Jaws

Many people are asking why Gone with the Wind isn’t on the list. It’s a great movie, but I sometimes use the “Buddy with DVDs” test. If a buddy showed up with 2 DVDs, Gone with the Wind and any movie on this list… which movie would I chose to watch? Answer: Any movie on this list, thus Gone with the Wind doesn’t make the list.

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373 thoughts on “Top 100 Movies Based On Books

  1. You missed “Les Miserables”. I had to read that in high school and it was extremely good, especially the 2012 movie version.

  2. You cannot have read and loved Pride and Prejudice and absolutely hate the Olivier version of the book. It is so far off of the mark it is laughable. The BBC version is the best; it takes the dialogue almost exactly from the book although there are scenes that aren’t the same. I wince at the Olivier or the Keira Knightly oversexed version. I’m stilll waiting for someone to do it where the characters are appropriately aged. Mrs. Bennet would be about 43 and Mr. Bennet no more than 50. The Aunt and Uncle in their late 20’s and 30’s respectively. And Mr. Collins is a big oaf of a character. We usually see him as a small weasel type. In the Olivier version, the acting is aweful, the costumes even worse. It reminded me more of the Importance of being Earnest than of Pride and Prejudice.

  3. And what about Rocky Horror Picture Show…great music, iconic characters…who can forget Tim Curry as Dr. Frankenfurter, and Rocky, of course, and Meatloaf and Susan Sarandon as Janet??? Never tire of seeing this film, even now 30 odd years later!

  4. What about One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest…Jack Nicholson was awesome, and Louise Fletcher as Nurse Ratched one of the top evil female characters of all time; what about M*A*S*H…one of the best and funniest war movies with such iconic characters, and became a long-running TV show;

  5. What about One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest…Jack Nicholson was awesome, and Louise Fletcher as Nurse Ratched one of the top evil female characters of all time; what about M*A*S*H…one of the best and funniest war movies with such iconic characters, and became a long-running TV show;

  6. Well, maybe 20 titles had literary critical merit, the remainder commericial lit in my view. It would have been nice to have seen the authors’ names. The greatest successes you failed to mention: Gone With the Wind
    the all time best. Thorn Birds was a success. Stalingrad was a great movie, I don’t know but guessing it may have been adapted from a novel. Lion Feuchwagner’s Success was an important novel made into a movie,
    though I haven’t seen it. Your list focuses on American fare, whereas there are perhaps more critically important works from Europe, China, Australia, and no doubt other places throughout the world. Yeah, I’d like to see a world list of the best movies from novels that are considered part of the canon of literature, not just
    commercial lit, and the movies considered great by critical acclaim, not just what audiences flocked to for
    entertainment. Gone With the Wind was an important work that changed the way the South saw itself, so that’s an example of what I mean by critically acclaimed. Success and Stalingrad were important movies about the Nazis. That movie Vanessa Redgrave starred in about the Holocaust is another movie of critical
    impotance. How about Grapes of Wrath? And Joseph Conrad’s Anne of the Durburville’s was it, with Natassia Kinksky — what a beautiful young, talent she was.

  7. Well, maybe 20 titles had literary critical merit, the remainder commericial lit in my view. It would have been nice to have seen the authors’ names. The greatest successes you failed to mention: Gone With the Wind
    the all time best. Thorn Birds was a success. Stalingrad was a great movie, I don’t know but guessing it may have been adapted from a novel. Lion Feuchwagner’s Success was an important novel made into a movie,
    though I haven’t seen it. Your list focuses on American fare, whereas there are perhaps more critically important works from Europe, China, Australia, and no doubt other places throughout the world. Yeah, I’d like to see a world list of the best movies from novels that are considered part of the canon of literature, not just
    commercial lit, and the movies considered great by critical acclaim, not just what audiences flocked to for
    entertainment. Gone With the Wind was an important work that changed the way the South saw itself, so that’s an example of what I mean by critically acclaimed. Success and Stalingrad were important movies about the Nazis. That movie Vanessa Redgrave starred in about the Holocaust is another movie of critical
    impotance. How about Grapes of Wrath? And Joseph Conrad’s Anne of the Durburville’s was it, with Natassia Kinksky — what a beautiful young, talent she was.

  8. I’d gladly take off a few off the list and add The World According To Garp, A Clockwork Orange, Farenheit 451, My Life As A Dog, Nosferatu, and Cabeza de Vaca.  As for the synopsis of Kiss of the Spider Woman, Luis doesn’t invent the films.  He’s retelling films he’d seen in theaters and he doesn’t choose them because they are romantic but because they are psychological insights into human behavior.  The films he describes are Cat People and The Enchanted Cottage.  I believe the zombie movie Luis describes is I Walked With A Zombie.

  9. Not to put too fine a point on it, but the screenplay for “2001: A Space Odyssey” was written by Stanley Kubrick and Arthur C. Clarke concurrently with the novel which was written by Clarke alone. The movie wasn’t based on the book, but both were developed at the same time.

  10. Ben Hur? From Here To Eternity? In The Heat Of The Night? Lillies Of The Field? A Clockwork Orange? Dr. Zhivago? Oh well, still a decent list, but Remo Williams?!

  11. I have to admit there are a few I would have added in:
     
    To Kill a Mockingbird
    The Razors Edge
    The Wizard of OZ
     
    I would gladly take off; Diggstown, The Secret of Nihm, and Remo Williams to put these on.
     
    But ultimately lists are just a matter of taste. If you think, Diggstown, The Secret of Nihm and Remo williams are better than; Too Kill a mockingbird, The Razors edge and the Wizard of Oz; that is perfectly acceptable, I  would have gone a different direction is all.

  12. I would have added more Jane Austen: Sense & Sensibility, Emma, and I probably would have used Knightley’s P&P; A Tale of Two Cities–sure, I saw the musical and enjoyed that live performance better, but the old black&white is still great; Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Phantom of the Opera, to be sure, would make my list (I don’t have a Christine/Raoul figurine for nothing–yes, I got one for my birthday when I was 16 and it plays “Think of Me” so just call me a nerd already); and Jane Eyre–the Masterpiece Theater production made me go and get the 466 page book from the library 3 days ago and already I am at page 300. 

  13. Excellent list.  
     
    I particularly like the inclusion of Ragtime.  Most people haven’t heard of it, but it is definitely a great film.
     
    Also, bout the inclusion of Dead Zone.  That was the first movie that I remember seeing Christopher Walken.  The scene where he says, “The ice is going to break!!!” and hits the very expensive vase with his cane, just gave me chills, and gives me chills each time I see it.  When I saw that, I though, “Wow.  He’s going to be a great actor.
     
    And he can even dance on ceilings.

  14. I’d realign “The Lord of the Rings” as one book made into a three-part movie, for one.  This because, well, duh, where’s “The Exorcist?”  Plus, there would then still be room on this list of 100 for one of my fave adaptations of book-into-film, “Catch-22”.

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  16. Okay I have stumbled upon this site while looking for books to compare to a movie.. I am only 12 so I want a Romance like story becides The Notebook.. If anyone wants to help me out to pick a good book don’t be shy(: Thank you(:

  17. I’d include The Tin Drum, The Conformist, The World According to Garp, Doctor Zhivago (and as others have mentioned, absolutely A Clockwork Orange!)

  18. The movies that I liked from your list are The Notebook and Bridget Jones Diary. I liked the Notebook because first of all it’s a romantic film and also because it was shot in the countryside. I love countryside mainly because of all the natural beauty and wonderful people.

    Bridget Jones Diary was an amazing film. I love the actress, she seems very harmless and cute. I always love her movies and love watching her playing all innocent.

