Top Ten Tuesday: When You CAN Judge A Book By Its Movie

Posted November 10, 2015 by meezcarrie in Alexandre Dumas, Frances Hodgson Burnett, J.K. Rowling, Jane Austen, Louisa May Alcott, Top Ten Tuesday / 57 Comments


*Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly blog linkup hosted by The Broke and the Bookish*

We’ve all heard the phrase “Never judge a book by its movie” and that is mostly true. But occasionally some book-to-movie adaptations come around that are as good as or (dare I say it) even better than the book! That’s what today’s Top Ten Tuesday is all about.

Ok…actually, today’s topic is supposed to be about book-to-movie adaptations we still need to see or are looking forward to but I could only think of one for each so I switched it up a bit. You’ll get over it. 🙂

still need to see

cinderella b2m collage

Cinderella (2015)

I know, I know.  I mean, I collect Cinderella books and movies. I really should have seen this movie long before now.  Like the day it came out, even.  But alas.  Don’t worry, it’s on my list!

looking forward

beauty and beast Collage

Beauty and the Beast (2017)

Three words: Can. Not. Wait.  I love the cast they’ve put together for this live-action adaptation.  In addition to Emma Watson, Dan Stevens, and Luke Evans (pictured above), the rest of the actors on board include Ewan McGregor as Lumiere, Ian McKellan as Cogsworth, and Emma Thompson as Mrs. Potts.  Seriously – can. not. wait.

never gonna watch

gone with the wind collage

Gone With The Wind (1939)

Yeah. Sorry.  But I just don’t have 4 hours of my life to waste on a character I can’t stand (That would be Scarlett).  Frankly, my dears, I don’t … well… you know. 😉

loved em

The following movie adaptations are just as good, if not better, than the book… or I decided to separate the two in my mind.

Let’s get the Jane Austens out of the way first, shall we?

S&S Collage

Sense and Sensibility (1995)

Emma Thompson, Hugh Grant, and Alan Rickman made this movie for me, though Hugh Laurie had some great moments too. It’s been a long-time favorite – one I actually enjoyed more than the book (gasp! I know!).

P&P Collage

Pride & Prejudice (2005)

I am one of the few people (mayhaps the only one?) who doesn’t care for the BBC version. Colin Firth as Mr. Darcy is fine but the rest of it (all umpteen hours of it) doesn’t hold my attention at all.  The 2005 movie adaptation does, however.  I loved just about everything in this movie – the casting, the scenery, the stay-true-to-the-book-for-the-most-part script.  One of my faves!

emma Collage

Emma (1996) & Emma (BBC miniseries, 2009)

I loved the Gwyneth Paltrow adaptation of Emma and I really loved the BBC miniseries of the same book. Romola Garai embodied my image of Emma, and Jonny Lee Miller – well – that just goes without saying 🙂

secret garden Collage

The Secret Garden (Hallmark Hall of Fame, 1987) & The Secret Garden (1993)

The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett was one of my most beloved books in childhood, and I first fell in love with the Hallmark Hall of Fame adaptation when I was about 10 (you math wizards out there can figure out my age from that snippet of info if you so choose lol).  When the newer adaptation came out in 1993, I was hesitant but considering that the actress who played Mary could have been my doppelganger as a child, I really had to go see it.  While in many ways so different from the Hallmark version, the 1993 movie was equally good in its own right.

little women Collage

Little Women (1994)

Although I still think Amy’s a brat & Jo should have married Laurie, that has more to do with the book than the movie adaptation.  The only thing I didn’t care for in this version was Susan Sarandon as Marmie (and the name Marmie but again, that’s on the book) but I thought the rest of the casting was delightful! Also – does anyone else think that Winona Ryder and Keira Knightley look very much alike?

monte cristo Collage

The Count of Monte Cristo (2002)


Ok, ok.  I know this movie adaptation only loosely followed the book but honestly? I thought it was much better (sorry, Dumas!) I first embraced Richard Harris in this movie, was thrilled when he was cast as Dumbledore in the Harry Potter movies, and felt great sadness when he passed away. He may have performed many roles in his acting career but to me he will always be “Priest” and “Dumbledore”.

