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Worst literary adaptations

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goneganesh wrote:

: And if you think that critique of the fascist elements is "implicit" rather than totally in your face . . .

Heh. No worries, I agree it's in-your-face -- but if memory serves, whether one got the joke or not depended on one's capacity for irony. IIRC, some people accused it of BEING a fascist recruitment movie, with pretty people going to war etc., while others defended it as a PARODY of fascist recruitment movies.

Incidentally, one movie that I didn't care much for as a literary adaptation was I, Robot, but I DID appreciate the way the movie turned the book's happy ending into the threat that must be defeated.

"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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Having just completed this book, and then viewing this thread, I decided on a whim to see if there had been any attempt in the past or the future to adapt the following novel. Imagine my surprise when I discovered it has been announced for a 2008 release. I know I shouldn't pre-judge a film 2 years before it's supossed completion and release, but just from the casting alone I do not hold out high hopes for this...

Atlas Shrugged

No! No! NOOOooo...!

Darren H:

So, is this where I include my snarky comment about how a perfect adaptation of Atlast Shrugged would still be a piece of crap?

I couldn't have put it better, myself. (I believe I've mentioned my loathing of this novel once or twice before...)

But to the actual subject (and another opinion I've previously mentioned), the 1998 version of Les Miserables is an awful, awful adaptation of a great novel. I've not seen any of the other film versions.

"It's a dangerous business going out your front door." -- J.R.R. Tolkien
"I want to believe in art-induced epiphanies." -- Josie
"I would never be dismissive of pop entertainment; it's much too serious a matter for that." -- NBooth

"If apologetics could prove God, I would lose all faith in Him." -- Josie

"What if--just what if--the very act of storytelling is itself redemptive? What if gathering up the scraps and fragments of a disordered life and binding them between the pages of a book in all of their fragmentary disorder is itself a gambit against that disorder?" -- NBooth

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For me, this is an easy question.

It is the 1970 film pretending to be somehow related to Joseph Heller's masterpiece Catch-22.

Worst. Adaptation. Ever.

Yours truly,


No one with a good car needs to be justified. -- Hazel Motes

In the final end, he won the wars, after losin' every battle.-- Bob Dylan, Idiot Wind

Hot Rod Anglican blog ...

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  • 10 months later...

Here's one that got me recently: Everything is Illuminated.

I hadn't even read the book when I saw the trailer for the film and was hooked right away. I decided that in the several months we had it would be fun to read the book with my wife. We did, and we both loved the book immensely. The strength of the trailer got us really excited for the film.

Then we saw it. If anyone has seen it, it is not a terrible film, although the ending is more than a bit confusing. That is, if you haven't read the book. If you have, you will know that the entire second half of the film is a complete betrayal of the book. Not only did the movie ditch the parallel storylines(necessary for the film to fit a feature length), but it so dramatically changed the single storyline that it focused upon that it had almost the complete oppisite meaning as the book. I've never been so let down by a adaptation.

owlgod.blogspot.com - My thoughts on all kinds of media

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  • 6 years later...

Scott Spencer (author of the novel Endless Love) on the recent adaptation:



I know it’s not really the done thing for authors to speak ill of the folks who are turning his or her work into a movie. We love movies, and the reflected glamor of being involved in one is difficult for most people to resist. But since I haven’t met anyone involved in the making of this new Endless Love I haven’t been charmed by any of them. Plus this: I have read the script.


It’s about one hundred pages, and the only ones that were not dreary were sciatica inducing...

It's the side effects that save us.
--The National, "Graceless"
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  • 1 year later...

For me (no bricks, please) it was The Brothers Karamazov -- the old MGM one (which somehow, I'd always blamed on Disney until I looked it up today online). Maybe because the novel is so great... but the movie was, to me, a real stinker.

The one with Yul Brynner? Oh, that sounds absolutely terrible. Like with another literary adaptation starring him (The Sound and the Fury, which I have avoided as well*), what baffles me is the apparent focus on Dmitri Karamazov due to the star casting. Not to say that William Shatner and Richard Basehart are/were unknowns, but...look at the posters; it was Yul's show. But I'm getting away from my point; Dmitri isn't a dull character, but I think that, if an adaptation absolutely had to focus on one of the brothers, Alexei or Ivan (who is one of my very favorite literary characters) would be far more interesting selections.

*How do you justify taking Quentin (the first one) out of TSatF? cussing.gif

Edited by Kinch

Did George Clinton ever get a permit for the Mothership, or did he get Snoop Dogg to fetch one two decades late?

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