The list of the 10 best movies based on books includes some of the best films ever made, from gripping dramas to fun-filled flicks. At its heart any good movie has a good story, so it is natural that filmmakers draw from the vast wealth of excellent books out there. It is often difficult for cinema to capture the true heart of a good book, but in these instances, they succeeded.

  1. “The Godfather.” Perhaps one of the best films ever made, this is certainly one of the best movie based on a book. A look inside the Mafia and starring Marlon Brando, the film became an instant classic, and influenced mob movies ever after.

  2. “Gone With the Wind.” This is one of the best selling books of all time and the epic movie made from it, one of the best movies based on a book, went on to become one of the highest-grossing films ever, adjusted for inflation. Clark Gable didn’t want the role of Rhett Butler, as he knew he’d never live up to the public’s expectation. He was wrong.

  3. “The Wizard of Oz.” This is a classic film known by millions the world over and is definitely one of the best movies based on a book. The film takes some liberties with the story, but follows the general plot, getting Dorothy safely home to Kansas.

  4. “It's a Wonderful Life.” This film is a Christmas classic and is one of the best movies based on a book. Starring the legendary Jimmy Stewart, it tells the story of a man who wishes he’d never been born…and then regrets it, upon seeing how different the world is without him.

  5. “Clockwork Orange.” A dystopic, quasi-science fiction film, this movie, based on Anthony Burgess, is about a hooligan who rampages with no qualms. After getting arrested he is subjected to an experimental government treatment, after which he is “cured.”

  6. “The Bridge on the River Kwai.” This book and movie examines the psychology of a group of captured British soldiers. They are ordered to build a bridge, which their pride causes them to do, even though it will assist the enemy. Something the movie had that the book couldn’t—a famous, whistled tune.

  7. “One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest.” Jack Nicholson is brilliant in this film, one of the best movies based on a book. The movie is one of the few ever to sweep the five major Academy Awards.  

  8. “The Grapes of Wrath.” This slow and sad John Steinbeck movie was turned into an excellent film starring the incomparable Henry Ford. It follows the Joad family, “Oakies” desperately seeking a better life in California.  

  9. “The Maltese Falcon.” Humphrey Bogart plays the famous character Sam Spade in this story. He’s a detective looking for a famous statue, “the stuff that dreams are made of.” It was the first major work of film noir.  

  10. “To Kill a Mockingbird.” This book became an instant classic upon its release and is still read today by school children across the U.S. Gregory Peck gives a riveting performance as Atticus Finch fighting for social justice.