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Film better than the book?

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Film better than the book?

Old 04-02-14, 04:41 AM
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Film better than the book?

Most of the time the book is superior to the adapted film version. I watched The Last Temptation of Christ a while back and though I thought it was interesting I considered it to be very flawed.

Just recently I've been reading the book by Nikos Kazantzakis and although the writing is beautiful, and it's a great story, I enjoyed the film version so much more. The scene of Jesus in the garden of Gethsemane was more personal and sad as it was presented in the film than it was in the book. I'm not saying objectively the movie is better because I think the original book is a greater piece of art, but after reading the book I definitely gained a greater appreciation for what Scorcese did with the film, the screenplay as written by Paul Scrader, and even the choice of going with American accents for the characters. I also don't see it as a flawed film anymore, but one more example of why Scorsese is such a great film maker. The way he showed Jesus being lifted on the cross was an especially unique, and effective choice.

Anyone here have examples of movies that they enjoyed more than the books?
Old 04-02-14, 07:01 AM
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Re: Film better than the book?

I'm a huge Stephen King fan, but would say that the films of both The Shawshank Redemption & The Green Mile trumped their source material.

Jaws is easily better on film.

I doubt many will agree with me, but I enjoyed the Scott Pilgrim movie slightly more than the series of graphic novels.

I only saw the first Twilight film and thought it was terrible, but tried reading the book due to a bunch coworkers being into. It was infinitely worse. Also, it's the small screen, but True Blood is mildly entertaining, which is incredible considering the absolute turds that are the books it's based on.
Old 04-02-14, 07:23 AM
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Re: Film better than the book?

The Forrest Gump book is terrible, trump only by the awfulness ofthe second book.

Bridges of Madison County was a better film than book.
Old 04-02-14, 07:46 AM
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Re: Film better than the book?

Fight Club movie was better mainly because of the ending. even the writer agrees the movie ending is better.
Old 04-02-14, 08:37 AM
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Re: Film better than the book?

I'd also say that "The Dead Zone" is far better than the book. Cronenberg made some improvements, especially around structure and even the central conceit of the book that made a huge difference.
Old 04-02-14, 08:38 AM
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Re: Film better than the book?

Adaptation was better than the Orchid Thief

King also apparently prefers the ending to the movie version of The Mist to his own.

Last edited by RichC2; 04-02-14 at 08:44 AM.
Old 04-02-14, 09:00 AM
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Re: Film better than the book?

I've never read the novel, but I can't imagine NOTHING LASTS FOREVER is as good as DIE HARD.

Anyone actually read the original story?


Also, most of James Cameron's movies are better than the books/stories he stole them from.
Old 04-02-14, 09:05 AM
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Re: Film better than the book?

Godfather FTW.
Old 04-02-14, 09:08 AM
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Re: Film better than the book?

Originally Posted by auto View Post
Godfather FTW.
I think that's debatable, although I agree. Same could be said of WISE GUY/GOODFELLAS.
Old 04-02-14, 09:26 AM
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Re: Film better than the book?

The Shining. Easily.
Old 04-02-14, 10:26 AM
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Re: Film better than the book?

Noah


jk... haven't seen the movie yet
Old 04-02-14, 10:29 AM
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Re: Film better than the book?

Originally Posted by Hokeyboy View Post
The Shining. Easily.
Disagree strongly. The book scared the crap out of me and the end was great. Movie wasn't scary, more creepy and the end was wimpy.
Old 04-02-14, 10:42 AM
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Re: Film better than the book?

HANNIBAL - Because the movie changed that ridiculous ending to something that worked.
Old 04-02-14, 10:57 AM
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Re: Film better than the book?

Originally Posted by Hokeyboy View Post
The Shining. Easily.
Yes, absolutely.
Old 04-02-14, 11:08 AM
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Re: Film better than the book?

The Wolf of Wall Street
Old 04-02-14, 11:21 AM
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Re: Film better than the book?

Originally Posted by Shannon Nutt View Post
I think that's debatable, although I agree. Same could be said of WISE GUY/GOODFELLAS.
Haven't read the book but I hear that it has like what? A chapter or subplot dedicated to fixing Sonny's mistress' vagina?

Supposedly the lack of that bit makes the film better.
Old 04-02-14, 11:32 AM
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Re: Film better than the book?

American Psycho
Old 04-02-14, 11:38 AM
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Re: Film better than the book?

Fight Club immediate comes to mind. I also preferred Cloud Atlas to the book.
Old 04-02-14, 11:53 AM
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Re: Film better than the book?

Originally Posted by Groucho View Post
American Psycho
Despite Bale's terrific performance, the movie is mired by its low budget. Too many scenes miss the satiric humor they are aiming for and come off as cheesy. The ending seemed to confuse a lot of people into thinking it was some kind of Six Sense twist.

It is watchable.

Ellis's book is unreadable in the conventional sense. It is a masterpiece. I think a big intentional joke is how Bateman is so unremarkable, he isn't worth reading about, and you have pages and pages describing rooms and brand names and pornographic sex and nauseating violence. Those parts are there for you to skip past.