The Notebook Collage

I loved the movie (make that, ugly-SOBBED through the whole thing in the theater) so I got the book to read.  Could. Not. Connect.  This adaptation is another that I felt captured emotions and visuals better than the book described them.

Honorable mention in today’s topic goes to the Harry Potter movies – I read the first few books before I saw the first movie and I can remember thinking, YES that’s exactly how that character should look and sound.  About every. single. character. They did such an amazing job of casting and creating the world of Hogwarts.  It’s not often that a movie takes the scenes in my head and perfectly reproduces them on screen, but the Harry Potter team did just that! (Bonus points if you can point out all the movies on this page with Harry Potter actors in them lol)

What book-to-movie adaptations are you looking forward to? Let me know! 🙂

Tags: ,

57 responses to “Top Ten Tuesday: When You CAN Judge A Book By Its Movie

  1. I thought I was the only one who prefers Pride & Prejudice – the movie instead of the TV mini-series. I love Colin Firth as an actor, but for me Matthew Macfadyen was the perfect Mr. Darcy. Colin Firth just doesn’t have this dark aura, that I needed for this character.

  2. Oh, you absolutely HAVE to see Cinderella!!! It’s wonderful!!! I did see it on opening day (he he). And I cannot WAIT for Beauty and the Beast!!!! Belle is my favorite princess so I can’t wait to see her portrayed in real life! I also agree with you that Sense and Sensibility, Pride and Prejudice, Emma, The Secret Garden (although I cannot figure out exactly which version I have seen), and Little Women! They were all wonderfully made! But I must disagree with you on the point of Gone with the Wind. Although I hate Scarlett just as much as the next girl, I do think that they did a wonderful job of the movie and it was just heart-wrenching, maddening, and slightly controversial enough to go perfectly with the book.

  3. THE NOTEBOOK! Omg, love it! Will NEVER read the book though. Cinderella was beautiful, but maybe not that great as an adaptation. Still worth watching though 😀

  4. I have Sense & Sensibility on my TTT, as well, though I consider the most recent adaptation to be up there with Thompson’s. It was adapted by Andrew Davies, who also adapted the version of Pride & Prejudice you like.

  5. I felt the same way about the Lord of the Rings movies – I struggled through the long (and quite often tedious) books, but felt that the films cut out a lot of unnecessary filler and pared the story down to its essentials. With the Hobbit, unfortunately, they seemed to do the exact opposite! You never can tell!

  6. I like both the BBC and the 2005 Pride and Prejudice. I do love Colin Firth as Mr. Darcy. He is exactly how I pictured him in my head when I first read P&P. But I don’t love Jennifer Ehle as Elizabeth much any more. I feel like she is sort of smirky – more smirky than Elizabeth was. I mean, I still like her, but not as much.

    And I loved bith Keira Knightley and Matthew McFadyen in the 2005 version.

    Also, do see Cinderella. It’s wonderful! I loved it so much.

  7. Great list! I really enjoyed the Cinderella adaptation, and I’m looking forward to Beauty and the Beast. And I loved the Austen adaptations. Always a good time with Austen. 🙂

  8. Oh my gosh, I love, love, love your list! I cannot believe I forgot Beauty and the Beast this week! What a cast. That film is going to be amazing. I did love Gone With the Wind, but I think it’s because of the sets and the costumes more than anything. And my film version of Emma would be “Clueless.” I haven’t seen an actual Emma film, but Clueless was a great modern twist.

  9. ooh, I completely forgot about Beauty and the Beast! I’m looking forward to that one too! And I really need to see the Johnny Lee Miller Emma. I love the Gwyneth Paltrow one though.

