American Literature at the Movies
This list contains novels or short stories by American authors that have been turned into movies (made for tv or theater) or short television mini-series which can be watched as long movies.

If you want to add a book to the list and are not sure if the author is American or not, find the movie in the IMDB database (www.imdb.com), click on the author's name, and find out where they were born and where they currently reside.

Whether you vote for the book based on watching the movie or reading the book is up to you. :)
1 To Kill a Mockingbird
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4.23 of 5 stars 4.23 avg rating — 1,988,843 ratings
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2 The Princess Bride
by
4.24 of 5 stars 4.24 avg rating — 436,511 ratings
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3 Charlotte's Web
by
4.11 of 5 stars 4.11 avg rating — 614,454 ratings
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4 Different Seasons
by
4.31 of 5 stars 4.31 avg rating — 98,972 ratings
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5 The Silence of the Lambs  (...
by
4.04 of 5 stars 4.04 avg rating — 271,341 ratings
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6 Table 21
by
3.76 of 5 stars 3.76 avg rating — 343 ratings
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7 The Great Gatsby
by
3.84 of 5 stars 3.84 avg rating — 1,704,049 ratings
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8 Little Women (Little Women,...
by
3.99 of 5 stars 3.99 avg rating — 934,279 ratings
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9 The Da Vinci Code (Robert L...
by
3.71 of 5 stars 3.71 avg rating — 1,191,390 ratings
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10 One Flew Over the Cuckoo's ...
by
4.16 of 5 stars 4.16 avg rating — 364,007 ratings
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11 The Outsiders
by
4.0 of 5 stars 4.00 avg rating — 425,004 ratings
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12 Interview With The Vampire ...
by
3.95 of 5 stars 3.95 avg rating — 304,967 ratings
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13 Fight Club
by
4.18 of 5 stars 4.18 avg rating — 253,709 ratings
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14 The Green Mile
by
4.38 of 5 stars 4.38 avg rating — 125,187 ratings
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15 Gone with the Wind
by
4.25 of 5 stars 4.25 avg rating — 615,639 ratings
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16 Into the Wild
by
3.89 of 5 stars 3.89 avg rating — 408,041 ratings
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17 Memoirs of a Geisha
by
4.03 of 5 stars 4.03 avg rating — 1,003,032 ratings
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18 The Lovely Bones
by
3.71 of 5 stars 3.71 avg rating — 1,139,801 ratings
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19 Dances with Wolves (Dances ...
by
4.13 of 5 stars 4.13 avg rating — 11,445 ratings
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20 Fried Green Tomatoes at the...
by
4.22 of 5 stars 4.22 avg rating — 142,901 ratings
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21 The Grapes of Wrath
by
3.87 of 5 stars 3.87 avg rating — 373,406 ratings
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22 My Sister's Keeper
by
4.03 of 5 stars 4.03 avg rating — 616,703 ratings
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23 The Wonderful Wizard Of Oz
by
3.95 of 5 stars 3.95 avg rating — 171,322 ratings
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24 Fahrenheit 451
by
3.94 of 5 stars 3.94 avg rating — 744,340 ratings
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25 Catch-22 (Catch-22, #1)
by
3.96 of 5 stars 3.96 avg rating — 383,076 ratings
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26 Forrest Gump (Forrest Gump,...
by
3.95 of 5 stars 3.95 avg rating — 28,240 ratings
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27 The Last of the Mohicans (T...
by
3.65 of 5 stars 3.65 avg rating — 51,507 ratings
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28 Gone with the Wind, Part 1 ...
by
4.24 of 5 stars 4.24 avg rating — 1,572 ratings
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29 A Walk to Remember
by
4.12 of 5 stars 4.12 avg rating — 349,766 ratings
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30 Twilight (Twilight, #1)
by
3.56 of 5 stars 3.56 avg rating — 2,419,275 ratings
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31 The Notebook (The Notebook,...
by
