50 books that make great films (Part One)

It seems that most films today are either a remake, a sequel (and we’re including prequels here), or a book adaptation. They say that ‘the book is always better’ and it’s a sentiment we almost always agree with.

Staff from across the borough have come together to compile fifty of their favourite book adaptations. Over the next five weeks we will explore all fifty titles –let us know your personal favourites!

Here we go…ranked in no particular order:

aboutaboy2 About A Boy
I like what the Weitz brothers did with About a Boy by Nick Hornby, starring Hugh Grant (the only movie I like with him in it)- a really great, slick, feel-good movie. The part played by the Nicholas Hoult was just great.  Submitted by Roz

About A Boy by: Nick Hornby |First Published 1998|Film Release 2002 | Genre: Comedy Drama Romance



annofgreengablesAnne of Green Gables
In my mind, it is perfect. They actually filmed it on Prince Edward Island, the acting is spot on and it is a celebration of life of a young child into a young woman whilst appreciating the beautiful Canadian landscape. It is full of literature, poetry and books. I think I have probably read and seen it over 50 times and I will never get tired of it. Submitted by Katie

Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery | First Published 1908 |Film Release 1995 | Genre: Drama


streetcarA Streetcar Named Desire
One of the best plays of the 20th century starring Marlon Brando. A brilliant film adaption of Tennessee Williams’ play which has it all, great acting, terrific dialogue and excellently directed by Elia Kazan – all played out against the sultry backdrop of 1950s New Orleans. Submitted by Roz

A Streetcar Named Desire, Play by Tennessee Williams | First Performed 1947 |Film Release 1951 | Genre: Drama


cloudatlasCloud Atlas
A fantastic story which was translated into film by Wachowski sisters, who are now both the makers of Matrix films. What I love about the story is that it spans several aeons, it encompasses history, modern times, post-apocalyptic era and distant future are woven together in an amazing way. The actors play many different roles in the movie, and it has a strong message. Visually fantastic! Submitted by Nina

Cloud Atlas By: David Mitchell | First Published 2004|Film Release 2013 | Genre: Fantasy  Drama


cyranoCyrano de Bergerac
Classic adaptation with Gerard Depardieu as the lovelorn Cyrano – the ending breaks your heart. Submitted by Steph

Cyrano de Bergerac, By: Edmond Rostand | First Published 1897|Film Release 1990| Genre: Comedy Drama




friedgreenFried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe
Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Café”, by Fannie Flagg (1987); movie: “Fried Green Tomatoes” (1991) – a combination of friendship, courage and humour. Submitted by Linda and Silvia 

Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Café by: Fannie Flagg |First Published 1987 |Film Release 1991 | Genre: Drama



harrypHarry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone
The first film of the series really does capture the heart of J.K. Rowling’s magical universe. Submitted by Leanne

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone  By: J.K Rowling | First Published 1997 |Film Release 2001 | Genre: Family Fantasy




wildInto the Wild
The film is a biopic about an idealist named Christopher McCandless. He is the 1990’s version of Henry David Thoreau. I loved this film adaptation. Submitted by Amy

Into The Wild By: J. Krakauer | First Published 1996|Film Release 2007 | Genre: Drama Biography



maurice Maurice
Merchant Ivory’s Maurice from the E. M. Forster novel: after producing the ‘heritage’ Room with a View (‘girl meets boy’), at the height of the AIDS crisis and Clause 28, they next produced the ‘heritage’ ‘boy meets boy’ as though it were the most natural thing in the world. Submitted by Tim

Maurice, By: E.M Forster | First Published 1971 |Film Release 1987 | Genre: Drama Romance


stillalice Still Alice
A recent one I liked a lot was “Still Alice”  by Lisa Genova. The movie was realized in 2014 and was directed by Richard Glatzer and W. Westmoreland. I liked the book better than the movie (what’s new?!). It is a very touching story and well written despite the subject being per se a very hard one – a middle aged academic woman coping with Alzheimers.  Submitted by Silvia

Still Alice, By: Lisa Genova | First Published 2007|Film Release 2014 | Genre: Drama


By Leanne Bellot


One thought on “50 books that make great films (Part One)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.