There’s no better feeling than seeing your favorite novel brought to life on the big screen. Although some film adaptations managed to stray far away from the source material, there are a couple of movies out there that clearly did their homework, capturing the heart of the audience in the process. Many of these films are considered to be cult classics, and rightfully so. In no particular order, here are five of the most brilliant book to film adaptations of all time.
1. Forrest Gump (1994)
In 1994, filmmaker Robert Zemeckis managed to tug on the heartstrings of filmgoers of all ages with his new film Forrest Gump, based on author’s Winston Groom’s novel of the same name. Tom Hanks absolutely embodied the naive, but well-meaning Forrest Gump as he set off on a comical yet innocent journey in search of finding love, success and the meaning of life. Thanks to the amazing and inspiring dialogue, we got the classic phrase “Run Forrest Run!” that’s constantly being referenced in the media entertainment to this day.
2. Shawshank Redemption (1994)
Up next is Stephen King’s 1982 short story by the name of “Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption.” This novel was given new life in 1994 by director Frank Darabont with Morgan Freeman and Tim Robbins as the leads. Everything about this movie proved why it’s still ranked as one of the best movies of all time: from the themes of injustice, patience and hope, combined with the beautiful cinematography and Thomas Newman’s haunting soundtrack. Shawshank Redemption is one that will always hit you in the feelings no matter how many times you see it.
3. The Shining (1980)
Shawshank Redemption isn’t the first of Stephen King’s works to be transformed into something amazing. The Shining horror novel was published in 1977, only to hit the big screen a mere three years later, with the renowned Stanley Kubrick directing the film. Although considerably different from the source material, and disliked by Stephen King himself, The Shining is still a favorite among horror movie fans, and definitely a cult classic too. Jack Nicholson’s performance as Jack Torrance is one that is still talked about among fans.
4. Shutter Island (2010)
Shortly after Dennis Lehane released his novel “Shutter Island” in 2003, it quickly became a top seller, so much so that Martin Scorsese decided to adapt it to film. With the talented actors Leonardo DiCaprio, Mark Ruffalo and Ben Kingsley as the leads, Shutter Island blew the mind of moviegoers who were taken aback by that huge twist at the end, particularly those who didn’t read the novel. Despite the split reaction from critics, the movie was still a huge success, earning an impressive $41 million at the box office.
5. Gone Girl (2014)
Gone Girl, with all its mind-boggling twists and turns, definitely had everyone at the edges of the seat and their jaws hanging loose. But if it weren’t for author Gillian Flynn, we wouldn’t have had this amazing psychological thriller of a game of cat and mouse, riddled with half-truth and plenty of lies. British actress Rosamund Pike played the role of Amy to perfection as we gained insight into her unstable yet devious mental state. Also, Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross’ music proved to be the best choices for building the already growing suspense as the mystery reveals itself.
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