Film adaptation better than book?

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alan smithee
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Film adaptation better than book?

#1 Post by alan smithee » 02 Jun 2003, 12:11

Apologies (as usual) if this thread (or something similar) is out there already, but ... after a discussion last night, I figured FW was the place to go for answers: can anyone think of a book (or books) that was made into a movie that was better than the original book?
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#2 Post by plaxii » 02 Jun 2003, 12:21

i personally think that fight club worked better as a movie than it did as a book



starship troopers i also think was a better movie than the book, but only if you are looking for a movie that is a complete action flick ith no real plot. In this sense the movie was better, no thinking was needed to enjoy the movie. The book however was a god satire on the warring govt. in this case the book was better. So this is one of the rare ones where you can enjoy both the book and the movie equally
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#3 Post by F.N.G. » 02 Jun 2003, 12:51

Agree about Fight Club

Haven't read Starship Troopers, but I alsways saw the film as a satire on America's involvement in wars in general (eg Kids fighting by the end = vietnam). Like most of the best films - works on many levels.

I prefer Trainspotting as a film.
And Fever Pitch (although the book is just a series of essays, no story to talk of)
I was pleasantly surprised by High Fidelity (thought it would be terrible, but Cusack once again saves theday, along with a little help from Todd, Tim and big Jack)
About a Boy - nothing like the book - dissappointing
Briget Jones' Diary I liked about the same
I thought Candyman was a great reworking and expansion of the short story (can't think of the name right now)
and I never really liked the Lord of the Rings trilogy as books THAT much, too descriptive and slow paced for me - especially Two Towers.
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#4 Post by snotball » 02 Jun 2003, 12:58

Even though I didn't like the movie much, I guess Adaptation worked better than The Orchisd Thief. :wink:
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#5 Post by alan smithee » 02 Jun 2003, 13:02

snotball wrote:Even though I didn't like the movie much, I guess Adaptation worked better than The Orchisd Thief. :wink:
I was kind of thinking that (I liked The Orchid Thief and loved Adaptation), but then wondered if that should "count" ... I mean, Adaptation isn't exactly a movie version of The Orchid Thief ...
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#6 Post by » 02 Jun 2003, 13:14

F.N.G. wrote: I prefer Trainspotting as a film.
I agree. I couldn't get through the book. I spent too much time trying to figure out what the words I was reading meant.

It made me feel the same way I get when I try to read a Herbert Kornfeld editorial on the Onion.
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#7 Post by F.N.G. » 02 Jun 2003, 13:17

A2 wrote:
F.N.G. wrote: I prefer Trainspotting as a film.
I agree. I couldn't get through the book. I spent too much time trying to figure out what the words I was reading meant.
I actually really like the way Welsh does that (although I went into an Irvine Welsh reading binge a while back and ended up talking like that, calling everyone 'ya f*ckin radge c*nts' and all that. Not so wise.
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#8 Post by alan smithee » 02 Jun 2003, 13:19

A2 wrote:
F.N.G. wrote: I prefer Trainspotting as a film.
I agree. I couldn't get through the book. I spent too much time trying to figure out what the words I was reading meant.

It made me feel the same way I get when I try to read a Herbert Kornfeld editorial on the Onion.
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#9 Post by » 02 Jun 2003, 13:37

alan smithee wrote:
A2 wrote:
F.N.G. wrote: I prefer Trainspotting as a film.
I agree. I couldn't get through the book. I spent too much time trying to figure out what the words I was reading meant.

It made me feel the same way I get when I try to read a Herbert Kornfeld editorial on the Onion.
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#10 Post by cheffychic » 02 Jun 2003, 16:26

I read the Cider House Rules and saw the movie and the movie was way better! I could not even get through half of the book, I absolutely despised it! But, I liked the movie--even if it wasn't all like the book.
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#11 Post by ironchefk » 02 Jun 2003, 16:39

The original Shaft is better than the book. The remake certainly isn't.
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#12 Post by Patsy Klubb » 03 Jun 2003, 00:48

I agree with Trainspotting.

