Book-lovers always approach film adaptations of their favourite literature with a little trepidation. These movies made the cut, however!
The Color Purple, 1985
Based on Alice Walker’s heart wrenching 1983 novel of the same name, The Color Purple tells the story of Celie, played by Whoopie Goldberg. Celie is a letter-writer whose painful life in rural Georgia is the subject of her missives. They talk about her estrangement from her sister, Nettie, played by Akosua Busia, and detail her relationships with her stepson’s wife, Sofia, performed by Oprah Winfrey and her husband’s mistress, Shug, depicted by Margaret Avery.
While the book delves deeper into the women’s inner lives, the film remains a faithful portrait. This was not only Whoopi Goldberg’s first movie, but she also received her first Oscar nomination for it.
Gone Girl, 2014
This film was adapted from the 2012 thriller by Gillian Flynn. Amy Dunne, acted by Rosamund Pike, has what looks like a picture-perfect life in sunny Suburbia after soaring through an idyllic childhood as illustrated in a successful series of books written by her parents. When she vanishes, suspicion falls on her slippery husband Nick, played by Ben Affleck.
The movie plays down the role of Amy’s parents although they still stand as the authors of the Amazing Amy books. Reese Witherspoon produced the film and initially intended to play the part of Amy but David Fincher, the director, told her she wasn’t the right fit.
What’s great about all these movies, especially if you’ve read the books before, is that you can put them on in the background while you do other things. They’re perfect for when you’re scrolling social media sites, playing at real gaming sites, or clearing up your inbox!
The Princess Bride, 1987
This film stands as one of the all-time classics and is just as good as the 1973 William Goldman novel that inspired it! Westley, played by Cary Elwes, must rescue Princess Buttercup, Robin Wright, his true love, from a deliciously evil Prince Humperdinck, Chris Sarandon.
The transition to film is flawless thanks to Goldman writing the screenplay and adjusting the framing story so that it works like a dream. Cary Elwes and Mandy Patinkin, who appears as Inigo Montoya on a mission to avenge his father’s murder, performed all their own sword fights. This was also Robin Wright’s first film.
The Shawshank Redemption, 1994
This movie is based on a novella written by Stephen King in 1992 called Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption. Andy Dufresne, acted by Tim Robbins, is imprisoned for the murder of his wife and her lover against his protestations of innocence. The movie follows Andy as he tries to survive the horrors of the Shawshank State Penitentiary where he’s counselled by a fellow prisoner called Red, played by Morgan Freeman in an Oscar-nominated performance.
In the book, the part taken by Freeman is a white Irishman and the film sees Red joking about his Irish roots. This novella by King is also part of the source material for two other movies, Apt Pupil and Stand By Me.