From Books to Movies

When asked about my novel, The Grim, becoming a movie, it spawned a great deal of thought.  While I love the idea of The Grim becoming a blockbuster film, it left me thinking about other great books that became incredible movies.  While I am an avid reader, I also really love movies so I compiled a short list of some of my favorite book-to-movie classics.  Clearly, I’ve left quite a few awesome flicks off this list: the Harry Potter series and the Lord of the Rings trilogy among them.  However, I left them off the list because there is too much material to cover them properly.  They are a great many other book-to-film classics that I love; maybe I can cover those in another blog.  But the four listed here are part of my favorite book and movie lists.  What are some of yours?

1. The Joy Luck Club (1993)

I am clearly not Asian, but who cares with this classic?  The mother-daughter dynamic described and examined here transcends culture.  While it is true that many of the mother experiences discussed in this book/movie are specific to the ideals of their home country (China), it doesn’t take from the challenges faced in their relationships with their daughters.  Any mother or daughter can say they’ve been there or felt that, and the reader/viewer is left sitting there, astounded, gripped with both emotion and tears.

2. Girl, Interrupted (1999)

This clever piece about a group of women in an in-patient mental health ward is both gritty and thrilling.  It was also part of the inspiration for The Grim.  This may be one of the few films in which I can legitimately say I enjoyed Angelina Jolie.  The rest of the cast is just as star-studded, to include Winona Ryder, Whoopi Goldberg, and Brittany Murphy.  While in this case, I enjoyed the book better (since it described scenes and emotions that were clearly too much for the FCC), Girl, Interrupted remains one of my favorites in both my book and film collections.

3. The Color Purple (1985)

Okay, clearly with The Color Purple at number three on my list, it should be obvious that I’m putting these movies in no particular order!  What can be said about either the book or the film that you don’t already know?  This is a classic that was on fire from the moment it was written, to the moment it hit the big screen, to the moment it hit shelves in DVD and Blu-ray formats.  It’s a book/film that will never cease to be forgotten in black or American culture.  You’ve got an all-star cast in this film too: Whoopi, Oprah, Danny Glover, Rae Dawn Chong, and a real-life African princess in Akosua Busia (Nettie).  And guess what?  The film was released last year on Blu-ray for the 25th anniversary of the film’s debut.  The following scene is a tear-jerker for me every time I watch it, but it’s one of the best.

4. Forrest Gump (1994)

Yeah so before you laugh, realize that Forrest Gump kills any, and I do mean any, movie about mentally-challenged individuals, to include Rain Man and Rudy.  If you disagree, you can comment all day long, but I’m sticking to that assessment!  Not to mention the author, Winston Groom, wrote an almost completely different story in the novel, and that story is incredible as well!  The movie departs significantly from the original work but still weaves a tale of adventure, triumph, heroism, and just pure love.  How can you possibly argue with its placement in my hall of fame?  It’s friggin incredible, from start to finish!  Even though, like with The Color Purple, it’s difficult as hell to pick just one great scene, the following is one of my favorites.

No matter what your taste or speed, if you’re a true book/movie lover, this top 4 has you rolling in your seat with love and laughter.  That’s what great books and films do; they warm your heart and leave you with this overwhelming emotion and satisfaction.  That’s what great work is supposed to do; it’s what it’s meant for.  With any luck, one day, The Grim will be a part of that ranking…


  1. My fave book to movie is Game of Thrones. Technically we are supposed to pick a movie but this is an awesome show. Maybe you can talk about that in the next blog?

  2. Since Erin got to choose a mini-series, i'm riding the same bandwagon with the sookie stackhouse series which became hbo's true blood. seems like hbo has a knack for making great series' out of books…

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