  19. Firstly good list, I didn’t know that some of these movies were books; Die hard.
    Secondly, I noticed that people said Jurassic Park and I agree most emphadicly. This movie was not only my childhood, but this movie, to me, re-defined how a monster movie should be filmed.
    Another movie I noticed that came up was Fight Club. I dig this movie and understand the “outrage” over this movie not making the cut. I get it, it’s a totally kick-ass movie with a great and twisted plot line and on top of that the unlikely pairing of Edward Norton and Brad Pitt made it that much more interesting. But as the readers of this opinionated post we have to respect the list and hope that a few movies that were left out weren’t oversights but merely forehead slapping afterthoughts.
    John, I hope you’ll have more lists of the like in the future and more up to date which I hope will not include the Twilight series. Thanks.

  20. well obviously fight club, american psycho; both previously mentioned.

    the list was a little too early to include the social network. great film

  21. Hi John
    So happy to have found your blog and especially this list of movies based on books! Contrary to those who moan about Hollywood’s lack of creativity, there’s nothing I love more than a movie based on a book I’ve read. It’s a delicious way to multiply the pleasure and I especially enjoy checking out the casting decisions, the locations, what they’ve left in, what they’ve taken out. I just finished The Descendants by Kaui Hart Hemmings which was wonderful – I can’t wait for the film with George Clooney. Next up is Hunter S. Thompson’s The Rum Diary. Sheesh, a book lover and film fan’s work is never done! Anyway, thanks for your excellent list! I clearly have some catching up to do.

  22. Wonderful list indeed. I am going to read several of the books mentioned that I didn’t know about. Mad props bro. At the risk of sounding girly in reflect to awesome macho movies here, Little Women and Mermaids are also good Novel/movie tales.

  23. Although you named many outstanding movies based on books , but some great masterpieces are missed . Like Legend of 1900, Malena , The Kite Runner and Jurassic Park .

  24. I’d like to point out that I’m almost 90% sure that Romancing the Stone was an original script. I have both this movie & the sequel & and it makes a big deal in the opening sequence of Jewel of the Nile that the story is based on characters created by the screenwriter of the first.

  25. I like your list, John. I so have to say though, what about The Count of Monte Cristo? I thought it was a wonderful adaptation of the novella by Alexandre Dumas…… And of course, Gone With The Wind – althought I read on to say what you said about why it didn’t make the list…..perhaps unlike some people haha Thank you very much for your insight. I look forward to seeing an update. Perhaps the top 200? :D Just keepin’ you on your toes!

  26. I really like the list and agree that there are some movies that could be added. Limiting this list to 100 is tougher than it looks. There are a few others that I would like to see on there (and this is just off the top of my head)….

    The Quiet Man
    Carrie
    The Great Santini
    The World According to Garp
    The Man From Snowy River (actually from a poem not a book/story)
    The Outsiders
    Vision Quest (so sue me, it’s a great motivational movie)
    Wag the Dog

  27. i have a copy of the book..reading it requires a lot of imagination and comprehension..it must have been really hard for the writers and directors of LOTR to come up on how to present the content of the novel.. besides the novel itself is brilliant worthy of becoming a movie.. what awed me personally is the manner in which the makers of LOTR conceptualize and the technical prowess they exhibit in making the movie.. for a fantasy movie its almost flawless..

  28. i agree that Lord of the rings 3 should be on the top of the list. until now i kept watching it again. love the way how they envision the whole middle earths appearance and the way they interpret the book to make it a picture.the effects, sound and movie editing is superb..

  29. Ok. I liked the list for the most part. Obviously someone is a fan of LOTR. Now I personally can’t say anything about that because I have not read the books. But I still don’t think they should be that high on the list.

    As for all you other people, are you drunk? First of all he didn’t say anything about twilight being on the list. It’s not on the list. It was mentioned in the intro to the list because of the popularity factor. Secondly, fight club was dumb. IMO it was a waste. Not anywhere near as epic as people make it out to be. It was predictable.

    Also good books don’t always make good movies and vice versa. I did enjoy the outsiders as a book. But the movie was not so good. And there are many good movies that are not so great as books. I’m sure there are tons more that could have been on this list. But I have only thought about this for a few min as opposed to how long it took to compile this list.

    I say good job dude and props for leaving out one of the crappiest vampire novels ever- twilight. Sorry twihards but vampires who sparkle, give me a break.

    1. You dont have to read Lord of the Rings to recognize that JRR Tolkien’s epic shaped most fantasy as we know it today. You haven’t even read them yet you are certain they don’t deserve to be recognized that high? Thats like saying you dont like carrots and then admitting you never ate one.

      And its not that vampires who sparkle that leaves Twilight off this list. The book series has a lot of merit, but it is terribly written. I can see the appeal this book has to many fans. But that it breaks tradition with Vampire lore is actually fresh and original. I actually like how they portray vampires in the book, its the rest of the emo crap that I dont care for.

  30. Hi, Even I write on films and your compilation is very good…but you have missed out on Love Story, Sense and Sensibility (and other Jane Austen adaptations),Doctor Zhivago,Lawrence of Arabia and many others…can’t remember off hand though. Wonder why you didnt like Gone with the Wind….probably you could analyyze what you find missing in the film that was there in the book. Keep up with your good work!

  31. I don’t fully agree with you? Most of those movies I agree with. But where is “the outsiders”? You should have replaced “lord of the rings” with “the outsiders”. I cant even last through lord of the rings!!!

    1. And there are people who cannot last through The Outsiders.

      It is fine to have your own opinion on it, but to insist that he should have done something because of how you feel is not going to prove your point.

      The Outsiders is one of the examples of how the film was more impacting than the book, however I wouldn’t say that it was better than the adaptation of Lord of the Rings – also just my opinion. I wont ask you to change your opinion because of it.

  32. I’m trying to find a blog about books that should be movies and I wanted to say that the Hunger Games series By Suzanne Collins should be movies because I LOVE those books. >_<

  33. I don’t understand how you have Pride and Prejudice and not sense and sensibility. But, it’s your choice, whatever you want.

  34. I don’t think The Bourne Ultimatum should be on this list, sharing a title and the name of the main character with a book does not equate to being based on that book.

    The bourne movies forked from the books early in the first movie and followed very different stories. I liked the movies, they’re good examples of no brainer action flicks. They don’t come close to excellent books though, which are quite complex thrillers.

  35. bridge to terabithia????????????
    hello? its my favourite!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    and alice in wonderland…………
    and percy jackson recently………….
    and even dear john……………….

    1. Since this list was written over a year and a half ago, I could imagine that recent films wouldnt be on it.

      However all the ones you listed are NOT even close to the top of this list.

  36. Romancing the Stone – I remember buying that book, but wasn’t it just a tie-in with the movie and not a book that the movie was based on? Both the movie and the book came out the same year, and I think they were released at the same time. It has Joan Wilder as one of the authors, the main female character in the book. I think it was like the “Castle” series is doing now with an actual book ghost written as the main character of the TV show, but one is not based on the other.

  37. I do not understand the LOTR obsession people have (each installment the acting got lazier), but I’d rather not argue it with a bunch of LOTR fans. Anyway, I think there were some missing movies.

    Gone With The Wind – by far one of the best movies of ALL TIME (though not all that accurate when it comes to the book, but the book is hella long so and the movie is something like 4 hours so I understand the cutting)

    Fight Club – it’s a social/political commentary people, the cool fighting is not the point, it adds to the greatness but still isn’t the point

    In Cold Blood – it should speak for itself, Capote

    Mansfield Park – good book, good movie – watch the most recent one (not the A&E version though)

    The Count of Monte Cristo – okay it’s not the same as the book, but the acting alone makes up for it

    The Other Boleyn Girl – not historically accurate mind you, but excellent book and movie both

    Breakfast At Tiffany’s – another Capote classic turned into something even better, I dare you to not love this movie

    Bram Stoker’s Dracula – good but very weird movie but the book is weird too so, yeah, go with it

    And lastly, Interview With The Vampire – frigging awesome movie (the book is blah and boring and nothing like it)

    I’m sure there are several more, but that’s what I KNOW should have been on your list. :)

    1. um they filmed all three films at once. so one week it might have been film one next week it could have been film two then the next day it might have been film two etc etc so to say that the acting got noticeably lazier with each film is, well, an imaginary complaint and complete and utter nonsense.

