Monday, July 8, 2013

Best and Worst Book-to-Movie Adaptations
Hosted by The Broke and the Bookish

I love movies way, way too much to limit myself to ten either way. Once again, I'M CHEATING BUT OOPS. I have no regrets.


A Room With A View

Bleak House
A SUPER DUPER long miniseries that I'm still in the middle of, but it's tremendous. 

Pride and Prejudice (1995 BBC)
While this is the cream of the crop for BBC miniseries (excepting the other one down below and the one above), I could have put ANY BBC adaptation of almost ANY novel. Seriously. YOU MUST WATCH THEM ALL. They can cute men in tight pants with sideburns. They're perfect.

Jane Eyre (2011)

Though the BBC miniseries with Ruth Wilson and Toby Stephens is also sublime, I'm a sucker for the Fassbender. Mmm. Fassbender.

The Princess Diaries

Harry Potter
Doesn't matter which. Pick you favorite and that's the best (except don't pick 1 or 2 because... seriously?)

Bridget Jones' Diary

Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day
THIS MOVIE. It is so cute and romantic and it deserves so much more attention.

Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (1971)

Sense and Sensibility

I Capture the Castle

Anne of Green Gables

The Wizard of Oz 

The Princess Bride


Alice in Wonderland

Howl's Moving Castle
 This is possibly my favorite of all of Hayao Miyazaki's films, and that's saying something. It's also even better than the book, which is ALSO saying something.

The Secret Garden and A Little Princess
 My two FAVORITE movies growing up. Even though A Little Princess takes some plot liberties (I also had a fabulous miniseries adaptation of it as a kid that was VERY true to the book).

To Kill a Mockingbird

North and South

The Lord of the Rings trilogy 

Stand by Me



The Witches 

Perfect movie about a bookworm braniac with braniac powers is perfect.

Little Women
 I used to watch this movie every Christmas. Not with my family, or anything. Just myself. Because I love it THAT MUCH. Also CHRISTIAN BALE AS LAURIE. How in the hell do you turn down CHRISTIAN BALE AS LAURIE, Jo?!

The Neverending Story

More like the neverending list of movies.

Angus, Thongs, and Perfect Snogging

The Hunger Games
Not a perfect adaptation, I don't think, but still dang good.

Honorable adult-y book mentions: The Godfather, Schindler's List, Children of Men, Fight Club, True Grit (both films), Atonement, The Big Sleep.

Because I am trying to be a more positive person, I will only eviscerate a few of the terrible book-to-movie attempts out there, even though (be assured) I loathe at least dozens more. I'm capable of a lot of loathing.


The Golden Compass
A big, expensive waste of a fabulous novel.

The Great Gatsby (1974)
 Eveybody is sweating in this movie. It's the truth. I don't know why they made that particular creative choice, but they did. Everybody's sweating, everybody's miscast, and nobody can pull off the time period. Every time Robert Redford says "old sport" you want to punch him in the mouth.

How the Grinch Stole Christmas
The animated version is perfect. The live action version is putrid.

The Scarlet Letter (1995)
HOT FREAKING MESS. While ostensibly starring Demi Moore and Gary Oldman, the spotlight is stolen by both Demi's anachronistic and un-puritanical cleavage and her accent of undetermined origin. Also, there's a scene in the bath? For some reason? And there's this big thing at the end that never happened in the book? This movie is hilaribad. It would make a good drinking game.

Not even John Malkovich and Jeremy Irons could save this.

SORRY FOR ALL THE MOVIES. I just couldn't limit myself. Anyway, leave me your links if you have them! Do you agree or disagree with any of my picks?


  1. We've already flailed over Christian Bale as Laurie on twitter, but I am here to do it again. CHRISTIAN BALE AS LAURIE = PERFECTION FOREVER.

    How awful was that Golden Compass adaptation? I try very hard to not remember it. Those books are amazing and that movie just missed the whole point.

    Eragon... well I hated the books, so the movie didn't annoy me as much. Possibly because I hatewatched it while drunk.

    Hahahaah I love love love HP, but the first two movies are SO BAD. Just awful CGI, very amateur acting (and I mean, they WERE young) but still. The only redeeming thing? Harris as Dumbledore. I cannot stand Gambon's performance. It's ALL WRONG.

