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5 Movie Adaptations That Got It Right

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Wallace Yovetich

Staff Writer

Wallace Yovetich grew up in a home where reading was preferred to TV, playing outside was actually fun, and she was thrilled when her older brothers weren’t home so she could have a turn on the Atari. Now-a-days she watches a bit more TV, and considers sitting on the porch swing (with her laptop) “playing outside”. She still thinks reading is preferable to most things, though she’d really like to find out where her mom put that old Atari (Frogger addicts die hard). She runs a series of Read-a-Longs throughout the year (as well as posting fun bookish tidbits throughout the week) on her blog, Unputdownables. After teaching for seven years, Wallace is now an aspiring writer. Blog: Unputdownables Twitter: @WallaceYovetich

It seems that Hollywood is pulling more and more ideas from the literary world these days. Yay and nay at the same time, right? Fantastic for the authors who sell the movie rights to their work, fantastic for more people getting interested in books because of the movies that were made from them, but boo-hiss when the movie changes the plots/kills the vibe/or generally slaughters the goodness of a beautiful book.

So often we, The Bookish, get down on movie adaptations of books. It’s a fair thing to do – plenty of them are terrible. It’s hard to recreate a book in a meaningful way in a two hour setting. However, here are five movie adaptations that either did the book (or short story) justice or surpassed it… friends, let’s admit that that’s possible.

What are the adaptations that you think either got it right or did it *gasp* better?


The Shawshank Redemption

Red: [narrating] Sometimes it makes me sad, though… Andy being gone. I have to remind myself that some birds aren’t meant to be caged. Their feathers are just too bright. And when they fly away, the part of you that knows it was a sin to lock them up DOES rejoice. But still, the place you live in is that much more drab and empty that they’re gone. I guess I just miss my friend.

The Princess Bride (1987)

The Princess Bride

Westley: Hear this now: I will always come for you.
Buttercup: But how can you be sure?
Westley: This is true love – you think this happens every day?



Robbie Turner: [voiceover] Dearest Cecilia, the story can resume. The one I had been planning on that evening walk. I can become again the man who once crossed the Surrey park at dusk, in my best suit, swaggering on the promise of life. The man who, with the clarity of passion, made love to you in the library. The story can resume. I will return. Find you, love you, marry you and live without shame.


Into the Wild

Christopher McCandless: Some people feel like they don’t deserve love. They walk away quietly into empty spaces, trying to close the gaps of the past… What if I were smiling and running into your arms? Would you see then what I see now?

High Fidelity

High Fidelity

Rob: What came first, the music or the misery? People worry about kids playing with guns, or watching violent videos, that some sort of culture of violence will take them over. Nobody worries about kids listening to thousands, literally thousands of songs about heartbreak, rejection, pain, misery and loss. Did I listen to pop music because I was miserable? Or was I miserable because I listened to pop music?