Three Great Films You Might Not Know Were Book Adaptations - Opinion Piece

Fri 24/Feb/23

Three Great Films You Might Not Know Were Book Adaptations - Opinion Piece


During the coronavirus pandemic, consumption of film via home streaming predictably boomed, being the only available option for much of the lockdown. Despite this, some studios have been reluctant to risk releasing their new big tentpole films in what they view as a relatively untested market, demonstrating the over cautious and reactive nature that has permeated the film industry for decades.


Due in part to this relative dearth of big name releases, a tendency to fall back on old favourites and desire to re-explore familiar ground, during the pandemic home audiences tended to look back in time for their home viewing choices. As a result, adaptations are more popular than ever.


With this in mind, here are three classic films that you may not know are book adaptations, to give you some home streaming inspiration. For each entry we have also supplied a perfect book recommendation as a companion to each film. All books can be accessed absolutely free via the Libby App. All you need is your library card.



Drive (2011)

Nicholas Winding Refn’s brutal, neon drenched neo-noir garnered acclaim and controversy in equal measure when it was released in 2011. However, less well known is the source novel of the same name, by James Sallis. Published in 2005, the book drew favourable comparisons to classic works of noir fiction. The book's nonlinear structure and downbeat tone set it apart from usual Hollywood fodder.


The Wicker Man

The Wicker Man (1973)

Loosely adapted from David Pinner’s 1967 novel, Ritual, The Wicker Man endured a legendarily troubled production to become regarded as one of the greatest British films ever made and an influential classic of the horror genre. So troubled was the production that journalist Allan Brown describes it as a “textbook example of how things should never be done”, in his 2012 book about the making of the film, Inside the Wicker Man.


The Third Man

The Third Man (1949)

Carol Reed’s iconic 1949 noir masterpiece starring Joseph Cotten and Orson Welles was originally intended only as a motion picture. In preparation for writing the script however, Graham Greene worked his initial idea into a novella which was released following the film's success. Re-released in 2012 as a digital edition featuring insights into the film's production and clips from the film itself that sit alongside the text of the novel, this version is the perfect companion both to those new to the film, and those revisiting a classic.