10 Films That Turned Out Better Than Books

A Clockwork Orange

It is not uncommon for film adaptations of literary works to be far inferior to the textual originals. But it happens that the characters from the paper pages get eternal glory in the film’s incarnation. Writers from online paper writing service have collected movies you want to watch even if you have already read the book.

1. The Godfather

The film adaptation of Mario Piuso’s novel has gone down in history as an example of true gangster cinema. Perhaps the heroes of the book would have been quickly forgotten. But when Don Corleone appeared on the screens, it became clear that this character would be immortal.

The head of the Sicilian mafia family works by his own rigid rules. He is not a diplomat: if you do not want to give in, you will wake up in the morning next to the severed head of your favorite horse. Don Corleone marries off his only daughter, and his youngest son returns from the army, who does not support his father’s brutal work methods. In parallel, the mafia families of the neighborhood declare war on each other.

The film won three Oscars. And the image of Don Corleone became so iconic that now the heroes of almost all movies about the mafia are a bit like him.

2. Die Hard

Few film buffs know that Die Hard is actually based on Roderick Thorpe’s novel Nothing Lasts Forever. So why has the film so unequivocally eclipsed the book?

In the literary version, the main character is an elderly cop who saves his daughter from gangsters. That doesn’t sound all that exciting. In the film, however, John McClane is a handsome young cop whose wife and a couple of dozen other people are taken hostage by terrorists. He breaks into the skyscraper where the criminals are, performs a couple of incredible stunts a minute, fights with the bandits, and defeats them all. So, a passable book turned into a dynamic and spectacular action film, which is watched and reviewed.

3. A Clockwork Orange

The not-so-famous Stanley Kubrick screened the novel by Anthony Burgess. They say that at the premiere, the book’s author was so shocked by what he saw that he almost ran out of the hall.

Nevertheless, the film became a cult film. Received four Oscar nominations and is included in all top of the best pictures. And its references can be found everywhere: from popular songs to designer clothes. And that’s no accident. Kubrick gave the film a unique aesthetic: acting, camerawork, costumes – everything in the movie is perfect.

The film’s main idea is that man’s true nature cannot be changed. Alex, the leader of an inhumanly cruel gang of teenagers, goes to prison, where they experiment on him, trying to eradicate his subconscious desire for violence. But evil always remains evil.

4. Silence of the Lambs

Jonathan Demme’s film easily outdid the novel of the same name, based on which it was filmed. This happened largely thanks to Anthony Hopkins, who ingeniously embodied on the screen the image of the crazy maniac Hannibal Lecter.

To him, the FBI is forced to turn when one of the investigations comes to a dead end. An unknown criminal kidnaps and kills women. There are more and more victims and almost no evidence. Then, a young cadet of the FBI academy, Clarissa Starling, is assigned to talk to the former psychiatrist Hannibal Lecter, who is in the isolation ward of a mental hospital for murder and cannibalism. A strange connection arises between the heroes, more like a psychological game.

The whole world appreciated the masterpiece. Including film academy members: the film received an Oscar in five nominations.

5. The Devil Wears Prada

The book of the same name, based on which the film was made, is more like a settling of scores. Its author, Lauren Weisberger, poured her impressions from her work as an assistant editor-in-chief of Vogue magazine onto the pages. Critics received the work rather coldly, considering it too superficial.

Director David Frankel kept only the title and idea from the original. He made the characters much deeper and more interesting than the book characters. The oppressive fashion magazine editor-in-chief, played by Meryl Streep, has reasons to behave like she does. Her young provincial assistant unexpectedly finds these skeletons in the boss’s wardrobe.

By the way, Meryl Streep won this film’s Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Leading Role.

6. Spy, get out!

A spy detective film based on the novel of the same name by John Le Carré. It is better than the book because you can see Gary Oldman, Colin Firth, Tom Hardy, and Benedict Cumberbatch on the screen. But a successful cast is not the only advantage of the tape.

In the story, British intelligence is trying to identify a traitor working for the USSR in its ranks. The case takes place in the 70s, at the height of the Cold War, and the “mole” in the leadership complicates agents’ work.

Critics received the film well, and Gary Oldman was predicted “Oscar” for Best Actor, but it did not work out. The film received three nominations but never managed to take the award.

7. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

The main character is trying to investigate a 40-year-old murder. Back then, the body of his niece was never found. But he is sure that someone from his numerous family members is involved. The man takes a journalist and a professional hacker as his assistant, with whom he later develops a very close and ambiguous relationship.

This is the second attempt at a film adaptation of Stieg Larsson’s novel. Like the first one, it was successful. The trouble with the book is that its author is a former professional journalist, and it is very noticeable. The text has a lot of dry analysis, which is difficult for the untrained reader to absorb.

Director David Fincher took the most juice from the literary work, chose the best plot twists, and turned it all into an atmospheric, daring, memorable film.

8. The Prestige

Two illusionist magicians compete for popularity and the love of the audience. They disrupt each other’s performances and are ready to do anything to find out the secrets of their rival’s tricks. Gradually, the professional feud becomes a personal confrontation, resulting in one of the heroes ending up in prison.

In the same name book, the events unfold not so dynamically. Given the peculiarity of the plot, the tricks on the screen look much more spectacular than their literary description. Besides, Christopher Nolan managed to create a unique mystical and gloomy atmosphere, which is absent in the book.

9. Interview with a Vampire

The screen adaptation is interesting because Anne Rice wrote the script. She is also the author of the book on which the film is based. There are many differences between the film and the original, in minor nuances and plot twists. But the author knows better, especially since the picture was very successful.

The main character, Louis, who turned into a vampire in 1791 after two hundred years, decides to tell a journalist his life story. It all started after his wife and child died. Louis lost the will to live, but instead of eternal rest, he found immortality.

The film was celebrated with BAFTA awards. It also received two Oscar nominations.

10. No Place for Old Men

Early 80s. Texas. A simple worker accidentally witnessed a bloody mafia showdown: gangsters shot each other in a minute. Apart from a mountain of corpses, weapons and a suitcase with money were left at the scene. The hero takes the money for himself, but nothing suits him. It does not end, for the poor man begins a real hunt.

The book’s author, Cormac McCarthy, writes very peculiarly: he likes short, choppy sentences and completely ignores punctuation. This makes the novel dry and difficult to perceive. The Coen brothers’ thriller was more intense and exciting, and a selected portion of black humor contributed.

The film received eight Oscar nominations and deservedly took the award in four of them.