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Film adaptations that are better than their books.


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#1 Overstreet

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Posted 07 January 2009 - 02:15 PM

Cinematical gets the conversation going by daring to hail The Sword and the Stone as better than T.H. White's The Once and Future King.

I'm kind of surprised we've never had a thread on this. (Or have we?)




#2 Peter T Chattaway

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Posted 07 January 2009 - 02:36 PM

A search for "adaptations" turns up 'Literary Adaptations, "Fiction to Film" from Bookforum' and 'Worst literary adaptations', but that's not quite the same thing.

#3 SDG

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Posted 07 January 2009 - 03:08 PM

QUOTE (Overstreet @ Jan 7 2009, 03:15 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Cinematical gets the conversation going by daring to hail The Sword and the Stone as better than T.H. White's The Once and Future King.

eek.gif Wow. Way stupidunconvincing example. White = brilliant. Disney = tol'able.

#4 Peter T Chattaway

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Posted 07 January 2009 - 04:59 PM

Fred Clark @ Slacktivist has been making a compelling case re: the book and film versions of Left Behind.

#5 Anders

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Posted 08 January 2009 - 12:21 AM

How about CHILDREN OF MEN? mf_hide.gif

#6 Peter T Chattaway

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Posted 08 January 2009 - 12:52 AM

Let's not forget Twilight.

#7 Ron Reed

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Posted 08 January 2009 - 01:35 AM

The Godfather

#8 Darrel Manson

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Posted 08 January 2009 - 11:02 AM

This will set some people off, but The Shawshank Redemption.

Another that will raise blood pressure in quite a few: Million $ Baby. THe combining of two stories from Rope Burns made something greater than the sum of their parts.

#9 Peter T Chattaway

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Posted 08 January 2009 - 02:16 PM

Alan Thomas wrote:
: Many Bible movies are better than the source material (as literature/art).

Oh, daring! But which ones?

Keep in mind that many Bible movies, such as The Ten Commandments, The Greatest Story Ever Told, The Last Temptation of Christ and so on, are based not on the Bible but on novels which, themselves, were adaptations of the Bible. (We could sort of add The Passion of the Christ to this list, but that was based on a collection of mystical visions, not on a "novel" per se.) So which source material should we judge them by?

#10 SDG

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Posted 08 January 2009 - 02:32 PM

QUOTE (Peter T Chattaway @ Jan 8 2009, 03:16 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
: Many Bible movies are better than the source material (as literature/art).

Oh, daring! But which ones?

Wait. There are Bible movies that are good? wink.gif

#11 Ryan H.

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Posted 18 October 2009 - 10:09 PM

This thread seems to have stalled. But films that are better than their source? Well, off the top of my head...

EYES WIDE SHUT
MARY POPPINS
NOSFERATU: PHANTOM DER NACHT
ROSEMARY'S BABY
THE SHINING
THE STEPFORD WIVES
THERE WILL BE BLOOD
THE WIZARD OF OZ

Edited by Ryan H., 18 October 2009 - 11:04 PM.


#12 Peter T Chattaway

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Posted 18 October 2009 - 11:37 PM

Ryan H. wrote:
: THE SHINING
: THE STEPFORD WIVES

Someone has to ask: Which versions? :)

#13 Ryan H.

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Posted 18 October 2009 - 11:38 PM

Ryan H. wrote:
: THE SHINING
: THE STEPFORD WIVES

Someone has to ask: Which versions? :)

1980 and 1975, respectively.

And I've just thought of one more: OLDBOY.

Edited by Ryan H., 18 October 2009 - 11:54 PM.


#14 Tyler

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Posted 19 October 2009 - 12:08 AM

2001: A Space Odyssey.

#15 Ryan H.

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Posted 19 October 2009 - 12:15 AM

2001: A Space Odyssey.

That one came to mind, but I thought it was unfair to compare 2001 against the short story by which it was inspired, "The Sentinel." The book titled 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY, by Arthur C. Clarke, was written at the same time as the film was made, and thus the film is not an adaptation of it, but rather a simultaneous creation; Clarke has said that the film could be credited to "Kubrick and Clarke" and that the book could be credited to "Clarke and Kubrick."

Edited by Ryan H., 19 October 2009 - 12:15 AM.


#16 Christy E

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Posted 19 October 2009 - 11:35 AM

Gone with the Wind.

#17 Nick Alexander

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Posted 19 October 2009 - 01:22 PM

I'm in the minority here, but the book "The Shining", IMO, is far, far superior to the dreadful, overlong, tedious, overacted, steadicam-overloaded movie version, whose only saving grace is that Kubrick had a knack for framing shots.

I can only harbor a guess, but I heretell that "Forest Gump" belongs on this list.

I also consider "High Fidelity" a tie, only due to the fact that the movie version actually played the songs mentioned in the novel.

The Princess Bride is also superior to the book.

#18 Ryan H.

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Posted 19 October 2009 - 07:04 PM

The Princess Bride is also superior to the book.

How so?

#19 Kiwicreate

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Posted 25 October 2009 - 07:47 PM

Interesting list. But no one mentioned "Last of the Mohicans" (Day-Lewis version) which is more historically accurate, and really hangs together better than Fenimore-Cooper's book.

I'm in the minority here, but the book "The Shining", IMO, is far, far superior to the dreadful, overlong, tedious, overacted, steadicam-overloaded movie version, whose only saving grace is that Kubrick had a knack for framing shots.

I can only harbor a guess, but I heretell that "Forest Gump" belongs on this list.

I also consider "High Fidelity" a tie, only due to the fact that the movie version actually played the songs mentioned in the novel.

The Princess Bride is also superior to the book.


But the sarcasm/satire/humor in the book is lost amid the surface versions of the movie "Princess Bride"

#20 Gina

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Posted 25 October 2009 - 08:52 PM

Cinematical gets the conversation going by daring to hail The Sword and the Stone as better than T.H. White's The Once and Future King.


Nobody shoot me, but I think the movie is at least as good as the book -- at least the first part of the book, the part it was based on, which is the only part I've read all the way through. I'm fond of the book and recognize White's achievement, but in its own (admittedly lowbrow) way, Disney created a little masterpiece there. I absolutely adored that movie as a kid, and I still love it.

The Remains of the Day movie is also as good as the book. The film version of Now, Voyager is much better than the book.

Edited by Gina, 25 October 2009 - 08:59 PM.