Most people will tell you to read the book first when they talk about their favorite movie. While this is usually the best advice, there's definitely the rare occasion where a movie takes a good book and makes it even better. Whatever the reason, these 14 films took their original source material and expanded on it for superior results! 

1. "The Godfather"

Francis Ford Coppola’s choice to include author Mario Puzo in the creation of the movie made it so that the author could have some what of a re-do of his own novel. This meant that the script was edited to be a stronger version of its source material and that it lacked any original moments that Puzo had come to dislike. 

2. "The Notebook"

By far the standout movie when it comes to Nicholas Sparks romance adaptations, this movie managed to transform an overly sentimental book into a truly touching classic of the genre. Just look at the stars that Rachel McAdams and Ryan Gosling have become since! 

3. "An Education"

Lynn Barber’s original memoir was an incredible true story that was overflowing with movie worthy content. This being said, Nick Hornby’s film adaptation had more of a storytelling feel with none of the cheesiness. Plus, it gifted the world with the wonder that is actress Carey Mulligan.

4. "No Country for Old Men"

Absolutely no disrespect to the legendary Cormac McCarthy, but the people who took part in making the film version of “No Country for Old Men” came together to make a spectacular story even MORE spectacular. The Coen Brothers’ direction made for the perfect tone and suspense, while Javier Bardem brought Anton Chigurh to life in one of the most chilling performances ever on screen. 

5. "Fight Club"

Both the book and movie version of “Fight Club” are cult favorites. However, some would argue that the visual aids and intense performances of the film only improved how the story was told. Regardless, just follow the rule and don't talk about fight club. 

6. "Forrest Gump"

“Forrest Gump” is a heartwarming classic. If the film had followed the book a little more closely, however, it may not be so heartwarming. For its adaptation to the screen, many of the rougher sections of the book were removed to create a more idealistic story that made a perfect movie. 

7. "Julie & Julia"

Nora Ephron's “Julie & Julia” took the best of both worlds from two different books: Julia Child’s “My Life in France” and Julie Powell’s “Julie and Julia: My Year of Cooking Dangerously.” The risk of doing so paid off, resulting in a Meryl Streep-led movie that was ultimately more compelling than the two separate books. 

8. "Casino Royale"

There are many beloved Bond films, but fans identify “Casino Royale” as the only one that truly followed Ian Fleming’s original story and successfully rebooted the franchise. The story is augmented by the intense action sequences and moments of visual suaveness that the source material just doesn't have. 

9. "The Mist"

Stephen King’s “The Mist” is incredible by itself, but screenwriter/director Frank Daramont made a daring creative decision (that we won't spoil) that makes the film version slightly more powerful. He transforms the ending from the book for a much more effective film adaptation. 

10. "Sense and Sensibility"

While many die hard Austen fans may disagree, Emma Thompson’s film version of the story may be the stronger of the two. The film revealed the relationship of the Dashwood sisters in much more detail. This took an important relationship in the book and provided an argument as to why it may be even more important than any of the romantic plot lines. 

11. "Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb"

The source material for this movie, “Red Alert," is definitely far more of a thriller than the humorous movie turned out to be. Stanley Kubrick shared that he couldn’t ignore the absurdity of “mutually assured destruction” and instead transformed the book into a political satire. It definitely paid off. 

12. "Stand By Me"

This film is notable because it is the first of any Stephen King adaptation that the author himself actually approved of. At this point, famed movies like “The Shawshank Redemption” and “The Shining” had already been made! 

13. "Drive"

Nobody is surprised when a Stephen King book makes a great movie. His books are already loved in their own right. However, the film “Drive” made up for what was considered very average source material. Ryan Gosling and Carey Mulligan’s story line, which was amped up for the film version, comes through as one of the strongest parts. 

14. "Pitch Perfect"

The “Pitch Perfect” movie turned what could have been a relentless bore of a topic into a hilarious musical comedy. While the idea came from Mickey Rapkin’s book “Pitch Perfect: The Quest for Collegiate A Capella Glory,” it's safe to say that most people choose to skip the reading and go straight to the hilarious comedy. 


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