10 Movies Inspired By Books From Your High School Reading List

One of my favorite things in school was when my teacher would decide we could watch a movie. There have been many books whose plots have been turned into movies, but I love when movies get their inspiration from the classics and do cool modern adaptations on your usual high school reading list.

I mean, things sometimes get changed so I don’t think you can just watch the movie and call it a day, but I do think that these movies are a great treat once you finally make it through all those pages (and the term paper… and the final exam…). Here are ten movies that you may not have known were inspired by or based on books probably right off your high school reading list (seriously!).

What You Have To Read: “Twelfth Night” by William Shakespeare
What You Can Watch: She’s The Man

We read the play, which features the character Viola posing as her twin brother Sebastian, my senior year. I tried to convince my English teacher to let us watch this (seriously, it’s based on it!), but he refused. Sad face.


What You Have To Read: Emma by Jane Austen
What You Can Watch: Clueless

The lighthearted matchmaker in Emma comes to “Valley Girl” life in the form of Cher Horowitz. I bet Jane Austen wishes she thought of “Ugh, as if!”


What You Have To Read: “Cyrano de Bergerac” by Edmond Rostand
What You Can Watch: Roxanne

The movie also revolves around an eloquent man who is insecure about his nose, but they added modern touches (like that walkie-talkie system!).


What You Have To Read: “The Taming Of The Shrew” by William Shakespeare
What You Can Watch: 10 Things I Hate About You

I think the movie title is kind of a nicer name. But you’ll find sisters Bianca and Kat (well, Katherina) in both works.


What You Have To Read: Silas Marner by George Eliot
What You Can Watch: A Simple Twist Of Fate

I remember this book was a very quick read, so I was a big fan. It’s a sweet story about a man and the young girl he adopts, and movie follows many similar plot points.


What You Have To Read: Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
What You Can Watch: Bride & Prejudice

One of the most classic literary love stories meets Bollywood? Count me in.


What You Have To Read: “Romeo and Juliet” by William Shakespeare
What You Can Watch: West Side Story

I think I like the story of the famous star-crossed lovers more when there’s a musical soundtrack to go with it.


What You Have To Read: The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne
What You Can Watch: Easy A

The Scarlet Letter is one of my favorites and Emma Stone is one of my favorites, so you can only imagine how much I enjoyed this movie as Olive learns firsthand what life was like for Hester Pyrnne.


What You Have To Read: Hamlet by William Shakespeare
What You Can Watch: The Lion King

I don’t think Simba ever says “To be, or not to be” like Hamlet, but the whole power-tripping uncle thing remains the same.


What You Have To Read: The Prince And The Pauper by Mark Twain
What You Can Watch: It Takes Two

A classic switching places, just like ol’ Twain once wrote. I miss the days of annual Mary-Kate and Ashley movies, don’t you?

What are some of your favorite movies based on books? Be honest: have you ever watched the movie and not read the book for school? Tell us in the comments!

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