Lots and lots of movies are based on books, and most of them are nothing more than a pitiful bastardized version of the book. Hell, most of the time, they aren’t even that good.

However, sometimes every star, planet, solar system and parallel universe aligns and someone makes a movie that is even better than the book.

5) Godfather

Horse head from the Godfather

Fact: That's a real horse head and that actor didn't know. At first. Those are real screams.

Unlike most of the list, The Godfather was a pretty good book, too. But Coppola attacked Puzo’s book like a rabid wolverine and all he left was an awesome screenplay. The Godfather is easily one of the greatest movies ever made, and it’s more in part to Francis Ford Coppola than Mario Puzo.

4) Princess Bride

Hello! My name is Inigo Montoya! You killed my father! Prepare to die!

By now, you should know his name, what to prepare for, and why.

The Princes Bride movie is so great most people don’t even realize it’s a romantic comedy. It’s instantly quotable and there’s enough action to keep men happy in between the kissy parts. And while the book has the same humor as the movie, it also uses the same format. So the author is constantly breaking in at inopportune times. Regrettably, this doesn’t work as well on paper as film. Plus, Mandy Patinkin may have the gayest name ever, but he’s bad ass as Inigo Montoya.

3) The Neverending Story

Falcor, the luck-dragon-flying-dog thing.

Keep scratching. Or I'll eat you.

This children’s fantasy classic from the 80’s was based off a not so beloved German children’s book. Well, it might be beloved in Germany, but so are a lot of other things you probably don’t want to be associated with. While the The Neverending Story movie wowed us with its awesome (at the time) special effects and excellent sets, the book makes you pray that it isn’t.

2) Jaws

 

We're gonna need a bigger boat. Like a battleship.

Jaws is without a doubt the seminal killer shark movie and is probably responsible for keeping more people out of the water than BP. The movie was plagued with problems, but in the end, Spielberg spit out a pant wetting masterpiece.

But if you read the book, you’d probably have never wanted to see the movie. Why? For starters, there’s a mafia subplot. Yeah, the mob in a book about a killer shark. Peter Benchly has actually said that if he knew as much about sharks as he does now back then, he’d have never written the book. And aside from the movie never being made, probably no one would have noticed.

1) First Blood

When Stallone was still awesome.

Ah, the story of John Rambo. This pissed off war vet brings the pain to some redneck sheriff’s department and delivers a solid social message in the process. It also spawned several sequels that lost the social diatribe in favor of bigger explosions, but that’s not what we’re talking about right now. The point is, John Rambo is O.G.

Except in the book. In Rambo, John Rambo is still a war vet, but in this one he’s a few sheep short of a Scottish orgy. He’s also a hippie. No, not killing hippies. Rambo is a straight up whale hugger who likes to go Ahab on white people. It still has a strong social message, but this one is PETA approved. Oh, and Rambo dies like a bitch in the end. So if you prefer your Rambo kicking ass and, you know, alive, stick with the movie.

Have We Missed Any?

Let us know in the comments. They’re yours.

Want To Catch Up On Some Of These?