30 DoB Day 19: Favorite Book Turned Into A Movie

Next up in the 30 Days of Books list is that often testy intersection of books and movies:

Day 19 – Favorite book turned into a movie

Now, lots of my favorite books have been turned into movies – some done very well (To Kill A Mockingbird, Jurassic Park, Lord of the Rings, In Cold Blood, the Harry Potter films just to name a few) and some not as well (let’s not go there today).

But let’s make this question about the movie – what’s the best movie from a book?  And for that the answer is so obvious, most people would forget that the movie is based on a book.

Jaws by Peter Benchley

Jaws is the rare exception where the film version surpasses the original written material.  Now Peter Benchley’s Jaws (novel) was a big hit and it’s a fine book and a good thriller but the film is so pitch-perfect, while editing some things out of the novel’s story and changing a few things here and there to make the movie a classic.

Jaws by Steven Speilberg

I know it’s on cable all the time, but I almost always tune in for a little bit if I know that it’s on — and if I were doing the 30 Days of Movies, this would probably be my favorite.


16 thoughts on “30 DoB Day 19: Favorite Book Turned Into A Movie

  1. I agree with you completely! Jaws was a spectacular movie! The book (and sequels) were just ok.
    That’s so rare for me. I don’t think I have ever seen a movie that I liked better than reading the book except for Jaws.

    • Lauri– much like some of the follow-on Star Wars stuff, I don’t really think about the sequels that much. The second one was too bad, but after that — eeesh.

  2. Great choice. I saw Jaws before I read the book, and I remember thinking, “This isn’t in the movie…why is it here?”

    • +1 I did the same and kept wondering why the book was so much longer than the movie. It didn’t need to be. Big huzzahs to Spielberg on his skill in transforming it!

      • sKZ — it’s hard to think of the other elements in the book — especially the stuff with the mayor — and wonder about how it diverts from the main story. But then again — I think of what’s in the movie as the main story, so it could be a bit of catch-22.

    • Tom — I wonder if Jurassic Park is like that for some people, though I think the novel JP is still better than the movie, though I love the movie.

  3. I don’t remember how old I was when I saw it but it scared the bejeebers out of me (granted, I’m a big pussy when it comes to horror films…if it’s considered horror–scared me anyway).

  4. For me, the best movie from a book is “On Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.” When I heard that they were making a movie of that beloved tome, I felt a little sick, knowing that they were going to ruin it.

    I was wrong.

  5. Pingback: Flick Buddies: Better Than The Book | Stevil

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