What are Your Favorite Film Adaptations of Books?

pierce brosnan courtesy AMC
Pierce Brosnan courtesy of AMC (I love this pic!)

You know mine will be period pieces set in 19th century America, right?


Okay, so I haven’t watched this one yet but I will. Pierce Brosnan in a western family saga? What’s not to like?


One of the few movies that captures the nuances of race relations during the American Civil War. The cinematography and music are beautiful.

“The screenplay was written by Kevin Jarre, based on the personal letters of Colonel Robert Gould Shaw, the book One Gallant Rush by Peter Burchard (reissued in 1990 after the movie), and Lay This Laurel (1973), Lincoln Kirstein‘s compilation of photos of the monument to the 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry on Boston Common.” Wikipedia


Alan Gurganus tells how he came up with the idea to write this epic saga about a crusty old Civil War veteran who married a very young girl which I devoured when it came out.

Back in the day television networks actually called people at home to complete surveys about miniseries ideas. I answered the phone and they asked me if I’d like to see this book made into a miniseries! They granted my wishes!

What are some of your favorite books made into movies?

15 responses to “What are Your Favorite Film Adaptations of Books?”

  1. “Remains of the Day” by Kazuo Ishiguro, filmed in 1993. This is not only my favorite movie adaptation of a book, it’s my favorite movie, period.

    “The Age of Innocence” by Edith Wharton, also filmed in 1993, by Martin Scorsese. As close as you can get to a book in movie form.


    • I need to watch Remains of the Day, but while I admire Wharton, her books leave me feeling miserable–and Daniel Day Lewis is just not my style πŸ™‚ My ex-husband was kinda obsessed with him since they’re both Irish (or Anglo-Irish). πŸ™‚

      My favorite movies that seem like they’re books are Whit Stillman’s movies from the 90’s. I also Sweet Land based on a short story–so poignant.


  2. Here’s one I haven’t thought about in a long time, but I loved it back in the day: “Tess,” Roman Polanski’s adaptation of “Tess of the D’Urbervilles.” Seemed to capture the time perfectly, but Nastassja Kinski is amazing in it. Come to think of it, I think I’ll grab it on Netflix right now!


  3. I have quite a few but let me instead mention one movie that was superior to the book it was based on: The Secret In Their Eyes directed by Juan Jose Campanella who also wrote the screenplay based on the novel by the same name. This is the Argentinian film not to be confuse with the US version.


  4. Salmon Fishing in the Yemen and The English Patient. I felt both remained true to the written books but allowed the unique quality of film to transport viewers to an added dimension. I like some of the other films mentioned by your other readers. Great topic for discussion, Adrienne.


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