31. Stand By Me (1986)
The Book: Published as The Body, this Stephen King novella follows four friends as they set out on a quest to see their first dead body.
The Movie: Retitled Stand By Me, Rob Reiners retelling of Kings rite-of-passage tugs on the heartstrings without resorting to cheap gimmickry - the youthful naivete of the four boys before life deals them crummy hands is enough. For the films climax, Gordie (Wil Wheaton) stands up to the bullies and pulls the gun on Ace (Keifer Sutherland) - in the novel, it's Chris who does this.
30. Sense And Sensibility (1995)
The Book: Jane Austens cerebral literature classic, originally published under the pseudonym A Lady, still holds strong as a must-read romantic fable involving the two Dashwood sisters in the late 1700s.
The Movie: Emma Thompson and Kate Winslet play Elinor and Marianne Dashwood; two wealthy sisters plunged into poverty. Under the direction of Ang Lee, the former bagged the Best Actress Oscar... and the one for Best Adapted Screenplay. Thompson spent four years re-drafting what was then her screenwriting debut. The two siblings inherent character traits; sense and sensibility, are switched in the movie.
29. The Pianist (2002)
The Book: The memoir of Jewish pianist Wladyslaw Szpilman and his ordeal hiding out in the Warsaw Ghetto during World War Two, penned by Szpilmans friend Jerzy Waldorff.
The Movie: Roman Polanskis harrowing depiction of Szpilmans experiences avoiding the concentration camps was showered with critical acclaim. In particular for the performance of leading man Adrien Brody, he won the Best Actor Oscar. The chronology of the pianists story is re-ordered in the film, making space for Polanskis own commentary on the period. His own experience in the Krakow Ghetto inspired the changes - including an entirely new character, Dorota.
28. Casino (1995)
The Book: Nicholas Pileggis non-fiction narrative explores the inner workings of the Mafia in Las Vegas, and how they lost their grip on their glittering cash cow.
The Movie: The second collaboration between Pileggi and director Martin Scorsese brought Robert De Niro back into the fold, taking on the role of Jewish-American Ace Rothstein - a wiseguy planted in Vegas by the mob to oversee the day-to-day operations of their casinos. Based on a true story, the book covers the intricacies of Rothsteins literary counterpart running three casinos. Scorsese and Pileggi thought this approach would confuse audiences so they simplified it to just one; the Tangiers.
27. The Graduate (1967)
The Book: Straight out of college, Charles Webb penned the novel based on his personal experience of an academic romance with an older woman.
The Movie: Mike Nichols version cast a young Dustin Hoffman in the lead as Benjamin Braddock. An impressionable youth enraptured by Anne Bancrofts older woman; their encounter is destined for the annals of film quote history by his asking: Mrs. Robinson, are you trying to seduce me? One of the films notable asides, between Benjamin and a family friend who is very interested in plastics, wasnt in the novel.
26. Full Metal Jacket (1987)
The Book: The Short-Timers, an autobiographical tale of the Vietnam War written by U.S. Marine Corps veteran Gustav Hasford.
The Movie: Stanley Kubricks esoteric adaptation playfully toyed with narrative constructs - telling two separate stories of the personal strife undergone by a platoon of U.S. Marines during boot camp and beyond. Originally told in three parts, the storys final segment wasnt included and the brief boot camp chapter expanded upon.
25. Midnight Express (1978)
The Book: Billy Hayes story of human endurance and survival was formed around his own incarceration and escape from a Turkish prison.
The Movie: Alan Parkers adaptation brought the grimness of Hayes experience to cinema screens, with a gut-wrenching central performance from Brad Davis as the imprisoned young American. The real-life account transcribed in the book depicts his escape as being from another prison Hayes was transferred to, and he did not kill the head guard before making his exit.
24. Sophies Choice (1982)
The Book: William Styrons novel, about a Southern writer who befriends a couple in his New York boarding house, was so impactful on popular culture that the phrase Sophies Choice now idiomatically refers to the task of making an impossible decision.
The Movie: Sophies Choice snagged Meryl Streep the Best Actress award for her stunning performance as a Polish immigrant in Brooklyn retelling the story of her time in Auschwitz to her neighbour Stingo (Peter MacNicol) through a series of heart-wrenching flashbacks. How Kevin Klines larger-than-life portrayal of Sophies lover Nathan failed to accrue any award recognition is baffling. While onboard the train to Auschwitz, the book describes Sophies frustration at daughter Evas sniffling nose, whining and upset due to being ill. This detail hints definitively at the reason behind her final choice - whereas in the film the scene is absent.
23. American Psycho (2000)
The Book: Bret Easton Ellis graphic psychosexual novel delves into the minutae of Manhattanite Patrick Bateman's life. It was mauled in the press for its depiction of violence.
The Movie: Mary Harron directed the film based on a script co-written with Guinevere Turner. A frank and bloody depiction of several key events in the novel, she cast Christian Bale in the role of psychotic yuppie businessman Bateman. The body count shown onscreen is considerably less than in the novel - including the painstaking details of the deaths. Batemans first murder of the homeless man and his dog is far more brutal.
22. Jurassic Park (1993)
The Book: A warning to mankind of the dangers of genetic fiddling, Michael Crichtons 1990 novel captured readers with its scientific rationale for engineering real life dinosaurs to populate a theme park.
The Movie: Spielbergs adventure flick lit up the box office during the summer of 1993, plunging a bunch of scientists, lawyers and kids into the depths of an island overrun with cloned dinos. He made Raptors a fixture in popular culture, and placed the T-Rex at the centre of one of cinemas most suspenseful sequences. Being on the edge of your seat never felt so damn enjoyable. John Hammonds grandchildren Tim and Lex were opposite ages in the novel. Lex was younger and keen on sports, whereas Tim was the older of the two fascinated with computers.