Share |

Read the Book, See the Movie: Part 3

L.A. Confidential

From whodunits to supernatural chillers, audiences have always enjoyed a good suspense story. Some of the most significant early literary giants made their names with gothic tales (supernatural or otherwise), including such diverse, often-filmed classics as Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights and her sister Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre (both 1847), Robert Louis Stevenson’s The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1886), Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray (1891), and Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1897). The detective novel also began to evolve during this period, spawning the modern mystery genre as we know it today.

Silence of the Lambs

The bestselling fiction writer of all time according to the Guinness Book of World Records is Dame Agatha Christie, best known for her series of whodunits featuring detectives Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple. Her most popular novel, And Then There Were None, also marked the first time that Christie adapted one of her works for the stage. The play, called Ten Little Indians, features a happier ending, which is usually used in the frequent film versions of the work.

VIDEO: "L.A. Confidential" Adaptation

Offshoots of the detective mystery novel have also grown in popularity over the years. Legal thrillers revolving around courtroom proceedings have been associated with authors like John Grisham (who wrote the novels that became such films as "The Firm" in 1993 and "Runaway Jury" in 2003) and Scott Turow (author of the source novel for the 1990 film "Presumed Innocent"). The crime procedural has also become a fixture on bestseller lists as well as a thriller mainstay on movie screens, exemplified by Academy Award-winning titles like "The Silence of the Lambs" in 1991 (based on the novel by Thomas Harris) and "No Country for Old Men" (2007, based on the novel by Cormac McCarthy) as well as variations like the religious conspiracy procedurals of Dan Brown that formed the basis of "The Da Vinci Code" (2006) and "Angels & Demons" (2009).

Additional Links

Read the Book, See the Movie
Margaret Herrick Library
Academy Film Archive

Promoting the Movie Based on a Book


For many films, the book upon which it was based can become a major factor in attracting audiences. However, the methods used to catch the public eye have changed significantly over the years, as seen in this gallery of theatrical poster art and related promotions.

Don't Show Again