81 Movies Based on Short Stories and Novels [Must Watch Films]

Movies Based On Short Stories

Did you know that there a lot of movies based on short stories? Most people generally believe that they’re based on novels. The surprising news here is that you might have already seen some of these famous movies based on short stories.

So, are you curious to find out which ones they are? The following is our list of movies based on short stories that you should add to your viewing list:

Science Fiction Movies Based on Short Stories and Novels

Many famous movies based on short stories are from the science fiction genre. You have probably seen most of them but if not, take a look at the following:

1. 2001: A Space Odyssey

Based On: The Sentinel by Arthur C. Clarke

Interesting Facts: The Sentinel was a submission for a BBC contest. Surprisingly, it was not among the final submissions. Arthur C. Clarke worked with Stanley Kubrick to develop the movie. At the same time, he was also writing his novel, titled 2001: A Space Odyssey. Clarke did not believe that his story, The Sentinel played a pivotal role in the development of the movie. But he does claim that the movie helped to plant the seed of the novel, 2001: A Space Odyssey, in his mind.

2. Minority Report

Based On: Minority Report by Philip K. Dick

Interesting Facts: Minority Report was one of the most reviewed movies when it was released. It was nominated for 1 Academy Award, 11 nominations for the Saturn Awards and won 4.

It was initially meant to be a sequel to Total Recall but delays in filming led to it being a standalone release. Despite the success, viewers still didn’t like Tom Cruise’s performance as the lead actor.

3. A.I – Artificial Intelligence

Based On: Super Toys Last All Summer by Brian Aldiss

Interesting Facts: Stanley Kubrick and Aldiss worked on the film but faced creative differences. This put a 20 year hiatus on the film, during which time, Kubrick also passed away. Director Steven Spielberg, a close friend of Kubrick, eventually decided to work on the project.

The movie incorporates many of Kubrick’s ideas and elements that turned it into an ode to the deceased director.

4. Total Recall – 1990 and 2012

Based On: We Can Remember it For You Wholesale by Philip K. Dick

Interesting Facts: Director, David Cronenberg faced a lot of pressure to get things right. He worked on around 12 drafts in a year for the Total Recall movie.

Initially, Patrick Swayze was being considered for the movie but Arnold Schwarzenegger won the role. The remake also followed the original script as closely as possible with few, if any deviations.

5. The Fly – 1958 and 1986

Based On: The Fly by George Langelaan

Interesting Facts: The Fly won the award for “Best Fiction of the Year” from Playboy. Its popularity then escalated and it was adapted into a movie for the first time. However, the movie does have a much different ending than the actual story.

Most people have seen the remake which has Jeff Goldblum as the lead actor. Another surprise here is that in 2008, The Fly was rewritten for an opera as well.

81 Movies Based on Short Stories and Novels [Must Watch Films] Infographics

6. Blade Runner

Based On: Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick

Interesting Facts: When Blade Runner was released, it initially underperformed in the industry. However, it didn’t take long for the movie to gain cult status. While it is loosely based on work by Philip K. Dick, there were many differing factors. It soon won awards and accolades, including a nomination for BAFTA and a Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Representation. It was also selected by the U.S. Library of Congress for preservation on the basis of being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant.”

7. Johnny Mnemonic

Based On: Johnny Mnemonic by William Gibson

Interesting Facts: The movie does differ from the short story by turning Johnny into the lead character. Despite the fact that it came into the market, at a time when science fiction movies were all the rage, Johnny Mnemonic did not perform well. In fact, Keanu Reeves, who played the role of Johnny, won himself a nomination for the Golden Raspberry Award for the Worst Actor category.

8. Arrival

Based On: Story of Your Life and Others by Ted Chiang

Interesting Facts: Stories of Your Life and Others is a collection of sci-fi short stories. The movie is an amalgamation of all of them. The short story collection was also the winner of the Nebula Award for Best Novella, the Theodore Sturgeon Award and Hugo Award for Best Novella.

The movie, Arrival, was also a success. It received nomination for 8 Academy Awards winning it for Best Picture. It also won the Ray Bradbury Award for Outstanding Dramatic Presentation and the Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation.

9. Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

Based On: Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams

Interesting Facts: While Adams co-wrote the screen play, he passed away before the movie could be released. The movie has been dedicated to him. It was highly praised. It received nominations for seven different awards, including The Empire Awards for Best British Film.

The movie also manages to capture the light, dry and sarcastic blend of humour which is so seriously loved in the books.

10. A Clock Work Orange

Based On: A Clock Work Orange by Anthony Burgess

Interesting Facts: If you think the movie is weird, wait until you read the book. However, the movie does differ from the book. Even Burgess, the author himself, worried that the movie ending is a bit dangerous as it does not follow the redemptive arc of the book’s story line.

