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Films
Source Writers

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Films: Source Writers

A popular type of question is "Who wrote the book on which (such–and–such a film) was based?"

This page should answer most questions of this type. I've included some details about the films, and in some cases about the sources, where I think this adds interest – but if the film is really famous, I haven't bothered.

A.I. Artificial Intelligence (Spielberg, 2001) 1969 short story Supertoys Last All Summer Long Click to show or hide the answer
National Velvet (1944) – starring Mickey Rooney, Donald Crisp and Elizabeth Taylor 1935 novel Click to show or hide the answer
Crash (1996)1973 novel Click to show or hide the answer
Empire of the Sun (1987)1984 novel
The Wizard of Oz (1939) 1900 novel (The Wonderful Wizard of Oz) Click to show or hide the answer
Whistle Down the Wind (1961) – starring Hayley Mills, Bernard Lee and Alan Bates; also a 1996 musical by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Jim Steinman 1961 novel (wife of John Mills and mother of Hayley) Click to show or hide the answer
Jaws (1975)1974 novel Click to show or hide the answer
Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil (1997, directed by Clint Eastwood) 1994 novel (based on a true story) Click to show or hide the answer
The Exorcist (1973)1971 novel (see also Film Series) Click to show or hide the answer
Psycho (1960)1959 novel Click to show or hide the answer
Room at the Top (1959) 1957 novel Click to show or hide the answer
Life at the Top (1965)1962 novel
Destry Rides Again (1939) – Western, starring Marlene Dietrich and James Stewart 1930 novel (has only the title in common) Click to show or hide the answer
The Dam Busters (1955) 1951 WWII non–fiction book Click to show or hide the answer
Reach for the Sky (1956) – starring Kenneth More1954 biog (of Douglas Bader)
The Great Escape (1963)1950 WWII non–fiction book
The Thirty–Nine Steps: 1935 – directed by Hitchcock, starring Robert Donat); 1959 (Kenneth More), 1978 (Robert Powell) 1959 novel Click to show or hide the answer
The Inn of the Sixth Happiness (1958) – biopic starring Ingrid Bergman The Small Woman (1957 biography of British missionary Gladys Aylward) Click to show or hide the answer
A Clockwork Orange (1971) – directed by Stanley Kubrick and starring Malcolm McDowell 1962 novella Click to show or hide the answer
The Postman Always Rings Twice (1946) – remade in 1981 staring Jack Nicholson and Jessica Lange 1934 novel Click to show or hide the answer
Breakfast at Tiffany's (1961) – starring Audrey Hepburn – and various other adaptations 1958 novella Click to show or hide the answer
The Big Sleep (1946) starring Humphrey Bogart (as Philip Marlowe) and Lauren Bacall; remade in 1978, starring Robert Mitchum and Sarah Miles1939 novel Click to show or hide the answer
Farewell My Lovely (1975) – starring Robert Mitchum as Philip Marlowe1940 novel
The Long Goodbye (1973) – starring Elliott Gould as Philip Marlowe1953 novel
The Hunt for Red October (1990) – starring Sean Connery1984 novel Click to show or hide the answer
Patriot Games (1992) – starring Harrison Ford1987 novel
How to Train Your Dragon (2010, and two sequels)Series of 12 children's books, 2003–15 Click to show or hide the answer
The Andromeda Strain (1971 film, 2008 TV mini–series)1969 novel Click to show or hide the answer
Congo (1995)1980 novel
Jurassic Park (1993)1990 novel
Disclosure (1994) – starring Michael Douglas and Demi Moore1994 novel
The Lost World: Jurassic Park (1997) 1995 novel The Lost World (see also Arthur Conan Doyle)
Paths of Glory (1957) – directed by Stanley Kubrick 1935 novel (title comes from Gray's Elegy) Click to show or hide the answer
Gigi (Broadway musical and 1958 film) 1944 novella Click to show or hide the answer
Raise the Titanic! (1980) – starring Richard Jordan as Dirk Pitt 1976 novel Click to show or hide the answer
Sahara (2005) – starring Matthew McConaughey as Dirk Pitt1992 novel
The Lost World (4 films: 1925, 1960, 1992, 1998; also a 2001 BBC TV adaptation) 1912 novel (see also Michael Crichton) Click to show or hide the answer
Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (1971); Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005) 1964 children's novel (Charlie ... ) Click to show or hide the answer
The Commitments (1991) 1987 novel Click to show or hide the answer
The Snapper (Irish TV film, 1993)1990 novel
The Van (1996)1991 novel
Rebecca (1940) – directed by Hitchcock, starring Joan Fontaine1938 novel Click to show or hide the answer
The Birds (1963) – directed by Hitchcock, starring Tippi Hedren1952 short story
Don't Look Now (1973) – starring Julie Christie and Donald Sutherland1971 short story, in the collection Not After Midnight
Up the Junction (1968) – starring Dennis Waterman and Suzy Kendall, with soundtrack by Manfred Mann 1963 short story, in a collection with the same title (see also Television: Source Writers) Click to show or hide the answer
The Horse Whisperer (1998) – directed by and starring Robert Redford1995 novel Click to show or hide the answer
Spartacus (1960)1951 novel (see Note in Literature – Authors: General) Click to show or hide the answer
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (1998) – with Brad Pitt in the title role1922 short story Click to show or hide the answer
Gone Girl (2014) – starring Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike2012 novel Click to show or hide the answer
The African Queen (1951) – starring Humphrey Bogart (in his only Oscar–winning role) and Katharine Hepburn 1935 novel Click to show or hide the answer
Cold Mountain (2003) – written and directed by Anthony Minghella, starring Jude Law, Nicole Kidman and Renée Zellwegger1997 novel Click to show or hide the answer
The Collector (1965) – starring Terence Stamp and Samantha Eggar1963 debut novel Click to show or hide the answer
The French Lieutenant's Woman (1981) – starring Meryl Streep and Jeremy Irons1969 novel
The Poseidon Adventure (1972 disaster movie, remade in 2005)1969 novel Click to show or hide the answer
Death Wish (1974) – followed by 4 sequels 1972 novel Click to show or hide the answer
The Beach (2000) – starring Leonardo Di Caprio 1996 novel Click to show or hide the answer
Brighton Rock (1947) 1938 novel Click to show or hide the answer
The Third Man (1949)Screenplay, and subsequent novel
Love on the Dole (1941) – starring Deborah Kerr and Clifford Evans1933 novel Click to show or hide the answer
Hotel (1967)1965 novel Click to show or hide the answer
Airport (1970)1968 novel
The Maltese Falcon (1941) – starring Humphrey Bogart 1930 novel Click to show or hide the answer
Chocolat (2000) – starring Juliette Binoche and Johnny Depp 1999 novel Click to show or hide the answer
The Silence of the Lambs (1991) 1988 novel (for more details, including sequels, see Films: Series) Click to show or hide the answer
The Go–Between (1971) – starring Julie Christie and Alan Bates 1953 novel Click to show or hide the answer
The Girl on the Train (2016) – starring Emma Blunt as the eponymous alcoholic and out–of–work divorcee Rachel Watson 2015 best–seller Click to show or hide the answer
Strangers on a Train (1951) – directed by Hitchcock 1950 novel Click to show or hide the answer
The Talented Mr. Ripley (1999)1955 novel
The Woman in Black (2012)1983 novella Click to show or hide the answer
Lost Horizon (1937)1933 novel Click to show or hide the answer
Goodbye, Mr. Chips (1939)1934 novel
Kes (1969)1968 novel A Kestrel for a Knave Click to show or hide the answer
Blackboard Jungle (1955) 1954 novel Click to show or hide the answer
Blood and Sand (1921) – starring Rudolf Valentino 1908 novel Sangre y arena Click to show or hide the answer
The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse (1921) – starring Rudolf Valentino1908 novel
The Torrent (1926) – starring Greta Garbo1900 novel Entre naranjos
The Temptress (1926) – starring Greta Garbo1922 novel La Tierra de Todos
Cabaret (1972) – film version of a 1966 Broadway musical, based on John Van Druten's play I am a Camera, which in turn was based on ...Novels Mr. Norris Changes Trains (1935) and Goodbye to Berlin (1939) Click to show or hide the answer