I would also say that as much as I loved the book Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas was done so perfectly that I think it added even more to it for me than the book could ever do.
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#13 Post by alan smithee » 03 Jun 2003, 00:58

Patsy Klubb wrote:I agree with Trainspotting.

I would also say that as much as I loved the book Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas was done so perfectly that I think it added even more to it for me than the book could ever do.
I remember reading that they were making a movie out of it and thinking, "Good Lord, why would someone even try? This is going to be so terrible." Then I read Terry Gilliam's name and thought, "Hmmm... Just maybe." Of course, it's on my list of favorites... I don't know if I'd say it was better than the book, but it's definitely near the top of my list of movies adapted from books.
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#14 Post by Patsy Klubb » 03 Jun 2003, 01:02

alan smithee wrote:
Patsy Klubb wrote:I agree with Trainspotting.

I would also say that as much as I loved the book Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas was done so perfectly that I think it added even more to it for me than the book could ever do.
I remember reading that they were making a movie out of it and thinking, "Good Lord, why would someone even try? This is going to be so terrible." Then I read Terry Gilliam's name and thought, "Hmmm... Just maybe." Of course, it's on my list of favorites... I don't know if I'd say it was better than the book, but it's definitely near the top of my list of movies adapted from books.
I think it was the portrayal of the humour and the god-like talents of Mr Depp that smacked me in the face. Also, if this makes sense, the book was so "visual" that it begged being made into a film, but as you say, it needed the hand of a genius - luckily a few were involved.
Another point for me is that I have little or no "substance" experience, so some of the decriptions in the book of how the people felt were semi-difficult for me to imagine - the film definitely helped.
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#15 Post by Coco » 03 Jun 2003, 05:04

I can't think of any film I've seen being better than the book I've read. I agree with Plaaxi with Starship Troopers, I enjoyed both on different levels, although the film does also have its own subtly satirical undertones, it parodies a lot of sci-fi films.

Although Trainspotting the book is very hard going, at least until you get into the rhythm of the language used, I still think it's better than the film, but only slightly.

Frighteningly enough Fear and Loathing is one of the most accurate adaptions of a book I've seen, both are excellent and I would say it is the best film of a book I've watched.
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#16 Post by Phil_Hart » 03 Jun 2003, 05:11

Wonder Boys worked better as a film than a book, a lot of time wasn't spent describing certain things that really didn't need to be there.

About a Boy while I liked both the book and the film, the film had a different ending. I'd have to read the book again to see which I like better.

High Fidelity is almost perfect. Despite the change of country, it has to be the closest I've ever seen a movie come to being faithful to the book. One part that stuck in my head is when he's at the pub and he talks about trying to stick a piece of lime down the neck of the bottle...They actually kept that in the movie! I loved it.
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#17 Post by Nunis » 03 Jun 2003, 05:21

I was one of the dozen or so people who actually liked The Shipping News, and I think it worked better than the book. Not saying it was better than the book, but I found the book very hard to digest. Confusing language - I didn't even finish it cause it was just too hard for me
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I think the book and film are very different though, and I have heard numerous people say the book is wonderful and the film is crap, so...

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#18 Post by Coco » 03 Jun 2003, 06:31

Phil_Hart wrote: About a Boy while I liked both the book and the film, the film had a different ending. I'd have to read the book again to see which I like better.

High Fidelity is almost perfect. Despite the change of country, it has to be the closest I've ever seen a movie come to being faithful to the book. One part that stuck in my head is when he's at the pub and he talks about trying to stick a piece of lime down the neck of the bottle...They actually kept that in the movie! I loved it.
I live in Royston, the place of the books climatic scene from About a Boy.

My housemate knows the person who High Fidelty is loosely based on.
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#19 Post by Vito » 05 Jun 2003, 08:47

The Godfather. The movie took all the good parts of the book and left out the sleazy stuff, most notably the graphic description of Lucy Mancini's gynecological surgery.