Nonetheless, the movie was a box office success. It received nominations for 4 Academy Awards, 7 British Academy Film Awards and 3 Golden Globe Awards.

Horror Movies Based on Short Stories and Novels

Horror Movies Based on Short Stories and Novels

Many famous movies based on short stories also fall into the horror movie category as well. If you’re a fan of horror, the following are some that you should definitely watch and when possible, try to read too:

1. Sleepy Hollow

Based On: The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving

Interesting Facts: Sleepy Hollow was a hit among Tim Burton fans. It also embodied his signature style which fit in with the creepy, urban legend vibe of the story itself.

The movie won awards including the Academy Awards for Best Art Direction, British Academy Film Awards and Art Directors Guild. The movie has attained a cult status and is still a great horror mystery to watch.

2. The Call of Cthulhu

Based On: The Call of Cthulhu by H.P. Lovecraft

Interesting Facts: H.P. Lovecraft’s work has a supernatural quality which many directors felt they could not do justice to. This movie is the first adaptation of H.P. Lovecraft’s work. The director, Andrew Leman, went to great pains to give the movie a 1920’s appearance.

Despite being the first adaptation, it was very well received. The Call of Cthulhu won awards for Best Feature at the Eerie Horror Film Festival, Audience Choice at Another Hole in the Head and Vuze Audience Favourites.

3. Candy Man

Based On: The Forbidden by Clive Barker from The Book of Blood – Volume Five

Interesting Facts: Bringing an urban legend to life, this movie is sure to chill your bones. The movie stays true to the story which, in this case, doesn’t make for very pleasant viewing. When it was released, critics were definitely confused about how to feel.

Many felt repulsed by it whereas others enjoyed the mix of horror and gore that the movie brought to life. Candy Man ranks among the list of 100 Scariest Movie Moments by Bravo. There’s also another remake in the works by Jordan Peele.

4. The Birds

Based On: The Birds by Daphne Du Maurier

Interesting Facts: This movie has become of one the most iconic Hitchcock films. It also has Tippi Henderson as the lead actress. It was selected by the U.S. Library Congress for preservation on the basis of being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant,” much like Blade Runner.

While the movie does draw inspiration from the original story, it deviates from it as well. As a result, the movie has a different ending.

5. The Midnight Meat Train

Based On: The Midnight Meat Train by Clive Barker from The Book of Blood – Volume One

Interesting Facts: Another classic movie that is a must watch, The Midnight Meat Train is a gripping horror story. The movie has slight differences from the story. It also adds a new character. Luckily, the changes all add to the overall watching experience and draw one into the story.

With good twists, excellent cinematography and a compelling storyline, you’re going to love the gritty tale told in this movie.

6. 1408

Based On: 1408 by Stephen King

Interesting Facts: The movie is a psychological horror thriller. Unlike the book, it has four different endings. There’s a theatrical ending which is also the default one, a director’s cut ending, a second and a third ending. Surprisingly, none of these four match the one that the short story received.

The aim was to embody the same level of ambiguity that the short story has. While most people are happy with the default ending, if you’re interested, take some time out and watch the others too.

7. The House of Usher

Based On: The Fall of the House of Usher by Edgar Allan Poe

Interesting Facts: Unlike other short stories, this one has around 14 different remakes. So you’re going to have a lot of options to pick and choose from. The latest one is the House of Usher which, while definitely scary, takes a turn towards the grotesque.

It deviates from the original story but it still explores many of the same concepts of decadence and the end of a bloodline. Just be ready for the macabre twist when you watch it.

8. Sometimes They Come Back

Based On: Sometimes They Come Back by Stephen King

Interesting Facts: While it was a popular horror movie, it was set for release on a straight to TV basis. This means that it didn’t receive much fanfare in terms of marketing and promotion. The movie was enough of a success to warrant two more sequels that were just as popular.

Compared to other remakes of Stephen King’s though, this is definitely a more gratuitously violent horror movie. However, it is still very in line with the themes in his work.

9. Children of the Corn

Based On: Children of the Corn by Stephen King – Night Shift

Interesting Facts: The movie stays true to the story line, depicting the eerie cult of children who are compelled to kill all adults over the age of 18. The chilling cinematography brings this amazing story to life. Let’s just say you won’t be going to any corn fields any time soon without feeling your blood run cold.

10. Hellraiser

Based On: The Hellbound Heart by Clive Barker

Interesting Facts: Hell Raiser has become a classic horror movie with plenty of gore and human cruelty. Not surprisingly, it confused the critics. Some claimed it to be completely devoid of imagination whereas others thought it ranks among the best horror movies ever.

