Challenged Books Turned into Movies

Some books are challenged and banned because people think that the books shouldn't be read at all. Often, others deeply love those same titles. In fact, a number of books turn out to be award winners.

If you're thinking about exploring banned books, but feel pressed for time, you might check out a movie adaptation of a banned book, maybe even of an award winner. Here is a sampling of choices to consider.

Sophie's Choice was banned in South Africa in 1979, and removed from a California high school in 2002 after a complaint about sexual content in the book. Styron's book also won the National Book Award. Meryl Streep's performance in the 1982 movie earned her one of her Academy Awards.

The Color Purple has been banned and challenged consistently since 1984 in schools and public libraries for, among other reasons, being "smut," being too violent, and portraying black men negatively. Alice Walker won both the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award for this work. The 1985 movie was nominated for 11 Academy Awards, but famously won none of them.

The Godfather was challenged in 1975 in Iowa for being vulgar and obscene by most religious standards. The movie version has widely been considered one of the greatest films of all time.

The Shining was challenged because the challengers objected to the book containing violence, demonic possession, and for ridiculing the Christian religion. It was also removed from school libraries in Washington for language concerns. Stephen King is one of the most often challenged authors in the United States. If you're not too scared, check out Kubrick's movie interpretation of King's 1977 novel.

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory was locked away in a library in 1988 because a librarian believed that it promoted a poor philosophy of life. See Johnny Depp play Willy Wonka himself in the 2005 film.