ByChris Harkin, writer at
It's hard to tell who's more crazy... me, or everyone else. Aspiring Screen Writer and Speculator of Everything. Feel free to shoot me an em
Chris Harkin

While films are traditionally known for not being able to live up to the original book, this isn't actually always the case! There are in fact plenty of examples of films which surpassed the book, either because of incredible acting performances or brilliant screenplay writing! Here are 15 such examples to prove this can happen!

1. 'Jurassic Park'

Without a doubt this classic film is a couple of notches above the book Michael Crichton wrote years ago. It was a feat of filmmaking, with both brilliant performances and state of the art special effects making this incredible for moviegoers in 1994 as well as people watching in 2015!

2. 'Peter Pan'

Is there anyone who doesn't love this classic tale? There have been so many tellings of this story in film that it's no surprise one of them has managed to surpass the book, and I'm pretty sure it's the Disney version, because it really managed to capture all the excellence of the original story, as well as the hilarious relationship between the ticking crocodile and Captain Hook!

3. 'The Notebook'

I don't have a lot to say about this one, it seems pretty self explanatory. The Notebook played out on screen more brilliantly than any words could have described it.

4. 'The Green Mile'

This 3 hour film really took the Stephen King book for all it was worth. I have to attribute the brilliance of this film to the acting performances, particularly by Tom Hanks and Michael Clarke Duncan, who were both outstanding. They blew me away, and really put this film a level higher than the book for me.

5. 'To Kill A Mockingbird'

A controversial one maybe, because the book is legendary, but this film was too! I'd say they are at least on even terms, which is impressive considering the book we are talking about!

6. 'Misery'

Of all the full length Stephen King books turned into films, there is only one that has won an oscar, proving it has surpassed the book, and that is Misery. Kathy Bates is way more terrifying as Annie Wilkes than any book, and we're talking about a Stephen King book. Now let's move on. I can't look at that gif too long without shuddering.

7. 'The Prestige'

There are several films on this list I didn't even realize started out as books, and this is one of them. The Prestige was such an amazing film that I can only assume it is better than the book, which I admit I have never had the pleasure of reading. But between the legendary acting performances from Christian Bale, Hugh Jackman, Scarlett Johansson and more, it simply must be better than the book.

8. 'Full Metal Jacket'

It's the acting, all the acting. Vincent D'Onofrio as Pvt. Pyle simply scared the living crap out of me when I first watched this film. Throughout, the death that you see around Vietnam is what sticks with you, and it simply can't do that in the book.

9. 'Mrs. Doubtfire'

Another one that I didn't realize was a book first, Mrs Doubtfire is better simply because of the legendary Robin Williams, who produced one of the very best performances of his career in this one. It makes me laugh out loud no matter how many times I watch it all.

10. 'The Godfather'

It's The Godfather. No way it isn't better than the book, just no way. Everything from Marlon Brando to Al Pacino to the directing to the writing was absolutely perfect. This film is a work of art, and it couldn't be done quite as well in book form.

11. 'Forrest Gump'

Again, I had no idea, but the acting performance of Tom Hanks in this film brings out the very best of the essence of Forrest Gump, and no book could present this character quite as well as the film did. How could it describe what it looks like as Forrest runs across America, plays Ping Pong for the US army and traipses across Vietnam?

12. 'Slumdog Millionaire'

Simple. The book didn't have this dance sequence.

13. 'Jaws'

I mean come on, it's Jaws. It is a film. You can't say that a book could be better than this incredible film, you just can't. Richard Dreyfuss did an incredible performance here, and there's no way it can be surpassed by mere words!

14. 'The Silence of the Lambs'

Anthony Hopkins. That's the only explanation I need to give for this one.

15. 'The Shawshank Redemption'

I mean, it's literally described as the best film ever by countless lists made by random people. The Stephen King short story was great and all, but between Morgan Freeman and Tim Robbins this is literally the best film ever. You just can't beat that!

Thanks for reading guys! If you love reading random articles about whatever I feel like writing about, click on the big blue follow button below!


Which was your favorite book turned film?


Latest from our Creators