4.03 of 5 stars 4.03 avg rating — 818,890 ratings
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32 Cold Mountain
by
3.76 of 5 stars 3.76 avg rating — 129,802 ratings
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33 The Shining (The Shining, #1)
by
4.07 of 5 stars 4.07 avg rating — 524,284 ratings
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34 Dead Poets Society
by
4.13 of 5 stars 4.13 avg rating — 20,084 ratings
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35 The Adventures of Huckleber...
by
3.78 of 5 stars 3.78 avg rating — 801,863 ratings
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36 A Streetcar Named Desire
by
3.96 of 5 stars 3.96 avg rating — 139,111 ratings
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37 The Cider House Rules
by
4.06 of 5 stars 4.06 avg rating — 91,938 ratings
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38 The Godfather
by
4.33 of 5 stars 4.33 avg rating — 166,571 ratings
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39 Do Androids Dream of Electr...
by
4.05 of 5 stars 4.05 avg rating — 142,164 ratings
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40 Girl With a Pearl Earring
by
3.8 of 5 stars 3.80 avg rating — 315,031 ratings
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41 Jurassic Park
by
3.85 of 5 stars 3.85 avg rating — 458,668 ratings
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42 The Devil Wears Prada (The ...
by
3.62 of 5 stars 3.62 avg rating — 477,845 ratings
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43 Marley and Me: Life and Lov...
by
4.09 of 5 stars 4.09 avg rating — 252,027 ratings
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44 What's Eating Gilbert Grape
by
4.07 of 5 stars 4.07 avg rating — 7,123 ratings
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44 Angels & Demons  (Robert La...
by
3.79 of 5 stars 3.79 avg rating — 1,223,235 ratings
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46 A Time to Kill (Jake Brigan...
by
3.94 of 5 stars 3.94 avg rating — 446,011 ratings
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47 The Maltese Falcon
by
3.95 of 5 stars 3.95 avg rating — 45,972 ratings
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48 The Call of the Wild
by
3.76 of 5 stars 3.76 avg rating — 163,327 ratings
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49 The Time Traveler's Wife
by
3.92 of 5 stars 3.92 avg rating — 879,767 ratings
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50 Brokeback Mountain
by
3.92 of 5 stars 3.92 avg rating — 13,856 ratings
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51 I Am Legend and Other Stories
by
3.95 of 5 stars 3.95 avg rating — 74,219 ratings
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52 Rosemary's Baby
by
3.91 of 5 stars 3.91 avg rating — 52,288 ratings
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53 The Road
by
3.94 of 5 stars 3.94 avg rating — 380,387 ratings
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54 Snow Falling on Cedars
by
3.72 of 5 stars 3.72 avg rating — 89,985 ratings
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55 In Cold Blood
by
4.01 of 5 stars 4.01 avg rating — 296,549 ratings
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56 The Crucible
by
3.49 of 5 stars 3.49 avg rating — 163,983 ratings
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57 The Stepford Wives
by
3.63 of 5 stars 3.63 avg rating — 12,456 ratings
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58 The Joy Luck Club
by
3.85 of 5 stars 3.85 avg rating — 416,003 ratings
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59 Practical Magic
by
3.78 of 5 stars 3.78 avg rating — 23,847 ratings
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60 The Firm
by
3.91 of 5 stars 3.91 avg rating — 334,312 ratings
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61 The Kite Runner
by
4.21 of 5 stars 4.21 avg rating — 1,208,762 ratings
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62 The Bourne Identity (Jason ...
by
3.9 of 5 stars 3.90 avg rating — 253,221 ratings
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63 Arsenic and Old Lace
by
4.11 of 5 stars 4.11 avg rating — 12,610 ratings
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64 East of Eden
by
4.31 of 5 stars 4.31 avg rating — 231,838 ratings
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65 Of Mice and Men/Cannery Row
by
4.1 of 5 stars 4.10 avg rating — 1,543 ratings
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66 Wonder Boys
by