Given that there are 9 more sequels in the Hellraiser series, it’s easy to see that most people loved this chilling horror story.

Mystery Movies Based on Short Stories and Novels

Mystery Movies Based on Short Stories and Novels

Not a fan of horror or sci-fi? Try watching some mystery movies. You’ll find that the most famous movies based on short stories will have you glued to the screen and wondering what will happen next.

1. The Illusionist

Based On: Eisenheim the Illusionist by Steven Millhauser

Interesting Facts: The movie is loosely based on the story. It does take liberties by deviating in a different direction at times. Nonetheless, it has a star-studded cast, featuring Jessica Biel and Edward Norton and some amazing cinematography.

All of these make it worth a watch. It premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and the Seattle International Film Festival as well. It was also nominated for the Academy Award for Best Cinematography.

2. Memento

Based On: Memento Mori by Jonathan Nolan

Interesting Facts: Jonathan Nolan is the brother of Christopher Nolan. He ended up turning the story into a movie. There are some differences in the movie but they make it a more interesting psychological mystery thriller.

It won various accolades including an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay and Best Film Editing. Memento was also considered by the U.S Library of Congress to be worthy of preservation based on it being “culturally, historically or aesthetically significant.”

3. In the Bedroom

Based On: Killings by Andre Dubus

Interesting Facts: The movie focuses on the lives of parents who have to deal with loss, forgiveness and moving forward in their lives. The story line is not only compelling but interestingly brought to life in this unique movie.

It became the first movie from the Sundance Film Festival to receive 10 nominations for the Academy Awards. It was also nominated for the Golden Globes, BAFTA, Sundance Film Festival Awards, American Film Institute Awards and more.

4. All About Eve

Based On: The Wisdom of Eve by Mary Orr

Interesting Facts: Shedding light on the intrigues beneath the surface of Broadway stars, All About Eve made records. It received 14 nominations for the Academy Awards, out of which it won 6, including the award for Best Picture.

It’s also the only movie, that has received four acting nominations for females, by the Golden Globes. All About Eve was also one of the 50 films that were first selected for preservation by the U.S. National Film Registry.

5. The Fallen Idol

Based On: The Basement Room by Graham Greene

Interesting Facts: The subject of this story was once very controversial. In fact, it was an unfilmable story, in the words of the author himself. Regardless, once the movie was released, it garnered a lot of positive responses from the audience.

It received a nomination in the Academy Award for Best Director and Best Adapted Screenplay. It also won the BAFTA Award for Best British Film. It still ranks among the Top 100 Best British Films and was a box office hit.

6. Naked Fear

Based On: The Most Dangerous Game by Richard Cornell

Interesting Facts: The short story influenced the modus operandi of the killer in the movie. It is chilling to learn that many real-life killers also took the book’s story to heart. The Zodiac killer and Robert Hansen are both criminals who referenced the Most Dangerous Game as a source of inspiration. While this movie is definitely not an award winner, it still does a good job about bringing this factor to life about this chilling story.

7. Rear Window

Based On: It Had to Be Murder by Cornell Woolrich

Interesting Facts: This movie by Alfred Hitchcock is a remake that was based on the short story by Cornell Woolrich. Surprisingly, Cornell’s work was inspired by another short story, namely Through a Window by H.G. Wells.

Hitchcock did make some changes but they are tasteful and add to the mystery of the story itself. It earned 5 nominations for the Academy Awards, one for the BAFTA Awards and more. Now a classic, it will really have you wondering just what’s going on and who is responsible.

8. The Killers

Based On: The Killers by Ernest Hemingway

Interesting Facts: This movie was originally made straight for TV release but is was deemed too violent for this purpose. The story line is so intriguing that you’re not going to stop watching it. It was also Ronald Reagan’s last movie after which he announced his retirement.

Recently, The Killers was chosen for screening in the section of Venice Classics at the 75th International Film Festival.

9. Jindabyne

Based On: So Much Water So Close to Home by Raymond Carver

Interesting Facts: The movie got a positive response for its unique storyline. It was heralded as an obvious sign regarding the maturity of the Australian cinema. The movie premiered at the Cannes Film Festival and the Toronto International Film Festival.

10. Eyes Wide Shut

Based On: Traumnovella (Dream Story) by Arthur Schnitzler

Interesting Facts: This movie was Stanley Kubrick’s last production. He died 6 days before it was due for release. While it was a pet project of Kubrick’s, after this death, the studio digitally altered many of the explicit scenes in the movie.

It was positively received and got nominations for the Golden Globes Awards, Venice Film Festival, Satellite Awards and more.

