Movies That Are More Well Known Than Their Books

Movies That Are More Well Known Than Their Books

This is a list of films that were based on books, but ended up being more popular and iconic than their source material.That's right. NONE of these are original movies.

2001: A Space Odyssey

Release Date 1968-04-10
Rating : 7.9 Production Companies: Stanley Kubrick Productions / Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) / Director: Stanley Kubrick / Vivian Kubrick / Stars: Keir Dullea  /  Douglas Rain  /  Gary Lockwood

Summary: Humanity finds a mysterious object buried beneath the lunar surface and sets off to find its origins with the help of HAL 9000, the world's most advanced super computer.

The Adjustment Bureau

Release Date 2011-03-03
Rating : 6.5 Production Companies: Universal Pictures / Media Rights Capital / Director: Mary Bailey / Jon Stewart / Stars: Matt Damon  /  Emily Blunt  /  John Slattery

Summary: A man glimpses the future Fate has planned for him – and chooses to fight for his own destiny. Battling the powerful Adjustment Bureau across, under and through the streets of New York, he risks his destined greatness to be with the only woman he's ever loved.


Release Date 1992-11-25
Rating : 7.5 Production Companies: Walt Disney Pictures / Director: Allen Tam / Jeff Dickson / Stars: Scott Weinger  /  Robin Williams  /  Linda Larkin

Summary: Princess Jasmine grows tired of being forced to remain in the palace and she sneaks out into the marketplace in disguise where she meets street-urchin Aladdin and the two fall in love, although she may only marry a prince. After being thrown in jail, Aladdin and becomes embroiled in a plot to find a mysterious lamp with which the evil Jafar hopes to rule the land.

The Amityville Horror

Release Date 1979-07-27
Rating : 6.2 Production Companies: American International Pictures (AIP) / Director: Stuart Rosenberg / James Brolin / Stars: James Brolin  /  Margot Kidder  /  Rod Steiger

Summary: George Lutz and his wife Kathleen, move into their Long Island dream house with their children only for their lives to be turned into a hellish nightmare. The legacy of a murder committed in the house gradually affects the family and a priest is brought in to try and exorcise the demonic presence from their home.

Apocalypse Now

Release Date 1979-08-15
Rating : 8.1 Production Companies: Zoetrope Studios / Director: Tony Brandt / Francis Ford Coppola / Stars: Martin Sheen  /  Marlon Brando  /  Robert Duvall

Summary: At the height of the Vietnam war, Captain Benjamin Willard is sent on a dangerous mission that, officially, "does not exist, nor will it ever exist." His goal is to locate - and eliminate - a mysterious Green Beret Colonel named Walter Kurtz, who has been leading his personal army on illegal guerrilla missions into enemy territory.

Apollo 13

Release Date 1995-06-30
Rating : 7.3 Production Companies: Imagine Entertainment / Universal Pictures / Director: Roger Corman / Bruce Moriarty / Stars: Tom Hanks  /  Bill Paxton  /  Kevin Bacon

Summary: The true story of technical troubles that scuttle the Apollo 13 lunar mission in 1971, risking the lives of astronaut Jim Lovell and his crew, with the failed journey turning into a thrilling saga of heroism. Drifting more than 200,000 miles from Earth, the astronauts work furiously with the ground crew to avert tragedy.


Release Date 1942-08-14
Rating : 6.8 Production Companies: Walt Disney Productions / Director: William Roberts / Paul Satterfield / Stars: Hardie Albright  /  Stan Alexander  /  Peter Behn

Summary: Bambi's tale unfolds from season to season as the young prince of the forest learns about life, love, and friends.


Release Date 1959-12-26
Rating : 7.5 Production Companies: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) / Director: William Wyler / Alberto Cardone / Stars: Charlton Heston  /  Jack Hawkins  /  Haya Harareet

Summary: Ben-Hur is a 1959 epic film directed by William Wyler, the third film version of Civil War vet Lew Wallace's 1880 novel Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ. It premiered at Loew's State Theatre in New York City on November 18, 1959. The movie's reputation as a classic is primarily based on two spectacular action sequences: the great chariot race and a Roman naval battle, along with lavish production values and strong performances. The plot of Ben Hur revolves around a Jewish prince who is betrayed and sent into slavery by a Roman friend and how he regains his freedom and comes back for revenge. However, instead he finds redemption in Christ, the theme is ultimately about being saved in the Christian sense. The film went on to win a record of eleven Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Actor (Charlton Heston as Ben Hur). This record-setting Oscars sweep has since been equaled by Titanic in 1998 and The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King in 2004, but never broken.