  38. You left out movies that were inspired by Nicholas Sparks novels, e.g. “A Walk to Remember”, “The Notebook”, “Message in A Bottle”, “Nights in Rodanthe”, “The Last Song”, and “Dear John” (the latter two are both due in theaters in April of this year).

  39. Twilight sucked. New moon sucked worse. Any further sequels will also suck based on incredibly inane source material.

    I thougtht the list was good. However, what about the Exorcist? Dated, yes. But both book and movie were horrifying, both at it’s time, and the book is still terrifying today. That’s still my favorite horror movie of all-time, but I respect those who can’t get passed the effects. Surprised no one else is with me on this one though. Even exorcist III was really good, I thought. Especially considering the second one was an abomination. You have to really piss off the original author and directors to have them come back after refusing to do a sequel.

  40. Hey,

    Why didn’t anybody mention Bram Stoker’s Dracula?? Also missing a lot of Stephen King, Michael Crichton (Jurassic Park, The Lost World, Disclosure, Sphere…)
    Ehm, High Fidelity, Neverending Story… and so on… and so on… and so on…

  41. Someone up already mentioned “Being There”, my all time favourite Peter Sellers movie (the film being, IMHO, far better than the book). Also, “Prizzi’s Honor” was on of the very few cases of the film being better than the book… and i really liked the book.

  42. It’s amazing how personal a lot of people take this list. It’s one guys opinion of his top 100. If you don’t like it, make your own assholes. I’m reading through the comments and some of you act like your hotshit because he omitted something or you didn’t agree with some of his choices. Anyone with a brain will do their own research and make their own choices about this type of shit. Like myself I was bored looking for a new book to read and needed some ideas. This is a good start but I will be doing my own research not solely relying on someones personal opinion. Find something else to ostracize dummies dang.

  43. You really missed many adaptations and this list is pretty slanted towards current films. There are also things on the list that were not book adaptations, like “Romancing the Stone.” You missed movies like “The Robe,” “Rosemary’s Baby,” “The Graduate,” “The Exorcist,” “Jaws,” “The Wizard of Oz,” “Gone with the Wind,” . . . You could go on with many more. I can’t realy figure out what your criteria was for this list. Why is “Remo Williams” on here??? Why are all 3 of the “Lord of the Rings” movies on here? Maybe one of them just to get your mention, since it is obviously a favorite, but not all 3.

    1. Why is Lord of the Rings here? Are you serious?

      You do realize that Tolkien was responsible for shaping and influencing nearly EVERY SINGLE medieval fantasy literature that followed it.

      Its an award winning literary classic and the films were great. There were 3 books and all 3 had great films. That’s why.

      Remo Williams is also a movie based on a novel. And the movie was an awesome representation.

      Every film on here deserves to be on here. And the criteria was very clearly laid out in the post, so I dont know why you are confused about it.

      “Now let me emphasize this next point very explicitly. THIS LIST IS NOT A LIST OF THE BEST BOOKS OR WHICH MOVIES DID THE BEST JOB ADAPTING FROM THE BOOK. It is a list of the best movies which happen to be BASED on books”

      And any list is subjective. That you feel a movie should rank on here that didn’t is your opinion. And this list is a different opinion.

    2. Ben Hur, the Silver Chalice, Fahrenheit 451, the Amityville Horror, Anna Karenina, A Beautiful Mind, The Black Cauldren (book 2 of the Prydain Chronicles – animated, but actually a very good job), Last of the Mohicans, War of the Worlds (the original 1953), Call of the Wild, White Fang, Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights…. given even an hour’s thought, a much beter list could have been produced… LOL – but hey, John apprently doesn’t watch old movies, and apparently doesn’t read….

  44. CASINO ROYALE!! roflmao
    Who gives a shi* about what you like, mister? Why torture people with your pathetic opinion. Please, for heaven’s sake, keep it for yourself.

  45. Where is One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest? Without it, no great-movie list can ever be complete, leave alone movies based on books. And what about There Will Be Blood?
    This indeed is a WASTE LIST.

  46. This is a pretty comprehensive and interesting list, even though it is missing some of the great ones. Nonetheless, it has some of my favorites, like the Notebook, Bladerunner, Dr. Strangelove and Forrest Gump.

  47. This is really a different thing but I recently read the book The Lost Daughter by Daralyse Lyons and was hooked from the first page. It is such a rich novel with both plot and character appeal and I wonder if it’ll get picked up and optioned for a movie. I hope so!!! http://www.amazon.com/Lost-Daughter-Daralyse-Lyons/dp/0595453953

    Read it. Tell everyone you know about it. Let’s get it made into a movie so we can then compare the director’s lack of genius with the writers substantial talent.

  48. Stand by me is my favorite film, any stephan king movie should be on here. No country for old men is a amazing movie javier bardem deserved the academy award he was amazingly insane in the movie. the notebook is a romance classic and the lord of the rings deserves number 1 the movie was amazing and won many academy awards it kept me interested love mystic river. Gone with the wind should be on the list its a great movie.

  49. you lost me at Wag the Dog. Good film, but it is hardly “Especially funny watching this movie now after the events of the last 8 years.” The reason this pretty good film is remembered at all is because it happened to hit right when Clinton was defiling the Oval Office. It has zero to do with W.

  50. No “Gone With the Wind”. No “To Kill a Mockingbird”. No “1984”. Not even a mention of “Everything Is Illuminated”. Instead, you give us mindless drivel like those shitty “Lord of the Rings” flicks and “Romancing the Stone”! I’m guessing you compiled this list from another website as your reading is most likely limited to the labels on your medication bottles. As for Russell Crowe being the greatest living actor I suggest you up the dosage a bit.

  51. IRecently i watched The Twilight Saga: New Moon and movie is really very good. I have watch it on mymovees.com and the quility was very good.

  52. I completely agreed with the Lord of the Rings Trilogy where it was. And the only one I could really think of was the Bourne Identity movies.

  53. fight club needs to be on here, and anyone who thinks that shawshank redemption was better than forest gump needs to facepalm. Forest Gump is one of the most amazing movies of our generation, as well as one of the best acting performances. Every time you watch it, you discover another nuance, or see another heart wrenching thought pass through Tom’s face.

    ex: When he first finds out he is a father, the FIRST thing he says is, “Is he smart of is he…” while patting his chest and getting tears in his eyes… absolutely heart wrenching. It deserved every single award it won.

  54. into the wild..fight club..atonement was BEAUTIFUL. i loved the newest pride & prejudice (i’m a bit of a focus features nut)..

    what about nights in rodanthe?
    bahaha. just kidding. made me squirm with awkwardness.

  55. This is a hard list to finish. Anyway, I would just like to recommend Mysterious Skin. Although there were some parts from the book that were skipped, it still is a very good movie.