Slice of Life Movies Based on Short Stories and Novels

Slice of Life Movies Based on Short Stories and Novels

Not all famous movies based on short stories relate to horror, thriller or mystery genres. There are also plenty of feel-good short movies that have won awards and accolades.

The following are the ones that you shouldn’t miss out on:

1. The Secret Life of Walter Mitty – 1947 and 2013

Based On: The Secret Life of Walter Mitty by James Thurber

Interesting Facts: Thurber actually hated the first movie. As a result, he was unenthusiastic about the remake. This one took 20 years in production to see the light of day and includes a star-studded cast, including Ben Stiller, Sean Penn and Kirsten Wiig.

The remake was very well received with most claiming it to be among the best works of Ben Stiller. The movie received nominations for various awards including 2 Saturn Awards, Satellite Awards and the New York Festival.

2. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

Based On: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Interesting Facts: The movie stays true to the source material and captures a lot of the themes in the story. It shows the adventures of youth, sense of loss and time passing one by. The movie received a total of 13 nominations for the Academy Awards out of which, it won 3.

It was also nominated for British Academy Film Awards, the Golden Globes, Saturn Awards and won all 4 Visual Affects Society Awards that it received nominations for.

3. Brokeback Mountain  

Based On: Brokeback Mountain by Annie Proulx

Interesting Facts: A controversial movie for sure, Brokeback Mountain received mixed reviews. Surprisingly, it is one of the few movies based on short stories that stay true to its original storyline.

Despite the mixed reviews, the movie went on to win various awards and accolades including 3 Academy Awards, Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival, Golden Globe Awards and the British Academy Film Awards.

Surprisingly, Annie Proulx has come to resent the movie. She believes that the focus on the two cowboys takes away from the actual intent of the original story.

4. Away From Her

Based On: The Bear Came Over the Mountain by Alice Munro

Interesting Facts: A poignant movie about growing old together, it captures the tough realities of life. It also highlights the sacrifices that one must make in their lives for the sake of happiness. The movie stays true to the story’s central themes.

It has such attention to detail that the movie has earned universal acclaim. Away From Her received 2 nominations for the Academy Awards and also won a total of 7 Genie Awards, including Best Motion Picture.

5. The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner

Based On: The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner by Alan Sillitoe

Interesting Facts: As a coming of age story, the movie captures the same rebelliousness of the characters and brings it to life. It also shows the brashness of youth and the consequences that one has to live with because of their actions.

When the movie was released, it received a lot of awards and nominations, including the BAFTA Awards. It is also still considered to be among the Top 40 Best British Films Ever Made in 2018.

6. The Dead

Based On: The Dead by James Joyce

Interesting Facts: While it is a short story, there’s often debate on whether The Dead qualifies as a novella or a short story. Nonetheless, it is a wonderful story that deals with the concepts of loss, love and questions of identity and ones roots in society.

It was directed by John Houston who was nearly 80 years old by that time and despite his health concerns, still accomplished the task. The movie won 2 Academy Awards, 4 Independent Spirit Awards and more.

7. A Face in the Crowd

Based On: Your Arkansas Traveller by Budd Schulberg

Interesting Facts: This movie is famous for launching the career of Andrew Griffith. The movie also has a unique story line about a charming conman who reaches stardom. While the reception of the movie was very critical when it was first released, over the years, the movie has become a favourite. It also has a 92% rating of “fresh” on the Rotten Tomatoes website.

8. Smooth Talk

Based On: Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been? by Joyce Carol Oates

Interesting Facts: The movie provides a critical look at the young; and the restlessness and mischief that they can get up to. The heart wrenching message of the story translates neatly into the movie and it’s very hard not to feel some kind of emotion when watching it.

Smooth Talk premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and won the Grand Jury Prize for the U.S. Dramatic category.

9. It’s a Wonderful Life

Based On: The Greatest Gift by Philip Van Doren Stern

Interesting Facts: It’s a movie that’s become synonymous with the spirit of Christmas and is considered a classic. Surprisingly, the short story was one that many publishers turned down.

It wasn’t until Carey Grant’s agent bought it that it was turned into a script and became the Christmas classic that we all hate but love as well. It also received a nomination for an Academy Award.

10. The Swimmer

Based On: The Swimmer by John Cheever

Interesting Facts: While it enjoys a cult film status now, when it was newly released into the market, The Swimmer was not very well received. In fact, it was deemed lacklustre. Sam Spiegel, the director who is also a three time Academy Award winner for Best Picture, was so embarrassed, he chose to remove his name from the movie.

The movie was also the debut film for the comedian, Joan Rivers. Burt Lancaster also had to undergo training to overcome his fear of water for the movie.

