From book to blockbuster: Oscar-winning films based on novels

While plenty of literary purists bemoan film adaptions for never being “as good as the book,” there are some notable exceptions to this rule. Some of the greatest movies ever made were actually based on novels, memoirs and biographies – and the very best stay true to the story’s original themes while transforming them into cinematic masterpieces.

In recent years, most of the top prizes at the Academy Awards were handed out to films with literary roots. After four previous nominations, Leonardo DiCaprio finally captured Oscar gold thanks to his performance in The Revenant, a film based on Michael Punke's 2002 novel. Best actress winner Brie Larson's magnificent portrayal of a captive mother in Room is a credit to the spellbinding storytelling of author Emma Donoghue.


Indeed, the academy has a long history of appreciating fine films that have done justice to their original stories.

The Godfather – which was based on Mario Puzo’s best-selling novel of the same name – is widely considered to be one of the most influential films ever made, winning three Oscars in 1973 – Best Picture, Best Actor (Marlon Brando) and a very well-deserved accolade for Best Adapted Screenplay.

Two of the Academy Awards’ most successful films ever made – Silence of the Lambs and Once Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest – were both based on critically acclaimed novels, winning all five major Academy Awards (a.k.a. “The Big Five”) – Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Director, and Best Screenplay.

What other books-turned-blockbuster adaptations won big at the Oscars? Click on the image above to find out!

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