Which movies made from books are better if you read the book?

I am probably going to get Puzo’s books on The Godfather soon, but which other films get more depth if you read the book? I’m guessing Goodfellas.


That was what I was going to post. I haven’t seen the miniseries but if you’re watching the 1984 movie the only way you’re going to be able to follow the story is having read the book beforehand.

I’ve never read the book, but I really enjoyed the movie.

The first one that comes to mind is the 1984 version of 1984. I watched it directly after finishing the book and I remember thinking, “If I hadn’t read the book, I wouldn’t have had any clue what was going on.”

Watchmen springs to mind.

Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter movies. Plot sequences and casts are long and complicated enough that you’re better off going in with the background.

Ian Fleming’s James Bond books, on the other hand, though I enjoy them in their own right, don’t do a thing for the movies.

I used to be a mega S.F. fan but no matter how many times I tried I couldn’t get into any of the Dune books.
(And I did try a good many times with long intervals in between)

But I enjoyed the movie and I enjoyed the mini series.

Normally I find the movie to be inferior to the original book.

The book and film versions of Black Hawk Down complement each other rather well. Having seen the film first, I was not immediately aware of how closely it sticks to the sequence of events in the book.

I’d say the time travelor’s wife.

2001: A Space Odyssey. I saw the movie first, but it made a lot more sense after I read the book.

Not sure if this counts though - IIRC the movie wasn’t based on the book, but rather the book and movie were done simultaneously.

I think the Godfather is my pick for this, I just couldn’t re-read that book enough and the movie just complemented it so well. I didn’t even mine the giant snatch interlude, although I think that storyline could have done just as well without it.

Lonesome Dove and Dead Man’s Walk are both very true to the books and give more background on the main characters as well as bringing more of the supportive characters personalities into it.

Goodfellas does a good job of putting Wiseguy on the screen. I wouldn’t say having read the book made the film more enjoyable.

Charlie Wilson’s War.

I only read the Harry Potter Novels a few years ago so I had seen the first 4 or 5 movies before reading the books. The movies are much more enjoyable after reading the books.

Seconded. I think it would be very difficult to make sense of the movie (or at least the weird ending) if you haven’t read the book.

I would say both Battlefield Earth and Time Traveler’s Wife are not only much better if you’ve read the books before seeing the movies, but best skipping the movies altogether

Exorcist? I almost bought it today, but my wife is trying to get me to buy more eBooks.