  10. What a fantabulous list, Carrie. I kept seeing one favorite after another as I scrolled down this page. I adore “Cinderella,” both of the “Emma” adaptations you mention, “Little Women” and ‘Monte Cristo.’ In fact, I’d like to re-watch the latter two now I’m reminded of them. 🙂

    Thanks, as always, for visiting Dreaming Under the Same Moon today. 🙂

  11. Oh I loved Cinderella! Got to say though, the BBC adaptation of Pride and Prejudice is my favourite! I don’t even want to count the hours I must have spent watching and rewatching it over the years!!

  12. Love love love your list!! I am sooooo excited for the Beauty and Beast to come out too. Its going to be incredible.

    And please see the new Cinderella soon–it’s just fantastic!!

    I can’t believe I forgot The Count of Monte Cristo–one of my favorite movies!

    I must admit I way prefer the 6 hour version of P&P, but based on my list, I discovered I prefer long movies. Haha 🙂

    Thanks for sharing 🙂

  13. I can’t wait for Beauty & the Beast! That’s going to be EPIC! I also completely agree with you about Harry Potter, I can remember seeing the first film at the cinema & being amazed at how they’d practically pulled the characters straight out of my head!

  14. The Beauty and the Beast adaptation sounds incredible. Can’t believe I hadn’t heard about it until now! I also somehow doubt that I’ll ever get around to watching Gone with the Wind, even though it’s a classic.

  15. I never got around to seeing the new Cinderella although I really want to because RICHARD MADDEN. I’m also excited for the new Beauty and the Beast, mostly because of Dan Stevens and Ewan McGregor. Emma Watson’s okay, but I’m still not entirely convinced she’s a great actress. I also ADORE Sense and Sensibility and Pride and Prejudice, like, I watch those films all the time. They’re such amazing, faithful adaptations, and so romantic, too! I was never a fan of Little Women, book or movie, although I’m willing to reread the book again at some point. I agree–Jo really should have married Laurie and Amy is such a brat.

  16. Oh goodness – Little Women. I cannot tell you how many times I have seen that movie. It is absolutely one of my favorites. I’m ashamed to say that I haven’t ever read the book. I really hope to one of these days!

  17. So many great adaptations!!!! I have to agree with you on the 2005 P&P – it’s my favorite by a mile! And, the Romola Garai Emma is so great.

    Little Women, Cinderella, & Anne with an “E” 🙂 🙂
    No, you’re not the only person to think Winona Ryder looks like Keira. I’ve always thought it!!

    But, why aren’t you a fan of “Gone With the Wind”??? It’s classic film making and Scarlett’s a hoot. I’ve only watched the movie a ton of times but never read the novel. Maybe that has something to do with it? I’m hoping that’s your excuse, anyway…

  18. deannadodson


    That man has STAR written all over him. He’s not technically all that handsome, but man is he attractive. I may have to root for the bad guy here.

  19. I completely agree with beckmank about Clueless – it’s a super fun Emma retelling.
    The 1995 version of Persuasion and the 2007 version of Northanger Abbey are both excellent, but no one has made a decent Mansfield Park yet.

    As to HP actors in the other films:
    Helena Bonham Carter in Cinderella
    Emma Watson (duh) in Beauty and the Beast
    Emma Thompson, Alan Rickman, Gemma Jones, Imelda Stauton, Robert Hardy, and Elizabeth Spriggs in Sense and Sensibility! (I had to look up a few of the actors names, but I knew they were in both – also Hugh Grant was originally cast as Lockhart)
    Maggie Smith in The Secret Garden (1993)
    Sophie Thompson in Emma (Paltrow version)

    And since I obviously love film trivia, did you know that Colin Firth has a single scene in the 1987 Secret Garden? He plays the adult Colin Craven.

    • Oh. My. Gosh. I FORGOT about Colin Firth being in The Secret Garden!!!! I’m usually so good at catching things like that!!! LOL you have made my day! And you win all the bonus points for being the only one to attempt the HP challenge (and you succeeded lol)

Leave a Reply