Romantic Movies Based on Short Stories and Novels

Romantic Movies Based on Short Stories and Novels

Movie romances are always warm, fluffy and heart warming to watch. If you’re looking for famous movies based on short stories and novels in this category, take a look at the following ones:

1. Breakfast at Tiffany’s

Based On: Breakfast at Tiffany’s by Truman Capote

Interesting Facts: Breakfast at Tiffany’s is a must watch. It is a classic romantic comedy which is full of iconic moments, including Audrey Hepburn and her pearl necklace. It’s also one of Audrey Hepburn’s most recognizable and iconic roles.

It received a lot of positive reviews and won nominations for five Academy Awards, winning 2 for Best Original Score and Best Original Song. Moon River was also considered to be the fourth most recognizable song in Hollywood history.

2. Sense and Sensibility

Based On: Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen

Interesting Facts: As a British period movie, Sense and Sensibility was a huge success on a worldwide scale. It received 11 nominations for the British Academy Film Awards, 7 nominations for the Academy Awards. Emma Thompson not only acted in the movie but also wrote the screenplay.

She’s the first person to win an Academy Award for acting and screenwriting. This movie is also recognized among the best adaptations of Jane Austen’s work.

3. Pride and Prejudice

Based On: Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

Interesting Facts: A remake of the old, black and white film of the same name, Pride and Prejudice got a lot of scrutiny. But, it passed with flying colours. The romance between Bingley and Jane and the impudence of Mr. Darcy and stubbornness of Elizabeth is rightly captured here.

The movie was nominated for 6 British Academy Film Awards, 4 Academy Awards and 8 nominations for the London Film Critics Circle.

4. The Great Gatsby

Based On: The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Interesting Facts: While the movie did get a remake, there’s still debate on whether Leonardo Di Caprio did justice to the portrayal of Jay Gatsby. However, the set and production of the movie are vibrant and captures the glitzy, glittery ‘20s.

The movie won nominations for 2 Academy Awards, winning both and was also nominated for 13 AACTA Awards, out of which it won 11. It also received nominations for 2 Grammy Awards and more.

5. The Perks of Being a Wallflower

Based On: The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

Interesting Facts: The movie stays true to the story and brings the troubles of teenagers to life. A coming of age told is beautifully told with skilled actors such as Emma Watson, Logan Lerman and Ezra Miller. The movie premiered at the Toronto Film Festival and was positively received.

It received various accolades including nomination for 2 Critics Choice Movie Awards, GLAAD Media Award, Independent Spirit Awards, Teen Choice Awards and more.

6. Far From the Madding Crowd

Based On: Far From the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy

Interesting Facts: Given the fact that the book has previously had three remakes made, this was the fourth one. It’s interesting to note that many people actually prefer the acting done in this movie.

Luckily, the movie stands out from the rest and the cast has done justice to the story line. It also retains its gripping and interesting story line without much variation.

7. The Fault In Our Stars

Based On: The Fault in Our Stars by John Greene

Interesting Facts: If you’re looking for a love story which will make you cry your eyes out, this one is it. The Fault in Our Stars became a popular movie among many young adults. While older critics were sceptical, the movie was a huge success. It was nominated for 6 Young Hollywood Awards out of which it won 4.

8. Emily Bronte’s Wuthering Heights

Based On: Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontȅ

Interesting Facts: While there have been plenty of remakes of Wuthering Heights, the one featuring Ralp Fiennes stands out for his raw portrayal of Heathcliff. It was also the first debut movie of Ralph Fiennes and opened many doors for him after this.

Additionally, this version of the film also includes the often omitted story line regarding the second generation of the children, making it a truer telling of the original story.

9. Gone with the Wind

Based On: Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell

Interesting Facts: When the movie was being made, the auditions for Scarlett O’Hara saw around 1,400 women. Viven Leigh was the most suitable person and paired with Clarke Gable, the duo made history. The movie won nominations for 13 Academy Awards out of which it won 10.

It set a record for the most nominations and awards won at that time. It was also selected by the U.S. Library of Congress for preservation and still ranks among the top 10 in the list of Top 100 American Movies by the American Film Institute.

10. A Walk to Remember

Based On: A Walk to Remember by Nicholas Sparks

Interesting Facts: If Gen X and Z have the Fault in Our Stars, A Walk to Remember was the one that made millennials cry. The movie has some differences from the actual book but it is still poignant enough to touch hearts.

While critics were not happy with the movie, it received a warmer response from the general public. It also received nomination for 3 Teen Choice Awards, winning 2 and 1 MTV Movie Awards.