    Rotten Tomatoes Top Critics Rating: 90%
    Synopsis: In MYSTERIOUS SKIN, an unlikely director takes on an even more unlikely lead actor and crafts a deeply felt coming-of-age tale that pulsates with the scalding beauty of tragedy. The director, Gregg… In MYSTERIOUS SKIN, an unlikely director takes on an even more unlikely lead actor and crafts a deeply felt coming-of-age tale that pulsates with the scalding beauty of tragedy. The director, Gregg Araki, whose over-the-top gay melodramas have been criticized as largely empty provocations, proves himself here to have great sensitivity. Yet it is the lead actor, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, best known for his work on the alien sitcom THIRD ROCK FROM THE SUN, whose unforgettable, nuanced performance makes the film. Based on the novel by Scott Heim, the story follows two teenage boys living in small-town Kansas: Brian (Brady Corbet), a clunky and awkward fellow with no discernable social life; and Neil (Gordon-Levitt), a rebellious gay youth whose fragile beauty and cruel indifference make him a successful hustler to the area’s older men. Having suffered from blackouts as a child, Brian believes that these voids were actually alien abductions, and goes on a quest to confirm this. As his memories become increasingly vivid, Brian convinces himself that Neil, the star player on his childhood Little League team and a regular presence in his dreams, knows the truth. Neil does, in fact, know exactly what happened: the boys were sexually abused by their Little League coach. While Brian has suppressed the incident, Neil has held it deep within him like a treasure, considering it to have been a loving relationship of respect and tenderness, the absence of which has left him emotionally empty. The two strands of narrative are braided together elegantly, slowly leading up to a devastating final scene. Araki unifies the stories through an elegiac, celestial tone that manages to avoid preachiness via doses of appropriate humor. MYSTERIOUS SKIN is so profoundly alive with sadness and beauty that it nearly burns.

  56. The Lord of the Rings trilogy certainly belongs in the top of the list, as does The Princess Bride.
    Its amazing how some movies turn depressing books (e.g. Forrest Gump) into great movies.
    And thanks John for mentioning Die Hard. I’ll have to look up the book now.

  57. My all time fav book thats a movie is “Misery” but most recently I liked “My sisters keeper” and “The ime travelers wife” both good books and good movies!

  58. The only thing the movie did was to spark up conversations between 12 year olds about how they wanted to form there own fight clubs in the back yard of my suburb home.’ I hope the ‘rents dont find out” Then of course, they would never do it

  59. What? No TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD? No GONE WITH THE WIND? No ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO’S NEST? John, I’m disappointed.

  60. I understand this is a subjective list, but personally I don’t agree with about 3/4 of this list. Just wanted to point out some obvious and glaring omissions (not even including foreign films):
    Double Indemnity
    Big Sleep
    To Have and Have Not
    Rear Window
    Lolita
    To Kill a Mockingbird
    Maltese Falcon
    Treasure of the Sierra Madre
    Harold and Maude
    Being There
    One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
    Apocalypse Now
    The Killers
    Naked Lunch
    The Thin Red Line
    Touch of Evil
    The Trial
    Jaws
    The Exorcist
    Rosemary’s Baby
    There Will Be Blood
    Manchurian Candidate
    High Noon
    Trainspotting
    Anatomy of a Murder

  61. Hey John, I was wondering why you called The Godfather the “single most important and influential film ever made”? It’s no doubt a classic and a film i adore, but what about it in particular makes it the most important film ever?

  62. Hi, this is a very nice movie. I looked the other day a subtitles for Twilight in english and Spanish and I found this site: http://my-subtitles.com .. is a very nice site, with more than 35.000 subtitles, and there is nos apm, and no popups .. very clean. I recommend.

  63. I really do believe LOTR deserves, by every means, the #1 spot, and you don’t have to be a fan: it’s the underlying message and emotion of the story. And I am not a fan.

  64. I am sorry. LOTR, plz overrated much. How about To Kill a Mockingbird and Gone with the Wind, they should definately be on this list.

    Also some of the numbers for some of these books are too high or too low.

  65. Boy do I get sick of my 15 year olf daughter drooling over Edward Cullen.
    Can’t understand this, I suppose he is cute but surely no where near as stuuning than Brad Pitt in Interview With The Vampire

  66. where’s fight club and “21” those are really really good movies too..add them on the list so that it would really be complete as the top 100..

  67. My girlfriend loved Twilight. Wonder Why? jk. This was a great movie that we both enjoyed and I highly recommend it.

    Don’t know what happed with that other comment.

  68. I am so happy that ROTK is #1 on the list and equally as happy that TTT and FOTR is near the top. I completely agree that ROTK is the single greatest film movie ever made from an overall perspective. The greatest cinematic achievement of all time

  69. Oh yeah–and let us remember that Gone With The Wind, know for decades as GWTW, was made in 1936 and was a knockout compared to almost anything!!!Also, ditto for The Wizard of Oz, the most beloved collection of a children’s series at the time, written over a hundred years ago! MY favorite movie, right up there with TLOTR!

  70. I loved reading your list. We should all try to write one! No kidding, it was entertaining and fun. There are at least a couple of 100’s more to add just in English! How about GARP! and One Flew Over the Cukuoo’s Nest?
    I enjoyed the comments you received as well, keep up the good work!

  71. This is a great list and you have definitely mentioned the best Harry Potter film. Personally, I am not such a huge fan of The Lord of the Rings films – while I accept that they are technically brilliant, the stories don’t do much for me. If I were making my own list, I would have to add The Devil Wears Prada, The Constant Gardener, Brokeback Mountain and Breakfast At Tiffany’s, but that’s mainly because I am a chick-lit and chick-flick geek

  72. oh no.. WHERE IS ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO’S NEST?!at first i thought the film was excellent, but upon reading the book, it’s tons better. what an inspiration for a film. gotta include it.

  73. Thank you for liking The English Patient, and for admitting that the Tim Burton “Charlie” is almost as good as “Willy”. I wanted to hate “Charlie” out of respect for one of my favorite films, but I loved it!
    Great list – I now have many books to add to my reading list!

  74. Ok, if you wanted to put the Lord of the Rings movies because you liked them fine, but how dare you claim that they properly captured the novel??? I am incredulous that anyone could even dare to think that. And the person who said they yelled at Harry Potter but not LOTR, you should be slapped in the face with a fish. Never mind the details they got wrong, the entire sections of story they removed, the entire scenes they added for no reason, and all that; they didn’t even get the essence of the story or the characters correct! I will never understand how any true fan of Tolkien’s mastery could ever enjoy those movies.

    On a side note, for an excellent movie based on a book I think the Peter Pan made in 2003 should have been given consideration for this list.

  75. Some of my favorite books that weren’t on the list:

    Jurassic Park
    Fight Club
    Sleepers
    A Time to Kill
    The Green Mile
    Roots
    Into the Wild

  76. Interesting list. The reader should remember that it’s not a list of the greatest 100 films but a list of “some fantastic films”. I haven’t seen Fight Club but the name puts me off. Sounds like some lame teenager’s movie. I’ll look for it though I have seen most of Gone With The WInd. The acting was poor – disappointing given it was Olivier’s wife in the lead. It’s not the film everyone used to think it was so not surprising it’s not on the list. There are many excellent films not on the list but we’ll all want ot include something not there. Someone noted Jean de Florette and Manon des Sources – excellent suggestion. That duo of films is in my top 10 without question. But I did want to make a note of “The Guns of Navarone” which I note because, for once, the film was way better than the book (not the other way around as it usually is). I read the book hoping to relive the interesting characters and tension of the film but it was so bad, I never read another Alastair Maclean. Anyway…a great movie with a terrific soundtrack.

    1. Seriously consider watching Fight Club. DO NOT put it off as some teenager’s movie, it involves so much more than you would think from the title. I know for me, as soon as the first few minutes past I was surprised at how different my perception of it was. I understand and support those who consider it on a top 10 list, because it is probably my favorite movie.

  77. I think that you did a good job with the list. You made one critical mistake… you didn’t put The Godfather as number one. That is the greatest movie of all time.

  78. This list of movies must have taken a long time to compile and I commend you on putting together the list. Lists are a very personal thing but I did see a very powerful movie recently that was originally a book and that was “The Kite Runner”. About Afganistan prior to the Taliban and invasion by Russia. I recommend it highly.
    http://www.thetvseriesdvd.com

  79. great list, just one note: “stardust” is based on a novel, not a graphic novel. charles vess created paintings based on the novel. fyi. :)

  80. I’m not gonna list the usuals that i agree with everyone like Fight Club, Too Kill A Mockingbird. But Honestly you guys missed The Beach, that movie was amazing, not like the acting or that, but the narrative to the movie, like cumon.

