7 Movies Based On Mystery Novels You Might Not Know About

I love reading mystery novels, and I love watching action packed movies. I know that watching a good movie is a more popular past time than reading books, but did you know that many of the movies you’re watching are actually based on mystery novels? I have already listed 7 great mystery novels turned into movies, however the difference is that the books that sparked the creation of those movies are well know (e.g. Dan Brown’s Da Vinci Code).

However there are some quite popular movies that you might not actually know that have been in fact made from previously written books, some real gems that are worth discovering if you like reading mystery novels.

So just for your entertainment, here are 7 movies based on mystery novels that you might not even know about.

1. Die Hard With Bruce Willis

Die Hard movie based on Nothing Lasts Forever

Did you know that the first movie in the Die Hard series (made back in 1988) is actually based on a book? The novel is called Nothing Lasts Forever by Roderick Thorpe. It was first published in 1979 and it was in fact the second part in a series (the first novel in the series is called The Detective and it was first released in 1968).

The movie adaptation is a bit different from the movie in that the main character is younger here, the names are different as well. In the book we’re talking about an  older ex-cop named Joe Leland, while we know that Die Hard has John McLane as main character.

2. Rambo: First Blood With Sylvester Stallone

Rambo: First Blood

Even if you’re not so ‘old’, I’m sure you’ve at least heard of the Rambo series with Sylvester Stallone. Or you might have even watched them. Granted, they’re a bit ‘dated’, but I do remember having watched them back in the day and yes, Stallone was my hero for quite some time, lol.

The movie Rambo: First Blood was actually made from First Blood by David Morrell. Back in the day I used to love David Morrell’s books, I think I’ve read all of them, including probably the book that is the most popular all around, The Brotherhood Of The Rose. In fact did you know that First Blood was actually David Morrell’s debut novel, published back in 1972?

3. Drive With Ryan Gosling

Drive by James Sallis

The movie Drive is quite new (2011) and it features Ryan Gosling as main character. It is a really good one, I enjoyed watching it. However many people don’t know that it was also based Drive (same title book as the movie) written by James Sallis, which is the first in the Drive mystery series (the second novel, Driven, was published in 2012).

If you haven’t watched the movie, is worth checking out, and so it is the book series, I quite recommend it.

4. Goodfellas With Robert de Niro, Ray Liotta And Joe Pesci


Goodfellas is a very well known movie with anyone who enjoys anything related to Mafia – or loves watching movies with any of the actors playing this one. I admit, I’m not a huge mafia movie lover, but hubby is, so I watched it once with him when I had nothing better to do. It was good, but alas, not my type.

The book that sparked this movie is called Wiseguy: Life in a Mafia Family and it was written by Nicholas Pillegi in 1986. The book author was the one who adapted the novel to the big cinema screen. The book, btw, is a nonfiction story about  life of mobster turned FBI informant Henry Hill.

 5. Paranoia With Harrison Ford

Paranoia with Harrison Ford

Paranoia is a movie I want to see, but haven’t gotten the chance to do it. It was released quite recently, in fact, in August this year. I’ll probably make it around this Christmas when I have some time and the movie comes out in DVD. I love Harrison Ford, have enjoyed watching his movies ever since I saw The Patriot years ago, and I expect this movie to be equally awesome. I think it comes out on DVD around November this year.

But did you know that it is, in fact, made from a book called Paranoia by Joseph Finder? The book was written in 2004 and if you like spy thrillers, you’ll definitely enjoy this one.

6. The Company You Keep With Robert Redford

The Company You Keep With Robert Redford

Robert Redford is another actor that I highly regard. Have been watching all his movies including Havana and Brubaker, and he is really a stellar actor, at least in my opinion. So I was quite happy to see that this year he is playing again in another movie, called The Company You Keep.

And this was one case where I also had a surprise – I had no idea that the movie was made based on The Company You Keep by Neil Gordon. While I have read the books mentioned previously, this is one that I will have to read before I watch the movie when it comes out in DVD. The book was first published in 2003.

7. The Woman In Black With Daniel Radcliffe

The Woman In Black With Daniel Radcliffe

I’ve seen this movie simply because I loved Harry Potter. Nuff said. I think Daniel Radcliffe did a great job in it. The movie is kind of a supernatural mystery/thriller (some might call it a horror movie, but personally I don’t think it went that far).

What you might not be aware of, however, is that the movie was made in 2012 based on the novel The Woman In Black by Susan Hill, who first wrote it back in 1983. The book is categorized either a spooky mystery, a ghost mystery, a horror novel, a paranormal mystery, take your pick. Whatever it is called, it’s one of the books I recommend to read around Halloween. It’s perfect for the occasion.

Similar Posts


  1. wow! I actually didn’t know about any of these! Thanks for this list! Drive was such a great movie. Now I think I gotta find that book!

  2. I didn’t realize some of these were based on books! I usually find the books to be be so much better than the movie version.

  3. Wow–I only knew about one of these being books before they were movies. The one I knew was based on a book–Die Hard…but I have never actually read the book. (One of my rules is that one should never judge a book by its movie–the movie Starship Troopers for instance only got the bugs right, everything else was wrong–or a movie by its book…because a dozen writers have messed with the script by the time it gets to be filmed.)

  4. A few of these movies I’d love to see. Didn’t know all of them were movies, or books. LOL! Thank you for sharing that great info.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *