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Author Topic: Books and their Film conversions...  (Read 7263 times)
peter johnson
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« Reply #15 on: October 24, 2008, 01:02:55 PM »

DCA:
George Roy Hill (Butch Cassidy, The Sting, etc.) directed Slaughterhouse Five in 1972, but it was really his Czech cinematographer who set the beautiful, luminous tone -- I forget his name.  One thing that makes this movie stand head and shoulders above other films that treat WW2 in some fashion, is that this is the only film of the period that I've ever seen that gets the uniforms exactly right, from the Americans to the British to the various different German permutations.  It's one thing to get the regular Wehrmacht and SS Sonderkommando uniforms right, but this film takes great pains to show the Stalag Komandant still wearing his WW1 officer's cap, just as many Volkstrum draftees really did.  Even the Hitlerjugend manning the Flakwagen are dressed appropriately, and they are only onscreen for 3 or 4 seconds.  Plus you get to look at Valerie Perrine's breasts for a very long time. 

The Jungle Book:
I hope we're speaking of the Zoltan Korda version (1942), and not the Disney version -- In any case, I grew up reading Kipling, as my father was a huge fan.  It's easier to see the racism and veiled homages to Imperial England today, but these elements still don't detract from the wonderful storytelling.  I would hope that today someone would approach not only Jungle Books 1 and 2 but things Kipling wrote like The White Seal or Rikki Tikki Tavi and bring CGI into play -- these are great stories.

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Allhallowsday
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« Reply #16 on: October 24, 2008, 08:18:37 PM »

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
I agree, except to say that I think STANLEY KUBRICK's THE SHINING may be superior to the excellent book.  I really liked both the novel and film THE DEAD ZONE with the book edging out the movie.  I think the miniseries SALEM'S LOT is inferior to one of the best vampire books I've read, and the miniseries IT, though problematic (the second half kind of flops) I still liked better than the bloated book (however, I think chapter 1 of IT is one of STEPHEN KING's best pieces of writing).  THE STAND was a terrific read (I read that 3x) and the miniseries... adequate. 

SILENCE OF THE LAMBS is a fine film, but the book will knock yer sox off!  The religious subtext is apparent in the novel, but obscured (perhaps for obvious reasons) in the film. 

...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.
Oh, I do not agree with that statement.  SLAUGHTERHOUSE FIVE is VONNEGUT's masterpiece... pooteeweet? 

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.
THE WIZARD OF OZ is a miracle, and endlessly watchable.  I enjoy it now more than I did as a child (especially the music).  It's one of the best films ever made.
« Last Edit: October 24, 2008, 08:27:43 PM by Allhallowsday » Logged

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« Reply #17 on: October 24, 2008, 09:38:57 PM »

Movies that are better....

FRANKENSTEIN (1931)

The book is a talky,antiquated,bore. The film is classic.

PLANET of the APES

Don't get me wrong....I enjoyed Pierre Boulles novel...but the film adaptation by Rod Serling was much  less heavy handed.

Books that are better than the movie....

As Evil Clown says...most Steven King adaptions....King is a detailist...which gets lost in the translation to film. Though the SHINING,MISERY,and CARRIE are all great films...witness IT,TOMMYKNOCKERS, the made for TV SHINING, or most ANY of his novels...!

Any Dean R. Koontz book to film translation.

HP Lovecraft does not translate well to film. The DUNWHICH HORROR or The COLOUR of OUTER SPACE (aka-film DIE MONSTER DIE)....fun films...not Lovecraft. Lovecraft is much like Poe...its a MOOD...not cheap shocks.

Oh yeah...speaking of Poe...uh...Corman vs. Poe,anyone? Both good...both entierly differnt.

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Mr. DS
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« Reply #18 on: October 25, 2008, 07:55:31 AM »

Steven King book based movies are a love/hate affair for yours truly.  I'd have to say King's Misery was better than the book.  Kathy Bates made that happen.   Another one where she made the movie better than the book was Delores Clayborn. Then theres The Running Man where I feel the movie butchered the idea of the short story YET made it more entertaining.  The Dark Half movie was simply ok compared to the book.  I could go on but most others have been mentioned. 

Lovecraft's Shadow Over Innsmouth's cinematic version of Dagon was really good.  I still feel the book was better.  Although I have to admit, the film captured the theme of the book nicely. 
« Last Edit: October 25, 2008, 07:59:51 AM by The DarkSider » Logged

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BoyScoutKevin
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« Reply #19 on: October 26, 2008, 02:59:18 PM »

The Film Is Better
I actually once sat down and made a point-by-point comparison between the film "The Reckoning," and the book upon which it is based upon "Morality Play" by Barry Unsworth, and while the book I thought was better in some parts, overall, I thought the film improved on the book.

The Book Is Better
I know there are many fans of the film version of "The Legend of Hell House" out there, but maybe because I read the book first, I have always prefered the book by Richard Matheson to the film version.

The Film Is Better
I've seen four different versions of "The 3 Musketeers," and I've enjoyed every one of them. I've seen four different versions of "Les Miserables," and I've enjoyed every one of them, but I've always found the books by Alexandre Dumas and Victor Hugo, respectively, unreadable.

The Book Is Better
While I've seen four different versions of this novel by Agatha Christie, most of which I've enjoyed, I've always prefered the book. Not so much because I read it, before I saw any of the film versions, but because I prefer the way the book ends to the way the films end. In the book, everybody on the island DIES! And apparently you can't end a film like that.

The Film Is Better
When Ken Russell sat down to write and then direct a film version of Bram Stoker's "Lair of the White Worm," I think he tore the cover off of the book and then threw away the book. Because the only similiarity between the book and the film is the title on the cover. And the film is much better for that.

