I’m not much of a movie fan. In fact, I dislike movies so much that my brain responds by shutting down whenever I’m forced to watch one. I cannot remember the last time I watched a movie from beginning to end in one sitting without falling asleep! I’m THAT bad!

But, with all that said, one of my favorite movies out the few that I have managed to stay awake for, is the 1985 release of The Color Purple, a movie directed by Steven Spielberg which was adapted from Alice Walker’s book of the same title, first published in 1982.

books that are adapted into movies

I’m probably the biggest critic of books that are adapted into movies because of the very glaring omissions…movies have a maximum of 3 hours to cover a book fleshed out in, say 300 pages. Secondly, I prefer liking or disliking the characters, scenery etc. according to the picture(s) I have created in my head as opposed to being shown what everything looks like. As in the book, which I only started reading and finished a few days ago, the movie deals with serious themes of incest, marital abuse, overt racism, and sexism.

What I really appreciated about watching the movie before the book (or that there was a movie made) is that it really drives home the difficulties black women experienced in the early 20th century and, to a certain degree, continue to experience even now. Many scenes in the movie vividly depict the violence and hatred against women which I feel is a bit drowned down in the book because of the style Alice Walker writes in.

Watching the movie, reading the book and then comparing the differences, both good and bad, then made me think some more about other books which I think would make great movies. As different as The Color Purple is to its motion picture, I do appreciate the existence of both for very different reasons. But that’s a post for another day.

Here’s a list of books I’ve read that I’d like to see adapted into a movie:

  • Trevor Noah’s “Born a Crime” (Trevor announced in February 2018 that the book will be adapted for the big screen and his mother is set to be played by Lupita Nyong’o)
  • Winnie Madikizela-Mandela’s “491 Days” (although countless documentaries have been produced around this heroine’s life, none have come close to covering the horrors that are written about in the autobiography)
  • Thubelihle Msweli’s “From Ashes to Beauty” (as morbid as it may seem, I don’t remember hearing of a movie that gives a first-hand account of the realities faced by a black woman trying to get a divorce in the South African cultural context)

I’d love to hear your thoughts on books you would like to see being adapted into movies.