Top Ten Thursdays: Literary Adaptations

I learned very quickly into filmmaking that much of what I liked in film was an adaptation of something else, most often books.  This is fine and I have come to embrace it as a worthy endeavor on filmmakers parts to attempt to recreate the text of literature into a movie picture.  What I offer today is a very humble list of what I believe to be the best literary adaptations put to film.  Mind you, I have not seen every movie ever and am going to likely miss some big ones, but these just happen to be my personal favorites.  Read it and feel free to critique and argue.

10.) Catch-22 (1970)

With a cast that includes Alan Arkin, John Voight and Art Garfunkel it is impossible not to like this absurdist adaptation of the equally absurd Joseph Heller novel.

9.) Orlando (1992)

Perhaps the least well known film on my list, Orlando is a bizarrely surreal adaptation of the classic Virginia Woolf novel and has Tilda Swinton in what of her finest performances to date.

8.) Breakfast At Tiffany's (1961)

There are really no surprises here, it is a great movie.  Although I hear the adaptation of In Cold Blood is quite good, I have not seen it and alas this makes my list instead.

7.) Atonement (2007)

This movie is insanely intense and equally depressing.  It is a masterful contemporary adaptation, something that seems to be a rare occurrence.

6.) Fight Club (1999)

I feel as though defending this decision is not necessary, given that Chuck Palahnuik's novels have changed literature, just as David Fincher's films have changed movies.

5.) The Shawshank Redemption (1994)

One simple question:  Do you know anybody who dislikes this movie?  I imagine your answer is no.

4.) A Clockwork Orange (1971)

I had to refrain from making this yet another top ten Stanley Kubrick film list, as such, I find A Clockwork Orange to be his most true adaptation.

3.) To Kill A Mockingbird (1962)

I am sure that if you were to Google "top ten literary adaptations" this would be in first on ninety percent of the lists.  It is permissible given that this film arguably has a larger following than Harper Lee's masterful novel.

2.) The Graduate (1967)

A movie based on a book about disillusioned youth, Mike Nichols offers something magical with his imagery and Simon and Garfunkel infused soundtrack.

1.) Blade Runner (1982)

One of the most magical cinematic experiences occurred upon Ridley Scott's decision to adapt the sci-fi cult classic Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?  I cannot emphasize enough how necessary it is that you see this film.

Honorable Mention

One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest (1975)
The Reader (2008)
Slumdog Millionaire (2008)
An Education (2009)

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