Reel Good Reads: From Print to Film

Great books spawn great movies and there's something sure to please everyone here! With new videos and DVDs arriving regularly and our new one-week check out policy there's no reason to spend money at the video store! Just search our catalog by "Video Title Browse" for more great movies!

The Green Mile

By Stephen King

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At Cold Mountain Penitentiary, along the lonely stretch of cells known as the Green Mile, killers as depraved as the psychopathic "Billy the Kid" Wharton and the possessed Eduard Delacroix await death strapped in "Old Sparky". Here guards as decent as Paul Edgecombe and as sadistic as Percy Wetmore watch over them. But good or evil, innocent or guilty, none have ever seen the brutal likes of the new prisoner, John Coffey, sentenced to death for raping and murdering two young girls. Is Coffey a devil in human form? Or is he a far, far different kind of being?

On Film:
A stellar cast including Tom Hanks, David Morse, Bonnie Hunt, Michael Clarke Duncan, Sam Rockwell, and Harry Dean Stanton makes this 1999 movie a must see.

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The Firm

By John Grisham

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Mitchell Y. McDeere has worked hard to get where he is: third in his class at Harvard Law. Aggressively recruited by all the top firms, and initially headed for Wall Street, Mitch surprised everyone by joining Bendini, Lambert and Locke, a very private, very rich tax firm in Memphis.

On Film:
The 1996 film, starring Tom Cruise, Gene Hackman, Jeanne Tripplehorn, Ed Harris, Holly Hunter, is a great companion to Grisham's thrilling novel. You can also check out The Pelican Brief and A Time to Kill.

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The Commitments

By Roddy Doyle

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This funky, rude, unpretentious first novel traces the short, funny, and furious career of a group of working-class Irish kids who form a band, The Commitments. Their mission: to bring soul to Dublin!

On Film:
Watch the popular film adaptation. Music from the film is available on CD: The Commitments: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack and The Commitments Volume 2.

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The Color Purple

By Alice Walker

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Winner of the American Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize, this unforgettable portrait of a young black girl, her friends, family, and lovers is rich with passion, pain, inspiration, and an indomitable love of life.

On Film:
Be sure to check out the powerful 1985 movie version, directed by Steven Spielberg and starring Danny Glover, Oprah Winfrey, and Whoopie Goldberg.

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The Accidental Tourist

By Anne Tyler

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The narrow, orderly life of a travel guidebooks author is hilariously disrupted by his estranged wife and an eccentric dog trainer

On Film:
The film adaptation of Tyler's novel was originally released in 1988 and stars William Hurt, Kathleen Turner, Geena Davis.

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Rocket Boys: A Memoir

By Homer H. Hickam, Jr.

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Looking back after a distinguished NASA career, Hickam shares the story of his youth in a coal mining town.

 

On Film:
Jake Gyllenhaal, Chris Cooper, Chris Owen, and Laura Dern star in October Sky, the movie adaptation of Rocket Boys.

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Rebecca

By Daphne du Maurier

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A young woman weds a wealthy widower and goes to live in his palatial Cornish estate. Her good fortune turns nightmarish, however, when she finds herself haunted by the spector of Rebecca, her husband's first wife.

On Film:
Rebecca is a true classic, as is Alfred Hitchcock's spine-tingling 1940 movie adaptation, featuring a darkly handsome Laurence Olivier as Maxim de Winter and a fresh-faced Joan Fontaine as the young Mrs. de Winter. This classic movie is a must see! For an updated look at Rebecca check out this 1997 release starring Charles Dance, Emilia Fox, Diana Rigg, Faye Dunaway, Geraldine James. This movie adaptation is recommended for true Rebecca fanatics only-- it's almost three hours long!

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Pride and Prejudice

By Jane Austen

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In early nineteenth-century England, a spirited young woman copes with the suit of a snobbish gentleman as well as the romantic entanglements of her four sisters.

On Film:
The 1995 BBC/A&E production of Pride and Prejudice, starring Colin Firth, is a must see for Austen fans and hopeless romantics. This adaptation is five hours long, but every minute is great. (Also available on VHS.) For black & white film buffs, check out the 1940 film version with Laurence Olivier and Maureen O'Sullivan. The screenplay for this film was written by Brave New World author Aldous Huxley. Finally, Bridget Jones's Diary puts a modern spin on Austen's classic.

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Papillon

By Henri Charriere

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This is the true story of Henri Charriere (better known as "Papillon" or "the butterfly"), a prisoner so determined to escape the notorious Devil's Island, he attempted it multiple times until he reached old age.

 

On Film:
Steve McQueen, Dustin Hoffman, Victor Jory, Don Gordon and Anthony Zerbe star in the 1973 film.

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Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil: A Savannah Story

By John Berendt

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Shots rang out in Savannah's grandest mansion in the misty, early morning hours of May 2, 1981. Was it murder or self-defense? For nearly a decade, the shooting and its aftermath reverberated throughout this hauntingly beautiful city of moss-hung oaks and shaded squares.

On Film:
Directed by Clint Eastwood, Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil is a must see. Against the back drop of this charming southern city, great performances by Kevin Spacey and John Cusack bring Berendt's fascinating story to life.

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