Movies that were better than the book itself...

Discussion in 'Et Cetera, Et Cetera' started by elegant20, Nov 21, 2008.

  1. elegant20

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    Let's name a couple you thought was so much better than book.
     
  2. canuck_pa

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    Pretty much every book that I've read that has been made into a movie.
     
  3. nudeyorker

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    This should be interesting because every book I've ever read; that was adapted to the screen has been better than the movie!
     
  4. eddyabs

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    That's a hard one, in my opinion often the book is better than the movie, in a way as I read the book I make my own perfect movie. Only two examples I can think of where the film shone like the book came from late great director Anthony Minghella, with both 'The English Patient' and 'The Talented Mr Ripley'.
     
  5. Xcuze

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  6. MASSIVEPKGO_CHUCK

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    First Blood

    Stand by me
     
  7. midlifebear

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    The BBC's serialization on PBS of Evelyn Waugh's Bridesehead Revisited was equal to and often time better than the book. But that was TV.

    BTW: of course this is just personal opinion, but The Squeeze and I have a running threat that if either of us doesn't behave we'll be forced to tie each other up and watch The English Patient. The book was excellent, however, we both (and so did many of our friends) found the film to be less entertaining than watching paint dry. But to each his own.
     
    #7 midlifebear, Nov 22, 2008
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2008
  8. HazelGod

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    Not even close. Reiner did a really good job with the story, but there's a lot of depth that gets glossed in the screen translation.

    I was actually thinking of King works when I read the OP...but while The Green Mile and The Shawshank Redemption might come close, the actual novels are still better than their cinematic renditions.

    I either read too much or don't see enough movies, but I really can't think of an adapted screenplay I've watched that was better than reading its source.
     
  9. Skull Mason

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    I dunno I think the soundtracks (Thomas Newman) put them ahead for me...unless you are listening to the soundtracks as back drop music while reading the books...
     
  10. Drifterwood

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    The Godfather
    The Handmaid's tale
    A lot of Hitchcock
    About a Boy

    I don't get on with Stephen King, and even Tolkein for that matter, so preferred their work in film format.

    But generally books have the advantage. Even though I thought that Hopkins gave a master class in Silence of the lambs with the lovely Ms. Foster, the book was even better.

    I imagine a lot will prefer porn films to erotic fiction :smile:, it's so damn pesky reading with one hand.

    PS - then there was Batman of course.
     
    #10 Drifterwood, Nov 22, 2008
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  11. Northland

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    I have yet to find a movie which fully captures all the vividness which is found in a book. If I saw some of the films first, I never would bother reading the book. One of my first examples of what is lacking in the film, came from, How Green Was My Valley by Richard Llewellyn. I was assigned the book in high school English. Rather than read it, I noticed PBS was airing it as both a movie and then as a Masterpiece Theater (with Alistair Cooke as host) mini-series. Both, left out details which made the book significantly better. Sadly, it took me 3 additional years before I read the book and then learned what I had missed.
     
  12. HazelGod

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    I was tempted to mention this one, but in all honesty I haven't read it. I have read Puzo's The Last Don, however, and if the writing style is consistent, then it lends a lot of weight to your opinion...which echoes that of several others I know who have read the books.
     
  13. eddyabs

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    I found the film to be better than the book, but then that's a personal opinion.

    Precisely.
     
  14. prince_will

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    Atonement.

    The book had a paper thin plot, moved slow, and the author would meander on with loads of descriptions giving the book a sort of pretentious feel to it.

    The movie had all the good things about the book, plus great actors and a great score. Plus, the ending had more of an impact for me than it did in the book..
     
  15. D_Ormstrom Oxtongue

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    Fight Club.

    It could simply be because I read the book after I saw the movie and felt that they were so close to being identical, there was no point in reading the book.

    Most of the time, I feel that the book is infinitely better than the movie because it can be descriptive of the characters' thoughts without having them speak what they're thinking/feeling directly.
     
  16. Drifterwood

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    Perhaps a classic film will have it over an OK original book. But it is rare to find an OK book inspiring a great film. Personally, though I don't watch much film, I am inspired to read the original if I have seen a good movie.
     
  17. Phil Ayesho

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    okay- this is gonna sound funny... but Starship Troopers.

    The movie managed to capture the jingoistic flavor of patriotism run wild and introduced a Media boosterism element the book lacked... but in doing so I feel the movies did a better job of capturing that thin line between patriotic fervor and manipulation that the book was trying to go for.


    Also- the World According to Garp... the movie made better use of leitmotif in terms of the Flying element and other themes to build a sense of rhythm that the book utterly lacked.

    Sense and Sensibility.... the book was a horrid bore to read... but the Emma Thompson version on film managed to convey the important elements of the book while being engaging both visually and character-wise.
     
  18. Calboner

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    I would say Everything Is Illuminated. The movie, though not first-rate, is well-paced, sometimes moving, and full of wit; the novel by Foer is pretentious, plodding, pretentious, overinvolved, pretentious, boring, pretentious, and did I mention that it's also pretentious?
    I think that the book and the television series had different strengths and weaknesses. The series sometimes wasted time having things happen on screen just because they happened in the book -- I think someone described the screenplay as a work of "stenography" -- even when they made no sense and had no purpose in that medium. A lot of the ironic humor of Waugh's prose was lost. On the other hand, it had some wonderful acting turns (Nicholas Grace as Anthony Blanche, John Gielgud as the elder Ryder, and whoever it was who played the oafish Boy Mulcaster) and the viewer got to drool over a lot of beautiful costumes and settings.

    By the way, I will mention for the benefit of anyone who may be tempted to read some of Waugh's work that Brideshead, though Waugh's most commercially successful novel, was also one of his worst, even in his own estimate. Do NOT start your reading of Waugh with Brideshead, which is kitsch. Almost any other novel by Waugh is better: Decline and Fall, Vile Bodies, Scoop, A Handful of Dust, etc.
    Thanks for the warning. I watched the movie on DVD and it made me curious about MacEwan's work, though I was not sure that what I had seen on screen would be worth a whole book of narrative. If I read MacEwan, I'll start elsewhere.
     
  19. elegant20

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    Forrest Gump was ten times better than the book. The book itself had too many unrealistic moments. Not to mention the Gump is actually dim-witted and really a racist.
     
  20. nudeyorker

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    Yeah he was a MENSA member in the flick!
     
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