Even if it were not based on a true story, Schindler’s saving of more than a thousand Jews would be awesome. While owing much to advances in CGI, it is Jackson’s skill as a visual storyteller that gives the films their pulling power.
This seven Oscar-winning creation may never been beaten.
The dying ancien regime is represented by lethally sexy performances by Glenn Close and John Malkovich, making this 118 minutes of pure wicked pleasure. THE BIG SLEEP by RAYMOND CHANDLER Published: 1939 Film adaptation: 1946 Director: HOWARD HAWKS The convoluted plot of Chandler’s detective story had screenwriter William Faulkner turning to the original author for help.
Even though audiences still find it hard to negotiate its maze-like narrative, the real point of the exercise is to showcase Lauren Bacall and Humphrey Bogart at their simmering, sexy best. THE 39 STEPS (The Thirty Nine Steps) by JOHN BUCHAN Published: 1915 Film adaptation: 1935 Director: ALFRED HITCHCOCK Adapting Buchan’s 1915 adventure story for the screen was one of Hitchcock’s earliest triumphs.
During the late 1990s, the concept was modified by Michael Eysenck, a British psychologist, to become the current "hedonic treadmill theory" which compares the pursuit of happiness to a person on a treadmill, who has to keep walking just to stay in the same place.
The concept dates back centuries, to such writers as St.
No film version of Dickens has ever matched Lean’s superlative realisation of Great Expectations.
From the jumpy graveyard scene to the weirdness of Satis House, and with actors such as John Mills and Alec Guinness giving their all, there is no level at which this utterly brilliant film doesn’t deliver. WUTHERING HEIGHTS by EMILY BRONTË Published: 1847 Film adaptation: 1939 Director: WILLIAM WYLER Brontë’s gothic tale of moors madness gets the William Wyler treatment in this classic movie version starring Merle Oberon as Cathy and Laurence Olivier as Heathcliffe. TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD by HARPER LEE Published: 1960 Film adaptation: 1962 Director: ROBERT MULLIGAN The film of Harper Lee’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel about racist Alabama deservedly won three Oscars, including Best Actor for Gregory Peck as the lawyer Atticus Finch.
Although beaten to 1965’s Best Picture Oscar by The Sound of Music, this memorable realisation honours all the emotional and political complexity of Boris Pasternak’s original novel. THE LEOPARD by GIUSEPPE TOMASI DI LAMPEDUSA Published: 1958 Film adaptation: 1963 Director: LUCHINO VISCONTI Most famous for its almost hour-long ballroom scene and glorious period detail, Visconti’s epic filming of Lampedusa’s novel examines the honour codes of a changing Italy with the help of a handsome cast including Burt Lancaster and Claudia Cardinale.
But the Coens — with the help of actors Javier Bardem, Tommy Lee Jones, Josh Brolin, et al — condense the book into an incredibly tense cinematic experience which nevertheless sparkles with a mordant sense of humour. THE REMAINS OF THE DAY by KAZUO ISHIGURO Published: 1989 Film adaptation: 1993 Director: JAMES IVORY The well-hidden heart of a stiff Thirties country-house butler is at the centre of Kazuo Ishiguro’s quintessentially English novel, and giving it the Merchant Ivory treatment makes it even more pukka. K ROWLING Published: 1997-2007 Film adaptation S: 2001-2011 Directors: CHRIS COLUMBUS, ALFONSO CUAR”N, MIKE NEWELL, DAVID YATES It is hard to remember a world before Harry Potter.
Yet, as a story of buried passions and a nation on the verge of modernisation, it has universal appeal. THE SHINING by STEPHEN KING Published: 1977 Film adaptation: 1980 Director: STANLEY KUBRICK Kubrick’s reimagining of King’s creepy horror novel has been terrifying audiences for nearly three decades. Now the American, Mexican and British directors Columbus, Cuarón, Newell and Yates have nearly completed the cycle of Rowling-inspired films, bringing untold riches to everyone involved and feeding magic-hungry filmgoers all the owls, spells and funny hats they can take. THE HEIRESS (Washington Square) by HENRY JAMES Published: 1880 Film adaptation: 1949 Director: WILLIAM WYLER Wyler’s adaptation takes Washington Square to new heights.
It revivified British cinema just as Welsh’s writing breathed new life into fiction. APOCALYPSE NOW (Heart of Darkness) by JOSEPH CONRAD Published: 1902 Film adaptation: 1979 Director: FRANCIS FORD COPPOLA The most extraordinary of Vietnam films, and by far the craziest version of a Conrad novel ever conceived, Coppola’s Oscar-winning modernisation of Heart of Darkness is without compare.
Its hallucinatory feel and dystopian view of American soldiering was achieved only after a shoot so beset with disaster that Coppola compared it to Vietnam itself. NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN by CORMAC Mc CARTHY Published: 2005 Film adaptation: 2007 Directors: JOEL AND ETHAN COEN The first literary adaptation by cult writer-directors Joel and Ethan Coen, this chilling film follows Mc Carthy’s bleak novel almost to the letter.