Classic literature is a timeless gem that we absolutely cannot get enough of it. When you have read all of your favorite classic novels and you crave more, you look for different means to satisfy your hunger. Fret not! Here is a list of 15+ classic novels adapted into movies and series!
Jane Eyre, a classic novel written by Charlotte Bronte in 1847, is about a nine-year-old orphan girl named Jane. Jane has faced many hardships in life since she was a child. She has a harsh environment growing up, and yet she still manages to take control of her life. Others may think she is wild and reckless, but she is an extremely strong and courageous character.
Being one of the greatest and most popular works of English fiction, Jane Eyre got a lot of adaptations since its release. A few of the Jane Eyre TV and movie adaptations are listed below:
- Jane Eyre (1943) starring Joan Fontaine and Orson Welles
- Jane Eyre (1983), an eleven-part BBC series, starring Zelah Clarke and Timothy Dalton
- Jane Eyre (2006) starring Ruth Wilson and Toby Stephens
- Jane Eyre (2011) starring Mia Wasikowska and Michael Fassbender
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Watch Jane Eyre on Netflix!
Pride and Prejudice
Pride and Prejudice, a classic novel first published in 1813 by Jane Austen, is a brilliant tale of courtship, romance, gossip, manners, and morality in rural Hertfordshire, where Elizabeth and her possible suitor Darcy must overcome their pride and dissolve their prejudices before solidifying their relationship.
Being one of the universally loved and admired novels, Pride & Prejudice has been adapted into a lot of movies and TV Series since its release. Here is a list of the Pride & Prejudice TV and movie adaptations:
- Pride and Prejudice (1940) starring Laurence Olivier & Greer Garson
- Pride and Prejudice (1980) starring Elizabeth Garvie and David Rintoul
- Pride and Prejudice (1995) starring Jennifer Ehle and Colin Firth
- Pride and Prejudice (2003) starring Kam Heskin and Orlando Seale
- Pride and Prejudice (2005) starring Keira Knightley and Matthew Macfadyen
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Emma, a literary classic novel first published in the year 1815 and written by Jane Austen, is based on the life of the main protagonist Emma Woodhouse. Emma is a wealthy young lady growing up in Hartfield, where she tries to matchmake couples, believing that she can bring a hundred percent success rate to matchmaking, and creates troubles while doing so.
Emma has also been adapted into many dramas, TV Series, and movies since its publication. Below is the list of TV and movie adaptations of Emma:
- Clueless (1995) starring Alicia Silverstone
- Emma (1996) starring Kate Beckinsale
- Emma (1996) starring Gwyneth Paltrow
- Emma (2009), a four-part BBC miniseries, starring Romola Garai
- Emma (2020) starring Anya Taylor Joy
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Sense and Sensibility
Sense and Sensibility, the first classic literature written by Jane Austen and published in 1811, is about two sisters living in southern England in the 1790s, Elinor and Marianne Dashwood, and their lives and loves. The sisters discover that if they want to find personal happiness in a society where status and wealth dictate the standards of love, sense and sensibility must coexist.
Sense and Sensibility have also been adapted into TV Series and movies since its release. Here are a few lists of Sense and Sensibility TV and movie adaptations in their release order:
- Sense and Sensibility (1971), a four-part BBC television adaptation, starring Ciaran Madden and Joanna David
- Sense and Sensibility (1981), a seven-part BBC television adaptation, starring Irene Richard and Tracey Childs
- Sense and Sensibility (1995) starring Emma Thompson and Kate Winslet
- Sense and Sensibility (2008), a three-part British television adaptation by BBC, starring Charity Wakefield and Hattie Morahan
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Romeo and Juliet
Romeo and Juliet, a classic literature and play written by William Shakespeare between 1591 and 1595, and first published in a quarto version in 1597. It is one of the most popular plays of Shakespeare based on the love story between two young people from opposing noble families, Romeo Montague and Juliet Capulet, whose deaths ultimately reconcile their feuding families.
