Skip to main content

Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall in the 1946 version of "The Big Sleep"

Though many great films have come from mediocre or pulpy books – The Godfather is a classic example, as is The Silence of the Lambs – great books sometimes make great movies too.

Great Expectations (1947)

David Lean turned Dickens's melancholy masterpiece about loyalty and obligation into a memorable, beautiful work. The opening scenes on the moor are among the most haunting ever filmed. Pip pip!

Story continues below advertisement

The Big Sleep (1946)

Yes, the plot is incomprehensible (we still don't know who killed Sean Regan), but Howard Hawks brilliantly captures Raymond Chandler's noir world. Bogie and Bacall are perfect as jousting lovers.

To Kill a Mockingbird (1962)

Harper Lee's hugely affecting novel about growing up in the South translates beautifully to the screen. Gregory Peck was born to play liberal lawyer Atticus Finch.

The English Patient (1996)

Some people like Anthony Minghella's film version even more than Michael Ondaatje's novel. For many – though not Seinfeld's Elaine – this is the most romantic of all movies.

Moneyball (2011)

Story continues below advertisement

An object lesson in how to translate a riveting non-fiction book about sports and business into a compelling film. Shows you what a great script (Aaron Sorkin and Steve Zaillian) can do.

Report an error Licensing Options
Comments are closed

We have closed comments on this story for legal reasons. For more information on our commenting policies and how our community-based moderation works, please read our Community Guidelines and our Terms and Conditions.