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Movies that are superior to the books upon which they're based

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Movies that are superior to the books upon which they're based

Old 01-07-10, 12:45 PM
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Movies that are superior to the books upon which they're based

Several of the posts in the thread on Stephen King's favorite 2009 movies got me thinking about this topic. In regards to The Shining, I view the book as superior. Yes, the movie's a classic and masterpiece and so on and so forth, but I far prefer King's version of the Torrances as characters. I also think that as creepy as Kubrick's Overlook is, it doesn't hold a candle to how sinister it is in the book.

That said, I can think of three King books/stories which were made into films that actually improved on his work. Those would be The Green Mile, The Mist and, to a much smaller degree, The Shawshank Redemption. Outside of those three, I'm having a very difficult time thinking of films that improved on their source material. I'd almost be tempted to say No Country for Old Men, but it was originally written as a script instead of a novel and the book and film are so identical that it's more a case of parity than superiority.

I'm sure there are plenty of other films that have risen above their source material, but I'll be damned if I can think of any. I'm curious to see what examples others bring up.
Old 01-07-10, 01:25 PM
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Re: Movies that are superior to the books upon which they're based

The Last of the Mohicans -- Michael Mann, 1992.

The book is nigh-unreadable and a paradigm of coma-inducing tripe. The movie is phenomenal.
Old 01-07-10, 01:34 PM
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Re: Movies that are superior to the books upon which they're based

The Graduate
Old 01-07-10, 01:34 PM
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Re: Movies that are superior to the books upon which they're based

Jaws
Old 01-07-10, 01:36 PM
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Re: Movies that are superior to the books upon which they're based

Lord of the Rings
American Psycho
2001
Clockwork Orange
Old 01-07-10, 01:41 PM
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Re: Movies that are superior to the books upon which they're based

The Godfather.
Old 01-07-10, 01:42 PM
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Re: Movies that are superior to the books upon which they're based

Originally Posted by 89981 View Post
The Godfather.
I disagree. The movie should have devoted an entire hour to Lucy Mancini's twat surgery.
Old 01-07-10, 01:45 PM
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Re: Movies that are superior to the books upon which they're based

Originally Posted by toddly6666 View Post
Lord of the Rings
You went there!
Old 01-07-10, 01:47 PM
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Re: Movies that are superior to the books upon which they're based

To Kill A Mockingbird
Old 01-07-10, 03:19 PM
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Re: Movies that are superior to the books upon which they're based

Off topic, but humour me...

I think the absolute best representation of a book in a film is Gary Sinise's 'Of Mice and Men'. It captures the book basically word for word, gets all the themes, is brilliantly acted... just an amazing adaptation.

I've read that book more times than any other work of fiction I guess, and that is one of my all time favorite films.
Old 01-07-10, 03:31 PM
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Re: Movies that are superior to the books upon which they're based

Jacques Tourneur's OUT OF THE PAST (1947) based on "Build My Gallows High," by Geoffrey Homes

Orson Welles' TOUCH OF EVIL (1958), based on Whit Masterson's "Badge of Evil"

Akira Kurosawa's HIGH AND LOW (1962), based on Ed McBain's "King's Ransom"


(And, yes, I've read the books.)
Old 01-07-10, 03:37 PM
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Re: Movies that are superior to the books upon which they're based

Forrest Gump
Old 01-07-10, 03:41 PM
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Re: Movies that are superior to the books upon which they're based

Originally Posted by toddly6666 View Post
American Psycho
This is what I came to say. Which is interesting because it's actually quite faithful. It just cuts out the fat that was in the novel (and there's a lot of it).
Originally Posted by toddly6666 View Post
2001
The movie wasn't based on the book, they were created in parallel.
Old 01-07-10, 03:50 PM
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Re: Movies that are superior to the books upon which they're based

Not a one.
Old 01-07-10, 03:52 PM
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Re: Movies that are superior to the books upon which they're based

Bram Stoker's Dracula

Also, I think American Psycho, while a great film, was even better as a novel.
Old 01-07-10, 03:52 PM
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Re: Movies that are superior to the books upon which they're based

Originally Posted by Groucho View Post
This is what I came to say. Which is interesting because it's actually quite faithful. It just cuts out the fat that was in the novel (and there's a lot of it)..
I disagree with this so much. The "fat" is just the jumble of Patrick's mind, the fat is pretty much what makes that book.
Old 01-07-10, 03:54 PM
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Re: Movies that are superior to the books upon which they're based

The Shawshank Redemption is the only one that comes to mind for me(aside from the Hollywood ending) and The Mist* comes damn close. While I prefer King's ambiguous ending to Shawshank to Darabont's, I think** I prefer Darabont's ending to the Mist vs. King's ambiguous one.

* The B&W version
** I haven't seen The Mist enough times to make a final ruling.
Old 01-07-10, 04:02 PM
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Re: Movies that are superior to the books upon which they're based

Yeah... 'Shawshank' is probably an example of that.
Old 01-07-10, 04:05 PM
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Re: Movies that are superior to the books upon which they're based

Silence Of The Lambs. The author of the book has no business ever writing again. The books of the series got worse and worse as they went along.
Old 01-07-10, 04:13 PM
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Re: Movies that are superior to the books upon which they're based

Originally Posted by yoshimi View Post
Silence Of The Lambs. The author of the book has no business ever writing again. The books of the series got worse and worse as they went along.
plus, it doesn't hurt when you have Demme and Fujimoto working together.
Old 01-07-10, 04:21 PM
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Re: Movies that are superior to the books upon which they're based

Originally Posted by yoshimi View Post
Silence Of The Lambs. The author of the book has no business ever writing again. The books of the series got worse and worse as they went along.
As did the films.
Old 01-07-10, 04:24 PM
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Re: Movies that are superior to the books upon which they're based

No Country For Old Men.
Old 01-07-10, 04:27 PM
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Re: Movies that are superior to the books upon which they're based

Originally Posted by Groucho View Post
The movie wasn't based on the book, they were created in parallel.
Do explain more. I didn't know that. I did like both book and the movie - it's just that I liked the movie more.

Originally Posted by superdeluxe View Post
You went there!
I liked the Hobbit when I was a kid, but I couldn't get through the first chapters of the Fellowship.
Old 01-07-10, 04:28 PM
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Re: Movies that are superior to the books upon which they're based

Did anyone ever try reading that comic book adaptation they did of the movie WATCHMEN? It was okay, but since the movie came out first, the movie is so much better.



Old 01-07-10, 04:35 PM
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Originally Posted by toddly6666 View Post
Lord of the Rings...
I agree with that selection, although it may not be popular with Tolkien fans. Loved The Hobbit but didn't care for Rings.

I'll suggest:

The Bourne Identity. I liked the changes made and preferred the movie to the book. I thought that making the woman who aids Bourne a German, as opposed to a Canadian, worked well.

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. The longest, and my least favorite, Harry Potter book worked well when abridged into the movie. By contrast, the movie version of Goblet of Fire was a travesty; it was abridged out of all recognition.

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