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best book adaptations

my criteria? well i'll tell you straight away it ain't fidelity to the text. be ruthless, i say

for the porpoises of this list, i ain't including comic borks

now, friends, what i mean by "best book adaptations" isn't "the best movies based off of books". what i mean is books that do adaptation well, such as ruthless excision, bold formal changes, structural differences, etc etc etc. not all these movies on this list are "great" but they are examples of how to shift from one medium to another (an exercise fraught with all sorts of issues)

Lord of the Rings being the ur-example. Jackson and his screenwriting crew took a long boring bloated piece of work and stripped a lot of the chaff from it. Good on you, you kiwi

  • The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
  • The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers
  • The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
  • No Country for Old Men
  • GoodFellas
  • The Thing
  • Oliver Twist
  • The Godfather
  • The Silence of the Lambs
  • The Big Sleep
  • The Remains of the Day
  • Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
  • L.A. Confidential
  • Jackie Brown
  • Jurassic Park