It has been adapted to many drama and movie adaptations. A few of the Romeo and Juliet TV and movie adaptations are listed below:
- Romeo and Juliet (1936) starring Leslie Howard and Norma Shearer
- Romeo and Juliet (1954) starring Laurence Harvey and Susan Shentall
- Romeo and Juliet (1968) starring Leonard Whiting and Olivia Hussey
- Romeo + Juliet (1996) starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Claire Danes
- Romeo and Juliet (2013) starring Douglas Booth and Hailee Steinfeld
- Romeo and Juliet (2014), a Broadway theatrical production, starring Orlando Bloom and Condola Rashād
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Les Liaisons dangereuses
Les Liaisons dangereuses, also known as, Dangerous Liaisons, is a French novel written by Choderlos de Laclos and originally published in 1782. It is one of the widely regarded French classic literature. The Vicomte de Valmont, a hedonistic nobleman, sets out to seduce the virtuous and upright Madame de Tourvel, for his own amusement and to spite his former lover, the Marquise de Merteuil. The book is a sophisticated tale of seduction and treachery set in 18th-century French society.
Due to the complex story’s ideas and characters, it has been adapted into a number of movies, stage performances, and operas, and a few of them are listed below:
- Dangerous Liaisons (1988) starring John Malkovich, Glenn Close, and Michelle Pfeiffer
- Valmont (1989) starring Colin Firth, Annette Bening, and Meg Tilly
- Cruel Intentions (1999) starring Sarah Michelle Gellar, Ryan Phillippe, and Reese Witherspoon
- Liaisons dangereuses (2003), a French television mini-series, starring Catherine Deneuve, Rupert Everett, and Nastassja Kinski
- Untold Scandal (2003), a South Korean romantic drama film starring Bae Yong-joon, Jeon Do-yeon, and Lee Mi-sook
- Dangerous Liaisons (2012), a Chinese period romance drama film, starring Zhang Ziyi, Jang Dong-gun, and Cecilia Cheung
- Les Liasons dangereuses (2016) starring Dominic West, Elaine Cassidy, and Janet McTeer
- Tempted (2018), a ten-episode South Korean romantic drama, starring Woo Do-hwan, Moon Ga-young, and Joy
- Dangerous Liaisons (2022) starring Simon Rérolle, Ella Pellegrini, and Paola Locatelli.
- Dangerous Liaisons (2022), an 8-part prelude to the novel, starring Nicholas Denton and Alice Englert.
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Wuthering Heights, a British novel by Emily Bronte, first published in 1847, is a story including topics of class, love, and revenge. It tells us a story about the intense and complicated relationship between Catherine Earnshaw and Heathcliff from childhood to adulthood, in Northern England. It is considered English classic literature.
The novel has also been adapted into many films, stage productions, and television dramas, and a few of them are:
- Wuthering Heights (1939) starring Laurence Olivier and Merle Oberon
- Wuthering Heights (1967), a four-part BBC television adaptation, starring Ian McShane and Angela Scoular
- Wuthering Heights (1978), a five-part BBC TV adaptation, starring Ken Hutchinson, Kay Adshead, and John Duttine
- Wuthering Heights (1988), a Japanese film adaptation, starring Yūsaku Matsuda and Yūko Tanaka
- Wuthering Heights (1992) starring Ralph Fiennes and Juliette Binoche
- Wuthering Heights (2009), ITV’s two-part TV adaptation, starring Tom Hardy, and Charlotte Riley
- Wuthering Heights (2011) starring Kaya Scodelario and James Howson
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Anne of Green Gables
Anne of Green Gables, a Canadian novel by Lucy Maud Montgomery, was first published in 1908. It tells the story of Anne Shirley, an orphan girl who is mistakenly sent to Avonlea on Prince Edward Island, to live with a brother and sister, Matthew and Marilla Cuthbert. It is based on the life of Anne and how she navigates her life and love while making a lot of memories, growing up, becoming a part of Avonlea, and making friends. The Anne of Green Gables series continues with its several sequels.
It is a classic literature and has been adapted into several films, and TV series, which are listed below:
- Anne of Green Gables (1934) starring Dawn O’Day, also known as Anne Shirley
- Anne of Windy Poplars (1940) starring Dawn O’Day
- Anne of Green Gables (1972), a British 5-part mini-series, starring Kim Braden
- Anne of Avonlea (1975), a British 4-part mini-series sequel, starring Kim Braden
- Anne of Green Gables (1985), a CBC television miniseries, starring Megan Follows
- Anne of Green Gables: The Sequel (1987), a CBC television miniseries, starring Megan Follows
- Anne of Green Gables: The Continuing Story (2000), a CBC television miniseries, starring Megan Follows
- Anne of Green Gables: A New Beginning (2008), starring Barbara Hershey
- Anne of Green Gables (2016), a 90-minute TV adaptation, starring Ella Ballentine
- Anne of Green Gables: The Good Stars (2017) starring Ella Ballentine
- Anne of Green Gables: Fire & Dew (2017) starring Ella Ballentine
- Anne with an E (2017-2019), a joint CBC-Netflix 3-season television series, starring Amybeth McNulty, Geraldine James, R. H. Thomson, and Lucas Jade Zumann
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The Great Gatsby
The Great Gatsby, a classic novel written by F. Scott Fitzgerald, first published in 1925, is set in the 1920s and follows the life of Jay Gatsby, who is a wealthy man who throws extravagant parties in an attempt to win back his former love, Daisy Buchanan.