    1. I first read ‘Being There’ in a magazine, in serial form, as a SCHOOL ASSIGNMENT, lol – can you imagine? The movie adaption was brilliant – Peter Sellers was amazing.

  81. Great list. I do think you might want to switch Goblet of Fire with Order of the Phenix though. That movie was several times greater than Goblet of Fire.

    1. Referring to Goblet of Fire and Order of the Pheonix…. Although the movie may have been better, the book-to-movie translation SUCKED!!! Did you ever read the 5th Harry Potter book, then watch the movie? ‘Cause if so, I think you might have fallen on your head to much when you were a baby….

  82. This list is tilted in the favour of Lord of the rings movies….
    That’s my PERSONAL OPINION.

    Come on…All the 3 films in Top 5.
    I find that ludicrous.

    But i respect John’s list & im aware he’s crazy about LOTR franchise.

  83. The Graduate
    Gone with The Wind
    Jaws
    Auntie Mame
    A Christmas Story
    Jurassic Park
    Adaptation
    Lolita
    Lawrence of Arabia
    Snow White

    all inexplicably missing, and all should be ranked very high on the list. They are all not only great films, with great performances, but truly wonderful translations of the source books to film.

  84. I have to admit I am sad about not seeing “Fight Club” on here. Although I agree with your number 1, The Lord of the Rings was an amazing movie and the book was just as great. They really did a great job with the CGI and the casting. :)

  85. Hi,

    Excellent list. There were a few titles that I didn’t necessarily think of as movies based on books (eg. Rambo), but I suppose that is part of what makes the list interesting – learning:)

  86. John, I think it is a bit strange that you make a list in order “1) To highlight the important role books have played in the movie world” and you do not mention the books or the authors who penned them. Too bad! (And of course the LOTRilogy is overrated ;)). Cheers Biophil

  87. I enjoy lists like this – they get people talking. So, with that in mind, allow me to air a couple of caveats:

    First Blood better than Out of sight?

    And yes, I am scratching my head about The Hunt for Red October. Solid movie, yes, but better than The Bridge Over the River Kwai? Memento? 2001?

  88. great list – what an huge effort – glad to added “To Kill A Mocking Bird” one of the greatest novel to film projects. I also would agree with the “East of Eden” comments – another wonderful film. Thanks for listing “The Mambo Kings” – this is really a fine film that had little success; the novel is wonderful and the sound score, fabulous.

  89. I don’t care for some of the movies that you have listed and I can’t believe that you would leave out ones like “Dracula” by Bram Stroker or what about “Count of Monte Cristo” by Alexandre Dumas. where would we be without these two books, I have to admit that the movies left me a little wanting but they are still classics in there own rite.

  90. First of all, Memento was an ORIGINAL piece. If you don’t believe me, then tell my why it was nominated for Best Original Screenplay at the Oscars. Where are the following book to movies?

    1. One flew over the Cuckoo’s nest
    2. No Country for Old Men
    3. The Diving Bell and the Butterfly
    4. The Cider House Rules
    5. The Odyssey by Homer into O’ Brother Where Art Thou?
    6. To Kill A Mocking Bird
    7. The Dark Knight (based off of Graphic NOVELS from Bob Kane)
    8. Oil by Upton Sinclair into made There Will Be Blood
    9. Into the Wild
    10. Jurassic Park
    11. Fight Club

    Also, what’s with The Notebook, and Girl, Interrupted? They were legitimately stupid films.

  91. This is an interesting list—and I am indeed surprised to learn that Die Hard was a novel—but you’re missing some pretty wonderful book-to-film translations. Here are the ten I would most like to have seen added:

    ~ The Americanization of Emily
    ~ The Chocolate War
    ~ The Diving Bell and the Butterfly
    ~ East of Eden
    ~ Elling
    ~ Frankenstein
    ~ The Ice Storm
    ~ The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie
    ~ The Quiet Earth
    ~ The Whole Wide World

    1. The book was nothing like the movie at all
      the imagery in the novel is a million times better, as is the point of view.
      although the movie is alright its self, the adaptation is just poo

  92. The Harry Potter movies were an abomination to avid readers. Throw that bull in the trash with Ella Enchanted, Eragon, and The Devil Wears Prada.
    Three of these are actually guilty of cutting out integral characters. This list was far too good to be sullied by “lets make a random movie about wizards and kind of sort of use the main plot points but call it the same as the books even though they are not.” I must say compare these to the Lord of the Rings trilogy, these movies at least did not have me yelling out “that didn’t happen” with indignation in the movie theatre.

    1. Ummm, yeah…. most everyone I know that actaully READ The Fellowship of the Rings, The Return of the King, and ESPECIALLY The Two Towers, was yelling at the screen, wincing, or just plain disgusted. PJ is a great salesman for New Zealand’s scenery – that’s it.

  93. Children of Men was a favourite of mine, but it was so completely different from the book that it doesn’t quite belong on this list. I actually enjoyed the movie more.

    Stardust was truly a lovely, re-watchable film.

  94. i cried in shindlers list

    i still dont get why that girl was wearing a red jacket…everything else was black and white!

    then towards the end you see her burnt body…

  95. You have literally got to be kidding me?! 3 out of 5 are LOTR films? That is absolutely absurd, biased, and a complete and total travesty!

  96. I’m both slightly surprised and absolutely glad Brokeback Mountain isn’t on there. I’m surprised because so many liked it, and glad it’s not on because it’s about to gay guys. Call me homophobic, but I don’t see what’s so great about the film.

  97. Oh and shit! I just realized that Clockwork Orange isn’t in there either! And American Psycho! (sorry if someone mentioned either of two but I tend to skim through the comments from time to time)

  98. Where is There Will Be Blood? And Zodiac was also based on the book too, unless there is a guideline to factual based books to movies.

  99. Thanks for making this list!! It’s not the best list out there but you really gave me a lot of movies to think about and see.

    But you missed GONE WITH THE WIND! I don’t know… for me it’s somewhere in the Top 10 since it really captured the book so well.

    I do love the LOTR and agree with Return of the King!!!

  100. Hmmm, John, you’re taking a lot of shit for this one, aren’t you? I have to agree though, Fight Club, Jaws, and Jurassiac Park should be here. Well, maybe not JP, but I have a soft spot for that particular movie.

    Guys, stop slinging shit. It’s not his best list ever, but even the best directors in the buisness make a shitty movies every once in a while.

  101. damn, I knew before looking you were going to put that piece of shit Return of the King first. If I didn’t already know you had a soft spot in your head where that movies is concerned I would lose complete faith in you.

  102. The list is immediately inconsequential if Gone With The Wind isn’t on the list. I won’t even bother perusing the list now. Complete rubbish!

  103. I’m extremely happy to see Master & Commander on this list cause that movie just flat out rocked, although I do have to concur with the masses: where the hell is Fight Club at?

  104. @Manny
    stardust was published as a novel, written by gaiman.
    i think it was also published as a storybook with illustrations by dc vertigo.
    the storybook came first and then gaiman expanded it and put it out in full novel form.

  105. John should be ashamed of himself for not even giving JAWS a sniff. LOTR is great, but it does not improve on the source material like the Godfather, Jaws, Goodfellas or LA Confidential(All of these movies are superior to LOTR series.). I know it’s your opinion, and all opinions are subjective……wait a minute, just fix your mistake. LOL

  106. you know what we need to do? EVERYONE needs to watch every movie that was made 20 years ago and was meant to be in the “future” which is now

    like watch bladerunner in 2019 and see how horribly off they where…

    and all the other ones from the 60s
    “IN THE YEAR 2006…WHERE OUR PLANET WAS RULED BY GIANT ARMADILLOS…AND THEY COULD NOT BE DETAINED BY OUR FLYING CARS AND JETPACKS…ONLY AN ELITE GROUP OF SELF AWARE TRAINED ROBOTS CAN SAVE US”

    i cant think off the top of my head but theres a bunch of movies that “take place” in the year 2001 and theyre SO ridiculous….its histerical to watch though…

    we dont even have a cure for the flu yet

  107. Woah BOY!

    Outdone yourself with this one! I wouldn’t have put Stardust on that list though…don’t know what it is about that movie but I simply don’t like it. Then again I’m not a fan of the first few Harry Potter films too…might be the whole ‘over-the-top’ magic stuff.