    I really really need to watch Howl and North and South. I've heard so many good things about both, I can't imagine why it's taken me so long.

    Matilda is a great movie. Notable for being the only time I can stand Danny Devito, as well.

    This is a very comprehensive list. I like it when you go overboard. I get to leaving long rambling comments!

  2. Movies I must watch again immediately:

    Princess Diaries (Michael and I need to slow dance to some BSB)
    Holes (Dig it uh oh oh DIG IT.)

    Thanks for that.

  3. I could go on and on about my favourite BBC adaptations of the classics. That line from North & South? Guh, just <3

    I wish I had made my list longer, Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day would've made it on my list xD

    My TTT

  4. OOohhhh The Secret Garden! YES. Gosh there are so many on your list that I've either, not watched the movie, not read the book... or both. I suck. The Neverending Story was one of my most favorite movies ever when I was kid... I so need to read the book. And Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory! But not that scary ass shit with Johnny Depp. Great picks, glad to know about a few that I need to stay away from. :D
    Bonnie @ Sweet Tidbits

  5. Fabulous list. I completely forgot about adding Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, which was a great adaptation. Harry Potter makes my list this week too.

  6. Never let a 'top 10' restrict the number of things on your list, I say!

    Totally agree about Room with a View - probably my favourite movie OF ALL TIME.

  7. Holy crud that list is huge and I totally agree all the way around! You're pretty much spot on and all that grand stuff!
    My TTT

  8. There are so many here! I'm just nodding my head! I think practically all my best pics are on your list too.


    Here's my top ten!

  9. Some of these were on mine too! <3 Nobody has put SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION besides me! It's killing me! urgh

    I've never seen the Princess Bride :o

  10. Good list! I agree with all the ones you put on there - that I've seen anyway. And I think I actually liked THE HUNGER GAMES movie better than the book. I mean, I liked the book, but I didn't like the writing style, so I thought it was great seeing the story played out without the narrative. lol

  11. Harry Potter! The Wizard of Oz! Princess Bride!!! (swooning and quoting all over the place). The Secret Garden! To Kill a Mockingbird! Lord of the Rings! The Hunger Games! I'm just going to scream all your picks back at you because YES! And I felt like the only one who has seen Angus, Thongs, and Perfect Snogging but that was so perfect! *collapses from the awesome*

    Oh my gosh Eragon was PAINFUL. Bleck. I literally could not sit through that movie, and I really liked the first book. It was so bad. Couldn't sit through the Golden Compass, either, and it's not often that I don't finish a movie.

    All hail Gillian and her excellent life choices.

  12. Worst, absolute worst book-to-movie of all time is Prince Caspian (The new one. The old BBC one is very good.). GAHHH!

    The 'as you wish' gif is your best one yet. I love that movie. Buttercup was a lot more useful in the book though.

  13. Eragon was SO BAD. I loved Hugo, but I haven't read the book so I don't know if it's a good adaptation or not. Still a beautiful movie, though.

  14. I'm so glad you didn't limit yourself because... I LOVE your list.

    The only thing I disagree with - the 2011 Jane Eyre. I would have picked the 2006 BBC version over that one. I really do understand the love of Fassbender though; he's gorgeous. But the ending of Jane Eyre is one of the most romantic and teasing endings ever, and they didn't even try in that movie. (Please note, that despite my dislike of the ending, I own the movie anyway, because of Fassbender of course, LOL).

    Everything else on your list (that I've seen), I absolutely agree with. I love that line from North & South. Every time I watch it, I'm just like "Look back at him, Margaret! It's Richard-freaking-Armitage!" And Howl's probably my favorite Miyazaki film too.

    Ashling @ Reading, Writing, & Anything but Arithmetic

  15. Haha I LOVE your list! Even though it's a little longer than expected. :) I think you've got most of my list on there, too!

