A Lit Major At The Movies Prompts Memes and Other Fun Things Top Ten Tuesday

My Top Ten Favourite Movies Based on Books


I contemplated using this week’s Top Ten Tuesday theme about movies to just talk about movies that weren’t book-related, but then I realised that a sizeable chunk of my favourite movies consists of book adaptations anyway. These aren’t necessarily the best book-to-film adaptations I’ve ever seen, but they’re the ones I love re-watching.

My Top Ten Favourite Movies Based on Books

1. The Princess Bride (1987) – I had to begin with this movie, because I think it may well be one of my favourite movies, full stop. It’s brilliant and funny and heartwarming from beginning to end. Could I ever stop loving this movie? Inconceivable!

2. The Lord of the Rings (2001-2003) – This epic trilogy just captures the tone of J.R.R. Tolkien’s original books so well. Plus gaze in wonder at the amazing scenery, both the natural landscapes of New Zealand and the studly actors that spend their time criss-crossing them (I know, I’m completely immature).

3. 10 Things I Hate About You (1999), Easy A (2010), Mean Girls (2004), Clueless (1995) – I had such a hard time picking between these teen movies based on classics: 10 Things (The Taming of the Shrew), Easy A (The Scarlet Letter), and Clueless (Emma). And I couldn’t forget Mean Girls, which was written by the incomparable Tina Fey and technically based on a book called Queen Bees and Wannabes, so I’m counting it. 10 Things and Easy A both feature wonderfully snarky heroines, played brilliantly by Julia Stiles and Emma Stone respectively. Clueless and Mean Girls do a fantastic job of commenting on contemporary teen culture while still being endlessly enjoyable and frequently hilarious. 

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4. The Hunger Games (2012) – And speaking of teenagers, while there have been a lot of adaptations of YA novels in the past few years, the one that really stands out is The Hunger Games. Like the book, The Hunger Games is completely absorbing, and you find yourself kind of horrified at how quickly you’re drawn into the life-or-death fights in the arena.

5. Beauty and the Beast (1991) – It’s almost impossible to pick just one favourite Disney movie, so in the end I pretty much just made a list of my absolute favourites, closed my eyes, and pointed. Beauty and the Beast showed up, which I was pleased about, because it’s a lovely adaptation of a famous fairy tale with a nice message at its heart. Plus, there’s singing crockery. Win-win.

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6. Much Ado About Nothing (1993) – I kind of have a love-hate relationship with any movie by or with Kenneth Branagh, but I’ll admit I have only unashamed love for Much Ado About Nothing, which is fun and bright and has some truly phenomenal shots of the Tuscan countryside in it.

7. Robin Hood Men in Tights (1993) – What can I say? I have the sense of humour of a five-year-old. Regardless, Mel Brooks’ hilarious parody of movies based on the Robin Hood legend still makes me giggle even ten years after I first watched it.

8. Les Misérables (2012) – I’m more than a little ashamed to admit this one. I know that this movie has some truly appalling singing (not to mention some less-than-golden acting), plus quite few plot holes thrown in for good measure. But I still love it. This probably has more to do with the music from the original musical, to be honest, but in either case I somehow find myself repeatedly re-watching it, occasionally wincing when one of the actors hits a note very badly (or, in fact, misses the note entirely and just improvises). I am prepared for your entirely-deserved derision.

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9. Sense and Sensibility (1994) – As I mentioned in my post on Austen adaptations, this is definitely one of my favourites. Emma Thompson does a fantastic job with the screenplay, not to mention with the role of Elinor. It’s one of the best movie adaptations I’ve seen of Austen so far.

10. Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975) – Wi nøt trei a høliday in Sweden this yër? I’m counting Monty Python’s hilarious movie here because it’s a send-up of Arthurian legends that… well, technically, have been written down. Quite a lot, actually. But never mind about that. Møøse, anybody?

What are your favourite movies?


19 replies on “My Top Ten Favourite Movies Based on Books”

This is such a great list! I really need to read Emma so I can understand the references that Clueless makes to it. I would also add Harry Potter to this list, although that’s a pretty obvious one :)

Thanks! It’s definitely fun seeing the way Clueless re-writes Emma!

I did think about the HP movies, but because they’re all so different, I have varying feelings for each particular one, it would probably take me all day to talk about them all!

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