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Thread: Movies that are better than the Books they're based on

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    Movies that are better than the Books they're based on



    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?

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    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.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Angela View Post
    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.

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    Quote Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
    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.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Angela View Post
    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.

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