  16. YAY for BBC Pride and Prejudice! And for Michael Fassbender too, though I personally like the BBC miniseries more.

  17. What a great list! I thought the Hunger Games was a great adaptation.

    my TTT:

  18. Oooh, wow, you included a lot of them. AHH I SO WANT TO WATCH A ROOM WITH A VIEW. A few years back, I was on a mission. It was my to-rent list from Blockbuster, but I could NEVER find a copy! ALSO YES TO BBC MINISERIES. The one for Emma is my favorite. I actually am a huge fan of the 2005? P&P adaptation & prefer it over the BBC miniseries though. AND YES TO JANE EYRE. I wrote a post on my love for that adaptation & a critique of the Hunger Games adaptation :P. You don't like the first and second Harry Potter adaptations? Why??? They were the most faithful to the books, and the Dumbledore actor was SO much better than the newer one they chose. Have you seen the newest Gatbsy adaptation? I was a huge fan - didn't know there was a 1974 one. The other adaptations you've listed I haven't watched, but... are you a media studies major? or a film critic? So many! You seem like such an expert!

  19. BBC Mini Series FTW! They're all incredible and I just love them! And Pride and Prejudice, TEHE LAKE SCENE? I die!! SO good. And then The Princess Bride. Such a classic, and then it did the book justice - it's just so incredible!!

    ARGH. Eragon! I read the first book in that series, and was fairly excited for the movie, but then it just wasn't very good and I was discouraged from finishing the series. (I get intimidated by big books)

    My Top Ten

  20. I should have just done what you did and not limited myself! I LOVE BBC mini series! And yay Netflix for having so many of them! I was surprised The Secret Garden didn't make more lists. And oh my god I forgot about Gilbert Blythe! I loved the Anne of Green Gables series and movies. I own all of them. All the books..even the ones that aren't really Anne of Green Gables. And all the movies on I wish I'd brought those with me to school...

  21. The BBC really does the best adaptations out there doesn't it? I really want them to do The Count of Monte Cristo so we can have a decent version. I found myself nodding through your entire best list. Love almost all of these movies. Though I have a love/hate relationship with the HP ones. I'm afraid I had to put movie 6 on my worst list.

    "While ostensibly starring Demi Moore and Gary Oldman, the spotlight is stolen by both Demi's anachronistic and un-puritanical cleavage and her accent of undetermined origin."

    Lol. I never watched this because the previews about did me in.

  22. The Golden Compass made it onto my disappointments list as well. I actually loved the movie right up until the end. I wanted the ending from the book, and I was sooo sad when it wasn't there.

    I love all HP, too, but three is my favorite.

    And totes PRIDE AND PREJUDICE!!! And The Princess Bride.

    I love North and South but I haven't read the book. Richard Armitage - he's sooo dreamy.

  23. OH MY GOSH YES. The movie adaptation of Eragon terribly disappointed me. It broke my heart because I love that series so, so much! GAH. Just thinking about it makes me upset :(

    But I love your "best" list! There are a few I haven't seen on there, so I think I should go and remedy that.

  24. YES.

    I can't believe I forgot North and South. That scene absolutely slays me every time. That kiss...THAT KISS!!! I die a little of happiness every time.

    Great list!

  25. Wow what a great list! So many films I want to rewatch now... Actually, I've been meaning to watch Bleak House for a while now- I take it I definitively should then?

  26. So there with you! Stand By Me, Pride & Prejudice, and Eragon made our list too! (In all the same spots). Loooved that you went above and beyond numberwise, reminded me of a bunch of great movies I loved, and you picked fabulous you wish! :::sigh:::

    Thanks for sharing an awesome list!! :D

    Sam @ Mad But Magic

    Our TTT:

  27. So many awesome movies on this list!! In particular, yes to the BBC P&P (of course), North & South (love that end scene!), and Anne of Green Gables. Also Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day had some very funny scenes in it :D

    LOL, the 2011 adaptation of Jane Eyre actually ended up on my list in the "worst" category! I'm glad to hear it worked for some viewers, even if it didn't for me :)

  28. OMG, sooo many good ones on the Best list!! Seriously, BBC P&P. I have so much love for that one. I need to read North & South -- only watched the BBC mini series. (<3 Richard armitage!!!) Apparently I really have a thing with men in tight pants? haha.

    Also, little princess makes me cry pretty much every time I watch it.

  29. Well, I know what movies I should totally be watching next. Oh yes.


Note: comments on posts older than 90 days are automatically moderated, so they won't show up here immediately. Thanks for commenting! :)