Learn more about WriteOut, a writing camp for teens founded by Ally.

books and movies

Thanks for the congrats on the movie deal, everyone. I am really excited. As most of you know, there are still a LOT LOT LOT of things that have to line up for the movie to actually be made, so fingers crossed. But it’s great to have taken that first step. I will be sure to keep you posted when I can on any developments.

So let’s talk about movies. One of my favorite parts about teaching was the film unit I did each year. And a well-done film interpretation of a book? I’m all over it. As are most of us.

Here is a list of some of my favorite book-to-movie film adaptaions:

Cry, the Beloved Country: To me, this is one of the most faithful adaptations to the spirit of the novel imaginable. I cried almost as hard watching the movie as I did reading the book. Because James Earl Jones and Richard Harris were so human and wonderful in their parts. That scene where they meet at the home and James Earl Jones drops everything? And the one where the rain pours into the church and they just sit and look at each other, and the sweeping shot at the end as the umfundisi prays on the hill….

Harry Potters. Because the characters all look the way I imagined them, and because we have gotten to watch the kids all grow up, and there is this nice sense of evolution and growth in the movies and the actors as well as the plot.

To Kill A Mockingbird. Of course.

I might add more later, when my brain is working better.

I am really, really hoping that the Guardians of Ga’Hoole movie this weekend rocks, because my son and I read it for his kid book group, and I promised him I would take him to the movie, and he’s soooo excited. I love going to movies with him because he gets really into it and he still holds my hand when he’s scared.

Gylfie, you and your cohorts better not let my kid down, or those big eyes will get you nowhere.

What are some of your favorite film adaptations? Let’s keep it positive. Negatives will be deleted because I am the benevolent dictator of this blog.

+ comments (28)
  • SusanA
    September 21, 2010

    I think Holes has to be the best adaption from book to screen that I’ve ever seen. And the reason is because, in making the movie they didn’t stray from the book. It’s pretty much exactly the same exact the main character is shaped differently than he is written in the book.

    The Notebook is another decent movie based on book. I love the Harry Potter movies too. They’re amazing. I mean, can you ever get tired of watching one of those?

    Oh, and I almost forgot–the long version of Pride and Prejudice. It’s so perfect.

    My brother just sold the rights for his book to be made into a movie too. Keep my fingers crossed for both of you.

  • SusanA
    September 21, 2010

    Sorry, I type faster than I think. I meant, Holes is exactly the same *except* for the main character.

  • Allyson
    September 21, 2010

    If it is possible, I loved the film adaptation of “The Time Traveller’s Wife” better than the book. Such a great story, and having read the book prior to seeing the movie, it helped me follow what was going on. (It can be so confusing!)

  • JenilynTolley
    September 21, 2010

    My favorite is North and South based on the novel by Elizabeth Gaskell. I think it really captures the feel of the time period and the socioeconomic problems that keep the hero and the heroine apart.

    Also, I have to say I love The Princess Bride.

  • julie
    September 21, 2010

    I would agree about Holes, and Pride and Prejudice.
    The Harry Potters series too.

  • TashaSeegmiller
    September 21, 2010

    Way off topic, but I really want to know about your kid book group…blog post maybe?

    I love Henry V with Kenneth Branaugh (sp?), especially with Non Nobis Domine playing in the background. I like his Hamlet too.

    Overall, I like when the movie producers et al understand that a great portion of their fan base is coming because of a love of the book, and they are as true to the book as possible.

  • Enna Isilee
    September 21, 2010

    Hm… Of course all of the movies based on books coming to mine are BAD. Like ELLA ENCHANTED, THE SERIES OF UNFORTUNATE EVENTS, ERAGON, etc. etc.

    As for good ones? I’ll concur with Holes and P&P, and then I’ll have to brainstorm…

  • bandreoli
    September 21, 2010


    Are you interested in a double-date? Bronwyn is reading Guardians right now and I promised her that I would take her to the movie. Did you start a Boy’s Book Group? I can’t wait to hear more! We have plans to go to the Doll Museum in Provo for this month’s The Doll People. I also found a use for all that pink tulle for The Fairy’s Return next month.

  • Shari
    September 21, 2010

    I loved The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. And Emma with Gwyneth Paltrow. I’m pretty sure Jane Austen herself would have cast her.

  • JenniElyse
    September 21, 2010

    I think it would be so cool if Matched were made into a movie. Loved the story and I’d love to see it come to life. 🙂 Congratulations!

    If I’m completely honest, I don’t like a lot of adaptations because they just don’t hold the same magic as the book. But, with that said, it is fun watching my favorite characters come to life.