    Have you seen Quantum of Solace? I’d say it would have been a nice replacement for Stardust :-P

    Also, how did you compile the list? Did you think of which film gives justice to the book? Which film is more entertaining? Or which film simply ‘works’ as a film (excluding the book…or in Shawshank’s case, a short story)?

  108. Where’s Gone with the Wind???? The movie captured the book perfectly! It has to be one of my fave adaptation’s ever. It took the book and simply brought it to life.

  109. like 25 of these movie’s I didn’t even know where originaly books. And i didn’t know that LLord of the Flies was a movie, The book bored the crap out me and i just stopped reading it half way through.

  110. some of the list, well most of it was great, but there are 3 omissions that are quite frankly…ABSURD!!!!

    Gone With The Wind, a little film called Wizard of Oz and Jaws!!! for pete sake. you are supposed to be the knowledgable one. we all love you and Doug, but honestly. doug is the funny one(who hasnt seen a good movie since clash of the titans) and you are supposed to be better. oh well. to each his own.
    hope things get better with your nightly webcast, i miss it.
    thanks for the list….kinda…lol

  111. @HAZMAT_loves_gwyn_paltrow

    I just mentioned CGI and action as examples because you talked about liking Spiderman 3 for all the action and hating Bladerunner for the CGI. If you would have talked about other things, then I would have used those to relay my points.

    As I mentioned, I have a personal bias toward Toby Mcguire. Not just for 3, but through all three movies. Did not like his acting in any of them, it was just that scene in 3 that added to me like 3 the least. Overall though, I just did not like the approach that was taking with the entire franchise. Do much goofiness to it. I prefer more serious dramatic pieces that use humor sparingly. Again, a personal bias. I hated the Fantastic 4 for the same reason, whereas I like the new Batman movies and James Bond movies for the more serious nature of things.

    And again to keep thing on track with the post and to not upset John with off topic discussion. Why are people surprised that movies are left off? This is /John’s/ list. He is not trying to say it is the all consuming list that everybody should live their life by, it is just a list that he wanted to put together to stress a few things: the importance of books on the movie industry, bring light to some movies other may not have known were originally books, and to draw attention to some movies that may have been overlooked. This list does that. Just about everybody knows that Fight Club, Jurassic Park, and Gone with the Wind are based on books. I think it is a pretty good list as there are several in there I did not know were based on books.

  112. and again…the whole “i didnt like thi smovie because it didnt have awsome action with GREAT cgi” deal isnt that accurate…because liek i stated above…i liked the movie dr hyde and mr jekill….and dorian grey. and those where in black and white (but MOTHER FUCKER where they great)

  113. Hey John

    I found this article quite interesting but I must ask; what about graphic novels? I mean, you must admit such movies as sin city and V for Vendetta are excellent depecitions of their “books”? I would be interested to see if you would come up with a list of graphic/comic book type movies (not the ones everyone knows but like jap. anime and graphic novels) and see how people think of that? That’s all I really have to say as I love this list compiled but I would say you robbed Fight Club as it was the one book to movie I thought got robbed.

    1. If graphic novels are being put on a list, I would have to say Watchmen is top 3. V for Vendetta as well. I didn’t really like Sin City, but 300 should be somewhere on the list.

  114. @John

    “…while I did not include Graphic Novels…

    98 – STARDUST
    Rotten Tomatoes Rating – 76%
    Synopsis: “Stardust,” based on the best-selling GRAPHIC NOVEL by Neil Gaiman…”

    D’oh.

    1. I have read it, and Stardust is definitely not a graphic novel. It’s a novel. And the book is WAY better than the movie, just FYI. ((Neil Gaiman is one of my favorite authors))

      Great list, I might have to agree with adding House of Sand and Fog somewhere in there as well as Revolutionary Road, but that might not have come out yet… my timing is bad.

      Wicked site, I’ll have to visit.

      1. OOO! And as a Shakespeare geek, I also need to mention almost any of Kenneth Branagh’s films based on Shakespeare’s plays (not the weird ones, like Love’s Labours Lost, but definitely Henry V and Much Ado…)

        AND

        Titus starring Anthony Hopkins and based on Shakespeare’s *Titus Andronicus*.

        If you haven’t seen/read these, you might want to check them out.

        SO GOOD. If you haven’t

  115. i am really glad you liked bladerunner jeremy, and im also glad i didnt pay for it…i borrowed my brother in laws DVD and saw it. ogh

    i think that tobey was good for spiderman…its not his fault that spiderman doesnt do any jokes and instead cries and dances…its the writers fault. if it was jake gylenhal or the guy from “21” it would have been the same exact thing…tobey would have been good if the writer didnt have him cry in it or dance and instead had him make fun of doc ocs glasses or venoms breath. it was a little too “emo” and not spidey-ish enough….same for kristen dunst. if she wore a push-up bra, smiled a little more and used more lipstic then she would have been perfect for mary jane

  116. One thing…

    Scarface at number 11? Is that film worth watching for more than Pacino’s over the top performance? BETTER THAN THE SHINNING???? 2001??? I really don’t agree with a lot of this list, but really? SCARFACE? Is it honestly better than GoodFellas?

  117. @HAZMAT_loves_gwyn_paltrow

    I won’t argue the fact that in today’s standards that Bladerunner’s special effects are dated, but that is not why there is a huge following for the movie. I would guess it is all based on the story and all the cultural relevance that can be found in its telling. It touches on some interesting topics beyond that of the simple story of a man hunting androids. If you watch it for some awesome action scenes and state of the art special effects, then ya, your going to be extremely disappointed. I personally find some amazing depth in the story elements, direction, music, and overall cinematography. I also respect it a lot for the mere fact of what it achieved compared to the date it was made and the impact it had on movies in general. Ghost in the Shell and Fifth Element I think would have been a lot different had Bladerunner not been made. I have my Bladerunner gripes to, though. Some of the costuming in the movie are horrendous.

    As far as Spiderman 3. Same idea. I would have to guess that most people that hated it did not hate it for the action. If you went in just looking for on awesome roller coaster ride of action, then it would be enjoyable. I could not stand it cause it, but I could not stand the first two either. That is my own personal bias though because I do not like Toby Mcguire as Spiderman. This plays into why I thought 3 was the worse because of the way he acted, particularly in the scene where he is walking down the street trying to act cool. Action wise it was good, even special effects were good (the part where the Sandman gets turned into the Sandman was awesome)… but for some, me included, this was not enough to make up for some of the downfalls.

