8 Movies You Didn’t Know Were Based on Books

Hey, Shmoopers,

Here are eight movies you didn’t know were based on the good ol’ fashioned technology we like to call print media.

1. The Bourne Identity

Car chases tend to work better on screen, don’t you think? Robert Ludlum’s novel of the same name was action-packed and dialogue-light, which made for an immediate on-screen classic. Matt Damon’s abs didn’t hurt, either.

2. Fight Club

The first rule of Shmoop is: always read the book first. The second rule of Shmoop is: always read the book first. (Of course, when David Fincher is involved, you have to watch the movie, too.)

3. Die Hard

Can you even imagine Die Hard without Bruce Willis? Roderick Thorp could, which is how he ended up writing Nothing Lasts Forever. We wonder if he pictured Gruber‘s accent being so bad.

4. The Shawshank Redemption

Usually, Stephen King’s dark tunnels end in scary clowns and dead bodies. But in his short story “Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption,” that tunnel ends in something completely different: hope. And hope is what makes a TBS syndicated classic.

5. The English Patient

The movie is known for being oh-so-long, but the book flies by. We’re just impressed that Ralph Fiennes remembered 2 hours and 42 minutes worth of lines.

6. Gone With the Wind

If you haven’t read the book yet, there’s still time. After all, tomorrow is another day.

7. The Princess Bride

We just passed the 30th anniversary of this classic movie. But the book it’s based on has 14 years on that. Inconceivable.

8. The Godfather

People go to the mattresses over which movie is better: Part I or Part II. Either way, we say leave Part III, take the cannoli. The original movie and its sequels took this saga far beyond the original Mario Puzo book, which re-envisioned what it meant to be a gangster in popular media. If you’ve seen a movie since 1972, you can thank The Godfather.

Now go read a book and watch a movie. Just not at the same time.


Quote of the Week

“I’m gonna make him an offer he can’t refuse.”

~ The Godfather

Our unrefusable offer: guides to thousands of classic books and their film adaptations.

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