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Best Adaptation

How novels have scored with Oscar voters since the beginning

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With Oscar night fast approaching, the usual questions fill the air as film junkies scramble to fill out their mock ballots. Will Boy(hood) or Bird(man) triumph on Sunday? The real votes are already cast so only the Academy (and those people with the steel briefcases from Price Waterhouse Cooper) know for sure. But sometimes it’s fun to look back at Oscar history to try to gauge trends, particularly for people who, when they’re not watching movies, can usually be found reading books. Since the Oscars began in 1927, 36 Best Picture winners have been adapted from novels, short stories, or novellas. Now, before you start arguing about specifics, here’s how that count was determined: plays (sorry, Shakespeare), musicals, and any…

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