Lists, Miscellanea, Reviews

Movie Adaptations: The Unknown Edition

I make an honest attempt to read the book before seeing the movie, but sometimes I see a movie (or watch a show) that I had NO IDEA was based on a book. From the ‘book to film adaptation’ genre, which I made up solely for today’s list, I’ve somehow missed reading these staples:

Books to Movies_Unknowns

10. A History of Violence // John Wagner. I love this movie. If I’d known it had a literary counterpart, I would’ve been all over it a long time ago.

09. Schindler’s List // Thomas Keneally. I feel like the only one who didn’t really know this was based on a book.

08. Friday Night Lights // H. G. Bissinger. I knew the movie was based on the book, I did not know the show was as well. It’s quite possible I live under a rock.

07. I Know What You Did Last Summer // Lois Duncan.  A classic. Truly. Or at least a staple of my teenage years.

06. Pitch Perfect // Mickey Rapkin. I cannot tell you how much I love Pitch Perfect the movie. Who knew it was a book first?!

05. The Graduate // Charles Webb. Intriguing, right?

04. The Birds //Daphne DuMaurier. Hitchcock loosely based his movie (of the same name, of course) off of this short story.

03. Weird Science // (A comic). John Hughes’ Weird Science was based on a comic.

02. Prince of Thieves // Chuck Hogan. The Town was based on this book, which Stephen King considered one of the best books of 2004. A must read, obvs.

01. Road to Perdition // Max Allan Collins. A brilliant (terribly sad) movie, but is the inspiration just as good?

For more lists, visit The Broke and The Bookish. Do you always read the book first? Or are you like me and sometimes not even know that a movie is based on a literary counterpart?

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  • AnnabelSmith

    I also LOVE A History of Violence (Viggo!) and also did not know it was based on a book. Ditto The Graduate.

    • Rory O’Connor

      Viggo! Exactly. And clean shaven too. It’s hard not to like that.

  • Reading Bifrost

    I had to read Schindler’s List in AP English in HS. I didn’t know about the I Know What You Did Last Summer book, which is weird because I’ve read Lois Duncan’s Summer of Fear. I have read The Birds, though.

    Top Ten Tuesday!

    • Rory O’Connor

      I may start with The Birds, solely because it is a short story and easy to cross off the list.

  • Chrissi Reads

    I had no idea that Pitch Perfect was a book first! I wonder if I’d like it as much as the movie!

    • Rory O’Connor

      I don’t know. I think it would lose something without the singing (in theory, at least). I might have to check it out.

  • Naomi

    There are a lot of movies/shows out there that I had no idea were based on books. And, sometimes I do watch movies without reading the book, especially if it’s one I’m not sure I want to read. It saves time! Although, lately I haven’t been watching anything. And, by ‘lately’ I mean over a year, which is sad because I love movies. But, that is when our movie store closed down, and we still haven’t made the switch to any other kind of movie-watching system. I think it’s me who lives under a rock. 🙂

    • Rory O’Connor

      Haha, we both might. I live under a two year rock. If it was big two years ago, I’m probably finding out about it now. That seems to be how long the average delay is before things hit Netflix.

  • Charleen Lynette

    Well I didn’t even know Friday Night Lights was also a movie, so you’re ahead of me there.

    I actually just saw Pitch Perfect a couple weeks ago and had no idea it was based on a book. I feel like the book probably isn’t as good, because the music was such a big part of the movie.

    • Rory O’Connor

      I think you’re right. Most of what I loved what the singing, so the book would likely be a let down.

  • mariahelena

    I usually try to read the book first, but quite often I don’t realize a movie/tv show is based on a book until after I’ve seen it. And I didn’t know about most of these books. Clearly, I have also been living under a rock.

    • Rory O’Connor

      I usually realize it when I’m sitting in the theater and see “based on….”.

  • Lianne @

    Great list! I also usually try to read the book first before watching the movie, but sometimes there’s that odd movie or adaptation that I had no idea was based from a book until afterwards (either I see it in the credits or I find out later when I’m looking up details about the movie on IMDB, lol) 🙂

    My TTT

    • Rory O’Connor

      That’s when I see it too – as I’m sitting in the theater and see ‘based on” and then I make a mental note.

  • Kay

    FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS, the book, is non-fiction. Read it years ago and enjoyed it, but I don’t think it would be for everyone. I’m from Texas and grew up with football being king. Found the book very interesting. Read the short story that movie The Birds is based on last fall. Only loosely based, but a good story. Creepy.

    • Rory O’Connor

      I knew it was non-fiction and I’m not sure if I would like it. If it was anything like the movie, I probably would not, if it was anything like the show, I might.

      • Kay

        Yeah, think movie, not show. 🙂

  • Shannon @ River City Reading

    We actually have a copy of Road to Perdition and I think it’s a graphic novel. My husband read it and said it was okay, but the movie was better.

    • Rory O’Connor

      I’m pretty sure it is too (that and A History of Violence).

      And ooh, one of the rare cases where the movie is better than the source material, I’m intrigued. Though to be fair, I think it’s not TOO unusual for the movie to be better than what it was based on.

  • Irene McKenna

    Great list! Aside from Schindler’s List and The Graduate, I didn’t know any of these films were based on books either.

    • Rory O’Connor

      Thanks! 🙂

  • Words for Worms

    Um, I had NO IDEA of ANY of these. Thanks for schooling me, Rory!

    • Rory O’Connor

      Those who can’t do, teach.

      So that’s me!

  • Nishita

    The Birds was a book? I had no idea. I saw that Alfred Hitchcock movie as a kid and have developed a lifelong fear of birds since.

    • Rory O’Connor

      Haha, me too! Every time I see a flock of birds, I think it’s creepy.

  • Christine @ BookishlyB

    I had no idea The Graduate was a book! I wonder if it’s any good.

    • Rory O’Connor

      I heard that it is not, but I am still curious.

  • Jarrod and Lindsay Silcox

    Well, you’re right — I didn’t know about most of these! I love the movie “The Town” and had no idea it was based on a book. I’ll have to check it out! Thanks for an educational list! 🙂

    • Rory O’Connor

      You’re welcome! The Town (Prince of Thieves) is probably top on my list to read from this list. I loved that movie.

  • Alice

    Pitch Perfect is a book?? Mind blown.

    I knew about Schindler’s List and The Birds, but that’s it. Fascinating.

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