10 Best Michael Crichton Film Adaptions 🎥

Throughout Michael Crichton’s prolific career, he wrote 28 novels, many of which have since been adapted into film. On this list, we’ll explore the best film adaptions based on his novels.

Michael Crichton 

(1942-2008), American 

Of all the films based on Michael Crichton’s novel, Jurassic Park has had the most lasting influence. But, it is only one of more than twenty films based (some more loosely than others) on his writing. 

Best Michael Crichton Film Adaptions

10. Looker

Looker is a 1981 film directed by Crichton and starring Albert Finney and James Coburn. The film is famous as the first commercial film that attempted to make a computer-generated 3-D model of an entire human body. It features mysterious plastic surgery and unusual deaths.

9. Dealing: Or the Berkeley-to-Boston Forty-Brick Lost-Bag Blues

Dealing: Or the Berkeley-to-Boston Forty-Brick Lost-Bag Blues is an unusual film that follows a Harvard graduate who decides to transport marijuana from Berkeley to Boston, Massachusetts. He has to deal with his girlfriend being arrested, corrupt police officers, and gangsters.

8. The 13th Warrior 

The 13th Warrior, starring Antonio Banderas, and directed by John McTiernan and Michael Crichton, follows a Baghdad court poet exiled to a distant land. It features elements of a forbidden romance, interactions with the Vikings, and more.

7. The Lost World: Jurassic Park 

This film brought back Jurassic Park-favorite Dr. Ian Malcolm and was released in 1997. It was again directed by Steven Spielberg and starred actors like Vince Vaughn, Julianne Moore, and of course, Jeff Goldblum. And brings the main characters to a secondary island that also, surprisingly, is populated by dinosaurs. Events go as to be expected, and the main characters have to fight for their survival.

6. Extreme Close-Up 

Directed by Jeannot Szwarc and starring actors like James A. Watson Jr. and Jim McMullan, Extreme Close-Up is an R-rated film that explores themes like privacy and technological advances. It revolves around a television reporter who rents surveillance equipment to investigate a story about people’s private lives.

5. Coma 

The 1979 film Coma was based on a novel of the same name. It falls into the horror/thriller genre more than the sci-fi genre (as many of Crichton’s other adaptions do). The film follows a young female doctor who investigates a startling increase in comas in her hospital.

4. The First Great Train Robbery 

The First Great Train Robbery was produced in 1978 and was directed by Michael Crichton, and starred well-known actors like Sean Connery and Donald Sutherland. It’s considered one of the best heist movies of all time. It focuses on the main character, Edward Pierce, a thief planning to commit a high-stakes train robbery.

3. Westworld 

Far less popular than adaptions like Jurassic Park, the Westworld film was highly influential and popular during its time. It was released in 1973 and follows a group of friends who travel to an advanced theme park where they can live their fantasies by interacting with extraordinarily life-like robots. The basics of the film were adapted by HBO into an award-winning and highly popular television series of the same name in 2016.

2. The Andromeda Strain 

Unsurprisingly, coming in second on our list is Michael Crichton’s The Andromeda Strain. It is all commonly referenced as one of Crichton’s most successful novels. It was also the first that he published under his own name. Previously, he wrote under a pseudonym to maintain separation between his literary aspirations and his initial desire to become a doctor. 

The film was released in 1971 and focused on a team of scientists working in an advanced laboratory investigating the deaths of citizens in a small town.

1. Jurassic Park

Jurassic Park Digital Art
Jurassic Park Digital Art

Without a doubt, Jurassic Park is Michael Crichton’s most widely seen book-to-film adaption. The book was published in 1990, and only three years later, Steven Spielberg adapted it into a feature film. It follows a group of dinosaur experts invited to a mysterious island where they learn that dinosaurs have been re-created using groundbreaking genetic engineering. 

It was followed by a second novel (adapted into a film, The Lost World) and then a third film (not based on any specific Crichton storyline, Jurassic Park III). 


Is there a movie based on Michael Crichton’s Prey?

No, at this time, there is no movie based on Michael Crichton’s Prey. After publication,  20th Century Fox bought the movie rights for it, but no film ever resulted. 

What did Michael Crichton direct?

Michael Crichton was a novelist, television writer, and director. Throughout his career, he directed many film adaptions of his novels, including Westworld (1973), Coma (1978), The Great Train Robbery (1978), Runaway (1984), Looker (1981), and Physical Evidence (1989). He’s also well-known as the creator of the television series E.R. 

What Michael Crichton books were made into movies?

Many of Michael Crichton’s books were made into movies, including The Andromeda Strain, Jurassic Park, The Lost World, West World, Coma, Extreme Close-Up, The 13th Warrior, Looker, and The First Great Train Robbery. 

What caused Michael Crichton’s death?

Michael Crichton died in 2008 after a months-long battle with cancer. He was sixty-six years old. He passed away in Los Angeles, California. 

What are Michael Crichton’s best books?

Michael Crichton’s best books are commonly considered to be Jurassic Park, The Andromeda Strain, The Eaters of the Dead, and Congo. Many of his novels deal with “science gone wrong” plot lines and are usually categorized as science fiction thrillers. Throughout his career, he published 28 novels. To this day, there are more than 20 films based on his books and several television adaptions. 

Emma Baldwin
About Emma Baldwin
Emma graduated from East Carolina University with a BA in English, minor in Creative Writing, BFA in Fine Art, and BA in Art Histories. Literature is one of her greatest passions which she pursues on Book Analysis.
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