It is considered American classic literature, which has been adapted into various films and TV Series to date, and a few are listed below:
- The Great Gatsby (1949) starring Alan Ladd, Betty Field, and Macdonald Carey
- The Great Gatsby (1974) starring Robert Redford, Mia Farrow, and Sam Waterston
- The Great Gatsby (2000) starring Paul Rudd, Toby Stephens, and Mira Sorvino
- G (2002) a modernized adaptation, starring Richard T. Jones, Chenoa Maxwell, and Blair Underwood
- The Great Gatsby (2013) starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Carey Mulligan, and Tobey Maguire
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Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland
Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, also known as “Alice in Wonderland,” is a children’s book written by Lewis Carroll first published in 1865. It follows a young girl named Alice who falls down a rabbit hole and enters a fantasy world with strange and humanlike characters.
Alice in Wonderland is considered English classic literature, which has been adapted into numerous films and TV Shows, and a few of them are listed below:
- Alice in Wonderland (1951) starring Kathryn Beaumont as the voice of Alice
- Alice in Wonderland (1955), the Hallmark Hall of Fame live TV adaptation, starring Gillian Barber
- Alice in Wonderland (1966) starring Anne-Marie Mallik as Alice
- Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (1972) starring Fiona Fullerton
- Dreamchild (1985) starring Amelia Shankley and Coral Browne
- Alice in Wonderland (1985) starring Natalie Gregory
- Alice through the Looking Glass (1998) British fantasy television film, starring Kate Beckinsale, Charlotte Curley, Penelope Wilton, and Geoffrey Palmer
- Alice in Wonderland (1999) starring Tina Majorino, Whoopi Goldberg, Miranda Richardson · and Martin Short
- Alice in Wonderland (2010) starring Mia Wasikowska, Johnny Depp, Anne Hathaway, and Helena Bonham Carter
- Alice Through the Looking Glass (2016), a sequel to 2010, starring Mia Wasikowska, Johnny Depp, Anne Hathaway, and Helena Bonham Carter
- Alice in Borderland (2020), a loosely based Japanese thriller-fantasy TV series, Kento Yamazaki, Tao Tsuchiya, Nijirô Murakami, and Riisa Naka
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Anna Karenina, a classic novel by Leo Tolstoy, first published in serial form in 1873-1877, follows the life of Anna Karenina, a married noblewoman. Anna becomes romantically involved with a young count, which results in a scandal and her downfall.
It has been adapted into numerous films, and a few are listed below:
- Anna Karenina (1977), a ten-episode BBC series, starring Nicola Pagett, Eric Porter, and Stuart Wilson
- Anna Karenina (1985) starring Jacqueline Bisset and Christopher Reeve
- Anna Karenina (1997) starring Sophie Marceau and Sean Bean
- Anna Karenina (2000), a four-part British TV adaptation, starring Helen McCrory and Kevin McKidd
- Anna Karenina (2012) starring Keira Knightley and Jude Law
- The Beautiful Lie (2015), an ABC 6-part miniseries based on Anna Karenina, starring Sarah Snook, Rodger Corser, Benedict Samuel, and Sophie Lowe
- Anna Karenina: Vronsky’s Story (2017), a Russian adaption starring Elizaveta Boyarskaya, Maksim Matveyev, and Kirill Grebenshchikov
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Perfume: The Story of a Murderer, a German literary fantasy novel by Patrick Süskind, first published in 1985, is a story about the life of Jean-Baptiste Grenouille. He is an orphan with an extraordinary sense of smell who becomes obsessed with creating the perfect scent and becomes a murderer in the process of it. The novel has been translated into 49 languages and is considered classic contemporary literature.
It has been adapted into a few film versions, which are listed below:
- Perfume: The Story of a Murderer (2006) starring Ben Whishaw
- Criminal Minds: Season 6, Episode 14 named “Sense Memory” (2011)
- Perfume (Parfum) (2018), a six-part German TV series, starring Friederike Becht, Juergen Maurer, Wotan Wilke Möhring, and Christian Friedel
- The Perfumier (2022) starring Emilia Schüle, Ludwig Simon, and Robert Finster
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Little Women, an American classic novel by Louisa May Alcott, first published in two volumes in 1868 and 1869, follows the lives of four sisters – Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy March.
