The biggest hit on TV right now? It is Game Of Thrones, of course it is! There are plenty of close contenders to the throne, but something that sets Game Of Thrones apart is where the story is sourced from.
Game Of Thrones is based on the ‘A Song Of Ice And Fire’ book series scribed by George R.R. Martin. In fact, some of the best content ever has jumped directly from the written word onto the silver screen, so let’s jump from the small screen of the TV to the large picture of the cinema and have a look at the best films that took their story from a book or series of books.
Of course, to fully enjoy the list – you’ll probably have to do a bit of reading. Reading’s a good hobby anyway, and this list of films and the other entries on the list of books here can help you get reading some great books before they appear on the screen.
We can’t really talk about books that were turned into films without talking about Gone With The Wind. This American epic transforms a one-thousand-page novel into a movie that runs for the best part of three and a half hours. Telling the story of riches to rags and back again, the film was produced a mere two years after the book was released, which is pretty speedy. Gone With The Wind was an Academy Award winner and left little of the book out – which probably gives a good reason as to this epic films length!
Another classic adaptation of a book would be The Godfather series. Now, the Godfather films overshadow the book by Mario Puzzo, but the author of the book contributed to the production of the film, so it is a faithful adaptation and an even better retelling of the book – except that the story threads are stretched out over a number of films. The first by Francis Ford Coppola, will always be the best – but this is still a legendary series and we owe that to Puzzo’s original work.
Moby Dick is a downright insane mockery of a book. Herman Melville’s book has an intense structure with meta-meanings aplenty. As the obsession with Ahab’s crusade for the white whale deepens so does the book’s obsession with the giant sea mammal and thus your own obsession. As a general tale, the story of a man pursuing his revenge even if it takes him to the depths of hell is good enough for a film, even if the structure cannot truly be translated to the silver screen. That being said, John Huston’s 1956 film adaptation does a great job of adapting a legendary tale that has inspired plenty – including a hard rock album.
There are plenty more great adaptations to discuss, from Harry Potter, Fight Club, Stand By Me and the Shining, but it will be these three films, and these three books that really set the standard. What will be the next great adaptation?