Girl Power: 20 Great Book-to-Film Adaptations

This list features book-to-film adaptations where either the film director or book author (or both) was female. This list excludes Jane Austen & Bronte sistersadaptations [1] to draw attention to other novels/stories. In no particular order: the help

1)  To Kill a Mockingbird (1962): Harper Lee, author

2) The Virgin Suicides (1999): Sofia Coppola, director

3) The Talented Mr Ripley (1999): Patricia Highsmith, author

4) Chocolat (2000): Joanne Harris, author

5) Oscar & Lucinda (1997): Gillian Armstrong, director

6) Gone with the Wind (1939), Margaret Mitchell, author

7) Rebecca (1940): Daphne du Maurier, author

8) An Education (2009): Lone Scherfig, director

9) Little Women (1994): Louisa May Alcott, author

10) Europa, Europa (1990): Agnieszka Holland, director

11) Like Water for Chocolate (1992): Laura Esquivel, author

12) Brokeback Mountain (2005): Annie Proulx, author

13) Harry Potter & the Sorcerer’s Stone (2001) & the Chamber of Secrets (2002): J. K. Rowling, author

14) Awakenings (1990): Penny Marshall, director

15) The Colour Purple (1985): Alice Walker, author

16) We Need to Talk About Kevin (2011): Lynne Ramsay, director & Lionel Shriver, author

17) The Age of Innocence (1993): Edith Wharton, author

18) The Help (2011): Kathryn Stockett, author

19) Frida (2002): Julie Taymor, director

20) Interview with the Vampire (1994): Anne Rice, author

[1] Such as Wuthering Heights (1939), Sense & Sensibility (1995), Pride & Prejudice (2005), Jane Eyre (2011) and Love & Friendship (2016)  


10 Comments Add yours

  1. Paul S says:

    I agree with To Kill a Mockingbird as #1. I love the book and the film, and that marvellous moment when the gallery stands for Atticus Finch as he leaves the courtroom, never fails to bring tears to my eyes.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I’m right there with you on that one!

      Liked by 2 people

  2. filmsCine says:

    Very, very great list. The Talented Mr Ripley is really a terrific one. There’s some good Patricia Highsmith film adaptations and some not so good.. Carol would be the best so far, in my opinion!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. dbmoviesblog says:

      Thank you! Plein Soleil with Alain Delon is also not too bad an adaptation of The Talented Mr Ripley, because of Delon’s performance, but Minghella undoubtedly had a lot more style and used the best bits in the novel. I agree with you somewhat – Carol is a very good adaptation of the author’s work. Maybe it should even have been on this list, because I think it is better than, say, The Two Faces of January – this one I thought was weak.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. filmsCine says:

        I haven’t actually seen Plein Soleil but I think I’ll give it a go, just out of interest. I only really liked The Talented Mr Ripley out of all the Ripley movie series. I loved Stranger On A Train too, although it’s a long, long time since I’ve seen it. Think I’ll blow the dust off the DVD.

        Carol definitely would be number 1, great work from Todd Haynes. Need to see more of his movies, I saw the TV adaptation of Mildred Pierce and wasn’t a fan!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Diana says:

    Reblogged this on Thoughts on Papyrus and commented:
    In celebration of female authors and directors on this International Women’s Day


  4. Hi DB I love all of these book to film adaptations, such a great list! I would like to add into the mix Orlando by Virginia Woolf and then brought to the screen by Sally Potter. One of the most sparkling and brilliant films of all time with the best actress of all time (in my opinion) Tilda Swinton.

    Also the Piano written and directed by Jane Campion although not sure if this counts as the story was not a novel to begin with, the result was rather beautiful though!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. dbmoviesblog says:

      Thanks very much! Orlando is a great suggestion. I love watching Tilda Swinton – she is always good in everything she is in.

      Jane Campion is marvellous too! – and The Piano is a truly great script by her. Now that I think about it – it was a great film for female actors and director all around since they all got their Oscars. Though it is quite irrelevant to this girl power theme, I only wish that Michael Nyman also got at least nominated for his film soundtrack to the Piano because he also produced something unbelievably beautiful 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yeah I so agree with you there DB this soundtrack for the Piano is a masterpiece I still listen to it occasionally now, it is so amazing! Michael Nyman is a genius I agree


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.