It is one of the everlasting and beloved classics of American literature, which has been adapted into numerous films, and TV series, which are listed below:
- Little Women (1949) starring June Allyson, Margaret O’Brien, Elizabeth Taylor, and Janet Leigh
- Little Women (1958), a 6-part BBC TV adaptation, starring Phyllis Calvert, Kate Cameron, Andrée Melly, Diana Day, Sylvia Davies, and David Cole
- Little Women (1970), a 9-part BBC adaptation, starring Angela Down, Jo Rowbottom, Janina Faye, Sarah Craze, Stephanie Bidmead, and Stephen Turner
- Little Women (1978), a 2-part NBC miniseries, starring Susan Dey, Meredith Baxter Birney, Eve Plumb, Ann Dusenberry, and Dorothy McGuire
- Little Women (1979) starring Jessica Harper, Susan Walden, Ann Dusenberry, and Dorothy McGuire
- Tales of Little Women (1987), a Japanese animated television series adaptation of 48 episodes
- Little Women (1994) starring Winona Ryder, Trini Alvarado, Samantha Mathis, Kirsten Dunst, and Claire Danes
- Little Women (2017), a 3-part BBC series, starring Emily Watson, Maya Hawke, Willa Fitzgerald, Kathryn Newton, Annes Elwy, and Jonah Hauer-King
- Little Women (2018) starring Sarah Davenport, Allie Jennings, Melanie Stone, Elise Jones, and Taylor Murphy
- Little Women (2019) starring Saoirse Ronan, Emma Watson, Florence Pugh, Laura Dern, Meryl Streep, Eliza Scanlen, and Timothee Chalamet
- Little Women (2022), a loosely based 12-episode South Korean drama adaptation, starring Kim Go-eun, Nam Ji-hyun, Park Ji-hu, and Wi Ha-joon
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The Handmaid’s Tale
The Handmaid’s Tale, a futuristic dystopian novel by Margaret Atwood, first published in 1985, follows the story of a woman named Offred. She is forced into sexual enslavement as a “handmaid” in order to bear children for a powerful couple in the regime.
It has been adapted into a film and TV series, which are:
- The Handmaid’s Tale (1990) starring Natasha Richardson, Faye Dunaway, and Robert Duvall
- The Handmaid’s Tale (2017-2022), a 5-season Hulu production, starring Elisabeth Moss
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The Godfather, a crime novel by Mario Puzo, first published in 1969, follows the story of the Corleone crime family, headed by patriarch Vito Corleone. It is set in New York City during the mid-1940s and mid-1950s. It centers around the son of Vito, Michael Corleone, who becomes the head of the family after his father is nearly killed in an assassination attempt.
The Godfather is adapted into a highly successful film trilogy, which are:
The Godfather (1972) starring Marlon Brando, Al Pacino, and James Caan
The Godfather Part II (1974) starring Al Pacino, Robert Duvall, Diane Keaton, and Robert De Niro
The Godfather Saga (1977), a 4-part NBC TV miniseries, was re-edited from the first two films into chronological order and added deleted scenes
The Godfather: Part III (1990) starring Al Pacino, Diane Keaton, and Andy Garcia
The Godfather Coda: The Death of Michael Corleone (2020), a re-edited version of the third film
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War and Peace
War and Peace, a historical classic novel by Leo Tolstoy, first published in 1869, tells the story of several aristocratic families, the Bezukhovs, the Kuragins, and the Bolkonskys. The novel is set in Russia during the Napoleonic Wars.
The novel is considered one of the greatest works of literature ever written, and has been adapted into several films, and miniseries, which are listed below:
- War and Peace (1956) starring Audrey Hepburn, Henry Fonda, and Mel Ferrer
- War and Peace (1966-1967) starring Ludmila Savelyeva and Vyacheslav Tikhonov
- War and Peace (1972-1973), a 20-episode long BBC TV series adaptation, starring Anthony Hopkins, Rupert Davies, Morag Hood, and Alan Dobie
- War and Peace (2007), a TV mini-series in Russian & English, starring Alexander Beyer, Clémence Poésy, and Alessio Boni
- War & Peace (2016), a six-part BBC TV series adaptation, starring Paul Dano, James Norton, Lily James, and Jim Broadbent
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