Interesting list

| | Comments (7)

15 book-to-film adaptations that live up to the source materials.

It is almost always true that I am one of those complaining, "Well, it was OK, but the book was better." I think this is an interesting list, even though I disagree with the inclusion of Charlotte's Web.

What do you think? Agree with the list? Disagree? Have additions?


Ooooh, I really disagree with the inclusion of The Lord of the Rings. Not that Jackson's films weren't artistically stunning - they were, and I enjoyed them very much. But Tolkien himself described LOTR as "a fundamentally religious and Catholic work; unconsciously so at first, but consciously in the revision." And I think Jackson missed that, in some very significant ways. (I especially hate how he warped the story of Aragorn and Arwen, but that's probably because I'm attached to my namesake.)

Anyway, just my two cents. It is an interesting list.

The Lord of the Rings is the only item on the list where I've both read the book and seen the movie(s), and it doesn't belong on the list. Jackson blew it. Once his version of Faramir appeared, the movies no longer had anything to do with Tolkien.

An addition to the list: Kiki's Delivery Service. Miyazaki's movie is very good and very different from the book by Eiko Kadono (which is also very good and not as well-known as it should be).

Oh, Jackson and company didn't "blow it". They consciously and deliberately told the story they wanted to using Tolkien's characters and mythology.

And that is a very different matter.

It would be like directing Othello as a commentary on fascism. While it might prove visually stunning, it will fail to move the audience, since it lacks "something", but it requires a deliberate misreading of the text to get there.

I too would disagree about The Lord of the Rings. I would add one, though. I thought the movie of The French Lieutenant's Woman was better than the book. By recasting it as a story within a story, Harold Pinter managed to remove the smugness of John Fowles's scornful comments about the Victorian period.

Leaving out any discussion on LOTR--(I've got a daughter named Arwen - what does that tell you?)--I have never met a movie of Jane Eyre that I liked. For me the book is all about the dialogue, and if you're going to get the story in, you get three lines of a discussion that goes on for 10 or more pages. Not my cup of tea.

oh my, i heartily disagree -- there was a 1997 version of jane eyre that was sexy and incredible. 'knocked out all the boring stuff and got to the thick of things.

Doctor Zhivago was a better movie than book, as was The Manchurian Candidate (Frank Sinatra version - I have not seen the remake).

Other films that did justice to the books were:

Slaughterhouse Five
Any of the James Bond films
The Maltese Falcon

Also, a Hollywood insider-type tells me that Princess Bride was a screenplay before it was a novel (that Goldman had been trying to get it made for years).



About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by MamaT published on August 2, 2006 4:01 PM.

You must see this was the previous entry in this blog.

help! ballpoint ink on leather is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.