Adventure Movies Based on Short Stories and Novels

Adventure Movies Based on Short Stories and Novels

There’s nothing like watching an adventurous movie where the tension keeps you on the edge of your seat. The following are some of the most adventurous and famous movies based on short stories and novels:

1. 3:10 Yuma – 1957 and 2007

Based On: Three-Ten to Yuma by Elmore Leonard

Interesting Facts: It’s a good old fashioned western movie with gunfights, cowboy deputies and outlaws. The story has a certain level of mystery around it which translates very well into the movie. With the skilled acting of Russell Crowe and Christian Bale, this is definitely a must watch.

The movie also got two Academy Award nominations and was also nominated for Best Cast in the Screen Actors Guild Awards.

2. Apocalypse Now

Based On: Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad

Interesting Facts: While the movie does differ a lot from the book, it still covers many of the same issues faced by the characters in the story. Filming the movie was incredibly difficult. Problems included the destruction of sets by bad weather, non cooperation of Tom Brando and more.

Despite this, the movie received the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival, and was also nominated for the Academy Awards and the Golden Globes.

3. Jumanji

Based On: Jumanji by Chris Van Alsburg

Interesting Facts: It is arguably one of the best adventure movies with Robin Williams, Kirsten Dunst and Bonnie Hunt.  Jumanji received mixed reviews but it was a box office hit. Not only was it in the Top 100 Highest Grossing Films in 1995, it still ranks among the list of Top 100 Family Movies.

The movie also laid the foundation for others such as Zathura and Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle.

4. Where the Wild Things Are

Based On: Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak

Interesting Facts: If you ever wondered what adventures children’s imaginations can lead, you can watch this movie and find out. It’s based off of a children’s book which many might have read. Work on the movie was tough and surprisingly, it was a joint production between Germany, Australia and the United States.

While the reviews for the movie were positive, it still ended up underperforming in the box office, barely breaking even on the budget of the film.

5. Jaws

Based On: Jaws by Peter Benchley

Interesting Facts: This movie and the book are responsible for creating the negative impression and sensationalising of shark attacks. Jaws counts among the greatest movies ever made and it won 3 Academy Awards, Oscar Awards, Grammy Awards, the Golden Globe and the BAFTA Award.

The theme song for the movie has earned an iconic status. It introduced a new era that emphasised the importance of using the right score to create the right atmosphere.

6. The Man in the Iron Mask

Based On: The Vicomte of Bragelonne: Ten Years Later by Alexandre Dumas

Interesting Facts: Based loosely on the novel by Alexandre Dumas, the movie received a critical review. But, it was still a success in the box office because of Leonardo DiCaprio. 

Despite the fact that Leonardo DiCaprio was responsible for the success of the movie, his acting was still not as good. He won a Golden Raspberry for his dual role as the twins in the movie, in the category of Worst Screen Couple.

7. Jurassic Park

Based On: Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton

Interesting Facts: The movie made history with its use of animatronics based dinosaurs, the likes of which had never been seen before. The use of special effects was well praised and the movie won more than 20 awards.

It earned global recognition and held the position of Highest Grossing Movie in 1993 and Highest Grossing Movie of All Time until the introduction of Titanic.

8. Shawshank Redemption

Based On: Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption by Stephen King

Interesting Facts: Despite the fact that the movie was a favourite of almost all viewers, it still underperformed in the box office. Despite this fact, it was also nominated for seven Academy Awards.

Today, this movie ranked among the Greatest Movies of the 1990’s. It was also chosen for preservation by the U.S Library of Congress on the basis of being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant”.

9. The Count of Monte Cristo

Based On: The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas

Interesting Facts: If you want to watch a good, old fashioned adventure movie and see Guy Pearce get punched in the face, this is the perfect movie for you. Incorporating intrigue, mystery, pirates and history in one go; this movie didn’t win any awards.

However, it’s pleasing enough to be counted as a good adventure story. It also differs a lot from the story line in the book but not too much to bother one.

10. The Life of Pi

Based On: The Life of Pi by Yann Martel

Interesting Facts: The movie that is said to have bankrupted a whole visual effects company, Life of Pi is a stunningly beautiful movie. It focuses on the adventures of Pi, a boy, stranded at sea with a Bengal tiger. The movie uses a lot of graphic design but it was very tastefully produced.

The reviews from critics were positive. The movie garnered many awards including 11 nominations for the Academy Awards out of which it won 4. It also got 3 nominations for the Golden Globes out of which it won 1 and awards from the Las Vegas, Kansas City and London Film Critics.