Blade Runner

Release Date 1982-06-25
Rating : 7.9 Production Companies: Shaw Brothers / Warner Bros. / Director: Ridley Scott / Edward James Olmos / Stars: Harrison Ford  /  Rutger Hauer  /  Sean Young

Summary: In the smog-choked dystopian Los Angeles of 2019, blade runner Rick Deckard is called out of retirement to terminate a quartet of replicants who have escaped to Earth seeking their creator for a way to extend their short life spans.

The Bourne Identity

Release Date 2002-06-14
Rating : 7.3 Production Companies: Universal Pictures / Kennedy/Marshall Company, The / Director: Doug Liman / Claudine Strasser / Stars: Matt Damon  /  Franka Potente  /  Chris Cooper

Summary: Wounded to the brink of death and suffering from amnesia, Jason Bourne is rescued at sea by a fisherman. With nothing to go on but a Swiss bank account number, he starts to reconstruct his life, but finds that many people he encounters want him dead. However, Bourne realizes that he has the combat and mental skills of a world-class spy – but who does he work for?

The Brave Little Toaster Goes to Mars

Release Date 1998-05-19
Rating : 5.8 Production Companies: Director: Robert C. Ramirez / Stars: Roger Kabler  /  Deanna Oliver  /  Thurl Ravenscroft

Summary: Based on the book by Thomas M. Disch and intended as the third film in the series, this sequel was finished and released prior to 'The Brave Little Toaster To The Rescue'. Whilst trying to protect their new "Little Master" the anthropomorphic appliances set off on an epic adventure and make many new friends along the way.

A Clockwork Orange

Release Date 1971-12-18
Rating : 8 Production Companies: Hawk Films / Warner Bros. / Director: Stanley Kubrick / Stars: Malcolm McDowell  /  Patrick Magee  /  Adrienne Corri

Summary: Demonic gang-leader Alex goes on the spree of rape, mugging and murder with his pack of "droogs". But he's a boy who also likes Beethoven's Ninth and a bit of "the old in-out, in-out". He later finds himself at the mercy of the state and its brainwashing experiment designed to take violence off the streets.


Release Date 1995-07-19
Rating : 6.9 Production Companies: Paramount Pictures / Director: Amy Heckerling / Stars: Alicia Silverstone  /  Stacey Dash  /  Brittany Murphy

Summary: Shallow, rich and socially successful Cher is at the top of her Beverly Hills high school's pecking scale. Seeing herself as a matchmaker, Cher first coaxes two teachers into dating each other. Emboldened by her success, she decides to give hopelessly klutzy new student Tai a makeover. When Tai becomes more popular than she is, Cher realizes that her disapproving ex-stepbrother was right about how misguided she was -- and falls for him.

Die Hard

Release Date 1988-07-15
Rating : 7.5 Production Companies: Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation / Gordon Company / Director: John McTiernan / Alan Rickman / Stars: Bruce Willis  /  Alan Rickman  /  Alexander Godunov

Summary: NYPD cop, John McClane's plan to reconcile with his estranged wife is thrown for a serious loop when minutes after he arrives at her office, the entire building is overtaken by a group of terrorists. With little help from the LAPD, wisecracking McClane sets out to single-handedly rescue the hostages and bring the bad guys down.

Dr. No

Release Date 1962-10-04
Rating : 6.9 Production Companies: Eon Productions / Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) / Director: Terence Young / Stars: Sean Connery  /  Ursula Andress  /  Joseph Wiseman

Summary: In the film that launched the James Bond saga, Agent 007 battles mysterious Dr. No, a scientific genius bent on destroying the U.S. space program. As the countdown to disaster begins, Bond must go to Jamaica, where he encounters beautiful Honey Ryder, to confront a megalomaniacal villain in his massive island headquarters.


Release Date 2011-08-06
Rating : 7.5 Production Companies: Bold Films / Marc Platt Productions / Director: Albert Brooks / Jane Goldsmith / Stars: Ryan Gosling  /  Carey Mulligan  /  Bryan Cranston

Summary: A Hollywood stunt performer who moonlights as a wheelman for criminals discovers that a contract has been put on him after a heist gone wrong.

