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Five Best Picture Academy Award winners based on Best-Selling Novels

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The 86th annual Academy Awards airs tonight at 8pm est. and, once again, the world will be tuning in.

In what has become the second most watched television program every year, following the Super Bowl, all eyes will be on their favorite actors and actresses as they gather for one night only to commemorate the exceptional work they and their peers have accomplished in 2013.

Tonight, the winner of the Best Picture of the Year will join a list of some of the greatest movies ever made.

In celebration of tonight’s broadcast, we here at the Tampa Bay Books Examiner have compiled a list of “Five Best Picture Academy Award Winners based on Best-selling Novels”.

As always, I’m sure there are many that we’ve missed. Please feel free to let us know some of your own personal favorites.

Enjoy!

The Godfather by Mario Puzo
The Godfather by Mario Puzo www.goodreads.com

The Godfather by Mario Puzo

Considered one of the greatest movies ever made, this best picture winner from 1972, is based on the best-selling novel of the same name by author Mario Puzo.

The story of the Corleone mob family was brought to the screen by director Francis Ford Coppola and starred Marlon Brando, Al Pacino, James Caan, Robert Duvall and John Cazale, still considered some of the greatest actors of their time.

It was followed by two sequels and continues to be the classic “go to” movie on lazy weekend afternoon.

The Bridge over the River Kwai
The Bridge over the River Kwai www.amazon.com

The Bridge over the River Kwai

The Bridge over the River Kwai is based on a 1952 novel by Pierre Boulle describing the horrible conditions of a Japanese POW camp during World War II and the British soldiers forced to build a bridge over the fictional river Kwai.

Directed by David Lean and starring William Holden and Alec Guinness, the movie follows the actions of Colonel Nicholson, whose work on the bridge becomes an obsession as he strives to build a monument to British integrity, perseverance and skill, despite the obvious help it will provide the Japanese and his pride which prevents him from seeing the truth.

One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest www.goodreads.com

One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest

This 1975 drama directed by Milos Forman and starring Jack Nicholson and Louis Fletcher tells the story of McMurphy, a petty criminal who opts for an insanity plea and serving his time in a mental hospital rather than state prison.

Based on the 1962 novel by Ken Kesey and originally produced as a Broadway play, this movie contains some “tour-de-force” performances by all the actors in the cast.

It is a wonderful adaptation of a novel and a must see for anyone who has never had the pleasure.

The Silence of the Lambs
The Silence of the Lambs www.amazon.com

The Silence of the Lambs

This 1991 best picture winner directed by Jonathan Demme, starring Jodie Foster and Anthony Hopkins, was originally a terrifying novel by the best-selling author, Thomas Harris.

The story of a rookie FBI agent enlisted to help solve a series of brutal kidnappings and murders as she is forced to deal with a brilliant, but deadly, serial killer has been considered the first horror movie to ever win the Best Picture Academy Award.

Will anyone ever look at fava beans and a nice chianti the same?

The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King www.amazon.com

The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King

Winner of the Best Picture award in 2004, this final installment in Tolkien’s masterpiece follows the adventures of Frodo, Sam, Gandalf, Aragorn and the rest of the fellowship as they battle the evil forces of the dark lord on their way to the ultimate destruction of the one ring.

An epic trilogy directed by Peter Jackson and starring Ian McKellan, Viggo Mortensen, Sean Astin and Elijah Wood amongst others, the movies set box-office records and will go down in the annals of “geekdom” as the greatest movies ever made.

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