Real Life Movies Based on Short Stories and Novels

Real Life Movies Based on Short Stories and Novels

Not all stories behind the movies are fictional. There are some real life movies that are based on short stories and novels as well. The following autobiographical movies are a great watch for you:

1. 127 Hours

Based On: Between a Rock and a Hard Place by Aron Ralston

Interesting Facts:  The movie is a true, biographical depiction of the events that Ralston faced when he was trekking in the Blue John Canyon. The story is not only perfectly depicted but you’re going to have a hard time guessing what solution Ralston took.

The movie received a positive response and received nominations for 6 Academy Awards, 3 Golden Globe Awards, 9 British Academy Film Awards and 8 from the Broadcast Film Critics Association.

2. Seven Years in Tibet

Based On: Seven Years in Tibet by Heinrich Harrer

Interesting Facts:  While the movie follows much of the adventure as told by the book, there are certain differences made to make it more appealing to viewers. Despite editions, the movie was still condemned by China. They did not like the portrayal of the Chinese Communist military soldiers and the Dalai Lama.

As a result, actors Brad Pitt and David Thewlis and director Jean Jacques Annaud were banned from ever entering China. Luckily, this rule was relaxed by 2012.

3. Into the Wild

Based On: Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer  

Interesting Facts:  The movie is a poignant retelling of the adventures of Christopher McCandless across North America and Alaska. His theories about giving away his possessions and living out of his back pack resonate with a lot of people.

The movie was a huge success winning nominations for 2 Academy Awards and 2 Golden Globes out of which it won 1. The bus that was used for filming has been turned into a tourist attraction in Healy Alaska by a restaurant.

4. Tracks

Based On: Tracks by Robyn Davidson

Interesting Facts:  If you have ever wanted to travel alone, this movie is for you. The movie shows you the 1,700 mile journey that Robyn Davidson undertook with 4 camels and her pet dog. Travelling over the sandy dunes in West Australia, she makes the journey to the sea, on foot.

It took her a total of 9 months, to make the iconic trip with her four legged friends accompanying her. The biographical movie won many award nominations including AACTA Awards, AFCA Awards, Venice Film Festival and more.

5. Gorillas in the Mist

Based On: Gorillas in the Mist by Dian Fossey

Interesting Facts:  Gorillas in the Mist is based on the life story of Dian Fossey and her life’s work for the safety and preservation of the silver back gorillas in Congo and Rawanda. She was murdered in 1985. Luckily, due to her efforts, the species was saved from extinction.  

The role of Dian is played by Sigourney Weaver. The movie received many award nominations including 5 Academy Awards and 3 Golden Globe Awards out of which it won 2.

6. The Revenant

Based On: The Revenant by Micheal Punke

Interesting Facts:  This is the role that finally won Leonardo Di Caprio his Oscar. All he had to do was eat raw bison liver, wrestle with a bear and trek through the freezing temperatures of Canada and the US.

The Oscar was well earned as you’ll see from the beautiful movie itself which is all shot largely in natural light and in frigid temperatures. The hard work paid off because the movie won nominations for 12 Academy Awards out of which it won 3, 3 Golden Globe Awards and 5 BAFTA Awards.

7. Apollo 13

Based On: Lost Moon by Jim Lovell and Jeffrey Kluger

Interesting Facts: Based on the incident of the Apollo 13 space flight, which was commandeered by Lovell himself. The mission placed the lives of all astronauts on board when an onboard oxygen tank exploded, necessitating the need to abort the mission.

The movie showcased the story perfectly with a star studded cast featuring Ed Harris, Tom Hanks and Kevin Bacon. The movie won 9 Academy Awards out of which it won 2 and 5 BAFTA Awards, out of which it won 2 as well.  

8. The Perfect Storm

Based On: The Perfect Storm by Sebastian Junger

Interesting Facts: If you’re scared of storms at sea, you won’t be a fan of this movie. The Perfect Storm depicts the story of the Andrea Gail and how it got trapped in a sea storm. Despite having a strong cast and a compelling story, it got mixed reviews.

Luckily, it still performed well and was able to nab nominations for 2 Academy Awards but lost them both to the Gladiator movie.

9. Rescue Dawn

Based On: Little Dieter Needs to Fly by Werner Herzog  

Interesting Facts:  Wener Herzog directed both movies, namely Rescue Dawn and Little Dieter Needs to Fly. He repurposed the script for his first documentary to turn it into a movie. The shooting was not only tough but the actors had to be thin and emaciated as well. This was necessary to showcase the torture that the men went through while trapped in a war camp.

The movie garnered a positive response and was able to get nominations for Golden Satellite Awards and the Independent Spirit Awards.