    Anywho, just so it is not off topic from the current post, I totally agree with having Bladerunner in this list. :D

  118. jeremy
    its okay dude, i understand what yore saying.. and no offense taken from the troll thing. but.

    people do not understand…no one seems to see that bladerunner is a horrible movie and the cgi was shit…the whole movie reminded me of the 5th element I DONT KNOW WHY and it was so shitty…the android/robot people where SO LAME.

    pulp fitcion…gay.

    now spiderman 3….well i fucking loved it!!! it had the most action of ALL spiderman films.
    it had more action then one and two combined
    wanna bet??
    spiderman 1 had 3 fight scenes between goby and spiderman, spiderman 2 had 3 fight scenes between doc oc and spiderman

    that makes 6 fight scenes in total.
    spiderman 3 had spiderman fight the hobgoblin twice, sandman 2ce, venom fought spiderman once, and the hobgoblin fought venom and then he fought sandman.
    and then there was the falling crane scene which ill be nice and not count in this.

    i mean spiderman 3 was awsome.
    im not doing this to “rise above” im REALLY REALLY liked spiderman 3…and hated the horrible special effects on bladerunner (but although the effects where good for its time…it was still such a bad movie to watch)

  119. @ HAZMAT_loves_gwyn_paltrow

    I am pretty sure I have read a few comments on here from you before where you mention how much you hate Bladerunner. I think people are starting to get used to it by now. :D

    Also, I am pretty sure out of the six billion people on earth, there are I am sure well over a million that do not like Pulp Fiction. Every movies going to have lovers and haters, nothing worth getting a rise over. Sorry if people do cause you do not like these movies. Or are you just saying this for the purpose of getting a rise out it? If that is the case, then your a troll! D:<

    :D

  120. Wow, you took on quite a project with that list. I love that you gave props to the 1940s Pride and Prejudice while not a faithful adptation it has the best performances by far. Olivier is my favorite Mr Darcy and no actress has ever been able to pull off the strength of Elizabeth like Greer Garson. I don’t care if she was too old for the role, she was fantasticly graceful.

    1. I can’t believe this! Did you read the book? Have you never seen the version of PRIDE AND PREJUDICE made by BBC in 1995? It’s from afar the best version yet (YES, better that P&P 2005).

  121. Pman67
    i love the fact that now theres 2 peopel in the world that hated pulp fiction….btw im the other one

    oh and to make things more awkward…i HATED bladerunner (it. fucking.SUCKED!!!!!)…another movie everyone loves (man are those 2 movies SHIT)

    now i will pay for what i have said about bladerunner by being eaten alive from everyone in this site….

  122. well….i know this is going to sound really gay but mr hyde and doctor jekill is like…one of my favorite books
    and im deeply angry that this isnt in it. its na old movie…but..its so great…really…why cant you edit the list and take out friday night lights and put in mr hyde and dr jekill??? lmao jk

    i cant comment on a list that has 100 books in it cuz…I DIDNT MAKE ONE…but if i did john, id put dr hyde.

    beowulf not really but think abotu dorian grey…dorian grey was a really good movie. old as SHIT but i enjoyed it. im not the typical 18 year old.

    hey btw john- WHERES TWILIGHT!!???

    lmao
    xD

    1. He said it was the opening day of Twilight at the beginning. Most likely he hadn’t seen it yet. Even if he had, he probably wouldn’t have liked it. To have liked it you had to have read the books. In my opinion, Twilight was one of the worst movies I’d seen in a while.

  123. @ Pman67

    I am guessing it is because they like those two movies. I am a huge fan of Fight Club for twists and turns, directing, acting/cast, cinematography, and Dust Brothers soundtrack just to name a few reasons. Pulp Fiction I found alright, but I understand its popularity. What it comes down to is that people that like them a lot are going to put this in their favorites list, plain and simple.

  124. Not to speak for John, but maybe he isn’t that fond of Fight Club. I’m not and I’ve never understood why people seem to insist that it be at the top of every “Best” movie list. The same goes for Pulp Fiction. Sorry people, I thought Pulp Fiction sucked, but that’s just my opinion.

  125. Ha. While the list represents John’s opinion and he even stated that it is meant to spark discussion, there is no excuse not to include Fight Club. Come on now! Some others that I would put on a list that weren’t on John’s list are:

    Jurassic Park
    The Great Train Robbery
    To Kill A Mockingbird
    A Time To Kill

  126. Hey Max,

    Remember in my post where I said: “Now, I’m sure in all the time I spent putting this list together that there are probably 2 or 3 that I left out or forgot about that I’ll slap my head about later.”?

    Yeah, To Kill A Mocking Bird is TOTALLY one of those head slap moments. Good call!

  127. Some films that I would have put on this list are “To Kill A Mockingbird” and “Gone With The Wind”. I really dont understand why there not on the list. But its not my list, so what can I do.

  128. Lesterf1020

    I don’t get you guys. This is HIS list. If you don’t like it or the order he placed things make your own list and post it. Why are you telling him what to like and how to rank what HE likes.

    Thanks you Lester!!! It blows my mind that people have the audacity to shit talk another man’s opinion. Like someone else said, if you don’t like his list make your own damned list and shut the hell up!

  129. Lesterf1020

    I don’t get you guys. This is HIS list. If you don’t like it or the order he placed things make your own list and post it. Why are you telling him what to like and how to rank what HE likes.

    Thanks you Lester!!! I blows my mind that people have the audacity to shit talk another man’s opinion. Like someone else said, if you don’t like his list make your own damned list and shut the hell up!

  130. “Memento” isn’t based on a book, it’s based on a short story that Chris’s brother Jonah wrote. It’s not like it was a published work or anything.

    also weird to not see “Jurassic Park”, “High Fidelity”, and “American Psycho” not on the list.

  131. This was a tough undertaking. There are so many movies out there that a great movies that you may not realize were based on books. It so easy to leave on off.

    Personally, I would have also included most of Spielberg’s repertoire in this list:

    Jurassic Park
    Jaws
    Catch me if you can
    Lost World
    War of the Worlds
    A.I.
    Empire of the Sun

    As well as much of Robert Zemeckis filmography
    Who Framed Roger Rabbit
    Contact
    Beowulf
    Polar Express

    And complain as people may, The Da Vinci Code followed the book exactly and was a well made film. The translation from book to movie just wasn’t as “sure-fire” as people said it would be when reading the book (“It’s like reading an summer blockbuster script!”).

  132. Hey Ezell,

    Do you even know how Rottentomatoes works????

    Rottentomatoes just takes what all the film critics are saying and averages out the score. SO it’s not Rottentomaotes giving the score… it’s all the film critics everywhere giving the score.

  133. That was the worst list by far Lord of the rings return of the king is overrated it only won cause everything else sucked that year. just like TDK might get nominated cause this year sucked for film I mean bad.

    I am happy to see casino royale so high up on the list it is one of the greatest movies all time for what it is.

    But Forrest Gump being so low on the list is a shock and the fact that rotten tomatoes put it so low is fucking bull shit they lost me as a reader with that and the low rating for training Day.

  134. Great list. Although I, like many others have mentioned, would definitely include Fight Club somewhere in the our own lists. I would have it in the top ten on my list. The end scene with Norton and Carter holding hands as the building blow up will forever be etched into my mind as one of the, if not the greatest, romance scenes on film. I am a little twisted like that, though.

    @bigsampson

    I am betting that the majority of those movies listed are nothing like the books. The movies are listed for the fact that they are based on them, now how closely they are in translation. The Bourne movies could not be any more different than the books as an example.

    @ everyone

    Refer to item “3” on how these movies were selected:

    “3) To draw attention to the fact that these movies are indeed based on books, which may encourage you to try reading them (which I confess is a little hypocritical of me since I’ve only read a fraction of the books here.)”

    Some of these movies that John chose to list may have been picked for this reason. I sure as hell did not know that Die Hard was based on a book.

    Great list John, look forward to seeing any more lists you decide to post.

  135. for the person who said jurassic park…did u read the book? cause it was way differant then the movie….i didnt really look at all the numbers but i would think that joy luck club would be higher then 100.

    but also i think this is a really hard list to make so i will give u mad props on the effort….cant say if its good or not cause its personal opinion so i will take it as its right.

    1. “did u read the book? cause it was way differant then the movie” – Same with every other film on the list.

  136. I don’t get you guys. This is HIS list. If you don’t like it or the order he placed things make your own list and post it. Why are you telling him what to like and how to rank what HE likes.

  137. Why do you suppose it is that one of the most prolific horror writers of the past 30 odd years, has his books turned in to “horror movies” which 9 out of 10 times (okay maybe 9.5) suck. He also writes these interesting little non-horror stories that turn out to be some of the best films of their time? How does that work?

