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Author Topic: Books and their Film conversions...  (Read 6947 times)
zombie #1
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« on: October 22, 2008, 05:26:23 PM »

which films based on novels are significantly better, in your opinion, and which are nowhere near as good?


JAWS: read the book years ago but the book seems to go on forever about chief Brodie's wife having an affair with Hooper, and at times the whole 'shark' thing takes a back seat. I thought the film was right to cut all that out and just be more of a high-octane thriller type of  movie

FEAR & LOATHING IN LAS VEGAS: even though the film is good and even very good in places, the book is on a whole different level. I have never lauged so hard reading a book before, even though Hunter S Thompson's character seems a lot more serious in the book. I think Johnny Depp turned the character a bit too zany/wacky in the film.

AMERICAN PSYCHO: I specifically remember half-way through reading this book thinking "I hope they never even try and make this into a film"...the book is almost too good to be turned into a film, there's no way they could convay half of what is going on inside the guy's head in a film. I still don't even want to see the film! has anyone here read the book and seen the film of this, and was disappointed? (or anyone think the film was better?)
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« Reply #1 on: October 22, 2008, 05:46:09 PM »

AMERICAN PSYCHO: I specifically remember half-way through reading this book thinking "I hope they never even try and make this into a film"...the book is almost too good to be turned into a film, there's no way they could convay half of what is going on inside the guy's head in a film. I still don't even want to see the film! has anyone here read the book and seen the film of this, and was disappointed? (or anyone think the film was better?)

I preferred the film, the book seemed like it was just obscene for the sake of it, full of unnecessary details. I didn't take to the film though on first viewing, but the dark humour is excellent.
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ER
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« Reply #2 on: October 22, 2008, 05:47:26 PM »

Although it isn't a novel, I thought Band of Brothers was far better on film than the Ambrose book that inspired it.

The Godfather was pulp fiction that became a classic flick.

As for which are worse? Take your pick. Most novels are turned into inferior movies.
« Last Edit: October 22, 2008, 05:49:08 PM by ER » Logged

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ER
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« Reply #3 on: October 22, 2008, 05:48:24 PM »

I thought American Psycho was hilarious, in both print and film.
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zombie #1
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Oookaay...


« Reply #4 on: October 22, 2008, 06:20:35 PM »


I preferred the film, the book seemed like it was just obscene for the sake of it, full of unnecessary details. I didn't take to the film though on first viewing, but the dark humour is excellent.

fair enough, but I thought the book was very intelligently written...which kind of elevated the level of the obscenity into something that was beyond just trashy exploitation, if you see what I mean. I may have to check out the film tho' at some point

@ER, didnt find the book hilarious, more like disturbing!
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« Reply #5 on: October 22, 2008, 09:29:40 PM »

Film worse than the book: Too numerous to mention. Practically every film adaptation ever done.

Film better than the book: Short stories seem to do better expanded into film length than novels cut down into films. I think the back story and the Burt Lancaster character they added to The Killers (1946) made the film a lot more interesting than the original Hemingway short story.

Only other "better" example that comes to mind is Chocolat (2000). The film added some characters, merged others, changed others. I liked the film version better.
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« Reply #6 on: October 23, 2008, 05:23:48 AM »

We can't forget Stephen King adaptations  Bluesad. SK's books are far superior to their film versions (of the ones that have been made), he was always disappointed with them and decided to get involved in later ones, which would actually turn out far worse! Examples are "Salem's Lot", "IT", "The Dark Half". I'd say the exception was "The Shining", but the book was still better. I fear for "From A Buick 8", it has been in the works for a while, it's my favourite Stephen King novel and I could see a terrible job being done with it. There's still no actors attached to it and not really any proper details, I hope it's not another "Dreamcatcher" - that film was a joke!  Lookingup
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Derf
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« Reply #7 on: October 23, 2008, 07:32:29 AM »

The Wizard of Oz. The book is nice, and that series will always have a spot in my heart, but the 1939 movie is a masterpiece, far better than a "kid's" movie has any right to be, both in visual production value and in storytelling structure. There are very few movies that have as effective of a literary structure to them as TWoO, and those that do tend more toward either the preachy or the overbearing. Oz is both highly entertaining and fully able to withstand literary-style analysis.
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« Reply #8 on: October 23, 2008, 07:52:43 AM »

I thought the film version of "The Joy Luck Club" was done very well, and was just as good as the book. 

