Great Adaptations: 5 Great Novels made into 5 Great Movies

Envy Sloth presents 5 by 5 Great Adaptations:

5 Great Novels made into 5 Great Movies.

The rules are simple.

a) I had to have read and loved the book and loved the movie.
b) The movie can’t be substantially better than the book.
c) The book can’t be a lot better than the movie.

Got it? Here we go…

At number five.

Cover of "The World According to Garp"

The World According to Garp

written by John Irving

I loved this book.

I mean I completely loved this book.

I identified with T.S. Garp in so many ways, it was almost embarrassing.

I found so many correlations between

my life

and his.

Great book.

The World According to Garp

directed by George Roy Hill

I did not expect to like the movie as much as I did.

John Lithgow as Roberta, Glenn Close as Jenny and the incredible Robin Williams

bring the book to life in such an amazing way.


Does anyone know what’s up next?

Miss Granger?

Harry Potter.”

100 points for Gryffindor.

At number four.

Cover of "Harry Potter and the Philosophe...

Harry Potter & the Philosopher’s Stone

written by J.K. Rowling

The first one will always be my favorite. The introduction to that world, the freshness of it.

The title was changed to Sorcerer’s Stone for us ignorant Americans

Because when an American hears Philosopher’s Stone…

we think of a university professor getting high between lectures. (I think that’s why they changed the title… right?)

Harry Potter & the Sorcerer’s Stone

directed by Chris Columbus

The movie captures the magic of the first book beautifully.

My favorite movie in the series is Goblet of Fire but my favorite book is the first


And Chris Columbus does a masterful job bringing Rowling’s words to the screen.

A great beginning to a wonderful series.

At number three.

The Witches of Eastwick

The Witches of Eastwick

written by John Updike

One of my favorite books turned into one of my favorite movies.

I can’t remember who gave this book to me.

I think it was a woman who I didn’t know very well.

A work colleague, maybe. She just handed it to me out of the blue and told me to read it. (that happens to me a lot or at least it used to)

I loved it.


whoever you were.

The Witches of Eastwick

directed by George Miller

This one I knew would make for a good movie and the star power alone with Jack Nicholson, Cher, Susan Sarandon & Michelle Pfeiffer, You just knew it would be worth the price of admission.

But I had no idea how often I would quote the film. I drop lines from this movie all the time. If you haven’t seen it, rent it. So you can see where the shit that comes out of my mouth comes from.

At number two.


written by Vladimir Nabokov


Favorite writer.


Favorite director.

One of my

Top ten favorite books.

And top 20 favorite movies

and that’s

good enough

for this



directed by Stanley Kubrick

The movie and the book are very different but the theme, the atmosphere, the intangibles are all present.

The book and the film complement each other so well. Thanks in no small part to Nabokov’s adaptation of his most famous novel

and of course Kubrick’s camera.

But topping my list of Great Books made into (just as) Great Movies is…

At number one.

Who didn’t see this coming?

The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers

written by J.R.R. Tolkien

I read the books back in High School.

Needless to say I absorbed them and they became a part of my being.

It’s the only work of fiction that I have read in paperback,

own in hardcover,

listened to the audio book,

the BBC radio adaptation,

read the comic book,

saw the animated film and the feature film,

own the theatrical version on Blu-ray and the extended version on DVD.


The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers

directed by Peter Jackson

Peter Jackson took on an immense project and did an amazing job.

At least once a year, I pull out my extended version of the trilogy and spend the day in Middle Earth.

Of the book trilogy and the film trilogy, the second one is my favorite in both cases.

The Two Towers tops my list.

Honorable mention goes to Blade Runner or Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? (by Philip K. Dick & Ridley Scott) It missed being on the list because even though the book is good, the movie is substantially better.

and Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (by Hunter S. Thompson & Terry Gilliam) For the opposite reason. I mean, the movie is good but the book is a lot better.

Lastly, Smeagol, listen to me, always remember to read the book before seeing the film that way you can be your own art director.

Okay, suit yourself Smeagol.

I’ll see you on the couch.

– Sloth


3 thoughts on “Great Adaptations: 5 Great Novels made into 5 Great Movies

  1. Nice list, might I also add “Moby Dick” and the film by John Huston. I read the book in Junior high, I should say I tried to read it. It’s so long boring that it made it impossible but the first 50 pages and the last 50 pages are spectacular! Huston added a prophecy to the story that brought it all together.

    Another is Kipling’s the “The Man Who Would be King” also directed by Huston. This time Huston added a connection to Alexander the Great which was not in in the book, that again tied the film together. John Huston is the only master filmmaker that can add to master works and not ruin them.


  2. Huston was a really good director. The Man Who Would Be King is one of those movies that I’ve seen 10 or 20 times or more. But I’ve never read the book.

    As for Moby Dick, I haven’t seen the movie. I’ll have to see if Netflix has it.


  3. Pingback: The Journal of the Man in the Box 2 | Mel Rook & The 7 Deadly Sins

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