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Collection Spotlight: From Book to Movie I

By Bob

With the film award season upon us, let’s take a look at some of the best movie adaptations from their well-received sources. The following selections are a small sampling of the many novels and movies that the Easton Library has available in both print book and DVD formats that may interest you when it comes to highly acclaimed movies based on their respective books.

(Click on the titles below to be taken to the Library's catalog!)

The Godfather

Mario Puzo’s novel published in 1969 takes us through an organized crime family’s dynasty that is both horrifying and engrossing. The novel covers the period 1945 through 1955 and contains flashbacks to the earliest days of the family’s patriarch. The first two films were adapted by Francis Ford Coppola. Both films won Oscars for Best Picture and Best Adapted Screenplay.

To Kill a Mockingbird

Authored by Harper Lee and published in 1960, the Pulitzer Prize winner To Kill a Mockingbird has become a modern American classic. The 1962 film adaptation focuses on the principal characters Atticus Finch, Scout Finch, Boo Radley, and Tom Robinson and the evils of racism and a tainted justice system. The movie beautifully brings to the screen the rich characters created by Lee and the recreation of the plot structure. The motion picture won the Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay.

Forrest Gump

The 1986 novel by Winston Groom finds Forrest narrating the story of his life. Groom uses misspellings and grammatical errors throughout the story to demonstrate Forrest’s Southern accent, background and education. This cleverly adds to Forrest’s view of the world as simple and truthful. The film, released in 1994, won the Academy Award for Best Picture and Adapted Screenplay. According to the author, the movie, “took some of the rough edges off.” However, it does not detract from Forrest’s sprawling tour through the 20th century.

Doctor Zhivago

Boris Pasternak was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature for Doctor Zhivago in 1958. The novel covers Russia’s sprawling history from Imperial Russia up to World War II. The film was adapted by David Lean in 1965. Lean’s focus was mainly on the love story and the beautiful yet hostile and ever changing landscape of Russia. The film was nominated for Best Picture and won the Academy Award for Best Writing.

The Color Purple

The novel was written by Alice Walker in 1982. It won both the 1983 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and the National Book Award for Fiction. The book has been the subject of censorship because of its depiction of violence and explicit subject matter. The plot tells the story of a poor, uneducated black girl growing up over 40 years in the segregated Southern United States. Steven Spielberg adapted the novel into the movie in 1985. The film is extremely faithful to the novel in both plot and character. The film had the most nominations in 1986.

Enjoy the book, enjoy the movie, enjoy both.


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