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10 Must-Watch Movies Of The 20th Century Based On Novels Like The Godfather

Updated on March 14, 2017
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A young software engineer passionate about being a writer, sharing thoughts, and spreading knowledge.

The Godfather is widely regarded as one of the greatest films in world cinema and one of the most influential, especially in the gangster genre. It was selected for preservation in the U.S. National Film Registry of the Library of Congress in 1990, being deemed "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant" and is ranked the second-greatest film in American cinema (behind Citizen Kane) by the American Film Institute.

The film is based on Mario Puzo's The Godfather; a novel that remained on The New York Times Best Seller list for 67 weeks and sold over nine million copies in two years.Published in 1969, it became the best selling published work in history for several years.Paramount Pictures originally found out about Puzo's novel in 1967 when a literary scout for the company contacted then Paramount Vice President of Production Peter Bart about Puzo's sixty-page unfinished manuscript. Bart believed the work was "much beyond a Mafia story" and offered Puzo a $12,500 option for the work, with an option for $80,000 if the finished work were made into a film.

Below is the list of more such amazing Novel based movies.

Schindler's List (1993)

DIRECTOR:

Steven Spielberg

WRITER:

Thomas Keneally (book), Steven Zaillian

STARS:

Liam Neeson, Ralph Fiennes, Ben Kingsley

PLOT SUMMARY:

The incredible true story of the enigmatic and opportunistic businessman Oskar Schindler, who saved the lives of more than 1,100 Jews during the Holocaust. Schindler's List chronicles the trials and triumph of one man who made a difference and the tribulations of those who survived one of the darkest chapters in human history because of his actions.

Breakfast at Tiffany's (1961)

DIRECTOR:

Blake Edwards

WRITER:

Truman Capote (book), George Axelrod

STARS:

Audrey Hepburn, George Peppard, Patricia Neal

PLOT SUMMARY:

Struggling writer Paul Varjak moves into a New York apartment building and becomes intrigued by his pretty, quirky neighbor Holly Golightly. Holly's lifestyle confuses and fascinates Paul; in public she flits through parties with a sexy, sophisticated air, but when they're alone she changes into a sweetly vulnerable bundle of neuroses.

One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975)

DIRECTOR:

Milos Forman

WRITER:

Lawrence Hauben, Bo Goldman, Ken Kesey (Book)

STARS:

Jack Nicholson, Louise Fletcher, Michael Berryman

PLOT SUMMARY:

McMurphy, a man with several assault convictions to his name, finds himself in jail once again. This time, the charge is statutory rape when it turns out that his girlfriend had lied about being eighteen, and was, in fact, fifteen (or, as McMurphy puts it, "fifteen going on thirty-five"). Rather than spend his time in jail, he convinces the guards that he's crazy enough to need psychiatric care and is sent to a hospital. He fits in frighteningly well, and his different point of view actually begins to cause some of the patients to progress. Nurse Ratched becomes his personal cross to bear as his resistance to the hospital routine gets on her nerves.

Gone with the Wind (1939)

DIRECTOR:

Victor Fleming

WRITER:

Margaret Mitchell (Book), Sidney Howard

STARS:

Clark Gable, Vivien Leigh, Thomas Mitchell

PLOT SUMMARY:

Scarlett is a woman who can deal with a nation at war, Atlanta burning, the Union Army carrying off everything from her beloved Tara, the carpetbaggers who arrive after the war. Scarlett is beautiful. She has vitality. But Ashley, the man she has wanted for so long, is going to marry his placid cousin, Melanie. Mammy warns Scarlett to behave herself at the party at Twelve Oaks. There is a new man there that day, the day the Civil War begins. Rhett Butler. Scarlett does not know he is in the room when she pleads with Ashley to choose her instead of Melanie.

Doctor Zhivago (1965)

DIRECTOR:

David Lean

WRITER:

Boris Pasternak (Book), Robert Bolt

STARS:

Omar Sharif, Julie Christie, Geraldine Chaplin

PLOT SUMMARY:

Lara inspires lechery in Komarovsky (her mother's lover who is a master at surviving whoever runs Russia) and can't compete with passion for the revolution of the man she marries, Pasha. Her true love is Zhivago who also loves his wife. Lara is the one who inspires poetry. The story is narrated by Zhivago's half brother Yevgraf, who has made his career in the Soviet Army. At the beginning of the film he is about to meet a young woman he believes may be the long lost daughter of Lara and Zhivago.