Another like that is The Princess Bride. I don't know the full story but apparently the main focus of the original book is on the war and the political dealings between the two kingdoms. Somebody took the book, edited out that stuff and re-issued it calling it "The Good Parts". That was the version made into the movie.

I just read Seabiscuit. The movie will have to go a long way to be better than the book.
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#20 Post by JJ » 05 Jun 2003, 08:53

Ummmm....I actually read the book to Friday the 13th Part VI ("Jason SSC"), and can honestly say that the film was much better.
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#21 Post by plaxii » 05 Jun 2003, 09:22

Vito wrote:The Godfather. The movie took all the good parts of the book and left out the sleazy stuff, most notably the graphic description of Lucy Mancini's gynecological surgery.

Another like that is The Princess Bride. I don't know the full story but apparently the main focus of the original book is on the war and the political dealings between the two kingdoms. Somebody took the book, edited out that stuff and re-issued it calling it "The Good Parts". That was the version made into the movie.

I just read Seabiscuit. The movie will have to go a long way to be better than the book.
well princess bride was actually its own book that was based on another book (suposedly i dont know how true this actualy is) but when i read the book i liked it better than the movie but seeing the movie and loving it i think added a lot to the book
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#22 Post by McT » 05 Jun 2003, 09:23

Vito wrote: Another like that is The Princess Bride. I don't know the full story but apparently the main focus of the original book is on the war and the political dealings between the two kingdoms. Somebody took the book, edited out that stuff and re-issued it calling it "The Good Parts". That was the version made into the movie.
The full story is quite interesting. It was William Goldman (who wrote Marathon Man). His father had read him the book (by S. Morganstern)when he was little. He was away on business for awhile and had a copy sent to his son for his birthday. He was then disappointed when he got home and found his son had not read it because he didn't like it. Then when he started reading it himself he realized that he had only listened to it, and his father had left much of it out. If you read Goldman's version, he has paragraph's in red where he edited out long sections. Some include 40 pages on the family history and a chapter basically describing someone packing for a trip. Once I knew the story behind it, I thought it was great the way they had the Grandfather reading it to the boy.
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#23 Post by McT » 05 Jun 2003, 09:30

Jaws - the movie was better. Interestingly in the book, Hooper had an affair with the Chief's wife. I thought Benchley's The Deep was a better book than Jaws.

Forrest Gump - they changed a lot. In the book at one point he was in space with an orangatang.

Shawshank Redemption - I don't know if truly thought it was better, but the movie is much higher on my favorites list than the book is.
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#24 Post by alan smithee » 05 Jun 2003, 11:04

McT wrote:
Vito wrote: Another like that is The Princess Bride. I don't know the full story but apparently the main focus of the original book is on the war and the political dealings between the two kingdoms. Somebody took the book, edited out that stuff and re-issued it calling it "The Good Parts". That was the version made into the movie.
The full story is quite interesting. It was William Goldman (who wrote Marathon Man). His father had read him the book (by S. Morganstern)when he was little. He was away on business for awhile and had a copy sent to his son for his birthday. He was then disappointed when he got home and found his son had not read it because he didn't like it. Then when he started reading it himself he realized that he had only listened to it, and his father had left much of it out. If you read Goldman's version, he has paragraph's in red where he edited out long sections. Some include 40 pages on the family history and a chapter basically describing someone packing for a trip. Once I knew the story behind it, I thought it was great the way they had the Grandfather reading it to the boy.
I'll just copy a post I made on this thread http://www.filmwise.com/forums/viewtopi ... &start=150:
Nunis wrote:
alan smithee wrote:Isn't The Princess Bride based on a book by a Mrs. S. Morgenstern? :) http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/de ... ?vi=glance

Eeeh, no. Goldman wrote the novel The Princess Bride.
He makes a (obviously fallacious) claim that it based on a "classic" tale by S. Morgenstern. Quoting the Florinese Times is kind of a giveaway. Get back to me when someone finds the country of Florin (or Guilder ... or any other Dutch currency) on a map.
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