The 50 best movies based on novels - Part 7

The 50 best movies based on novels - Part 7

By qeno | The films blog | 15 Sep 2020

Tired of hearing about "the book was better"? In this report you will find a must-have library of literary adaptations.

Following my previous Post, here you will find the following 5 movies based on novels:

30. Schindler's List (1993)

The book: Schindler's Ark, by Thomas Keneally, told us the story of a Nazi industrialist who ended up saving 1,200 Jews from the gas chambers.

The film: Steven Spielberg exorcised his personal ghosts about the Holocaust by making half the world cry.

The big difference: The change of title.

31. The Naked Lunch (1997)

The book: William S. Burroughs, up to his eyebrows in heroin, wrote this stew of perversions as a form of revenge against humanity. If you read it, prepare a vomit bag.

The film: It is clear that only David Cronenberg could dare to put such a book into pictures. With the author's blessing, moreover.

The big difference: Cronenberg opted for a rare pirouette, disregarding an adaptation to usage (which was, in addition to being impossible, probably illegal) in favour of a metatextual account of how, and why, Burroughs wrote his book.

32. The Unbearable Lightness of Being (1988)

The book: Milan Kundera achieved an improbable best seller with this book full of philosophical ramblings.

The film: Director Philip Kaufman and the always huge Daniel Day-Lewis mix sex with politics, and both with the Prague Spring.

The big difference: The book is set in Czechoslovakia, but the film was shot in Paris. Cold War stuff.

33. The Empire of the Sun (1987)

The book: Why did J. G. Ballard write such cruel and morbid novels? Perhaps his childhood in a Japanese prison camp had something to do with...

The film: Spielberg claims that this is one of his best works. For the moment, it was the one that put a very young Christian Bale in the spotlight.

The big difference: Spielberg used Ballard's autobiographical story as a starting point for his film, but he didn't stop to lie when it came to altering it

34. The Holy Innocents (1984)

The book: The very film-adapted Miguel Delibes depresses us by describing the misery of the peasants in Extremadura in the 1960s.

The film: Mario Camus depresses us even more, extracting glorious interpretations by Paco Rabal, Alfredo Landa, Juan Diego and Agustín González.

The big difference: The interludes (in the form of flash-forwards) that explain the fate of the characters behind the events in the novel.


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