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11-04-20, 22:37
Here's my attempt to talk about something other than the virus.

Many novel-based movies have failed to properly bring good books to life on the screen; a good example, at least in my opinion, is the latest version of Little Women. There have been many others, but this complaint is too easy because it's hard to take a book and condense it onto film without losing much of what made the book good.

However, there have been times when the movie has been better than the book it is based on, sometimes far better. My example would be The Godfather; an okay book, an instant classic as a movie.

What are your favorite examples of the okay book - great movie?

Angela
12-04-20, 00:37
One instantly occurred to me, although it's in the category of "terrible book but good movie": "The Bridges of Madison County."

I skimmed the book after seeing the movie, and Eastwood indeed made a silk purse out of a sow's ear: the book is absolutely awful, virtually unreadable, at least for me.

I just watched a newer version of "Rebecca", not as good as the Olivier version, but still good, and I remember reading the book and thinking it was nothing special. Hitchcock was a magician.

12-04-20, 01:30
One instantly occurred to me, although it's in the category of "terrible book but good movie": "The Bridges of Madison County."

I skimmed the book after seeing the movie, and Eastwood indeed made a silk purse out of a sow's ear: the book is absolutely awful, virtually unreadable, at least for me.

I just watched a newer version of "Rebecca", not as good as the Olivier version, but still good, and I remember reading the book and thinking it was nothing special. Hitchcock was a magician.

I agree about Bridges . . . horrible, old-lady porn novel, really good movie that I'd watch again. I like little details in movies. For Bridges, it's when a neighbor comes into the house, discussing nothing of importance, but immediately helps herself to cups out of the cupboard and food from the refrigerator . . . very rural Iowa, true to life.

I don't love Olivier in Hitchcock's Rebecca, too over the top, but Joan Fontaine is marvelous as the shy, uncertain heroine. My favorite Rebecca was done by BBC with Charles Dance and Emilia Fox. Emma Peal, as Mrs. Danvers, is, of course, great as a more clearly lesbian lover of the first Mrs DeWinter. Watching as she caresses the slip of her old lover is a revelation in love and loss. What hasn't she been wonderful performing (and I count The Avengers as well)?

A De Maurier short story was the basis for another Hitchcock movie, The Birds. A strange, unfocused story, but a movie of unsettling mood, highlighted by characters with haunted back-stories, and sweetened by common cares and emotions.

Angela
12-04-20, 03:09
I agree about Bridges . . . horrible, old-lady porn novel, really good movie that I'd watch again. I like little details in movies. For Bridges, it's when a neighbor comes into the house, discussing nothing of importance, but immediately helps herself to cups out of the cupboard and food from the refrigerator . . . very rural Iowa, true to life.

I don't love Olivier in Hitchcock's Rebecca, too over the top, but Joan Fontaine is marvelous as the shy, uncertain heroine. My favorite Rebecca was done by BBC with Charles Dance and Emilia Fox. Emma Peal, as Mrs. Danvers, is, of course, great as a more clearly lesbian lover of the first Mrs DeWinter. Watching as she caresses the slip of her old lover is a revelation in love and loss. What hasn't she been wonderful performing (and I count The Avengers as well)?

A De Maurier short story was the basis for another Hitchcock movie, The Birds. A strange, unfocused story, but a movie of unsettling mood, highlighted by characters with haunted back-stories, and sweetened by common cares and emotions.


The Charles Dance version is exactly the one I watched last week. I didn't really like the portrayal of the young wife, among other things.

Ah..."The Birds". It's a really good movie; terrified me when I first saw it, and still unsettles me, despite the bad special effects. I wonder if it's part of the reason I don't like it when huge flocks of birds land on my lawn. Happens twice every year; it's like an invasion. Creepy.

I can't really think of others, unless you count books like "The Bourne Supremacy". I tried to read it after seeing the movie actually, but I didn't like it. Maybe also books like The Maltese Falcon", or "L.A. Confidential", which may be good, but the movies are iconic.

Most books I really liked were turned into films I either really hated or just weren't as good as the book.