3.94 of 5 stars 3.94 avg rating — 21,739 ratings
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67 The Old Man And The Sea
by
3.62 of 5 stars 3.62 avg rating — 296,216 ratings
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68 Holes (Holes, #1)
by
3.9 of 5 stars 3.90 avg rating — 450,393 ratings
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69 Ben-Hur
by
3.99 of 5 stars 3.99 avg rating — 17,934 ratings
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70 Shutter Island
by
4.02 of 5 stars 4.02 avg rating — 75,515 ratings
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71 A Scanner Darkly
by
4.03 of 5 stars 4.03 avg rating — 41,891 ratings
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72 Moby Dick
by
3.4 of 5 stars 3.40 avg rating — 301,436 ratings
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72 Carrie
by
3.86 of 5 stars 3.86 avg rating — 219,631 ratings
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74 Road to Perdition
by
3.81 of 5 stars 3.81 avg rating — 1,404 ratings
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75 The Pelican Brief
by
3.89 of 5 stars 3.89 avg rating — 218,609 ratings
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76 Skipping Christmas
by
3.43 of 5 stars 3.43 avg rating — 33,299 ratings
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77 Tarzan of the Apes (Tarzan,...
by
3.84 of 5 stars 3.84 avg rating — 19,168 ratings
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77 The Thin Man
by
3.99 of 5 stars 3.99 avg rating — 14,696 ratings
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79 Legends of the Fall
by
4.02 of 5 stars 4.02 avg rating — 3,823 ratings
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80 The Legend of Sleepy Hollow...
by
3.92 of 5 stars 3.92 avg rating — 34,277 ratings
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80 Strangers on a Train
by
3.94 of 5 stars 3.94 avg rating — 5,330 ratings
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82 Message in a Bottle
by
3.9 of 5 stars 3.90 avg rating — 133,850 ratings
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83 All the King's Men
by
4.06 of 5 stars 4.06 avg rating — 34,275 ratings
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84 Mystic River
by
4.17 of 5 stars 4.17 avg rating — 54,937 ratings
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85 The Color Purple
by
4.13 of 5 stars 4.13 avg rating — 288,094 ratings
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86 Finding Forrester: A Novel
by
3.89 of 5 stars 3.89 avg rating — 182 ratings
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87 Primal Fear
by
4.13 of 5 stars 4.13 avg rating — 3,764 ratings
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88 Rear Window
by
3.95 of 5 stars 3.95 avg rating — 594 ratings
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89 The Curious Case of Benjami...
by
3.49 of 5 stars 3.49 avg rating — 20,899 ratings
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90 A River Runs Through It and...
by
4.13 of 5 stars 4.13 avg rating — 14,225 ratings
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91 The Shipping News
by
3.76 of 5 stars 3.76 avg rating — 73,717 ratings
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92 They Shoot Horses, Don't They?
by
3.84 of 5 stars 3.84 avg rating — 2,711 ratings
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92 The Prince of Tides
by
4.18 of 5 stars 4.18 avg rating — 115,285 ratings
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94 The Runaway Jury
by
3.89 of 5 stars 3.89 avg rating — 155,042 ratings
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95 Nights in Rodanthe
by
3.79 of 5 stars 3.79 avg rating — 100,697 ratings
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95 The Lottery and Other Stories
by
4.05 of 5 stars 4.05 avg rating — 36,883 ratings
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97 Revolutionary Road
by
3.85 of 5 stars 3.85 avg rating — 46,112 ratings
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98 The Talented Mr. Ripley (Ri...
by
3.9 of 5 stars 3.90 avg rating — 21,033 ratings
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99 The Tale of Despereaux
by
3.96 of 5 stars 3.96 avg rating — 74,733 ratings
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100 Speak
by
3.97 of 5 stars 3.97 avg rating — 233,110 ratings
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flag this list (?)
285 books · 140 voters · list created April 13th, 2009 by Amy (votes) .
13 likes · like
Lists are re-scored approximately every 5 minutes.