  138. Jean de Florette/Manon des Sources is not in the list and yet Bridget Jones’ Diary and Minority Report are?

    And, as others have said: To Kill a Mockingbird???? Fight Club???

    Interesting list, but MAN! YOU CRAZY! :-)

  139. This is why the movie blog rocks. Great stuff John — while I don’t agree or understand the reasons for some of your rankings, it does make me stop and think about my own personal book-to-movie faves (Die Hard? Really? Who’dve thunk…?) Thanks for a great entry!

  140. Hey I Just now realized you’ve been taking some crap from some of the users because of the list.Please dont be upset.I for one love lists and would love to see more in themovieblog.

    Thank you for this one…even if you forgot “Fight Club”.

  141. Seriously now, Remo Williams, 9 1/2 Weeks, Romancing the Stone, The Dead Zone, Babe & Die Hard… Sure some are good popcorn flicks, but when over a third of movies are based on non-original material you included these…

    And where you ranked others, really drove me bananas…Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, The Thing, Master & Commander, Princess Bride, 3:10 to Yuma, Fast times, and LOTR Return of the King, all ranked at least 10-15 spots too high some 40-50 spots too high…

    Forrest Gump, Field Of Dreams, Silence of the Lambs & Raging Bull, had an average rank of 52, each should/could easily be in the top 25…

    This is possibly the worst movie list I’ve ever seen…

  142. Sorry to say this list has many obvious omissions…Not to mention the order/rankings of some movies boggles the mind….Try again and really think about it this time…When AFI did their top films lists it took weeks and months…

    1. I agree, many omissions. Now I am going to assume I have to get my eyes checked because I didn’t see arguably the best movie all time whether it was a book or not, in this case it was.
      TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD
      If I missed it then I apologize but I dont think I did and it should hands down be at the front and certaintly in front of Lord of Rings3 which you could make a case for being not up there at all along with the 2 others, Twilight?? ,stardust?? Minority report?? Diggstown?? Narnia??J Lo’s Out of Sight?? U know, just because a movie did well and made a lot of money in the boxoffice doesnt make it a great movie. We’re talking about 100, that a milestone. That is taking all the great books that were turned into movies including Wizard of Oz. dont know if i saw that one but the point is, you have to see it for more than popular, is Narnia really a top 20 book/ movie?? Is Out of Sight?? I dont even like to try to pretend to know how many movies were once books

      1. Stardust is epic magic. Say what you will but IMO all book based movies are playing catch-up big time (at least the good ones). Stardust the movie has a magic heart and soul. I truly do treasure it.

  143. Good list! Kinda surprised Lord of the Rings was at the top, but I seem to be the only one in existence that is not a huge fan of the trilogy. Oh well.

    1. No, really, you’re not alone. I can’t stand PJ’s versions, as beautiful cinematically as they are – he deleted entire sections of the books, developed plotlines that didn’t exist, and pretty much failed at being true to the actual stories. He made the Ents stupid??? They needed to be convinced to help via trickery of the hobbits? Are you KIDDING me? Left out the Scouring of the Shire, but adds in fabricated scenes all over the place. My son, age 10 at the time, even picked up on how poorly PJ portrayed Bilbo’s birthday party – and the kid was TEN!

  144. Great list!!
    I don’t agree with choices like Mystic River (never did it for me) or the bourne ultimatum, but hey those are your choices.
    I haven’t seen a lot of these movies on the list so I think I need to rent some movies!

  145. Great List. I Didn’t know A lot of those films were based on books.

    I would put Shawshank Redemption in at #1. but other then that no complaints.

  146. Are you kidding me?!?!! Where’s Gone With the Wind?? Probably one of the best movies ever made and it’s not on the list=(

  147. What’s up with this list?
    What’s up with this list?

    Some of your comments…make me cringe.
    “You’d think Mel Gibson thought 2007 was the year to live danerously by shooting off his stupid drunk ass mouth about the Jews”

    Couldn’t you mention Linda Hunt winning best supporting actress…for playing a Indonesian male reporter? No. You have to bring in Mel’s mess up. It’s not that I’m upset that you have the film on your list- I loved it too. But come on.

    I’d place ‘Notebook’ a little higher; dump ‘Romancing The Stone’ right…oh, let’s leave it off the list entirely, shall we? Why?
    It isn’t based on a novel.

    As for what I would put in there?

    “House Of Shadows and Fog”
    based on the novel by Andre Dubis III, starrng Sir Ben Kingsley and Jennifer Connelly, directed by Vadim Perelman.
    (76% on RT)

    Better yet, it’s time to slap your forehead.

    Jaws.

    1. I know this post is dated but i wanted to point out that the book referenced here is “House of Sand and Fog” I only correct it because ts a book worth checking reading.

    2. What is wrong with you man?

      I don’t see HARRY POTTER anywhere.

      Damn you. You think you’re so smart by mentioning Lord of the rings and the godfather up on that list.

      Two words: HARRY POTTER

  148. It is so unfortunate that most times books and book based on them are nothing alike. it’s like the James Bond and Bourne Identity books are nothing at all like the movies. But i can understand, books and movies are different things, a book is more driven by character monologues and the reader’s imagination. Movies are driven by images and sound. Things like car chases, fights and explosions don’t work in books as well as in movies. and many times a book could be hundreds to thousands of pages of single spaced print, compared to a movie script that is a hundred pages double spaced and large margins.

    1. Well I agree with Jurassic Park and Into the Wild being on the top 100 but Fight Club really got lucky in their success. The movie sucked, it was obvious and contrived although i did hear the book was good. The only thing the movie did was to spark up conversations between 12 year olds about how they wanted to form there own fight clubs in the back yard of my suburb home.’ I hope the ‘rents dont find out” Then of course, they would never do it. I just thought the movie opened the door to all the people who wanted to look different to someone so they would say they do this.

      1. The movie Fight Club has nothing to do about 12 year olds. Obviously, just like you, they didn’t understand the movie past reading the title.

      2. dude you have no idea what your talking about fight club is not about a fight club its about a guy with split personalitys that is loseing his mind it really deep but idiots would never understand something like this

    1. Gone With Wind
      Wonderful Wizard of Oz
      Cookoo’s Nest
      Clockwork Orange
      All Quiet on Western front
      Slumdog Millionaire-gotta do it, it was that good
      -This is just another few that should clearly be on this list.
      -Way to stay away from ‘Fight Club’ and ‘300’ and shit like that, if it just looks cool its a classic? 300 sucked by the way. I mean, do u know how quickly u just immortalized ‘Twilight’ as a top 100 book-movie, just because its a fad right now.
      -u got some work to do John, this is definitely just a rough draft

      1. you obviously didn’t understand Fight Club if you think people like it because it “just looks cool” Fight Club is an excellent movie and book and should not only be on the list but near the top.

    2. OF course you end with the Lord of The Rings trilogy you fucking dork, god you are pathetic, it was all pretty good except for that. Plus you forgot one of Al Pacino’s greatest performances in “Carlito’s Way”. DORK!

      1. lord of the rings is the best good vs evil trilogy of all time it is a great story and should be at the top of the list you pric* you dont know movies you idio* go fuc* yourself you are obviously the stuiped person on earth and once again you dont know movies becouse lord or the rings is briliant thats why all three movies made it jackas*

    3. Great list!! I just stumbled on this site. Love it.

      I thought one that could’ve been mentioned is Dodsworth, a 1936 best picture nominee. So underappreciated, but one of the best films ever. Regardless, your list is great.

    4. i seriously hate million dollar baby, so your list did nothing for me. the movie was pathetic and stupid. shes a quitter…a testament to losers. helen keller never gave up, rocky never gave up, bethany hamilton, the surfer who had one arm, NEVER gave up. movie just proved to me that LOSERS do exist in movies. my respect for clint eastwood will always be low because of this movie. it being based on a book makes it EVEN WORSE.

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