Are these the best book to film adaptations?

the Best book to film adaptations

From the author of literary phenomenon Gone Girl, Dark Places is the gripping and suspenseful story based on Gillian Flynn’s New York Times® best-selling novel of the same name.

Libby Day was only eight years old when her family was brutally murdered and her brother was charged and sentenced for it.  Almost thirty years later, she agrees to revisit the crime but what happens when you try to find light in dark places?

To celebrate the release of this phenomenal, moving story being made into a star-studded film, we take a look at some other great pieces of fiction which have also been adapted for the big screen.


DARK PLACES opens at cinemas on 22nd January 2016, is available on digital download from 15th February 2016 and out on Blu-ray™ and DVD from 22nd February 2016, courtesy of Entertainment One.

Gone Girl


Book Release: 2012
Film Release: 2014

To start our countdown, we take a look at Gillian Flynn’s previous work, Gone Girl which was released to much critical acclaim in 2014, with the book having only been released two years earlier. Starring Rosamund Pike and Ben Affleck, this psychological thriller focuses on a married couple in Southeast Missouri. The story starts with the dramatic disappearance of Nick Dunne’s (Affleck) wife, Amy (Pike). This mystery takes many twists and turns and sees Nick himself becoming the prime suspect in the police force’s epic investigation. For her star turn, Rosamund Pike won Best Actress at the Empire Awards and was nominated for an Academy Award, A Golden Globe and a BAFTA.

To Kill A Mockingbird


Book Release: 1960
Film Release:

Director, Robert Mulligan, brings tolerance and compassion in keeping to Harper Lee’s timeless classic, To Kill A Mockingbird, when at a time of racial inequality, Lawyer Atticus Finch is tasked with defending a black man charged with the rape of a young white woman. The book was instantly successful and in 1961 after spending 41 weeks on the best-sellers list, it was awarded the Pulitzer Prize. Harper Lee portrays sympathetic characters in the face of hatred and violence, which is why the casting of Gregory Peck as the heroic Atticus Finch is perfect. His children, Scout and Jem, the book’s central protagonists, are equally sympathetic to the film’s themes especially considering the film only came out two years later, in 1962, when racial segregation was still very much a large part of Southern American culture.

American Psycho


Book release: 1991
Film release:

 American Psycho was written by Bret Easton Ellis in 1991. The novel takes on the shallow capitalism in the heart of contemporary American culture. Mary Harron directs an excellent Christian Bale as Patrick Bateman in the 2000 film adaptation. Veering from the ridiculous to the sublime, Harron’s comedic take on the extreme gore and horror from the book provides a relief to audiences whilst still capturing the essence of Ellis’ work and managed to take home nearly $5million in its domestic opening weekend.


Fight Club


Book release: 1996
Film release:

David Fincher’s Fight Club, was a slow burner at the box office but has since become a cult classic. Author Chuck Palahniuk has applauded Fincher’s adaptation himself, with the story illuminating the fragility of the male ego and basic neanderthal needs at his core. Though the film opened to mixed reviews, Helena Bonham carter won the Empire award in 2002 for Best British Actress due to her turn in the film. Fight Club sees a nameless, loner, protagonist who befriends a strange soap salesman on a plane. They eventually go on to set up the eponymous Fight Club. However we can’t go into any more detail as the first rule of fight club is “you do not talk about fight club.”

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy


Book release: 1974
Film release:

In 2011 Tomas Alfredson adapted John le Carré’s suspenseful cold war thriller, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, into a hit feature length film. The story follows the efforts of spymaster George Smiley to uncover a Soviet mole in the British Secret Intelligence Service. Gary Oldman was the inspired choice as the taciturn and stoic George Smiley and the role awarded him nominations at both the BAFTA and Academy awards, Oldman was also joined by an excellent supporting cast, including Colin Firth, Tom Hardy, John Hurt and Benedict Cumberbatch. Le Carré himself even makes a cameo appearance.


The Shining


Book release: 1977
Film release:

Stanley Kubrick was fairly liberal with Stephen King’s source material in the 1980’s adaptation of The Shining however the box office figures suggest this wasn’t really such a bad thing. Jack Torrance (Jack Nicholson) moves in to an isolated Hotel with his wife, Wendy (Shelley Duvall), and his son, Danny (Danny Lloyd), who is plagued by psychic premonitions. Jack soon discovers the hotel’s dark secrets and begins to unravel into a homicidal maniac who tries to kill his own family. Taking over $44 million it is a true piece of fantastic piece of cinematic work and arguably Jack Nicholson’s most iconic role, “Here’s Johnny” will go down as one of the most famous quotes in Hollywood history.

The Shawshank Redemption


Book release: 1982
Film release:

Another Stephen King novel, Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption (just titled The Shawshank Redemption for the film) was brought to the big screen in 1994 with Tim Robbins as the protagonist, Andy Dufresne, and Morgan Freeman starring as his loyal friend Red. Directed by Frank Darabont, the film, like the book, takes place in 1947, where successful banker Andy Dufresne is wrongly convicted of murdering his wife and her lover, resulting in him serving two consecutive life sentences in the fictional Shawshank State Prison set in Maine. There, Andy befriends prison contraband smuggler, Ellis ‘Red’ Redding, an inmate also sentenced to life in Shawshank. Red procures a rock hammer and later a large poster of Rita Hayworth for Andy, both of which later lead to his inventive and successful escape.

Dark Places


Book release: 2009
Film release:

And finally we round up with the gripping mystery, thriller, Dark Places. The story won Dark Scribe Magazine‘s Black Quill Award in the category of Dark Genre Novel in February 2010. Featuring an all-star cast, the film adaptation sees Charlize Theron takes on the lead as feisty Libby Day, who is convinced by Lyle Wirth (Nicholas Hoult), the leader of the Kill Club to revisit the horrific night when her family were brutally murdered as he is unconvinced her brother is guilty.  The film is also supported by a superb cast including Christina Hendricks as Patty Day, Libby’s mother, and Chloë Grace Moretz as Diondra Wertzner, her brother, Ben’s, secret girlfriend. Director and screen-writer, Gilles Paquet-Brenner, brings to life Flynn’s characters with a touching, realistic staidness as we watch a broken woman re-face her deepest fears and visit dark places, will she finally uncover the truth behind that fateful night? Catch Dark Places, which opens at cinemas on 22nd January 2016.

DARK PLACES opens at cinemas on 22nd January 2016, is available on digital download from 15th February 2016 and out on Blu-ray™ and DVD from 22nd February 2016, courtesy of Entertainment One.

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