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5kgLifter 05-06-2013 03:25 PM

Books to films
At some point, we've all seen a film based on a book that we've read. So, have you ever, in your opinion, seen a film that has lived up to your expectations after having read the book?


BendtheBar 05-06-2013 03:34 PM

The top of my list is Game Of Thrones. The film made reading the books easier. This is one of the few film projects that made me want to re-read the books.

Off Road 05-06-2013 03:45 PM

For me, The Lord of the Rings trilogy has come the closest so far.

Tannhauser 05-06-2013 04:08 PM

Good thread.

There are one or two cases where I enjoyed the film version better than the book it was based on.

1. Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? Phiip K. Dick. I can't get on with Philip K. Dick. I have tried. The concept is often brilliant but the execution leaves me cold. Maybe I was too young to appreciate this book when I read it, but it didn't do a lot for me. Blade Runner, however, I can watch over and over.

2. Lord of the Rings. J R R Tolkien. It's a great book, but the film is even better in my view. Tolkien was an English professor with a love of middle and old english. So the book reflects this preoccupation with etymology and language. For me it scored high on scope and imaginative power, but lower on characterisation and narrative urgency. I think what Peter Jackson did was retain the epic feel and bring out the adventure story in it. For example, the first sight of the Nazgul (sp?) in the first film is electrifying - I never got that from the text in the same way.

3. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe - by C.S. Lewis (drinking buddy to Tolkien). I think they did a bang-up job with this. They treated the source material with due reverence, and resisted every attempt to make it more up-to-date, which would have ruined it. There are very few films with kids in that I find bearable, but I thought the performances were pretty good.

4. Dracula - by Bram Stoker. Any film version. The book is really a stinker in my view: incredibly tedious and repetitive, lacking any narrative tension, and about 200 pages longer than it needs.

5. The Time Machine - by H. G Wells. There's one made a few years back which is a real turkey, but the 1950s one with Rod Taylor remains a favourite film of mine.

6. Ben-Hur by General Lew Wallace (?) The book is essentially a christian tract and while I enjoyed it, I think the film did a fine job in balancing that with Judah Ben-Hur's story. Everyone talks about the chariot race, but the early scene where Ben-Hur confronts Messala (played by Steven Boyd, who died tragically young) about loyalty is really gripping and well written.

7. I, Claudius by Robert Graves. Not a film, but a BBC series. Looks a bit stagey now, but it's a who's who of British acting talent. Brian Blessed's finest role.

Hunterace 05-06-2013 04:14 PM

The Shawshank Redemption

Tannhauser 05-06-2013 04:43 PM


Originally Posted by Hunterace (Post 359863)
The Shawshank Redemption

Good one. That was a cracking book - 'Different Seasons' - it had 'Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption' and 'The Body' which was filmed as 'Stand By Me', which was another fantastic adaptation.

And on the subject of Steven King:

The Shining - I thought was done well, though the book scared me more.

Firestarter - again, good adaptation

Carrie - good one for Brian dePalma

And while I think of it:

Jaws - Peter Benchley. Good book, good film.

Tarzan - Edgar Rice Burroughs. Mostly terrible adaptations, but I think Greystoke got it about right

bruteforce 05-06-2013 04:59 PM

The Spaceman and King Arthur

Its an old Disney spoof of Mark Twains work, but i still rather enjoy it.

startinglifter 05-07-2013 11:13 AM

NO books are always better from my point of view.

PhillyDev 05-07-2013 11:48 AM

Jurassic Park. Loved the book. Movie was great, although differed somewhat. Still awesome in 3d. Most of Crichton's work was like that for me. Another is the movie Sahara. I went a read all the Clive Cussler books I have after that.

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