Amy
Amy
946 books
159 friends
Ricki
Ricki
2632 books
1348 friends
Susanna - Censored by GoodReads
Susanna - Censored by GoodReads
2392 books
458 friends
Djo
Djo
123 books
5 friends
Janice
Janice
187 books
1 friend
Gabriele
Gabriele
885 books
123 friends
Carol
Carol
2128 books
722 friends
Matthew
Matthew
1092 books
17 friends

More voters…


Comments (showing 1-25 of 25) (25 new)

dateDown_arrow    newest »

message 1: by [deleted user] (new)

Who wrote the book that was made into The Hours? I cannot think who it was. I had a very hard time on my copy of Stardust finding Neil Gaiman's name!!! (very sad commentary IMO when the author doesn't get much credit when they make a movie out of their book)


message 2: by Amy (new)

Amy Alice wrote: "Who wrote the book that was made into The Hours? I cannot think who it was. I had a very hard time on my copy of Stardust finding Neil Gaiman's name!!! (very sad commentary IMO when the author do..."

The Hours is by Michael Cunningham. I meant to read it until I found out that it was a response to Mrs. Dalloway. So I thought I would read Mrs. Dalloway first until I heard that it was a response to Ulysses. The very idea of reading Ulysses makes my head spin. Maybe I'll never get to The Hours.


message 3: by [deleted user] (new)

Thanks! I had no idea ......how very complicated. I will never read Ullysses either. I read only for pleasure now.


message 4: by Matthew (new)

Matthew Are we voting based on the quality of the movie or the book? I would rank the book "Catch 22" ahead of the book "Shawshank Redemption" but the movie version of Shawshank is fantastic whereas Catch 22 is an okay movie...
How has everyone else been voting?


message 5: by Matthew (new)

Matthew JK Rowling and Shakespeare are American authors? Odd.


message 6: by Amy (new)

Amy Argh! I made this list for the American literature class I teach. Thanks, guys for brilliantly not checking where authors are from before adding it to this list. It's AMERICAN literature, not British! Sadly, there's no way to remove items from this list unless someone knows a secret I don't. Any ideas?


message 7: by Matthew (new)

Matthew Hmm, as list creator I would think that you could control content and delete books. I also think I read that a "librarian" could remove books as well but it may have been my imagination.

Your course sounds interesting--is it for a college? high school?


message 8: by Amy (new)

Amy It's a class in an intensive English as a Second Language school. The class is in their final level before being ready for a university or high school.

I can't find any way to control the content. Sadly, I'm not a librarian. But my husband is. Hmm ...


message 9: by Amy (new)

Amy Matthew wrote: "Hmm, as list creator I would think that you could control content and delete books. I also think I read that a "librarian" could remove books as well but it may have been my imagination.

Your c..."


You're right about "librarian" status. I contacted GoodReads and they said that anyone with at least 50 books in their profile could apply to be a librarian and fix such problems. :)




message 10: by Matthew (new)

Matthew Nice, adios Shakespeare and Harry Potter.


message 11: by Amy (last edited Apr 24, 2009 07:31PM) (new)

Amy Strangely enough, not all books you can read in English are by American authors. These authors are definitely NOT American (and I've since removed them from the list):

Michael Ondaatje (Canadian)
R.K. Rowling (British)
William Shakespeare (British)
Winston Graham (British)
Boris Pasternak (Russian)
Isak Dinesen (Danish)
Carlotte Bronte (British)
Phillipa Gregory (British)
Daphne Du Maurier (British)

If you're in doubt, type the title of the movie into the IMDB database, click on the movie, click on the author's name, and find out where they were born and where they currently reside.


message 12: by Matthew (new)

Matthew Also, William Golding of "Lord of the Flies" fame is British...


message 13: by Killthepopular (new)

Killthepopular I dont understand why you made this list. Are you looking for books that you can get the kids to read and then show them the film? Presumably that rules out films with 18 certificates/NC-17?
Or do you think kids are more likely to read a book if there is a film of it?
What exactly is the logic here?

