Did You Know These Movies Are Based on Classic Books?

You don't need to be a bookwork to recognize a classic when you see one.

Erin Shoshana
Created by Erin Shoshana
On Feb 17, 2021

Has the pandemic got you feeling like you've literally seen all of Netflix? Try expanding your cinematic viewing with a dose of movies that actually got their start as classic pieces of literature. Did you know Clueless is actually based on a Jane Austen novel? That and more to come in the list below. Happy viewing!

Little Women

Louisa May Alcott's Little Women might have been published in 1869, but it rings true more than ever today. The tale follows four girls as they grow into, you guessed it, women. Sister fights, love, sorrow... this story has it all. The only question that remains is- do you like the recent 2019 version with Emma Watson- or the 1994 version with Winona Ryder?

The Great Gatsby

Ah, Leonardo DiCaprio . You might be surprised to learn that it wasn't Leo who made The Great Gatsby a smash. Readers have been devouring this literary classic by F. Scott Fitzgerald since 1925. A little romance lost mixed with despondency about the state of the world... add in a lot of glitz and glam and you've got a masterpiece, sport.

Pride and Prejudice

Pride and Prejudice (2005) stars Keira Knightly as Elizabeth Bennett, a girl living with her parents and sisters in the English countryside. As the eldest daughter, she faces mounting pressure from her parents to marry. This rollercoaster love story for the ages was actually written by Jane Austen in 1813. Jane Austen surely did know a thing or two about romance.

The Wizard of Oz

You know Dorothy, Toto, and the Wicked Witch, but did you know this movie is based on The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, an American children's novel by author L. Frank Baum? The book was originally published in 1900 and was adapted to film in 1939 starring the beautiful and talented Judy Garland. And who can forget the main lesson of The Wizard of Oz? There's no place like home .


You may be tempted to cry as if! if we told you Clueless is based on Emma, a classic Jane Austen novel. Alas, it is true. The movie starring Alicia Silverstone is loosely based on Jane Austen's 1815 novel Emma, but with a modern-day twist in Beverly Hills. From a 19th century novel to an iconic 90's high school movie, is there anything this story can't do?

Lord of the Rings

The Lord of the Rings trilogy is not just a blockbuster movie series. In fact, the film series is based on the fantasy novel by J. R. R. Tolkien. The story actually started as a sequel to Tolkien's 1937 children's book The Hobbit but developed into something much larger and more complicated with fantastical elements fans just can't get enough of. The film series was a major success and grossed $2.981 billion worldwide.

Mary Poppins

You might know A Spoonful of Sugar and Supercalifragilistic by heart, but did you know that Mary Poppins was originally a book? P. L. Travers, the author of Mary Poppins, wrote a series of eight children's books about Mary Poppins from1934 to 1988. In 1964, a film adaptation appeared on the scene starring Julie Andrews and became an instant classic. In 2018, Emily Blunt and Lin Manuel Miranda (of Hamilton) brought the magical nanny back to theatres everywhere in Mary Poppins Returns.

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