Books turned into movies

Lectura Niveles B2-C1 (8 min)

In the world of cinema, there are so many amazing films based on classical British or American literature, from modern day favourites like ´Harry Potter´ by J.K Rowling and ´The Lord of the Rings´ by J.R.R Tolkien to older, yet just as amazing, classics such as ´The Taming of the Shrew´ by William Shakespeare and ¨The Great Gatsby´ by F. Scott Fitzgerald.

For someone learning English, there are many benefits to watching the film version of a classic book, as well as reading the book itself. For example:

  • If the book is too difficult to understand or you can´t find the motivation to read it, watching the film can allow you to enjoy the film and understand it better when you try to read it again.
  • You can read the book first then watch the film after to see how well you understood the book.
  • Since many classic English books are old, they may use some words which you may not know, so watching the film can teach you how to use and pronounce these words.
  • If you´re not sure which book you would enjoy, watch the film first! It is quicker and you can get a good idea of what to expect from the book.

Here are some ways you can engage with the film to help you read the book and develop your English:

  • If you’re watching the film because the book was too difficult to understand, try reading the book again afterwards. You’d be surprised by how much more you understand now!
  • Divide the film into parts and watch it little by little. In between watching, read the book and try to match up your reading to where you are in the film. How well does the book follow the story? What parts did the filmmakers leave out?
  • When you read the book before watching the film,  write down anything you don’t understand very well. Try to find these scenes in the film. Does it make more sense now?

Bearing all of that in mind, here is a list of classic books that have been made into films that you must watch! They make great books and fantastic films:

BOOK AUTHOR FILM ADAPTATION
To Kill a Mockingbird (1960) Harper Lee To Kill a Mockingbird (1962)
The Lord of the Rings (1954) (again, you could try reading/watching all of the books/films) J.R.R Tolkien The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001)
An Inspector Calls (1945) J.B Priestley An Inspector Calls (2015)
The Great Gatsby (1925) F Scott Fitzgerald The Great Gatsby (2013)
The Taming of the Shrew (1594) William Shakespeare 10 Things I Hate About You (1999)
Twelfth Night (1602) William Shakespeare She’s the Man (2006)
Romeo and Juliet (1597) William Shakespeare West Side Story (1961)   Romeo and Juliet (1996)
Little Women (1868) Louisa May Alcott Little Women (2019)
The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe (1950) C.S. Lewis The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (2005)

Bibi Hughes, practicante de Studio 3