- Number one is without a doubt the 1995 miniseries of Pride and Prejudice. It is my favorite "movie" and book. This is a great adaptation for how incredibly close it is to the novel, the perfect casting and of course the beautiful scenery. You can watch this movie and get 90% of what was in the book, which is quite a lot more than I can say for most book to movie adaptations.
- Second would probably be The Book Thief. Now the movie isn't amazingly close to the book like Pride and Prejudice is, though it isn't far from the book by any means. However, I think that the movie leaves aspects out of it that I disliked in the book, making the movie actually one of the few I would say is better than the book. That is just my opinion. I do love both the book and the movie. :)
- Next I guess would be The Lord of the Rings trilogy, though I suppose no movies have given me greater aggravation or have sparked as much complaining about how the book was better than the movies. I love the books, they are my second favorite (just behind Pride and Prejudice of course) and I grew up with the movies. Peter Jackson got a lot right with the movies but he also got a fair amount wrong... some of which I've reluctantly forgiven him for and some of which I find unforgivable. You can read more about that in THIS POST. Bottom line, I love the book and the movies. :)
- To Kill a Mockinbird is a family favorite that I was raised on. It wasn't until I was in high school that I read it and fell in love with the book as well. They are different but both great in their own way. I'm really looking forward to re-reading it this year.
- The 1982 version of The Scarlet Pimpernel was another family staple growing up and when I read it in my teenage years I adored the book as well. Though the book and movie are different they are both great.
- Anne of Green Gables was a childhood favorite and the film was no less. A beautiful adaptation that while not perfect, is pretty close.
- A recent book to film favorite is Little Dorrit. The 2008 miniseries has great casting and follows the story pretty well with only slight deviations.
- I read The Prisoner of Zenda a few years ago and then watched the 1937 film version, which is a masterpiece as well. It stays pretty well to the plot and has excellent casting.
- Nicholas Nickelby is a great Dickens and I was raised on the nine hour Shakespeare theater adaptation, which is as much a classic as the book. However, it is really long.
- The Swiss Family Robinson was a staple in our family growing up and is a movie I still love to go back and watch. When I read the book some years ago I was disappointed. The truth is, the movie is almost completely different from the book so the book threw me for a loop and frankly I found it boring. It has been my plan to re-read the book now that I'm older for some time now and though I do not think I will get to it this year, I should be getting to it in 2016.
A few honorable mentions would be:
- The Princess Bride- This was a favorite growing up but it was only a couple years ago I discovered there was a book it was based off of. This last year I read and enjoyed it. However, I think I like the movie better, probably because I was biased though. They are both good. :)
- Sense and Sensibility (1995)- Another film I was raised on and then I read the book for the first time probably when I was in middle school. While again not a perfect adaptation, I believe it well captures the chapters and storyline of the original classic.
- Emma (1996)- There have been multiple versions of Emma but the 1996 one is the version that stands out to me and the one I was raised on. For me, Kate Beckinsale is Emma and this version, while not perfect captures the spirit of Austen and tells the story beautifully.
- The Help- I thought the movie was a decent adaptation and of course while not as good as the book, I think they did a good job of telling the story.
- Treasure Island to Treasure Planet- Different stories in a lot of ways but both great. Who would have thought that you could take a classic children's tale and make it sic-fi and it still be good.
- The Harry Potter movies- I have a lot of gripes about them but they aren't bad. :)
On a side note, a couple books I haven't read but I have seen the movie of and have enjoyed are The 39 Steps and Rebecca. However they are on my Classics Club list so I hope to read them some day soon. Books I have read but haven't seen the movie of are God and Generals and Killer Angels (Gettysburg). I have heard the films are excellent so I'm looking forward to watching them soon. Also, I haven't read the book or seen the movie of Gone with the Wind but I've heard they're both excellent so I look forward to reading it for the Classics Club as well and hopefully adding it to this list. :)
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