From Here to Eternity (1953) 1951 novel – title comes from Kipling's ballad Gentlemen Rankers Click to show or hide the answer
Zorba the Greek (1964) 1946 novel Click to show or hide the answer
 Schindler's List (1993) 1992 novel Schindler's Ark Click to show or hide the answer
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1963) 1962 novel Click to show or hide the answer
The Shawshank Redemption (1994) Novella Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption – published in the 1992  collection Different Seasons Click to show or hide the answer
Babe (1995)1983 novel The Sheep–Pig Click to show or hide the answer
Lassie Come Home (1943) 1942 novel Lassie Come–Home Click to show or hide the answer
The King and I (1951 Rodgers & Hammerstein musical, filmed in 1956 starring Deborah Kerr and Yul Brynner) 994 novel Anna and the King of Siam – based on the memoirs of Anna Leonowens Click to show or hide the answer
The Constant Gardener (2005) – starring Ralph Fiennes and Rachel Weisz 2001 novel Click to show or hide the answer
Rosemary's Baby (1968) – directed by Roman Polanski, starring Mia Farrow 1967 novel Click to show or hide the answer
The Stepford Wives (1975)1972 novel
The Boys from Brazil (1978) – starring Gregory Peck, Laurence Olivier and James Mason 1976 novel
A Kiss before Dying (1956, starring Robert Wagner and Joanne woodward; remade in 1991 starring Matt Dillon and Sean Young1954 novel (Edgar Award for Best First Mystery Novel)
Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953) – starring Marilyn Monroe and Jane Russell; based on a 1949 Broadway musical starring Carol Channing1925 novel Click to show or hide the answer
Death in Venice (1971) – directed by Luchino Visconti, starring Dirk Bogarde 1912 novella Click to show or hide the answer
Whisky Galore! (1957) – Ealing comedy 1949 novel (without the exclamation mark!) Click to show or hide the answer
No Country for Old Men (2007) 2005 novel Click to show or hide the answer
The Road (2010)2006 novel (Pulitzer Prize, James Tait Black Memorial Prize)
Peyton Place (1957 film, and ABC soap opera 1964–9) 1956 first novel Click to show or hide the answer
War Horse (2011 film, based on a 2007 stage play) 1982 children's novel Click to show or hide the answer
The Railway Children (1970)1906 novel (originally serialised in 1905) Click to show or hide the answer
The English Patient (1996 – 9 Oscars, including Best Picture) 1992 Booker Prize–winning novel Click to show or hide the answer
Fight Club (1999) 1996 novel Click to show or hide the answer
Now Voyager (1942) – famous Bette Davis line "Oh Jerry, don't let's ask for the Moon. We have the stars." 1941 novel (title comes from the two–line poem The Untold Want, in Walt Whitman's Leaves of Grass) Click to show or hide the answer
The Godfather (1972)1969 novel Click to show or hide the answer
The L–Shaped Room (1962)1960 novel Click to show or hide the answer
All Quiet on the Western Front (1930) – Lewis Milestone won the first Best Director Oscar 1929 novel (originally serialised in 1928; German title Im Westen nichts Neues, literally Nothing New in the West) Click to show or hide the answer
Interview with the Vampire (1994) – starring Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt 1976 novel Click to show or hide the answer
Fanny By Gaslight (1944)1940 novel Click to show or hide the answer
A Bridge Too Far (1977) – directed by Richard Attenborough, with a star–studded cast 1974 WWII non–fiction book Click to show or hide the answer
Frankenstein (Wikipedia lists 11 film adaptations, the first made in 1910, the most famous probably those made in 1931, directed by James Whale and starring Boris Karloff as the monster, and in 1994 directed by Kenneth Branagh and starring himself and Robert de Niro; another Wikipedia page lists around 50 "derivative" films, plays and TV programmes) 1818 novel, subtitled The Modern Prometheus; written aged 18, as holiday entertainment for herself, her lover (whom she later married and by whose surname she is known) and Lord Byron Click to show or hide the answer