Most film adaptations of books, though, do tend to disappoint.  A lesser known example I could think of would be "Short Cuts", which took an interesting collection of stories on paper, and turned it into a sub-par Robert Altman film. 
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« Reply #9 on: October 23, 2008, 09:07:44 AM »

Nightmare in Ecstacy was better than Ed Wood but they were both great
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asimpson2006
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« Reply #10 on: October 23, 2008, 10:05:17 AM »

There are three that come to mind right now.

The first one is Battle Royale  The book is great and the movie was great as well but the book gets more kudos IMO since it went into a lot of detail describing a majority of the kids personalities and their relationships.  The ending was a bit more violent than the films.  The film did a great job but if it tried to fit all of the character development that the book has it would have been like a 5 or 6 hour film.

The second one is The Godfather.  I love the book and I love the movie, but I think the book does a better job with describing a lot of the vents and how things came to be with the families and of course gives a lot of back story to how the Corleone crime family came to power, which was then used in the Godfather Part II.   

The final one is Jurassic Park  The movie was okay but not a epic like people make it out to be.  The book I felt gave made the whole incident more epic and more detailed than the movie did.  The book had the level of violence the movie should have had, but didn't which disappointed me after I read the book and remembered that the film wasn't so gory as it could have been.
 
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peter johnson
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« Reply #11 on: October 23, 2008, 11:39:40 AM »

As everyone here notes, the list of bad film adaptations of good books would be almost endless, as that is the way of the world --

The films that I think are better than the books would include "Slaughterhouse Five" and "Rebecca".  Vonnegut's book is almost an outline of a story, a sketch of an idea.  The film fleshes out & gives real sinew to some very flat and two-dimensional print characters.  Just a general improvement overall.

Daphne de Maurier's "Rebecca" is an almost unreadable romance novel.  How on Earth it remains in print and was a best-seller is puzzling to me, but then again we have Sidney Sheldon out there . . . Hitchcock took this weepy mulch, added character and atmosphere, and got some genuine creepiness out of the unseen dead woman who was little more than a bad memory in the novel.

peter johnson/denny crane
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zombie #1
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Oookaay...


« Reply #12 on: October 23, 2008, 05:03:30 PM »



The films that I think are better than the books would include "Slaughterhouse Five"

peter johnson/denny crane

I've read that and wasn't really overwhelmed... didn't know there was a film.

I agree that JURRASSIC PARK should have had more violence but I suppose they were aiming for a more family market

I've read STEPFORD WIVES but not seen the original 70's film version. any good? I've heard it is...I'm not that interested in seeing the recent re-make they did though.
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Andrew
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« Reply #13 on: October 23, 2008, 07:23:26 PM »

The Wizard of Oz. The book is nice, and that series will always have a spot in my heart, but the 1939 movie is a masterpiece, far better than a "kid's" movie has any right to be, both in visual production value and in storytelling structure. There are very few movies that have as effective of a literary structure to them as TWoO, and those that do tend more toward either the preachy or the overbearing. Oz is both highly entertaining and fully able to withstand literary-style analysis.

One of my favorite films, and I think it spans the generation gap between here and 1939 with no problem at all.  The moment when Dorothy opens the door in her gray house and reveals the wall of color that is Munchkin Land still seems like genius to me, and I've lost the number of times I have seen that movie.
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frank
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« Reply #14 on: October 24, 2008, 02:03:25 AM »


Book better than movie: Alice in wonderland
(I like the movie but the book is slightly... better?)

About equal: To kill a mockingbird
(I think they are actually quite different, but I like both)

Movie better than book: The hound of the Baskervilles
(I only know the 1959 version of the film)

or: The Jungle Book (if I had a better "feeling" for Kipling, this could probably take the Alice in wonderland part above)



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