The Exorcist

Release Date 1973-12-26
Rating : 7.5 Production Companies: Warner Bros. / Hoya Productions / Director: William Friedkin / Peter Masterson / Stars: Linda Blair  /  Max von Sydow  /  Ellen Burstyn

Summary: 12-year-old Regan MacNeil begins to adapt an explicit new personality as strange events befall the local area of Georgetown. Her mother becomes torn between science and superstition in a desperate bid to save her daughter, and ultimately turns to her last hope: Father Damien Karras, a troubled priest who is struggling with his own faith.

Fast Times at Ridgemont High

Release Date 1982-08-13
Rating : 7 Production Companies: Universal Pictures / Refugee Films / Director: David Price / Jennifer Jason Leigh / Stars: Sean Penn  /  Jennifer Jason Leigh  /  Judge Reinhold

Summary: Follows a group of high school students growing up in southern California, based on the real-life adventures chronicled by Cameron Crowe. Stacy Hamilton and Mark Ratner are looking for a love interest, and are helped along by their older classmates, Linda Barrett and Mike Damone, respectively. The center of the film is held by Jeff Spicoli, a perpetually stoned surfer dude who faces off with the resolute Mr. Hand, who is convinced that everyone is on dope.

Field of Dreams

Release Date 1989-04-21
Rating : 7.1 Production Companies: Director: Grant Gilmore / Kevin Costner / Stars: Kevin Costner  /  Amy Madigan  /  Gaby Hoffmann

Summary: Ray Kinsella is an Iowa farmer who hears a mysterious voice telling him to turn his cornfield into a baseball diamond. He does, but the voice's directions don't stop -- even after the spirits of deceased ballplayers turn up to play.

Fight Club

Release Date 1999-10-15
Rating : 8.3 Production Companies: Regency Enterprises / Fox 2000 Pictures / Director: Paul Carafotes / Dina Waxman / Stars: Edward Norton  /  Brad Pitt  /  Meat Loaf

Summary: A ticking-time-bomb insomniac and a slippery soap salesman channel primal male aggression into a shocking new form of therapy. Their concept catches on, with underground "fight clubs" forming in every town, until an eccentric gets in the way and ignites an out-of-control spiral toward oblivion.

The Godfather

Release Date 1972-03-14
Rating : 8.5 Production Companies: Paramount Pictures / Alfran Productions / Director: Raymond Martino / Fred T. Gallo / Stars: Marlon Brando  /  Al Pacino  /  James Caan

Summary: Spanning the years 1945 to 1955, a chronicle of the fictional Italian-American Corleone crime family. When organized crime family patriarch, Vito Corleone barely survives an attempt on his life, his youngest son, Michael steps in to take care of the would-be killers, launching a campaign of bloody revenge.


Release Date 1990-09-12
Rating : 8.2 Production Companies: Warner Bros. / Director: Martin Scorsese / Edward D. Murphy / Stars: Robert De Niro  /  Ray Liotta  /  Joe Pesci

Summary: The true story of Henry Hill, a half-Irish, half-Sicilian Brooklyn kid who is adopted by neighbourhood gangsters at an early age and climbs the ranks of a Mafia family under the guidance of Jimmy Conway.

The Iron Giant

Release Date 1999-08-06
Rating : 7.6 Production Companies: Warner Bros. Animation / Director: Vin Diesel / Brad Bird / Stars: Jennifer Aniston  /  Harry Connick Jr.  /  Vin Diesel

Summary: In the small town of Rockwell, Maine in October 1957, a giant metal machine befriends a nine-year-old boy and ultimately finds its humanity by unselfishly saving people from their own fears and prejudices.

L.A. Confidential

Release Date 1997-09-19
Rating : 7.7 Production Companies: Regency Enterprises / Wolper Organization / Director: Sharron Reynolds / Drew Ann Rosenberg / Stars: Kevin Spacey  /  Guy Pearce  /  Danny DeVito

Summary: Three detectives in the corrupt and brutal L.A. police force of the 1950s use differing methods to uncover a conspiracy behind the shotgun slayings of the patrons at an all-night diner.

Sense and Sensibility

Release Date 1995-12-13
Rating : 7.2 Production Companies: Columbia Pictures Corporation / Mirage Enterprises / Director: Ang Lee / Alan Rickman / Stars: Kate Winslet  /  Emma Thompson  /  Hugh Grant

Summary: Rich Mr. Dashwood dies, leaving his second wife and her daughters poor by the rules of inheritance. Two daughters are the titular opposites.