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Read the Book, See the Movie: Part 4

The Bourne Ultimatum

Stories of heroism, combat and outrageous feats of courage have been with us since the earliest novels around the world. Likewise, movies have often turned to the written word as the basis for sweeping visual stories filled with excitement and, of course, spectacular action sequences. Both the silent era and Hollywood’s Golden Age were filled with swashbuckling pirates and adventure on the high seas in films from prestigious literary sources like "Mutiny on the Bounty" (1935) and "Captains Courageous" (1937) and military operations around the world in "Beau Geste" (including versions in 1926 and 1939) and "Kim" (1951), inspired by writers like Rudyard Kipling, James Norman Hall and Charles Nordhoff.

The Last of the Mohicans

One of the most enduring classic adventure novelists, Alexandre Dumas, is also one of the most widely read French authors of all time with works including the often-filmed novel The Three Musketeers (1844) and its sequels, as well as The Count of Monte Cristo (1844). 

Spy novels, which rose to prominence during the early 20th century, achieved tremendous popularity during the Cold War era. Significant writers of the genre include Graham Greene, Ian Fleming, John le Carré, Alistair MacLean and Len Deighton, all of whom wrote novels that were translated into films featuring characters like James Bond and Harry Palmer. Espionage-themed fiction remains popular in film with writers like Robert Ludlum (creator of the Jason Bourne series) and Tom Clancy (the Jack Ryan series).  

Additional Links

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

Selling the Book


Booksellers often came up with creative methods of tying in major novels when their film adaptations were opening down the street. Click here to see some examples of unique book and movie promotions.

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