    My favorite book adaptations are:
    -The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
    -The Time Traveler’s Wife (because it left out all the stuff I didn’t like in the book)
    -The Devil Wears Prada (because I enjoyed the movie much more than the book)
    -Jurassic Park
    -Most of the Harry Potters

  • becca
    September 21, 2010

    So funny that so many mentioned HOLES. That was the first to come to my mind – and I think it’s because Sachar wrote the screenplay. Also MOCKINGBIRD, because I harbor a not-very-secret crush on Mr. Gregory Peck, besides that the opening titles are brilliant. And the Emma Thompson/Kenneth Brannagh MUCH ADO is delightful and so, so similar. And speaking of Emma T, I like the film of SENSE & SENSIBILITY even more than the book (sorry, Jane, dahlink, I’m just saying).

  • ally
    September 21, 2010

    You guys! So many great suggestions. How could I have forgotten North and South? And Sense and Sensibility? And Much Ado? I seriously think all English teachers should write Mr. Branagh a thank-you note. Students actually watched that movie. Denzel Washington, Keanu, Kate B., etc. I wish he would do more of his Shakespeare adaptions and keep them PG-13. Because I couldn’t bring the R-rated ones into the classroom.

  • JemiFraser
    September 21, 2010

    Love Mockingbird! Others I enjoyed: LotR, HP, Holes, Wizard of Oz

  • Karen_St_Louis
    September 21, 2010

    I agree with Lord of the Rings. (I almost didn’t go see those movies, because I didn’t think any film could do the books justice…)

    I also loved Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (the old version – I haven’t seen the new one.) And the BBC version of Brideshead Revisited. Like their Pride and Prejudice, it really stays beautifully true to the book.

  • L.T. Elliot
    September 21, 2010

    I loved the BBCs adaptation of North & South by Elizabeth Gaskell. Oh, I love that book. Oh, I adore that movie. Those last five minutes have got to be the most romantic cinematic moments I’ve EVER seen. *swoon*

    Be sure and tell us how the owlies do because I’d hate to have to stuff a few of them for my dad’s barn.

  • Samantha
    September 22, 2010

    Not a movie, but the BBC’s adaptation of Wodehouse’s Jeeves and Wooster Series is pretty darn awesome.

    I also have to agree with everyone that liked the Chronicles of Narnia films. I love them. All of them.

  • Connie Onnie
    September 28, 2010

    There are a lot already mentioned so I will name the ones I didn’t notice. Little Women, Persuasion, Anne of Greengables, Lord of the Rings & Stardust.

    There are a couple movies that have made me want to read books that I haven’t yet.
    Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day & The Magic of Ordinary Days

  • Lorelei
    October 15, 2010

    Off the top of my head I can think of two book/film combos that were equally lovely: Gone With the Wind, and Atonement.

    I also agree with HP, Princess Bride, and Wizard of Oz:)

  • Lighting Fixture :
    October 31, 2010

    denzel washington is of course a very good actor and i think that he should have lifetime achievement award too ”

  • Lan Tester ·
    November 3, 2010

    The Notebook movie would always put a tear on my eyes, i love this movie very very much *

  • Vitamin Water
    November 24, 2010

    denzel washington is of course one of the sexiest black actors that you can ever see ,”~

  • Skin Moisturizers
    December 2, 2010

    The Notebook is of course one of Nick Sparks best tear jearker novel. Nick is really very talented guy “;-

  • em
    January 3, 2011

    im sorry im off topic, but what book are you turning into a movie?

  • I really enjoyed the site. Its nice when you read something that is not only informative but entertaining. Excellent.

  • Nice job on the pic

  • Madeline
    November 12, 2011

    hello, my name is madeline. i love to read so my mom gets me books all the time. and one day she happend to come across your book Matched. i read what its about at first i didnt know if i would like it but i gave it a try and about page 20 i couldnt put it down. ii finished it in 3 days. made my mom find Crossed and i am on page 299 and about to go finish it. i cant seem to put them down. my mom had to take it away earlier to get me to do anything. i cant wait to read the 3rd one! i would like to talk to you sometime. i know you probably dont have time and dont wanna talk to some teenager but if you do have time and dont mind please e-mail me. maddyguffey@hotmail.com it would mean the world to me

  • los angeles acting classes
    December 30, 2011

    I love the HP movies, I only read a few of the books but my friends read all of them and didn’t seem to think the movies were a letdown, as many book/movie adaptations often are. I really want to see that Guardians one, I hear good things!

  • Elizabeth
    March 30, 2013

    I read Reached….

    (edited for spoilers)

    Elizabeth, this is Ally. I can tell you that what you found was definitely done on purpose. 🙂

Leave a Reply

Required fields are marked *