Incidentally, wth people, i'm the only one to vote for one flew over the cuckoos nest? Its a pretty obvious choice...


message 14: by Amy (new)

Amy Killthepopular wrote: "I dont understand why you made this list. Are you looking for books that you can get the kids to read and then show them the film? Presumably that rules out films with 18 certificates/NC-17?
Or do..."


My students are adults actually. It's NOT a high school class. We use the list to vote on a movie to watch in class (and I have the right to veto ones that might be offensive). They're also allowed to write an essay about an American literature movie for extra credit. It's only a 7-week class, so it gives a broader view of American literature than just reading the one novel and short stories we have time for in class. It also gives them ideas of what they might like to read when they've left my class. Lots of people like to read books when they know they can watch the movie, too. Especially ESL students who may not understand every word they read. Beyond that, the list is also for fun ... like any listopia list.


message 15: by Themis-Athena (Does not and never will own a Kindle) (last edited Apr 14, 2010 11:25AM) (new)

Themis-Athena (Does not and never will own a Kindle) Amy wrote: "Strangely enough, not all books you can read in English are by American authors. These authors are definitely NOT American (and I've since removed them from the list):

Michael Ondaatje (Canadian)
..."



It would appear it's time for a bit of pruning again ... among the "new arrivals" (on page 2) are British authors such as J.K. Rowling and C.S. Lewis, and Australian Colleen McCullough.

Also: Kleinbaum's "Dead Poets Society" is actually a novelization of Tom Schulman's screenplay -- the movie was there first. (It's a truly great film of course, I'm just wondering whether this isn't supposed to be a list about instances where the book came first and the movie was based on it?)


Susanna - Censored by GoodReads Removed for non-American authors:

Stardust, by Neil Gaiman (British)
Coraline, by Neil Gaiman (British)
Marnie, by Winston Graham (British)

I am unable to attribute nationality to N.H. Keinbaum, and at any rate, this is a novelization. I would be tempted to remove Dead Poets Society on this basis (list is for book -> movie, this was a case of movie -> book).


message 17: by Amy (new)

Amy I just removed several, too. I've removed Winston Graham books more often than anything else. Someone really must like him.

The only thing about Neil Gaiman is that he's technically considered an American author now that he has lived in the US for several years. He did win a Newbery medal which is specifically given for American literature for children. Since one of the requirements for winning a Newbery is that the author must be a US resident or citizen, I'm supposing that Neil Gaiman is considered to legally be categorized as an American these days.


message 19: by Amy (new)

Amy Susanna wrote: "Hmmmmm."

Yeah. That's what I said when I saw he'd won the Newbery (and then had to look up the rules of the award). I'm still not 100% convinced because he seems awfully British to me.


Susanna - Censored by GoodReads Reading the Newbery's criteria, though, I see they only require residence in America, though. Still hmmm.


message 21: by Silver (new)

Silver I choose to vote for books if I both read them and watched the movie.


message 22: by Temberton (new)

Temberton I came across this list while searching for movies to use for a study of American Literature. Thanks! :)


message 23: by [deleted user] (new)

Why is GONE WITH THE WIND listed twice?


Susanna - Censored by GoodReads Because some people voted for "Gone with the Wind: Volume 1 of 2," and others for "Gone with the Wind."

Which is why they can't be combined.


message 25: by Jonathan (new)

Jonathan The description says "This list contains novels or short stories by American authors that have been turned into movies (made for tv or theater) or short television mini-series which can be watched as long movies." So why are NOVELIZATIONS (movies that were turned into books) and at least one Graphic Novel Adaptation (The Legend of Sleepy Hollow) included?


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