The Book Is Better
While there have been a couple of film versions that approximated the enjoyability of the book, H. Rider Haggard's "King Solomon's Mines," the book is far better than its 1985 film adaptation.

The Film Is Better
On the other hand, while I love Haggard as a writer, I've always found his novel "She" unreadable. Thus I prefer the 1965 film version to the book.

The Book Is Better
While they tried to do right by Umberto Eco's "The Name of the Rose," even at 150 minutes, the novel is too complex to adapt into a film. It might work as a longer TV miniseries, but not as a film under three hours.

The Film Is Better
The book is good. The writer, Robert Bloch, is good, but Hitchcock took something that was good in "Psycho," and made it into something extraordinary.

The Book Is Better
Long John Silver is an great character in Robert Louis Stevenson's "Treasure Island,"
but you can't turn him into the hero of the film, as they tried to do in 1999. It goes against everything that the book is about.

The Film Is Better
Again "Strangers on a Train" is a good book by a good writer, Patricia Highsmith. But again, Hitchcock took something that was good, and made it into something extraordinary.

The Book Is Better
Unlike "The Three Musketeers" and "Les Miserables," I have never found a film adaptation of "The Scarlet Pimpernel" by Baroness Emmuska Orczy, that I enjoyed as much as the book.

The Film Is Better
"The Manchurian Candidate' is a great political novel by a great political writer, Richard Condon, but there are two things about the film that makes me like the film better. One, the film's focus is now more on Frank Sinatra's character instead of Laurence Harvey's. And the film becomes a critique of Senator Joe McCarthy, even though he isn't called McCarthy in the book and film, and McCarthyism.

The Book Is Better
Someone has said that Washington Irving's "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" has one of the greatest endings of all time, because the author leaves the ending open to the reader's imagination as to what happened. But by making the Headless Horseman a real character, in "Sleepy Hollow," the door is somewhat shut on the viewer's imagination.

The Film Is Better
And I agree about Peter Benchley's "Jaws." Has anybody ever read any of the author's other stories? Has anybody seen any of the other films based on the author's other stories? The reason that "Jaws" is so superior can be described in two words . . . Steven Spielberg.



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Trevor
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« Reply #20 on: October 27, 2008, 02:18:55 AM »

When I saw that The Shining had been made into a film by Stanley Kubrick, I was excited that a brilliant director had made a film of a very scary book ~ I was very disappointed in the result, which made me believe that a film version of a book is not always a good thing.

Ted Kotcheff's "First Blood" ~ great book, great film.
Jean-Christophe Grange's Blood Red Rivers ~ great book, great film.

David Westheimer's "Von Ryan's Express" ~ great book, horrible film.
Jack Higgins' "The Eagle Has Landed" ~ great book, horrible film.
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asimpson2006
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« Reply #21 on: October 28, 2008, 06:18:12 AM »

One of the films and books that I saw are about on par with each other is Fight Club.  I really enjoyed the book and enjoyed the movie as well.  Why I saw they are about on par as I felt the book was better in general as it went into more detail about the main character and Tyler's deal with tampering with food before serving it.

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ER
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« Reply #22 on: October 28, 2008, 09:06:06 AM »

I predict The Road will be a better film than it was a novel.
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raj
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« Reply #23 on: October 28, 2008, 09:51:49 AM »

A Clockwork Orange.  To me they were equally good, it's just that they are in different formats.
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zombie #1
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« Reply #24 on: October 28, 2008, 07:42:11 PM »

A Clockwork Orange.  To me they were equally good, it's just that they are in different formats.

I agree
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« Reply #25 on: October 29, 2008, 05:40:34 AM »

The Film Is Better
And I agree about Peter Benchley's "Jaws." Has anybody ever read any of the author's other stories? Has anybody seen any of the other films based on the author's other stories? The reason that "Jaws" is so superior can be described in two words . . . Steven Spielberg.

Yes, I once read "White Shark" by Benchley, basically still trying to garner interest from Jaws with another shark novel. Apart from the fact that the shark turns out to be some robot-man....utter rubbish!  Thumbdown
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zombie #1
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« Reply #26 on: October 29, 2008, 09:41:44 AM »

The Film Is Better
And I agree about Peter Benchley's "Jaws." Has anybody ever read any of the author's other stories? Has anybody seen any of the other films based on the author's other stories? The reason that "Jaws" is so superior can be described in two words . . . Steven Spielberg.

Yes, I once read "White Shark" by Benchley, basically still trying to garner interest from Jaws with another shark novel. Apart from the fact that the shark turns out to be some robot-man....utter rubbish!  Thumbdown

funny, that's just reminded me that ages and ages ago I read "The Deep" by Peter Benchley, and have also seen the film...more "shark" business
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ER
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« Reply #27 on: October 29, 2008, 12:36:40 PM »

Anthony Burgess placed a bunch more dark humor in his novel than Kubrick ever allowed to creep into the film, so IMHO, the book was a little better than the movie, which I still remember fondly from my teenage years when my best male friend was addicted to it.
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asimpson2006
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« Reply #28 on: October 29, 2008, 01:49:35 PM »

Anthony Burgess placed a bunch more dark humor in his novel than Kubrick ever allowed to creep into the film, so IMHO, the book was a little better than the movie, which I still remember fondly from my teenage years when my best male friend was addicted to it.

I've seen the film and read the book.  The book is slightly better, only however when the "real" last chapter is in there, which makes everything come full circle.
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« Reply #29 on: October 30, 2008, 08:50:12 PM »

Something Wicked This Way Comes is a good book that made a great movie. 
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