The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie (1969) – Maggie Smith in the Oscar–winning title role 1961 novel Click to show or hide the answer
The Grapes of Wrath (1940) – directed by Henry Ford, starring Henry Fonda 1939 novel Click to show or hide the answer
East of Eden (1955) – starring James Dean in his first major role 1952 novel (on whose second half the film was loosely based)
Dracula (Wikipedia lists 12 films and one sequel; the best known are probably the 1931 version starring Bela Lugosi, the 1958 version starring Christopher Lee, who revived the role in 1970's Count Dracula, and Francis Ford Coppola's 1992 version starring Gary Oldman, Winona Ryder, Anthony Hopkins and Keanu Reeves) 1897 novel Click to show or hide the answer
The Agony and the Ecstasy (1965) – starring Charlton Heston as Michelangelo 1961 novel Click to show or hide the answer
Lust for Life (1956) – starring Kirk Douglas as Vincent van Gogh 1934 novel
This Sporting Life (1963) – starring Richard Harris in the first of his two Oscar–nominated roles 1960 debut novel Click to show or hide the answer
Mrs. Miniver (1942) – influential, multi–Oscar–winning romantic war drama 1940 novel (about a character created in 1937 for a series of columns in The Times) Click to show or hide the answer
Sophie's Choice (1982 – Meryl Streep won the Best Actress Oscar) 1979 novel Click to show or hide the answer
The Magnificent Ambersons (1942) – Orson Welles's second film, after Citizen Kane 1918 Pulitzer prize–winning novel Click to show or hide the answer
The Hustler (1961) – starring Paul Newman as small–time pool hustler "Fast Eddie" Felson 1959 debut novel Click to show or hide the answer
The Man who Fell to Earth (1976) – directed by Nicholas Roeg, starring David Bowie 1963 novel
The Color of Money (1986) – directed by Martin Scorsese, but having little in common with the novel other than the title1984 sequel to The Hustler
Salmon Fishing in the Yemen (2011) – starring Ewan McGregor and Emily Blunt 2007 novel Click to show or hide the answer
The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948) – directed by John Huston, starring Humphrey Bogart Novel, first published in German in 1927 and in English in 1935 (mysterious author, about whom very little is known) Click to show or hide the answer
Mary Poppins (1964) – more Oscar nominations than any other Disney filmSeries of eight children's novels, 1934–88 (five of them had been published by 1964) Click to show or hide the answer
The Witches of Eastwick (1987) – starring Jack Nicholson, Cher, Susan Sarandon and Michelle Pfeiffer 1984 novel Click to show or hide the answer
Myra Breckenridge (1970) – starring Raquel Welch in the title role, often cited as one of the worst films of all time1968 novel Click to show or hide the answer
The Color Purple (1985) – directed by Steven Spielberg, featuring Oprah Winfrey's first screen role and Whoopi Goldberg's second; received 11 Oscar nominations, but no awards1982 novel Click to show or hide the answer
Ben–Hur (1959) – starring Charlton Heston in the title role, it won a record 11 Oscars 1880 novel, subtitled A Tale of the Christ Click to show or hide the answer
Trainspotting (1996)1993 debut novel Click to show or hide the answer
The Sword in the Stone (Disney, 1963) 1938 novel, republished in 1958 as the first part of the tetralogy The Once and Future King Click to show or hide the answer
The Mouse that Roared (1959 comedy starring Peter Sellers in three roles) 1955 novel Click to show or hide the answer
The Bonfire of the Vanities (1990) – with Tom Hanks miscast as Sherman McCoy; co–starring Bruce Willis and Melanie Griffith 1987 novel Click to show or hide the answer
The Caine Mutiny (1954) – starring Humphrey Bogart 1951 Pulitzer Prize–winning novel Click to show or hide the answer
Beau Geste (1926 starring Ronald Colman, 1939 starring Gary Cooper, 1966 starring Guy Stockwell) 1924 novel Click to show or hide the answer

© Haydn Thompson 2017–18