Ellis's writing is outstanding, creating moods of horror and dread only a few other authors have the ability to weave (like Roberto Bolano's amazing 2666). This ambitious book creates a real place in my mind, that is frightening and funny and engaging.

The movie is just another movie, there are dozens like it. The book is a unique experience, one of those exciting moments when an author tries something different (like Mark Danielewski's House of Leaves) and succeeds.
Old 04-02-14, 11:54 AM
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Re: Film better than the book?

Originally Posted by Solid Snake View Post
Haven't read the book but I hear that it has like what? A chapter or subplot dedicated to fixing Sonny's mistress' vagina?

Supposedly the lack of that bit makes the film better.
Yeah that part was a bit out there, but the actual doctor character who performed the surgery (and was her boyfriend) was pretty interesting. He also helped diagnose a vocal condition for Johnny Fontaine, who in turn recommended him for when Michael got punched in the face by McCluskey. Johnny Fontaine had things going on in Vegas, with another friend from back home who didn't make it as big, and we got to know how creepy the producer (with the horse) really was.

Movie was definitely better, but I enjoyed some of those subplots.

Last edited by bluetoast; 04-02-14 at 12:00 PM.
Old 04-02-14, 11:59 AM
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Re: Film better than the book?

Originally Posted by maxfisher View Post
Jaws is easily better on film.
This is the correct answer. I don't think anyone would argue that the book is anywhere near as good as the movie.

Originally Posted by Solid Snake View Post
Haven't read the book but I hear that it has like what? A chapter or subplot dedicated to fixing Sonny's mistress' vagina?

Supposedly the lack of that bit makes the film better.
I don't remember everything about the book but I seem to remember it talking a lot about Sonny's mistress' vagina for some reason. I also seem to remember the book going into some pretty explicit detail of them having sex in a closet during the wedding.

Originally Posted by Hokeyboy View Post
The Shining. Easily.
Debatable, though I tend to agree with you. The book is written at a level that gets into the reader's psyche and can be really disturbing. However, the book could never be translated properly to the screen - as we saw with the terrible mini-series. Kubrick's film is very different from the book but it's hard to argue it isn't a masterful film.It also happens to be one of my favorite horror films.
Old 04-02-14, 12:05 PM
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Re: Film better than the book?

Re: The Shining

Originally Posted by TomOpus View Post
Disagree strongly. The book scared the crap out of me and the end was great. Movie wasn't scary, more creepy and the end was wimpy.
Ditto. The book unnerved me. The movie was just odd and flawed.

The Princess Bride is much better (and funnier) on film than as a book.

I echo the poster who mentioned Jaws. Horrible, meandering book.

I agree that Shawshank, The Mist, and The Green Mile trump the source material, but as a general rule, King's books are way better than the movies they spawn (hello, Pet Sematary).

One movie that I'd say was exactly on par with the source material is The Exorcist. Both are scary, but often for different reasons, and the book involves more of a murder mystery (and the demon possession is never fully confirmed) that the movie almost completely ignores.
Old 04-02-14, 12:11 PM
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Re: Film better than the book?

Originally Posted by Hokeyboy View Post
The Shining. Easily.
Old 04-02-14, 12:37 PM
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Re: Film better than the book?

Fellowship of the Ring. Over 1/3 of the book was either Bombadil or the council - the movie covered it in like 7 minutes and was better for it.
Old 04-02-14, 12:47 PM
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Re: Film better than the book?

Originally Posted by bluetoast View Post
Yeah that part was a bit out there, but the actual doctor character who performed the surgery (and was her boyfriend) was pretty interesting. He also helped diagnose a vocal condition for Johnny Fontaine, who in turn recommended him for when Michael got punched in the face by McCluskey. Johnny Fontaine had things going on in Vegas, with another friend from back home who didn't make it as big, and we got to know how creepy the producer (with the horse) really was.

Movie was definitely better, but I enjoyed some of those subplots.
Yeah, Puzo's book had a lot of good stuff in it, fleshing out the background some more and being quite an entertaining piece of commercial fiction. That said, though, Coppola's film of THE GODFATHER was a work of art and shows what happens when a good filmmaker takes a perfectly serviceable if undistinguished piece of popular fiction and makes something distinguished out of it. Just look at Hitchcock's VERTIGO and Welles' TOUCH OF EVIL for other examples.

An interesting study could be made of all of Hitchcock's adaptations of previously published fiction. He did some great things with Patricia Highsmith's novel for STRANGERS ON A TRAIN, but the book stands out for being much darker and bleaker than the movie, as if Cornell Woolrich suddenly had a decent plot thrust on him. (One can also argue that Hitchcock's film of REAR WINDOW was superior to Woolrich's story, but I'd have to 1) read the story again and 2) see the movie again to be sure.)

Speaking of Highsmith, has any film beside STRANGERS been a good adaptation of her work? "Talented Mr. Ripley" is a great novel about a sociopath but no one's ever made a proper film out of it. None of the other films I've seen based on her work capture that dark, nasty undercurrent to all of her books. When I approached RIPLEY'S GAME, I thought that, sure, John Malkovich would get the sociopathic aspects of Ripley down pat, but he's a bit over the top. In the books, Ripley never got angry. He never needed to.

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