5 Films That Superbly Conveyed Literature To The Big Screen

1 year ago By Marwan Omar


Throughout history, movies have always been a fruitful conveyor of other less-popular forms of art, yielding plentiful time-transcending movie classics that were originally based on plays, musicals, poems and books. However, certain adaptations seemed to have muddied the waters between bookworms and cinephiles when it came to the matter of filming written works of literature, and the movies’ capability of abiding by the original source.

While the subject of the books’ superiority over their adapted movies may have initiated numerous debates, some films were capable of establishing harmony and peace among both camps. We’re shedding light on five iconic adapted films that enjoyed the acclaim of readers and movie enthusiasts alike.  


1- The Godfather

It was in 1972 when Mario Puzzo’s bestselling novel The Godfather was turned into an all-time classic with the release of its cinematic adaptation under the direction of Francis Ford Coppola. The original novel was thoroughly displayed over nine hours of runtime through the film’s trilogy. The movie also spiced up the novel’s plot with outstanding performances from Marlon Brando, Al Pacino and Robert De Niro, and a great musical score by Nino Rota.


2- A Clockwork Orange   

Normally, a filmmaker’s attention drifts towards a fictional piece of literature after it earns fame and popularity, but on the other hand, some novels don’t gain recognition until their movie adaptations see the light of day, thanks being to some of the last century’s reputable directors, specifically the masterful Stanley Kubrick. Following his dazzling visualization of the philosophic Sci-Fi novel 2001: A Space Odyssey in 1968, the British director returned in 1971 with his film A Clockwork Orange to re-mesmerize the audience with another extremely distinctive project. It enjoyed audience recognition for its vicious yet entertaining story, which in turn drove their attention towards its overlooked book.


3- One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest

Hope has always been a fertile topic to center a story’s events on. However, its gloomy representation in One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest certainly takes the cake, with the film’s portrayal of extreme hope battling hateful maliciousness in one of the most effective protagonist/antagonist clashes ever displayed in cinema. The film remained true to the progression of the novel’s events, which equipped the project with entertainment that transcended all conventions.  


4- The Green Mile

After a long chain of extraordinary books and iconic pieces, it was inevitable for Stephen King’s novels to become the most adapted sources of literature in the history of cinema, with Tom Hanks’ The Green Mile being on top. Despite the partitioning of the original story into six mini books, the film’s plot managed to easily navigate its chapters with a heart-touching portrayal of humanity’s truest characteristics. The movie managed to be on par with the mini-novels, driven by the film’s fervent emotional theme and its tearful concluding minutes.


5- Fight Club

It’s likely that you encountered books that narrated inspiring tales of exceptional individuals, but to tackle the mood of an entire generation in one novel, that’s the unusual occurrence. In 1999’s Fight Club, director David Fincher utilized his filmmaking abilities to turn a descriptive novel into a major production by imbibing every frame of the movie with the feelings of puzzlement, anger, hopelessness and struggles of youth, as well as people’s bewilderment towards life’s accelerating paces. Fight Club is cherished by the masses and categorized as an all-time classic.   


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