12-04-20, 03:41
The Charles Dance version is exactly the one I watched last week. I didn't really like the portrayal of the young wife, among other things.

Ah..."The Birds". It's a really good movie; terrified me when I first saw it, and still unsettles me, despite the bad special effects. I wonder if it's part of the reason I don't like it when huge flocks of birds land on my lawn. Happens twice every year; it's like an invasion. Creepy.

I can't really think of others, unless you count books like "The Bourne Supremacy". I tried to read it after seeing the movie actually, but I didn't like it. Maybe also books like The Maltese Falcon", or "L.A. Confidential", which may be good, but the movies are iconic.

Most books I really liked were turned into films I either really hated or just weren't as good as the book.

I'd only say that you should give the book The Maltese Falcon another chance. Almost all of the great dialogue from the movie is straight out of the book. Its a quick read that has all of the "frisson" of the film.

17-08-20, 19:03
Movies better than the books they are based on? Off the top of my head, I'd say definitely The Godfather trilogy.

For parts 1 and 2 I agree absolutely, but part 3 I found absurd.

Angela
18-08-20, 22:29
These will probably be controversial, but...

Maybe the Wizard of Oz? I read the book after the movie, which probably has an effect, but the book just didn't move me at all, whereas the movie was a joy.

I absolutely hated the "real" Mary Poppins, as in the original books. She was a nasty, mean old witch and I couldn't stand her, whereas I was enthralled by Julie Andrews as Mary Poppins: I wanted her to be my sister, my best friend, my babysitter, anything at all.

Same goes for the biography of the real "Maria" in the Sound of Music. Didn't much like her, couldn't abide the husband, and thought the marriage was a farce.

The Lord of the Rings? I know the real Tolkien fans will disagree, but the books were so long etc. that while I liked them I don't think I literally finished any of them.

The Narnia Chronicles are the opposite. I've never seen a good movie of them.

Ah, another one: The Notebook. I found the book unreadable, whereas the movie, although saccharine at times, was good imo.

Here's another controversial one: Dr. Zhivago. I found the book unreadable at times, but the movie I adore.

19-08-20, 00:20
I will remain silent about your blasphemy about Lord of the Rings . . .

Now,, how about movies that are just as good as the book, either because they're so faithful or because they make the necessary changes for the screen in the most enlightened way?

For me, Age of Innocence for faithfulness. Year of Living Dangerously for adaptation.

Angela
19-08-20, 02:09
I will remain silent about your blasphemy about Lord of the Rings . . .

Now,, how about movies that are just as good as the book, either because they're so faithful or because they make the necessary changes for the screen in the most enlightened way?

For me, Age of Innocence for faithfulness. Year of Living Dangerously for adaptation.

:grin:

I agree with both. I think Scorsese faithfully reproduced the book; I happen to really like both. Can't say the same for "The Golden Bowl". Same for Year of Living Dangerously as an adaptation.

I think the movies of Elmore Leonard's books are pretty good.

Perhaps "Schindler's List" and "The English patient" as good adaptations.

"Gone with the Wind" pretty faithful.

To Kill a Mockingbird very faithful.

No Country for Old Men-very faithful

My favorite Austen film is the 1995 Persuasion. Thompson's Sense and Sensibility is pretty faithful too. Some of the others, like Emma, are, imo, atrocious.

The Color Purple.

I don't like any of the films of one of my favorite authors, William Faulkner.

I'm conflicted about Breakfast at Tiffany's. The book and the film are completely different in tone but I really like them both.

Best Shakespeare film maybe the 1953 Julius Caesar (with Brando as Antony) or Olivier's Richard III or Branagh's Much Ado About Nothing. I also liked the 1968 Romeo and Juliet.

scandinavia
02-10-20, 15:50
For me, I always love the book than the movie

02-10-20, 21:35
For me, I always love the book than the movie

The advantage of a book, of course, is that within your own mind you get to cast and direct, create the sets and do the 'cinematography.' Your adaptation is perfect, at least for you.

This is why I cannot abide the Lord of the Rings movies. I have read the books too many times and have such specific ideas about the characters, scenery, etc. that no film can be anything but a travesty. Again, at least for me.