7 Movie Favorites Based on a Book

7 Movie Favorites Based on a Book:

Carrie; Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy; Gone Girl; Wild; Hannibal; The Quiet American: and, The Painted Veil

7 Movie Favorites Based on a Book


While there have been many Stephen King novels that have been adapted to the big screen as well as television, few have been as popular as Brian De Palma’s 1976 film starring Sissy Spacek.

‘Carrie’ is part teen drama, part religious commentary, part abuse awareness, all wrapped up in a deliciously spectacular ending that even those that dislike your standard horror movie will enjoy. Read the full review here.

Characters and cast of Carrie include:

Carrie – Sissy Spacek (The Straight Story, The Help, In the Bedroom, Bloodline, Big Love, JFK, North Country)
Margaret White – Piper Laurie (The Hustler, The Faculty, Hesher, Twin Peaks)
Sue Shell – Amy Irving (Hide and Seek, Adam, Yentl, Honeysuckle Rose)
Tommy Ross – William Katt (The Greatest American Hero, House, The Man from Earth)
Billy Nolan – John Travolta (Pulp Fiction, Grease, Face/Off, Bolt, American Crime Story, Primary Colors, Primary Colors, Get Shorty)

7 Movie Favorites Based on a Book

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

I went to the theater expecting a spy story and was disappointed. I watched it a second time and realized it was more of a story of love, loyalty, and betrayal – and found it far more compelling.

The film is somber and slowly paced. You’re immediately struck by the “low tech” days of the 70s. George Smiley is equally measured and reserved, as he calmly picks up an investigation for a mole initiated by his one-time boss, “Control”. The cast is crowded with talent including Gary Oldman as Smiley and the late John Hurt as Control. Read the full review here.

7 Movie Favorites Based on a Book

Gone Girl

I started reading Gone Girl on a Saturday and didn’t quit reading until I finished the book in the wee hours of Sunday morning. The last time I had stayed up all night reading a book was in high school reading Carrie (also on this list)!

Gone Girl was a box office success and popular with critics and audiences alike in the twisted tale of “Amazing” Amy Dunne (Rosamund Pike), who goes missing, with suspicion swirling around her awkward husband, Nick (Ben Affleck). Read the full review here.

Characters and cast of Gone Girl include:

Nick Dunne – Ben Affleck (Argo, Good Will Hunting, Batman v Superman: Dawn of JusticeThe Town, Pearl Harbor, The Accountant,Hollywoodland, The Sum of All Fears, Shakespeare In Love, Smokin’ Aces)
Amy Dunne – Rosamund Pike (Pride & Prejudice, Jack Reacher, Die Another Day, The Devil You Know)
Desi Collings – Neil Patrick Harris (A Series of Unfortunate Events, How I Met Your Mother, A Million Ways to Die in the West)
Tanner Bolt – Tyler Perry (Diary of a Mad Black Woman, The Family That Preys, Star Trek, Alex Cross, Madea Goes to Jail)
Margo Dunne – Carrie Coon (Fargo, One in a Million, The Leftovers)

7 Movie Favorites Based on a Book


Cheryl Strayed has many problems – most of them of her own making. After reckless years of drugs, promiscuity, a failed marriage, and unresolved grief over her mother’s death, Cheryl begins hiking the thousand mile plus Pacific Crest Trail.

In the role of Cheryl Strayed, Reese Witherspoon has the opportunity to display some impressive acting chops that other roles simply didn’t accommodate (and not just for Witherspoon, for female actresses in general). Read the full review here.

Characters and cast of Wild include:
Cheryl – Reese Witherspoon (Walk the Line, Legally Blonde, Mud, This Means War, Inherent Vice, Devil’s Knot, Vanity Fair, American Psycho, Election)
Bobbi – Laura Dern (Enlightened, 99 Hours, The Fault in Our Stars, The Master, Jurassic Park, Wild at Heart, Blue Velvet, Mask)
Paul – Thomas Sadoski (Loser, The Newsroom, John Wick, The Slap, Winter Solstice, Take Care)


It’s my favorite of the movies featuring one of the greatest villains of all time, Hannibal Lecter.

While ‘Silence of the Lambs’ was eerie, grim and institutional; the setting for Hannibal is lush and rich. Hannibal splits its scope between Washington DC (where Agent Starling is struggling within the FBI) and Florence, Italy (where Hannibal Lecter has resurfaced following his escape from custody and presumed murder of Dr. Chilton). There are dramatic differences between Thomas Harris’s novel Hannibal and Ridley Scott’s film – so if you haven’t read the book, it might be a great pick for your end of summer read. Read the full review here.

The Quiet American

Roger Ebert wrote this about the ‘The Quiet American’:

It is a film with a political point of view, but often its characters lose sight of that, in their fascination with each other and with the girl. A question every viewer will have to answer at the end is whether a final death is the result of moral conviction, or romantic compulsion.

The film stars the awesome Michael Caine as Thomas Fowler along with Brendan Fraser as Aiden Pyle and Do Thi Hai Yen and Phuong. The film is based on Graham Greene’s 1955 novel about American involvement in Vietnam in the 1950s. Read the full review here.

Characters and cast of The Quiet American include:

Thomas Fowler – Michael Caine (Kingsman: The Secret Service, Interstellar, The Dark Knight Rises, Inception, The Prestige, The Statement, Get Carter, The Cider House Rules, Blood and Wine, Harry Brown)
Alden Pyle – Brendan Fraser (The Mummy, Texas Rising, The Mummy Returns, Gimme Shelter, Breakout)
Phuong – Do Thi Hai Yen

The Painted Veil

Another film that varies from the book plot is John Curran’s 2006 film ‘The Painted Veil’ which brings together a wonderful cast including then real life husband and wife Liev Schreiber and Naomi Watts.

The New York Times review found the film version much better than the book, noting:

Dry as dust on the page and nearly as hard to grab hold of, Walter registers as a far more robust character on the screen. The novel centers on Kitty and contains large swaths of her cogitating and fretting by way of the third person narration, but the film opens up the story to embrace her and Walter more equally.

The Painted Veil provides gorgeous photography and music, and Watts and Norton are wonderful in creating the very believable tones and silences of a strained relationship and do a remarkable job of conveying the gradual rediscovery of one another amidst the death and upheaval caused by the epidemic and the growing tensions between Chinese Communists, Nationalists and warlords.

Game of Thrones fans, you get a chance to see the Queen of Thorns, the wonderful Diana Rigg in quite a different role – but she’s every bit the large presence. Read the full review here.

Cast and characters include:

Walter Fane – Edward Norton (The Illusionist, Primal Fear, Red Dragon, 25th Hour, Fight Club)
Waddington – Toby Jones (Wayward Pines, The Hunger Games, Infamous, The Girl, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy)
Mother Superior – Diana Rigg (Game of Thrones, The Avengers, Extras)
Kitty Fane – Naomi Watts (St. Vincent, Mulholland Drive, King Kong, The International, J. Edgar)
Charlie Townsend – Liev Schreiber (Ray Donovan, Kate and Leopold, Salt)