Reagan picked this topic for me. She’s recently turned into a TV junkie and had gotten really lazy in her reading.
For anyone who knows anything about my daughter, you’ll know that this is not in character for her at all. The lack of reading, not necessarily the laziness. 😂
To get her to read certain books, I have bribed her at times with the promise of watching the movie with her when she was finished.
But I digress.
I do love to read a terrific book and then find out it’s being adapted for film. I almost ALWAYS read books before I see the movies that inspired them, but I have been known to read one afterward on occasion.
1. LONESOME DOVE
This book was made into a television miniseries when I was a kid and my dad absolutely fell in love with it.
When I got older, I watched all 6+ hours of it myself and then read the book.
This is one of the rare occasions where I did not find one to be greater than the other. The miniseries and the book were equally fantastic. And it may have been because it DID end up as a miniseries. Some books are just too good to condense and make into a two hour film.
2. CAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF
Now, this isn’t a book, but it was a play. And I DID read it. But the screen adaptation is flat out fabulous.
Paul Newman, Elizabeth Taylor? It’s smokin’ hot and one of the rare movies set in the south that I find entirely realistic. I know everyone in the family portrayed. It’s downright spooky.
3. TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD
Another classic that I think was extremely well done by the filmmakers. P.S. I am in love with Gregory Peck as Atticus Finch.
Little-known-fact: If Reagan had been a boy, she very well might have been “Atticus”.
THAT is how much I love this story.
4. THE HELP
Reagan actually just finished this book and we watched the movie a couple of weekends ago. She agreed with my assessment (of which I’d been trying to convince her forever in pushing her to read the book) that they were equally fabulous.
I really hope Katherine Stockett puts out more material because this story is really, really good.
The movie was partially filmed in Jackson, MS, and it’s pretty cool to see familiar places on the big screen.
Hahahahahahaha!!! Just kidding.
I read the books. Yes, I unashamedly admit that I read every single one of the 4 part series. And I saw every single film.
The friend that loaned me the first book in the series went to see the first movie with me. And we laughed through the whole thing.
Total, superficial indulgence. Because the movies suuuuckkkked. The books were actually not bad for YA fiction. But the films ruined them.
6. THE WALKING DEAD
Not trying to take liberties with the subject, but TWD IS based on a graphic novel series so Imma say it counts.
The Walking Dead is one of my favorite TV series. I’ve read bits and pieces of the comics, but not a lot. I think I’d like to eventually though just so I can make a legitimate comparison.
7. HARRY POTTER
I know a lot of people who definitely have one preference over the other when it comes to beloved books being made into movies. But Harry Potter was done well.
I absolutely love the books more, but I think each filmmaker really did a great job in capturing the story and the entire world of JK Rowling’s imagination being brought to life on screen was really incredible.
8. LORD OF THE RINGS
I’m gonna make another confession here: I’ve never completely finished all of the LOTR books.
I know, I know, I’m a sham and a disgrace to writers everywhere.
But I do know that the films were painstakingly made to be as visually and verbally precise as Tolkien purists could dare to imagine.
These movies, in my opinion, are the best epic masterpieces of filmmaking in my lifetime.
I will also say this, in my defense of not finishing reading LOTR. I find Tolkien to be over-descriptive at times. I get buried in it and lose what’s happening in the story.
I’ll try to read them all again one day, “But it is not THIS day!”. Heh
9. PRIDE AND PREJUDICE
A&E ran a miniseries of this a long time ago when Colin Firth really started to gain popularity with American audiences.
It’s a delightful adaptation of a timeless piece of literature.
10. ALICE IN WONDERLAND
I LOVED this book as a child and then they created a TV miniseries for it when I was a kid. It had an all star cast and was turned into a musical for this version as well.
I have more titles still running through my head. I’d love to hear about your personal favorites in the comments!