Out of Africa (1985)

DIRECTOR:

Sydney Pollack

WRITER:

Karen Blixen, Judith Thurman (Book)

STARS:

Meryl Streep, Robert Redford, Klaus Maria Brandauer

PLOT SUMMARY:

Karen Blixen, a Danish woman, marries a friend for the title of Baroness and they move to Africa and start a coffee plantation. Things unfold when her husband begins cheating on her and is away on business often, so she's at home alone, working on the farm and bonding with two men she met in her first day in Africa. She eventually falls in love with the one, Denys Finch-Hatton and goes on safari and whatnot with him. Later, she begins to want more from him than the simple friendship/relationship they have and pushes marriage, but Denys still wants his freedom. By the end, she's gained a much better understanding and respect for the African culture than when she came.

Forrest Gump (1994)

DIRECTOR:

Robert Zemeckis

WRITER:

Winston Groom (Book), Eric Roth

STARS:

Tom Hanks, Robin Wright, Gary Sinise

PLOT SUMMARY:

Forrest Gump is a simple man with a low I.Q. but good intentions. He is running through childhood with his best and only friend Jenny. His 'mama' teaches him the ways of life and leaves him to choose his destiny. Forrest joins the army for service in Vietnam, finding new friends called Dan and Bubba, he wins medals, creates a famous shrimp fishing fleet, inspires people to jog, starts a ping-pong craze, creates the smiley, writes bumper stickers and songs, donates to people and meets the president several times. However, this is all irrelevant to Forrest who can only think of his childhood sweetheart Jenny Curran, who has messed up her life. Although in the end all he wants to prove is that anyone can love anyone.

The Shining (1980)

DIRECTOR:

Stanley Kubrick

WRITER:

Stephen King (Book), Stanley Kubrick

STARS:

Jack Nicholson, Shelley Duvall, Danny Lloyd

PLOT SUMMARY:

A man, his son, and wife become the winter caretakers of an isolated hotel where Danny, the son, sees disturbing visions of the hotel's past using a telepathic gift known as "The Shining". The father, Jack Torrance, is underway in a writing project when he slowly slips into insanity as a result of cabin fever and former guests of the hotel's ghosts. After being convinced by a waiter's ghost to "correct" the family, Jack goes completely insane. The only thing that can save Danny and his mother is "The Shining".

Jaws (1975)

DIRECTOR:

Steven Spielberg

WRITER:

Peter Benchley, Carl Gottlieb, Peter Benchley (Book)

STARS:

Roy Scheider, Robert Shaw, Richard Dreyfuss

PLOT SUMMARY:

It's a hot summer on Amity Island, a small community whose main business is its beaches. When new Sheriff Martin Brody discovers the remains of a shark attack victim, his first inclination is to close the beaches to swimmers. This doesn't sit well with Mayor Larry Vaughn and several of the local businessmen. Brody backs down to his regret as that weekend a young boy is killed by the predator. The dead boy's mother puts out a bounty on the shark and Amity is soon swamped with amateur hunters and fisherman hoping to cash in on the reward. A local fisherman with much experience hunting sharks, Quint, offers to hunt down the creature for a hefty fee. Soon Quint, Brody and Matt Hooper from the Oceanographic Institute are at sea hunting the Great White shark. As Brody succinctly surmises after their first encounter with the creature, they're going to need a bigger boat.

A Clockwork Orange (1971)

DIRECTOR:

Stanley Kubrick

WRITER:

Stanley Kubrick, Anthony Burgess (Book)

STARS:

Malcolm McDowell, Patrick Magee, Michael Bates

PLOT SUMMARY:

Protagonist Alex DeLarge is an "ultraviolent" youth in futuristic Britain. As with all luck, his eventually runs out and he's arrested and convicted of murder and rape. While in prison, Alex learns of an experimental program in which convicts are programmed to detest violence. If he goes through the program, his sentence will be reduced and he will be back on the streets sooner than expected. But Alex's ordeals are far from over once he hits the mean streets of Britain that he had a hand in creating.

Which one is your Favorite movie from the list?

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