If you’ve ever read a book that has been adapted into a movie, you’re pretty much always going to think the novel was better. Most of the time that’s true, but there are a few rare occasions when the filmmaker gets it so right. These are five movies that turned out better than the books.
The Shawshank Redemption
Stephen King is a master at making novels come to life, but The Shawshank Redemption is one of the most iconic movies of all time. Pretty much everyone who watches it falls in love with Andy Dufrayne and his transformation of Shawshank prison.
The book might be one of King’s least known works, but the film is a classic that has been shared across generations. How could anyone forget Morgan Freeman’s dulcet tones as the narrator and one of film’s most likable convicts ever, Red.
Jaws is pretty much a perfect example of how to create suspense in a film. The novel is as thrilling as the movie, but some feel as though the book’s characters are harder to like. We all know what a great white looks like, but the occasional glimpses of the beast in the 1975 Spielberg film created the suspense that movies have missed since Hitchcock.
While the novel was good, we were watching the movie through our fingers, and it’s what really did make us afraid to go into the water.
It’s actually a pretty close run thing between the film and book version of Jurassic Park, but we think the movie is just a little better. Filming technology had advanced so much by the time the movie came out that we were really able to visualize dinosaurs in all of their glory, both terrifying and wondrous.
There was always a sense that the dinos would overrun the park in the book, but in the movie, you knew they were something to be feared. Classic performances by Jeff Goldblum, Sam Neill, and a few velociraptors turned this into one of the most-watched films of all time. The movie made us all dino-mad, and there have been countless sequels.
Fight Club the film is a cult classic that the novel never managed to be. It became the movie you had to go and see thanks to David Fincher’s skills as a director. The characters really came to life on the screen, more than they did in the book, and the novel feels like a shell of the movie.
Crime drama The Godfather is considered to be one of the greatest films of all time. Francis Ford Coppola’s film is regarded as a masterpiece while the book is just considered good. Thanks to Coppola’s direction, we all truly immersed ourselves in the crime family and the three Oscar awards the film won are a testament to how good it was.
The book goes more into character development, and while the film is three hours long, it focuses more on progressing the story. Both are good, but the film is one of the all-time greats of cinema.
These movies came out on top when compared to the novels that inspired them. They show what can be done with an already great story if a good director and screenplay writer get their hands on it.