,

That Was A Book?!?! The Best of the Underrated and Obscure

It's no secret that many movies are inspired by books and plays. As a classic movie lover and a lifelong reader of credits, I'm always on the lookout to see which films were based on works of literature. Sometimes both the book/play and the film fade into obscurity. But more often than not, many people remain unaware that there was ever a print version in the first place, even when the source is better than the film. This list is a compilation of such works. Enjoy!
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3.97 avg rating — 37,522 ratings
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14

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4.07 avg rating — 721,274 ratings
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3.62 avg rating — 37,049 ratings
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3.70 avg rating — 20,996 ratings
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17

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3.82 avg rating — 1,175 ratings
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18

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4.02 avg rating — 34,733 ratings
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19

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3.89 avg rating — 2,514 ratings
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20

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3.92 avg rating — 32,754 ratings
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21

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3.76 avg rating — 773 ratings
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22

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4.06 avg rating — 115,628 ratings
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23

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4.14 avg rating — 51,174 ratings
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24

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3.94 avg rating — 4,125 ratings
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25

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4.12 avg rating — 53,905 ratings
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26

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4.28 avg rating — 3,432,149 ratings
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27

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4.17 avg rating — 1,789 ratings
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28

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3.72 avg rating — 48,348 ratings
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29

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4.26 avg rating — 129,704 ratings
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30

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4.15 avg rating — 172,031 ratings
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31

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3.70 avg rating — 94,924 ratings
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31

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4.17 avg rating — 186,123 ratings
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33

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4.17 avg rating — 19,273 ratings
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34

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3.59 avg rating — 6,395 ratings
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35

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3.95 avg rating — 40,769 ratings
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36

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3.99 avg rating — 3,087 ratings
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37

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4.24 avg rating — 424 ratings
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38

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4.20 avg rating — 1,944 ratings
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39

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3.79 avg rating — 11,286 ratings
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40

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3.46 avg rating — 453 ratings
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40

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4.06 avg rating — 24,679 ratings
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42

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4.07 avg rating — 28,164 ratings
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43

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4.28 avg rating — 279,576 ratings
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43

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3.52 avg rating — 2,362 ratings
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45

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3.88 avg rating — 2,263,006 ratings
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46

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3.75 avg rating — 32,357 ratings
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47

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4.09 avg rating — 58,131 ratings
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48

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3.98 avg rating — 10,909 ratings
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49

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3.90 avg rating — 37,851 ratings
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50

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4.38 avg rating — 16 ratings
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51

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3.63 avg rating — 177 ratings
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52

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4.18 avg rating — 3,298,033 ratings
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53

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3.53 avg rating — 306 ratings
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54

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3.90 avg rating — 71,697 ratings
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55

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3.74 avg rating — 2,354,771 ratings
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55

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4.11 avg rating — 62,920 ratings
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57

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4.02 avg rating — 42,670 ratings
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57

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3.90 avg rating — 30,742 ratings
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59

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3.77 avg rating — 246 ratings
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60

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3.76 avg rating — 168 ratings
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61

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4.07 avg rating — 13,500 ratings
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62

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3.91 avg rating — 6,619 ratings
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63

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3.79 avg rating — 3,767 ratings
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64

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3.86 avg rating — 3,547 ratings
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65

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4.21 avg rating — 24,865 ratings
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66

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4.11 avg rating — 60,769 ratings
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67

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3.65 avg rating — 1,710 ratings
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68

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3.57 avg rating — 2,453 ratings
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69

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4.04 avg rating — 19,582 ratings
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71

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4.10 avg rating — 2,321 ratings
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3.52 avg rating — 1,084 ratings
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73

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3.87 avg rating — 76,884 ratings
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74

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3.90 avg rating — 8,867 ratings
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74

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4.08 avg rating — 2,147 ratings
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76

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3.65 avg rating — 11,052 ratings
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3.86 avg rating — 3,079 ratings
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78

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3.97 avg rating — 1,654 ratings
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79

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81

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4.11 avg rating — 5,473 ratings
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82

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3.83 avg rating — 268,686 ratings
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83

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3.99 avg rating — 1,663,188 ratings
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84

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3.93 avg rating — 4,424 ratings
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85

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3.87 avg rating — 5,126 ratings
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87

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4.02 avg rating — 611 ratings
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88

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3.68 avg rating — 38,360 ratings
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3.85 avg rating — 75,660 ratings
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90

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4.25 avg rating — 1,107,407 ratings
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3.98 avg rating — 2,065,540 ratings
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92

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3.75 avg rating — 592 ratings
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93

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3.83 avg rating — 2,259 ratings
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93

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3.99 avg rating — 21,037 ratings
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95

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3.99 avg rating — 8,144 ratings
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96

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3.96 avg rating — 50 ratings
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97

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3.79 avg rating — 713 ratings
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98

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3.90 avg rating — 872 ratings
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99

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3.79 avg rating — 37,923 ratings
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100

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3.92 avg rating — 1,120 ratings
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421 books · 84 voters · list created June 12th, 2013 by Annelisa (votes) .
75 likes · 
Lists are re-scored approximately every 5 minutes.


Annelisa 17528 books
31 friends
Jennifer 240 books
1769 friends
Hannah 190 books
3 friends
Libby 2518 books
1 friend
Kez 2510 books
23 friends
Tez 2871 books
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Michael 5468 books
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Aubrey 4092 books
39 friends

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Comments Showing 1-7 of 7 (7 new)

dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Katharine (new)

Katharine I absolutely LOVE your list!!! It's so helpful for book and movie lovers alike! :)


message 2: by Annelisa (new)

Annelisa Katharine wrote: "I absolutely LOVE your list!!! It's so helpful for book and movie lovers alike! :)"

Thank you, fellow lover of classic things! Isn't it great to see how many of these films started out as the written word? Whenever I watch a classic movie I always look at the credits to see if it was adapted from a book or play. Don't you just want to read them all?


message 3: by Tom (new)

Tom I really want to read this eclectic list. Thanks for putting it together.


message 4: by Tom (new)

Tom Annelisa wrote: "Katharine wrote: "I absolutely LOVE your list!!! It's so helpful for book and movie lovers alike! :)"

Thank you, fellow lover of classic things! Isn't it great to see how many of these films start..."


It is lists like this one that remind me that for the first 50 to 70 years of talking pictures, almost every movie made was from a book. That's where Hollywood got its ideas. Think of the really great classic films and they are probably based on a book. It is only in the last 20 some years that film-makers started being original. Even the Cohen brothers for all their originality, one of their biggest hits was from a novel: No Country for Old Men.


message 5: by Annelisa (new)

Annelisa Tom wrote: "I really want to read this eclectic list. Thanks for putting it together."

You're most welcome. It's been a labor of love, and I'm glad that others enjoy it, too. Don't forget to check out the second list, as well.


message 6: by Annelisa (new)

Annelisa Tom wrote: "Annelisa wrote: "Katharine wrote: "I absolutely LOVE your list!!! It's so helpful for book and movie lovers alike! :)"

Thank you, fellow lover of classic things! Isn't it great to see how many of ..."


I agree; there was such a plethora of source material to choose from. The more I search, the more great finds I come across. That doesn't exist as much today. Or at least I should say, the films that do get greenlit don't always come from the books/plays that are original. I don't think that anyone should ever underestimate the power of a great book to translate to the screen.


message 7: by Viola (new)

Viola Walton The lists like this make me remember books I had forgotten I have already read.


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