Movie Adaptations: The Unknown Edition

I make an honest attempt to read the book before seeing the movie, but sometimes I see a movie (or watch a show) that I had NO IDEA was based on a book. From the ‘book to film adaptation’ genre, which I made up solely for today’s list, I’ve somehow missed reading these staples:

Books to Movies_Unknowns

10. A History of Violence // John Wagner. I love this movie. If I’d known it had a literary counterpart, I would’ve been all over it a long time ago.

09. Schindler’s List // Thomas Keneally. I feel like the only one who didn’t really know this was based on a book.

08. Friday Night Lights // H. G. Bissinger. I knew the movie was based on the book, I did not know the show was as well. It’s quite possible I live under a rock.

07. I Know What You Did Last Summer // Lois Duncan.  A classic. Truly. Or at least a staple of my teenage years.

06. Pitch Perfect // Mickey Rapkin. I cannot tell you how much I love Pitch Perfect the movie. Who knew it was a book first?!

05. The Graduate // Charles Webb. Intriguing, right?

04. The Birds //Daphne DuMaurier. Hitchcock loosely based his movie (of the same name, of course) off of this short story.

03. Weird Science // (A comic). John Hughes’ Weird Science was based on a comic.

02. Prince of Thieves // Chuck Hogan. The Town was based on this book, which Stephen King considered one of the best books of 2004. A must read, obvs.

01. Road to Perdition // Max Allan Collins. A brilliant (terribly sad) movie, but is the inspiration just as good?

For more lists, visit The Broke and The Bookish. Do you always read the book first? Or are you like me and sometimes not even know that a movie is based on a literary counterpart?

30 thoughts on “Movie Adaptations: The Unknown Edition

  1. I had to read Schindler’s List in AP English in HS. I didn’t know about the I Know What You Did Last Summer book, which is weird because I’ve read Lois Duncan’s Summer of Fear. I have read The Birds, though.

    Top Ten Tuesday!


  2. There are a lot of movies/shows out there that I had no idea were based on books. And, sometimes I do watch movies without reading the book, especially if it’s one I’m not sure I want to read. It saves time! Although, lately I haven’t been watching anything. And, by ‘lately’ I mean over a year, which is sad because I love movies. But, that is when our movie store closed down, and we still haven’t made the switch to any other kind of movie-watching system. I think it’s me who lives under a rock. 🙂


    1. Haha, we both might. I live under a two year rock. If it was big two years ago, I’m probably finding out about it now. That seems to be how long the average delay is before things hit Netflix.


  3. Well I didn’t even know Friday Night Lights was also a movie, so you’re ahead of me there.

    I actually just saw Pitch Perfect a couple weeks ago and had no idea it was based on a book. I feel like the book probably isn’t as good, because the music was such a big part of the movie.


  4. I usually try to read the book first, but quite often I don’t realize a movie/tv show is based on a book until after I’ve seen it. And I didn’t know about most of these books. Clearly, I have also been living under a rock.


  5. Great list! I also usually try to read the book first before watching the movie, but sometimes there’s that odd movie or adaptation that I had no idea was based from a book until afterwards (either I see it in the credits or I find out later when I’m looking up details about the movie on IMDB, lol) 🙂

    My TTT


  6. FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS, the book, is non-fiction. Read it years ago and enjoyed it, but I don’t think it would be for everyone. I’m from Texas and grew up with football being king. Found the book very interesting. Read the short story that movie The Birds is based on last fall. Only loosely based, but a good story. Creepy.


    1. I’m pretty sure it is too (that and A History of Violence).

      And ooh, one of the rare cases where the movie is better than the source material, I’m intrigued. Though to be fair, I think it’s not TOO unusual for the movie to be better than what it was based on.


  7. Great list! Aside from Schindler’s List and The Graduate, I didn’t know any of these films were based on books either.


  8. The Birds was a book? I had no idea. I saw that Alfred Hitchcock movie as a kid and have developed a lifelong fear of birds since.


  9. Well, you’re right — I didn’t know about most of these! I love the movie “The Town” and had no idea it was based on a book. I’ll have to check it out! Thanks for an educational list! 🙂


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