10. Catch Me If You Can

Based On: Catch Me If You Can by Frank Abagnale Jr. and Stan Redding

Interesting Facts:  If you’re looking for the true life example of chaotic good, look no further than Frank Abagnale. Having spent his life robbing banks, impersonating doctors, teachers, pilots and even an attorney, Frank now spends his time teaching banks how to identify fraudulent cheques.

The movie won nominations for the Academy Awards, British Academy Film Awards, the Golden Globes and the Grammy Awards.

Fantasy Movies Based on Short Stories and Novels

Fantasy Movies Based on Short Stories and Novels

Not all movies are grounded in reality. These famous fantasy movies based on short stories and novels are sure to become an escape when real life gets too dreary for you:

1. The Princess Bride

Based On: The Princess Bride by William Goldman

Interesting Facts:  While only a moderately successful movie on the box office, The Princess Bride has become a cult classic. It also ranks among the 100 Funniest Movies. The New York Times also praised the sweetness of the cast and the movie itself. Additionally, the movie is renowned for being the most quotable movie, even 30 years after its release.  

2. The Hobbit

Based On: The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien

Interesting Facts:  While it has received a lot of criticism for the deviations from the original story, The Hobbit films are worth a watch. The movies won 6 nominations for the Visual Effects Society, 3 nominations for the Academy Awards and 4 nominations for the Broadcast Film Critics Association.

3. The Lord of the Rings

Based On: The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien

Interesting Facts:  More widely famous than the Hobbit films, the three part trilogy of The Lord of the Rings follows the books faithfully and brings Tolkien’s fantasy kingdom to life. The series received a lot of praise and received nominations for 30 Academy Awards, out of which they won 13. The film, Return of the King not only won all 11 Academy Awards that it was nominated for but also among the list of movies that have won the most Academy Awards.  

4. Star Wars

Based On: Star Wars by George Lucas

Interesting Facts:  What started from books has now turned into one of the most successful film franchises with movies, cartoons, TV-series and games too. The movies have been filmed in a trilogy order with prequel, sequel and original. So, watching them can take some time and require a bit of your attention.  

5. Harry Potter

Based On: Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling

Interesting Facts:  Another fantasy book series that is widely loved, the Harry Potter movies are both loved and criticised for how they change from the book. However, the movies did receive nominations for 12 Academy Awards, 5 Grammy Awards, 24 British Academy Film Awards and count among the highest grossing film franchise of all time.

6. Twilight

Based On: The Hobbit by Stephanie Meyers  

Interesting Facts: Twilight isn’t a movie which is going to win any awards any time soon but it’s definitely bringing a new spin on the traditional vampire and werewolves’ troupe. Despite a lot of critical reviews, the movie series is a great way to kill some time and believe in the heady romance that you experience with young love.

7. The Never Ending Story

Based On: The Never Ending Story by Michael Ende

Interesting Facts:  A classic movie that everyone has seen in their childhood, the Never Ending Story was one of the most expensive US films made at the time of its release. It won awards and accolades including a Golden Screen Award, Saturn Award, and International Fantasy Film Award. Additionally, the movie has two follow up series as well that cover the second half of the book.

8. The Chronicles of Narnia

Based On: The Chronicles of Narnia Series by C. S. Lewis  

Interesting Facts:  There are 7 books in the original series out of which 3 have been adapted into movies. The films performed well at the box office and have stayed true to the stories as much as possible. Confusion comes in the fact that they’re not all being made in the order of the books. However, the rich environment they bring makes them worth a watch.  

9. Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children

Based On: Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

Interesting Facts:  Definitely more interesting than you would have originally thought, the movie takes you on a time bending journey. With Tim Burton’s dark style and a great cast, the movie will draw you into the story in next to no time. The movie also won nominations for various awards including the Teen Choice Awards, People’s Choice Awards, Visual Effects Society Awards, Saturn Awards and more.

10. Journey to the Centre of the Earth

Based On: Journey to the Centre of the Earth by Jules Verne

Interesting Facts:  Jules Verne’s story has been brought to life many times in different movie adaptations as you will also find in this movie. With a new twist and some good actors, this modern retelling is very compelling and interesting to watch. It also won awards and nominations for the Teen Choice Awards, Young Artist Award, BMI Film & TV Awards and the World Soundtrack Awards.

11. Howl’s Moving Castle

Based On: Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones

Interesting Facts:  It is a Japanese adaptation of the story but Howl’s Moving Castle is a heart warming movie to watch. When the movie premiered at the Venice Film Festival, it was met with a lot of praise and it became one of the highest earning Japanese movies. It was also nominated for an Academy Award, the Saturn Awards, Nebula Awards, Tokyo Anime Award and more.

So, call up your friends, pop some popcorn and have a fun movie night with these amazing movies based on short stories and novels!